A few years ago, I’d regularly cycle past a Wine Red 1987 Toyota AE86 parked up the next town over from where I lived at the time. It was always in the same spot, and the state of the tarmac underneath it suggested the Corolla GT very rarely moved. One time, I got chatting to the owner’s neighbour, who told me a lot of money had been spent keeping it going, and such was the car’s sentimental value, that it was unlikely to be sold any time soon.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw that very AE86 this morning on a press release from Car & Classic, the platform through which it was auctioned for a whopping £46,250. That’s a record price for an AE86 in both the UK and the US, Car & Classic says, and it came close to being the most expensive ever. Currently, that honour goes to a Trueno Black Limited that sold in Japan for a smidge more.
As for this AE86, it was bought new for £12,500 from Hallens Toyota in Cambridge by a lady who’d go on to keep it for decades. She didn’t add a single optional extra, but the standard spec is decent, so it has most of those must-have 80s features including a sunroof. It’s not some barely-used minter like the 7000-mile Toyota Supra we looked at last week - the mileage stands at a healthy 92,000 miles.
It’s been well looking after with yearly services, the first nine of which were completed by a main Toyota dealer. Its life was almost cut short in 2006 after its paintwork was keyed and the owner’s insurer deemed it an uneconomical repair. Thankfully, she wasn’t having any of that, so bought it back from the insurers and had the car repaired.
It was originally a self-bought present to cheer the owner up after a break-up, staying with her for the following 34 years. We get the sense she’d have kept it longer, but after a recent injury made driving something with unassisted steering a little tricky, she decided to sell up.
The sale included an old Nokia phone cradle, the original dealer-marked number plates, and even the brochure the buyer got hold of before signing on the dotted line. All relevant paperwork was present, too.
It’s clearly a lovely example of a now rare car you rarely see in stock form, but still, an auction result knocking on the door of £50k is one that will shock many. Would you pay that much for an AE86?