2022 Toyota GR86 - Chris Morton
When I finally got to see a picture of what the GR86 looked like I was a little off by the front end but knew I was going to buy one. As the release date came closer the probability of our small dealership getting a new GR86 allocated to us was highly unlikely.
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2022 Toyota GR86
Photographer: Zack Hendershot/ @Itwitchdaily
My name is Chris Morton most of my friends call me Morty, I’m from Davisville West Virginia located about 7 miles from Parkersburg. I am currently the Service Manager at Superior Toyota - Hyundai where I have worked for the last 13 years. In my spare time, you will probably find me working on one of my cars or at a local car show hanging out with friends or making new ones.
I have loved cars since I was very young. At first, I didn’t really know much about cars but I knew my Dad just loved them so I had to love them too. My father was a car fanatic his entire life, I remember stories he would tell about his younger years and they always revolve around a car and how fast it was. I could set and listen to those stories over and over and they only got better with every reciting. Some people grow up with their hero being a sports figure or a famous movie star but not me my Dad was my hero and always was. I remember going to the drag races with my dad and watching his reaction to each and every race.
He was a very detailed man and knew more about cars than anyone I know. We would frequent the local car shows and it was always a good time but also a lesson on the history of each and every vehicle we looked at. From the factory tire sizes to the piece of trim that let him know what year it was always was fascinating to me. I don’t know how a man could remember so much about one thing but he sure did. Later in life, as I got older I always found work to save money to get a car.
That literally was the only thing on my mind at the age of 15. I saved enough money and with a family inside deal, I was able to buy my first car which was an 82’ Olds Cutlass. I was so proud of that car. It was the very first car I modified. I had removed the old am FM audio deck and replaced it with a used (new to me ) pioneer cassette player a 300-watt amp and a 10’ subwoofer in a particle board box made from scraps. From that day forward I was always looking to change my ride in some way. When I would do something to my vehicle I would always have to show Dad to see if I could get his approval.
Now my Dad was a great guy but he also was a straight shooter, if he liked it he would tell you and give you ideas and if he didn’t well he would tell you it wasn’t his taste. Not but just a couple of my cars did my dad really like. So every time I would get a new ride I tried even harder to impress the old man. Well many years after following his career choice and working in the dealership as he did I felt a closer bond with the old man because we could relate our jobs and appreciate what each other did for a living.
My dad was a parts counter person at Matheny’s GMC for the better part of 30 years. I on the other hand had started a local Honda Mazda VW store working in parts pushing a broom to make ends meet. So moving down through the years even longer I eventually worked my way to ASM and then got offered a job at a Toyota / Hyundai store. I worked at that store for about 8 years and was given the opportunity to become the Service manager of both franchises. Watching my dad follow my career in the dealership world made him very proud.
Once I stepped in as the service Manager I was given a Demo to drive and I was allowed to pick and choose what car I wanted at any time one day I was walking out to the lot after work to jump into a car and go home. I saw this red two-door Scion and thought wow that’s an awesome car. So I drove the car home and instantly caught feelings. It was a 2015 FRS. I drove it around town to give it a run and though it was underpowered it felt and handled very good. So the next day I went back to work and walked passed the sales manager he asked if I left the keys in the car and I told him no he said why not and I replied I’m heading to finance. This day started a love affair with the 86 line that I still have today. After I purchased the vehicle I immediately did what I always did, I took it out to my Dads house to get his opinion on the car.
Waiting for the inevitable Nah I’m not into foreign vehicles by my surprise my dad said wow that’s pretty slick so needless to say my chest swelled a little with his approval the next words out of his mouth changed my life forever and he said “I bet that thing would be pretty quick turbocharged. So it was on. I bought my first Turbo kit from MAperormance and I was ready to go except shipping took forever. Unfortunately while waiting on my turbo kit to come my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer and passed away a few days later. I would eventually get my kit and the installation process began.
When I started the installation I worked on the vehicle non-stop for a few days and I found myself rushing to get done, I didn’t understand why I was rushing but all I knew was I needed to get it completed. Once it was all installed and ready for a tune I received a base map tune and was able to complete the install. Once I got my final tune via email and was finished as I was driving down the interstate I got off the Staunton ave exit and started heading to my dad's house to show him only to realize he wasn’t there. This left me empty I think this is why I like to modify my vehicles so much because in my mind I know Pop would have liked what I had done to it. I have since Quit driving the FRS and turned it over to my wife for her to come up with a new theme for the car to make it hers.
Why did I choose this car you may ask, Well as you know. I have an FRS that I definitely fell in love with and the hard time of losing my dad really even before the build started I always felt a genuine connection to my ride, needless to say when Covid hit and the model was suspended I was really bummed they weren’t putting one out that year. I had to lay off 25 people that year and set at the dealership with very little work which really made for a long depressing time. But as Toyota started to leak small titbits out about the new model of course I was instantly intrigued.
