Where do I start? Maybe let’s try starting from the beginning and how I first heard of an AE86, in the early 2000s we had MXIT and there was a group called “CARS”, that I would be on MXIT for. I loved meeting and chatting to new people because of that group. I met some awesome friends that I actually still chat to, to this day, GOMI CHAN aka Paul and HACHI aka Tivs. Every day there would be a guy coming into the group asking if anyone has watched “INITIAL D”, I decided to actually see what it was all about and “BOOM” I was addicted to watching this kid that, like me, started driving at a young age and had an obvious talent for it.
But what was this Hachiroku thing and why can’t we get it here in South Africa? Whatever it was..... I was in love, I needed it!!!!!! Never found it in SA so just carried on living my life.
Few years later I got myself a RC car, put some insulation tape on it and started just sliding it around at work messing with it. Later on I found out there are actually Drift RC cars you could buy off the shelf from Tamiya, it was the TT01-D chassis... and what? I could hardly believe it, there was a following of people that met up and drift close to where I lived.
So went to go see what it was all about and met some epic people, once again they became good mates till this day like Richard, Steyn and Martin(Marbro).
My first RC body I bought was an 86 Toyota, but it looked different, why did it not have pop up lights and why did it have a boot? Was this a wrong model? Was it a newer one? Did I get an 86?
The answer was simple.... There were more than one variant of the 86. There is a Trueno with pop up lights and a Levin with fixed lights and both models came in Hatch back and Coupe.
Fast forwarding a few years later and I was still in love with the AE86 getting as many Initial D episodes as I can. Then a few years ago I found that people could actually import them directly from Japan so I decided to have a look, but double the price of my current car? Hmmmm that won’t work.
A few years ago Tash (My better 3/4) and I bought a house and I was looking online for stuff for the house. There it was – It must have been fate, I found models for the AE86 that you can actually build and paint and customize, it was so epic!!!!! So got a few in and started building them and the passion grew stronger and stronger.
Once again I looked online and now the AE86 got even more expensive!!!!! So, ‘Oh well’ not going to happen anytime soon.
On the 6th of April 2016 I saw a picture floating around of a Panda AE86 Trueno..... But wtf? It has CA plates? Is that possible? Could there really be a Trueno here in South Africa.... So did some mad ninja face book stalking and tracked down a guy by the name of Sergio. Managed to get in contact with him expecting him to brush me off, but the complete opposite happened, he was a champ! We chatted about his car and he gave me links and advice on getting one but no luck they were just out of my reach.....siiiiiigh!!!
So, Tash and I were chatting in January 2017 about going on holiday in Cape Town the next month (Feb). I told Sergio about it and like the legend he is, he said we should meet up so I can meet my hero, the AE86. This CT trip became a need not just a holiday.... I needed to drive this car!
We set the dates the go to CT and chatted with Sergio pretty much every day. On the 1st Of February 2017 Sergio and I were chatting when he said he may know of another Trueno that is SA registered and in Durban..... WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT..... Could that be??? But it was an AE85 not an AE86, who the hell cares? It’s a Trueno, I wanted it, and I needed it. Sergio put me in contact with a guy that knows who the car belonged to and we started chatting.
Found out more about the car and what he thinks it might cost. He was really helpful and got me all the info we needed. So I told my other mate Qubitt about it and he said LETS GOOOO!!!!!!
Now the hard part.... to tell Tash that I will be getting another project car... What do I do? Maybe if I don't tell her she can't be mad, yeah that should work. You obviously know by now where this will be going, and NO we do not have dogs and NO we don't have a dog box. I mean what could possibly go wrong with me not telling her?
Two days before we were going to Durban we were in the garage busy working on carbon fibre parts when I quietly mumbled that Bennie (my best mate aka Peanuts) will be sleeping over Saturday night. She asked what’s up and why? So I said that we were leaving early Sunday morning to go get a car... Now if you ever watched The Exorcism you would know what I mean when I say that her back was facing me but somehow she managed to turn her neck a complete 180' and give me this "WTF MIGGZ!" look. Yup, you called it; I’m in shit now.
But Sunday came and Qubitt, Peanuts and I made our way on our 18 and a half hour road trip to go get my dream car. Felt like it took days before we got there, but when we got there.... My heart skipped or more like stopped, it was love at First sight. We quickly paid the man, loaded the car and got out of there before he changed his mind!
Now the coming home to Tash part, ha-ha this is going to be fun. Now there is a term called broken TV syndrome, it means beautiful picture but no sound, that’s what I was getting. At the time I thought meh she will get over it, but days passed and I was still sleeping on the couch regretting my actions. Finally after a few more days we started speaking again and I got to hear from her side of things and not just mine, I was wrong, not because of getting the car but not telling her and letting her find out the way she did. Do I regret my move? Most definitely so, I will think twice next time! She has always been a part of my builds and she is actually the most motivation I could ever need in my life and my business.
Now with all that said and done you know a little about me and my journey to getting my dream car.
In the following posts to come we will be talking more about the HACHI-GO and what we plan on doing with it as well as what FSU Developments will be up to.....
Thanks to everyone who helped make this dream a reality!
Stay tuned and don’t miss out on this epic journey we have ahead!!
(Below a sneak peak of how HACHI-GO looks.....For now!)