I finally went back to my old neighborhood in Settsu-Motoyama in Kobe and sure enough, the old “abandoned” AE86 Toyota Sprinter Trueno was still there, only now in a different position! Yep, it’s the same car I saw behind my apartment way back in late 2003.
The infamous abandoned AE86 Trueno was mentioned in this post about the so-called “abandoned FC3S”, which isn’t actually abandoned, only the owner probably doesn’t know (or doesn’t care) what to do with it. These cars which would otherwise be cruising the streets or circuits are now just left to rot in car parks around Japan.
The hood pins and tailgate fasteners are a hint to this Hachi’s circuit racing past. A completely stripped interior, roll cage, racing bucket seat and harness tell us that this car may have been a weekend racer for the last two years of its registration life, then left to the elements due to the prohibitive costs of putting the car back into a registrable condition. It still doesn’t solve the mystery of the monthly parking fee! Yes, this car has sat in this paid parking space for at least the last 5.5 – 6 years! Why didn’t the owner sell it instead of leaving it here for over 5 years, and why continue paying parking fees? I used to pay around 15,000 yen a month to park about 2kms from this spot so it’s safe to say the best part of US$10,000 has been spent keeping this car in this parking space. Unless the owner of the AE86 also owns the parking lot (and therefore it isn’t costing him/her anything to leave it there), we’d have to conclude that this is one very strange set of circumstances!
To be honest the Hachi doesn’t look that much more rusted out since the last time I saw it in 2003. It’s still filled with old parts and other pieces of junk so its original purpose of being a “mobile junk repository” hasn’t changed, but you’d expect it to be in a lot worse condition wouldn’t you? Surely this car is worth more in parts than what it is as a complete car? I’d love to have a chat to the owner one day and finally put some closure on this most interesting abandoned AE86.
Words/Images: Justin Karow