Ireland has gone crazy for the Japanese four-door sedan. A little over ten years ago many of these big six cylinder machines were unattainable to the Irish man. Back then, still fetching insane prices in Japan very few of these were snatched up in the boom years and any that made it here were something of legendary status.
Japan has been good to us. This country has seen some great cars land here over the years. In almost every category we have imported some of the best. It amazes that after fiteen or more years of plucking the gold, time and time again amazing machines like this end up on the docks in Dublin.
Almost hidden in the corner of the Toyota gathering a few months back was this AE86. The owner was a little taken back by my interest in it. I tend to obsess over cars with a little character; cars we wish could only speak and share their tales, with faded team stickers, dents holes and scuffs.
Being away for a few years I really didn’t know what top expect at Japfest this year, if you were following the nonsense on the Instagram story, we went a little over board but it was with no regrets. Japfest an end of year calendar for most of the stuff we are into and most of the cars either come off of the road or go into hibernation for the winter.
A lot of people made it down regardless of situations that sprang up which either on the day or close to it. Somehow the weather was on our sides which enticed people to make the journey down. I genuinely would not have held the event if there was a monsoon of Irish rain.
What I enjoy most about this event is how varied the selection is, not narrowed down to only drift enthusiasts or classic car its a perfect cocktail of car people right across the board and anything, literally anything can make an appearance. Check this KP pickup for example, something I have never seen before. A crazy idea!
It absolutely astounds me just how much of a following there is for Toyota here in Ireland, go anywhere, literally anywhere, in a city or especially in the country side and smaller town and the Toyota has ruled the roads for over 30 years. What better way to greater awareness for Suicide in Ireland amongst car enthusiasts than with an event like this. Held this year in the Cork marts in Fermoy the show really dragged some gems out of the woodwork.
I honestly feel bad for the AE111 Levin, it had a lot to live up to following the AE86 legacy along with its two older bothers the 101 and the 92. None of them were rear wheel drive but all possessed fresher better engineered hearts than the original Eighty Six.