No Picture 4

My excuse might be that I didn’t want to be an excitable fan boy taking pictures of shit and drawing ridicule and skepticism from the salesman who has treated me so well to this point, but the truth is that was actually so excited that taking pictures never even crossed my mind. And then I searched online for something suitable to cover for me, and hopefully peak your interest and make you realize that I actually have something meaningful to say… but nothing really seemed to fit.

There are lots of pictures of FR-S online now… lots and lots. People drifting. Modded cars. Stock cars. Engine bays. Cutaways. There are not any pictures of people gawking. There are not any pictures of people feeling bad ass, and yet humble at the same time. I have driven an FR-S. I have quietly gawked. Humbly gawked. Gawked like a bad ass. Having driven one, no picture now seems to do it justice. And I’ve realized, no picture of an AE86 really does it justice either. AE86 is demonstrated by a huge multitude of things… and now so is the FR-S.

I love AE86, and I’ve often imagined for myself, building a “modern” AE86. I.E. a stockish AE86 with simple upgrades and a few modern improvements. A car that would have the balance and power of my modified cars without lip smashing, without hidden blemishes, without banging exhaust or deafening interiors: a car that would let me feel like a man, and not like a shitty kid. I’ve dreamed of high dollar 2.0L 4AG’s, foam filled secretly reinforced chassis, highly modified red and brown buckets that look like stock but aren’t, mild suspension that is really fun, but still practical.

Every night I’ve come in from the barn after burning a hole in my sock, or patching a hidden spot of rust or fixing an old broken part, I have thought about this fantastic AE86. I have looked online for a perfect example to start with, but maybe because I don’t trust my own fabrication abilities or my finances I have never started the project.

Now it doesn’t seem like a project at all. It seems like a Scion FR-S.

I have driven a good number of modern cars as a driving instructor or co-driver at auto-x or rally-x. Modern cars can be fun, but details have always separated them from the cars I think about when it rains. Why are revs always so slow to fall? Why can’t I throttle up when the car is sideways? Why does it feel like I’m steering my grandpa’s Chrysler Dynasty? Why would I rather kick the mirrors off than kick the clutch? Why would I rather put my lips over the exhaust pipe than my ass in the seat?

The FR-S is not fast, but in my prime of car life neither was my AE86. I sure as hell was though… once. Bad ass. But humble too, because the car always told me I could be better. That’s what I felt today. お久しぶりですよ。

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4 thoughts on “No Picture

  • Vickers


    an OGer believes in this car. Who wasn’t paid to write about it!

    I want to drive!


  • Neil

    don’t forget, I got dibs on it! 😉

    seriously, is it something you can see yourself driving year round in really shit weather? commuting in my AE the last couple weeks has really made me realize how much more enjoyable the commute is with something fun (my EP is OK just kind of bland and FWD tankish). I can’t justify $26k on a seasonal commuter but maybe it could be a fun full time commute car. What you think?


  • Q

    Year round? Yeah probably in limited capacity. I LOVED driving my first AE86’s all year round. In SHIT weather? Maybe not. But IMO the worst of it is those slushy days when a chinook rolls in. With good tires and an LSD ice doesn’t concern. Rust and guilt however…

    Thankfully my job doesn’t demand too much from me in winter months.