Built to Drift: This AE86 Went From Shabby Shell to Stylishly Sideways


Built to Drift: This AE86 Went From Shabby Shell to Stylishly Sideways

If two is better than one, then why not six? That’s Lester Donis’ attitude when it comes to Toyota’s iconic AE86 Corolla, a car that’s been idolized both in the flesh and virtually, having splashed across screens in video games, anime, and more for decades. This long-time 8-6 aficionado can’t stand the thought of leaving one of these chassis behind, and just last year, managed to acquire half a dozen.

One of the cars from his collection is restored and heavily modified, and you got a closer look at it back in November when we featured it. The panda paint scheme, shaved bay, and 20-valve swap work perfectly together … maybe too perfectly. Lester adds, “I really wanted to drift but didn’t want to put the white 86 in harms way. One day I got the car sideways, lol—my first time ever doing that. I went up a curb and luckily only got a small nick on one of its SSR Longchamps! After that moment, I decided I really needed to get another 86.”

In search of a new Corolla to abuse at local drift events, Lester remembered a friend owned a very rough black and grey shell that he’d picked up to turn into a project, but ultimately lost the motivation to work on it. “It was so rough; it was a barely even rolling. No interior other than one seat and a dash—no exterior moldings or bumpers, and the entire drivetrain was garbage.” Still, it would serve as an ideal starting point to piece together a weekend drift car, but the asking price didn’t match its condition. That should have been the end of things, but Lester’s friend was interested in his Celica GT daily driver and after some back and forth, a deal was struck. “I ended up trading my running daily driver for a horrible shell, lol!” For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.

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