When I finally got to see a picture of what the GR86 looked like I was a little off by the front end but knew I was going to buy one. As the release date came closer the probability of our small dealership getting a new GR86 allocated to us was highly unlikely. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas and I was closing up the shop and the owner was walking with me talking about odds and ends and his phone rang. I kept walking as he stood still and I heard him say “Really well that’s great!” So I looked at him to see his expression as he looked back he put the phone down and said hey Chris What colour do you want I really didn’t understand until he said it’s Toyota on the phone and they are getting us the GR86 so what colour do you want and do you want a manual? I about flipped. I was nearly speechless as I literally stood in my garage 10 minutes after five ordering what would become My GR86. Life is good.
What do you think?
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My first build was a 15 Frs which I had Turbocharged and modified suspension components and installed an awesome stereo unit. Once I did all the big dollar upgrades I decided it was time to change colours and decided to try my hand at custom vinyl work.
As this started off pretty rocky I really got the hang of wrapping. I would buy rolls of vinyl and put it on amazing to myself and others. Most of the time I didn’t think it was good enough but it always got great comments and looks. I love when I see people rubber-necking my ride. It’s a great feeling. After a few different vinyl combinations, I decided to do my first complete wrap. To my surprise, it came out pretty good but yet not perfect. I put my first full wrap on after work every day for a week in the middle of winter in a small garage heated with a heater buddy propane heater. This made for very tuff vinyl to work with. Even though the vinyl was very hard to work with I was finally able to get it done. The response to the apple green car was way beyond my expectations. So a little while went by and I decided on another colour and I got back to work. Avery Dennison Envy green. This is a darker green with a light metallic gloss finish which was beautiful.
Once I revealed my car with its freshly applied wrap everyone really like the work. I submitted a review on the vinyl on google about Metrorestyling and I believe with I’ve 30,000 views of my vehicle I have the most review views for metro-restyling. and the phone calls started. It seem like I was in Business. By no means did I want to start a vinyl business but still found myself taking on jobs. For most of the jobs I did I gave away just to contribute to my fellow car family. After the GR86 was released and all the great times I had with the FRS the choice for my next build was very clear.
It’s a great feeling owning this car. Sometimes as I’m walking towards it from a store I say to myself wow this is really my car. I am also one of those guys who looks back at my car every time I walk away to go into a store. It’s unknown to me why I have to do this but I think it shows how much I love the 86 platform.
What do I think makes my car unique, Well right now it’s because it’s one of the first if not the first GR86 in the state of WV and not many around here have any modifications. My build idea this time around is going to be more of a stance and clean look because I really admire the hard work and long hours it takes to keep one up.
As it sits now I have the GR add-on vent inserts TRD exhaust and Artisa 9.5-inch wide wheels with 225 40 18 Continental Extreme Contact tires stretched on them. I think this combo makes for a perfect stance for a newcomer like myself to the clean stance look. My future list looks pretty broad and I know another Turbo will be in the works and also a body kit and airbags. Just thinking of this vision has me excited to see what’s to come. Stay tuned.
I do 99% of the work on all my builds, Most of my knowledge is self-taught but derived from my father who was always thinking of ways to make things better. He was a great mechanic and had a great work ethic and always finished the job. Since his passing, I’m finding myself working more and more like him.
What my plans next for the car is actually a little different. I am registered to compete in my first NASA track event which I am really excited about. I believe this is just going to be a one-time thing for me so I can say I did it. The event is upcoming the weekend of the 23rd of July. After this event, I am planning on getting out the whiteboard and listing the things to do on the vehicle. Just to mention a few things without complete spoilers. Like I mentioned earlier I plan on installing for the first time I will be bagging the GR and most likely investing in a body kit. I have looked at a few and really want to go over the top.
Before I do the turbocharger I will be working on more interior customization than I did with my previous build. I really want to go for the clean show car look before adding forced induction. I have it figured it will take me about 2-3 years to complete this build and want to enjoy every step along the way. Because the way I see it the build is only half the fun, I really enjoy talking with other car enthusiasts about their ideas and it really helps me with getting my build going.
Well for starters this would count for any vehicle when it comes to car wraps, Don’t go cheap on your materials. Cheap vinyl isn’t worth using and typically has many flaws in colour and adhesion. Do yourself a favour and pay a little extra. The first thing I would always suggest starting off with modifications on a 86 platform is wheels let’s take them to an 18-inch rim. I would also install a new exhaust with the note that you like. And then a cold air intake, and get yourself a throttle controller to eliminate throttle lag.
Though it doesn’t add horsepower it definitely eliminates any pedal lag. I suggest a pedal commander for the FRS. I have had one for a few years and it works great and changes the entire feel of the ride to a sportier feel. These upgrades last for a while making the car feel and run great. Once you get to the point you no longer like getting beat by your everyday Camaro’s let’s talk forced air and tune.
@MORTIFIED on FaceBook. A group I started to bring car enthusiasts together and promote all car-related content. The car scene has brought me many new friends a ton of new ideas and knowledge and most of all it has brought me even closer to my Dad. RVB. RIP Pops.
I’m driving my dream car now.
Please leave your comments in the comments section at the bottom of the page
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