1986 Toyota Corolla SR5 – The Mash-Up

Rene Viniegra does a funny point with the AE86 Corolla that he went to the trouble of meticulously restoring: He drives it. Every single possibility he gets, in truth. And so would you if the vehicle you’d usually wanted got torn apart not long right after acquiring it and then took 3 years for you to piece back together.

1986 toyota corolla sr5 run free front bumper Photo 2/16   |   1986 Toyota Corolla Sr5 Run Totally free Front Bumper

But you would not have the balls to go on and place a single of Nissan’s SR20DETs underneath that Toyota hood of yours, which is exactly what Rene did, and which is exactly the sort of point that ruffles up AE86 nitpickers. Stack the Corolla’s 4A-C or even its 4A-GE against something like Nissan’s already turbocharged SR, even though, and the query isn’t: Which one’s far better? But more like: Will you be keeping that Nissan-factory-issued T25 or make things come alive with anything a lot more capable and from HKS? Rene went with some thing much more capable and from HKS, the attempted-and-accurate GT2835 if you want to get specific and, if you ask him, this Corolla’s all the better for it.

2017 Toyota Corolla

$ 18,500 Base Model (MSRP) 28/36 MPG Fuel Economy

1986 toyota corolla sr5 nissan sr20det swap Photo three/16   |   1986 Toyota Corolla Sr5 Nissan Sr20det Swap

Turns out that this complete Toyota-meets-Nissan incident did not just take place on a whim but was something 15 years in the producing. Rene just did not know it but. Ask him about his initial vehicle, though, and he’ll tell you all about the Infiniti G20 he’d purchased back in ’99. He’ll also inform you about the paint job, the wheels, and the suspension mods he’d produced to it that turned it into a full-fledged show car and that led him to a 350Z that’d adhere to a related path. Later, a BRZ—the 21st century AE86 replacement—was thrown into the mix, at which point the worlds of all things Nissan and Toyota colliding was pretty significantly bound to occur.

That SR20 swap, it was a methodically planned out transaction. Rene deciding to go 30-year-old-Corolla buying, nonetheless, was entirely impulsive. “[Ever] considering that I was a kid, I remember reading Initial D comics,” he says about his first encounter with the RWD Toyota. “I couldn’t hold my eyes off [of them] just due to the fact of the Corolla.” Truly getting one particular, even though, that would not come about for several years. “One day [although] unpacking some boxes in the garage, I identified some of my old Initial D books,” he says. “After reading a handful of pages, I stopped what I was doing and, just like that, I started searching for an AE86 Corolla.”

1986 toyota corolla sr5 work equip wheel Photo 7/16   |   1986 Toyota Corolla Sr5 Operate Equip Wheel

It actually was as simple as that. Significantly easier, in fact, than what transpired for the duration of the years it’d take to get the auto how Rene would want it. “The complete project took about 3 years to get completed much more than anything, the swap [gave us] a couple of difficulties right here and there,” he says. “And, of course, browsing for the appropriate colour was tougher than usual.” Such are First Planet issues if there ever have been any, but they are the sort of Very first Globe troubles that, when sorted out, make Rene appreciate the classic Corolla he’s brought back to life even more. “I haven’t had my auto in three years,” he says about the develop hiatus, “and so now I [drive it] each and every weekend.”

1986 toyota corolla sr5 rocket bunny style front fender flare Photo eight/16   |   1986 Toyota Corolla Sr5 Rocket Bunny Style Front Fender Flare

You would, as well, if your SR20-swapped AE86 was sitting appropriately on Operate Equips and donned Run Free aero all around along with one particular-off Rocket Bunny-esque fenders up front that had been fashioned just before DTM Autobody sprayed the complete thing more than.

This Corolla also handles as good as it appears. Underneath, Rene updated the Toyota’s suspension geometry with handle arms, shocks, a 4-link kit, and a lateral bar all from Techno Toy Tuning that, out back, function alongside the old Celica-Supra rear finish. It is all really purposeful and, if you get close sufficient to take a peek, is just as appealing as the Bride Zeta III seats and ARC shift knob you are going to find inside and encapsulated by the Cusco rollbar.

1986 toyota corolla sr5 bride upholstery Photo 12/16   |   1986 Toyota Corolla Sr5 Bride Upholstery

For Rene, owning a single of Toyota’s crowned RWD Corollas was bound to take place. “I looked at distinct vehicles like an S14, an SC300, and Toyota’s MR2, but for some reason none of these [held] my consideration,” he says about doing his due diligence when it came to producing certain the AE86 was the proper car for him. All told, contemplating any of those, for Rene anyways, was genuinely just a big waste of time. “I knew I had to get my hands on an AE86 1 of these days,” he says. “It was my childhood dream.” And it was the Toyota-Nissan mash-up that couldn’t not take place.

1986 toyota corolla sr5 run fre side skirts Photo 13/16   |   1986 Toyota Corolla Sr5 Run Fre Side Skirts


Let’s take a trip down memory lane to our February ’09 issue. There’s a candy-painted Evo X with all sorts of JDM goodies that belonged to…yes, you guessed it, Rene Viniegra. It is excellent to see you back in SS, Rene!

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