Abraham Phan - 1985 Toyota Corolla GTS
My first car ended up being a 95 Honda Prelude because that was given to me by my parents. Fast forward a year or 2, I was introduced to the AE86 by Papa Gushi who owned Gushi Auto. I was first attracted to it by its vintage boxy look with pop up headlights.
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1985 Toyota Corolla GTS
Photographer: Marvin Recinos - @Mr2mivin
Xin Chao! You can catch rolling in my AE86 from time to time in Whittier, CA. I'm an auto damage appraiser for Travelers Insurance. I've been in the automotive collision industry for about 14 years and have been certified by BMW, General Motors, Nissan, and Tesla. My family and I love to travel as much as we can. We're a sucker for any all-inclusive resorts with beach access. When we're not planning our next trip, I spend countless hours searching the web for any rare AE86 parts. I am also a BIG Dan Marino & Miami Dolphins football fan. Fins up!!!!!
During my teenage years, Agus, my friend, would always spend his lunch money on Import Tuner. I was exposed to the cool-looking cars and of course, the gals in there. In 2001, it got really serious for me because Fast and Furious came out in theatres. After leaving the movie theatre, everyone was so hyped, including me, I knew that one day, I didn't want to be told “Granny shifting, not double-clutching like you should”
My first car ended up being a 95 Honda Prelude because that was given to me by my parents. Fast forward a year or 2, I was introduced to the AE86 by Papa Gushi who owned Gushi Auto. I was first attracted to it by its vintage boxy look with pop up headlights. I purchased my very first AE86 GTS hatch from a sales ad on Club4ag which happened to be non-registrable because it was a Canadian car with no proper title. Papa Gushi sold me an SR5 coupe, in which he helped & train me to convert to a GTS using all the parts from the Canadian GTS hatch. I also then received another AE86 20v Blacktop from a trade with my other car. I junked the Canadian GTS Hatch and sold the other AE86 back in 2006. Fast forward to 2020, I purchased this 1985 Toyota Corolla GTS Hatch with a Levin front end. I chose this specific car because everything was just MINT and a change of front end.
Some of the hard work came from its previous owner, Arie. Shout out to him because he did EVERYTHING I would've done to this vehicle. From getting mint to brand new parts for this car only, this is definitely a high maintenance AE86. If you know me, I attempt to have 2 of everything, just in case. The JDM Levin front end conversion was done to show people here in the states, that the engine will stay as stock as possible, granted it only has 39k miles. The interior has never been reupholstered so I'm trying my best to minimize the wear and tear.
Owning this car has brought back old memories. It has allowed me to reconnect with old friends and make new friends at the same time. It also allowed me to have a car bond with my son AJ because he grew a small fascination for these AE86. Getting the peace sign when riding my Harley Davidson is way different than getting the thumbs up when driving my AE86.
Everyone's AE86 has different unique ways. I think what makes my AE86 unique is that I don't have a strict budget build. I will pay to play. I want my AE86 to be as close to the factory as much as I can, whether it be Toyota or TRD. The uniqueness of this AE86 is how mint the interior is, a straight factory with no upholstery work done.
- JDM Levin zenki front bumper assembly
- JDM Levin kouki headlamps w/ eyelids
- JDM Levin kouki corner lamps w/ JDM wiring set up
- JDM Levin kouki grill
- JDM Levin hood
- JDM Levin fenders with fender liners
- JDM rear hatch spoiler
- JDM Levin zenki front and rear mudguards
- JDM zenki rear bumper assembly
If you enjoyed this Car why not read this ONE HERE
- Complete OEM interior
- Pioneer head unit
- Orion speakers
- JDM steering wheel
- JDM shift knob
- Coco floor mats
- TRD spark plug wires
- HKS “Legal” Catback exhaust system
- Exedy Clutch
- Cusco Camber Plates
- RSR Springs
- Tokico Shocks
- 2005 bronze Rays TE37 (14X7 +0)
- Rays lug nuts & valve stems
- Toyo Tires R888 185/60/14
Some of the work was done by the previous owner Arie. Since my ownership of the vehicle, I've spent countless hours searching the internet for the cleanest parts to replace previous parts. I've added kouki eyelids, and JDM window visors, replaced zenki corner lamps with kouki corner lamps and a friend of mine, Feras, helped me wire it the JDM way (took 5 hours and a bunch of mosquito bites). The guys at J & P Auto also help me refresh the front bumper from all the rock chips.
My next item to do is definitely switch out the aftermarket radio unit with an OEM one. I have an OEM radio but will need to send that to a radio shop that can refurbish it. I also plan on getting factory wheels put back on with a twist. Stay tuned!