Words by : Ray Ng Photos by : Neo
It’s almost a year since we featured Benjamin”s AE86 here. To many of those residing overseas, an AE86 wouldn’t mean much to begin with, or cost much so as to speak.
Sadly living in Singapore, all our cars here are slapped with a 10-year certification that is worth around USD$80,000 that allows the cars to be on the roads. Owning a car here is like having a depreciating asset pegged to the years left on that piece of paper. Cars like the AE86, would have renewed this certificate at its age.
You should be happy if the scrapyard doesn’t ask you to pay him to scrap your past-ten-year car. Not many would want to fork out such a sum when it comes to renewal, hence many great cars are sent to export or scrap. This has plagued 3 generations of Nissan’s S-chassis, many Evos, 4, 5 & 6 and the list goes on. Therefore, to be able to have an AE86 here is kinda rare.
Rare enough for us to feature this car twice! You could check out that article here. To Benjamin, is no poseur that just drives an AE86 because it’s mainly associated to the legendary Tsuchiya or Takumi. In fact, stay tuned for a separate feature of his Hot Wheels sponsored Supra where he took part in the Formula Drift earlier this month. Toyota fan boy he must be.
Well, the day started off with having a meal at Mcdonald’s. And seriously you wouldn’t want to know how many times we have to put the exhaust tip on and off everywhere we went so not to get into trouble with the law. Seriously we have all lost count. We were blessed with great weather, as it rained heavily the night earlier.
Why the boso look you may ask? This car was on display at the recent Super Import Nights exhibition, and that is just an enlarged muffler tip. It was mounted on for the sake of photography purposes, and trust me although it’s a tight fit, it’s easy to remove it, like a pen cap on the tip. It’s impossible to drive it on the road with it still attached, as when parked, the sight could easily break necks.
Purists may cry foul at a car that sports these victory pipes, and to many of them building a car JDM style has to achieve that clean exterior outlook. Oh please, why be a conformist? Most could not stand the sight of something unorthodox, something unique. This car has been there and done that. Time for something fresh with those vinyl wraps! Rest assured this is just a subtle kaido racer look with that star shaped takeyari and hippari tires. Nothing of that sort with shark noses and fins!
End of the day,nobody would actually bother with a boso look in Singapore. The first thing to go missing would be the signature exterior-mounted oil cooler to some guy with a few tools in hand. This just painstakingly reminded me of how my Nardi DeepCorn was stolen with my window smashed and the cops can’t do anything. Outrageous this car may look to some, maybe to remind others this is a rising star and isn’t all show and no go where it participated in many drifting events.
There is only a mild change since the last time we featured this AE86, as Benjamin spent a small fortune on setting up his Supra race car. Being a driver who is often exposed in the overseas car scene, to extensively modify this AE86 likewise to what is done on his Supra would be ridiculous as we are faced with tight yet double standard laws regarding modifications in Singapore. More about that in this article here. That being said, we are lucky enough that the culture here is still thriving, though that comparable to a cat and mouse chase.
To emphasize on what is being said earlier, owning a car here would cost a substantial amount for any Tom, Dick or Harry. Putting that star shaped tip doesn’t make Benjamin a bozo, there’s only a handful of people that actually bring foreign influences to Singapore. Running through my Facebook news feed, how many would actually walk the talk of even getting shoes for their cars that would have it seem stanced? Not many.
It’s brave owners of cars like this, that we could all truly admire.
Thanks for reading! This feature is what we would like to share with you soon!