Awesome 86 you’ve got there, Paul. You sure have spent a lot of time and effort to get it looking like this. Tell us about it…

Starting with the exterior, I added an original Greddy Rocket Bunny V2 full wide-body kit, wider wheels (they’re a set of 18in Work Wheels Japan VS-XX) with negative offsets to compensate the wide fenders. With the 86 sitting so low to the ground, I needed a solution to get over speed bumps, so I installed an Airrex Digital Air Suspension management system. Now, with a touch of a button, I can raise or lower the ride height.

I have backed up the looks with serious performance upgrades too. I got the Greddy Turbo Stage 2 kit that cranks power to 320bhp and, with the severe climate here, a good cooling system is vital so I added a Mishimoto Radiator, Mishimoto Oil Cooler and Mishimoto Transmission Cooler. For stopping power, I got the Subaru four-pot callipers, Project Mu brake pads and DBA USA Rotors. I also added other supporting mods such as Crawford Oil Catch Can, Perrin Overpipe, Invidia Front Pipe, HKS Spec L Exhaust, Driveshaft Shop Lightweight Aluminium driveshaft, and GoFastBits lightweight pulleys.

For the interior, I changed my stereo to a Kenwood DDX6N head unit with DVD/USB and custom-coloured the interior panels and leather seats to match the orange exterior.

I have to thank my good friend Rabie for helping me with my build.

 

It’s a heck of a job – but is it all done?

There are a few subtle improvements here and there to be made before I can use it for its intended purpose, which is on the track and at drift events. I am really proud of the way it has come out — even though I did consider buying a Ford Focus ST or RS (but I wasn’t really sold on hatchbacks), but I am so glad I bought the Toyota.

I love the balance of it; even before I made all the performance mods to it and it was underpowered, it just drove so well and handled great. It’s the ultimate driver’s car in my opinion. It’s light, it’s rear-wheel drive, so it oversteers (lot of sideways action!), and it handles the corners very well. It always puts a smile on my face.

 

That smile was wiped clean off when you let your cousin drive it…

Oh, that was terrible. He’s a good driver so I let him have a go down Shaikh Zayed Road (but I couldn’t help but push my foot down on the carpet every time I felt he was going too fast!) and we headed to JBR The Beach. When we got there, he drove over a speedbump too fast and the rear bumper hit the hump and my diffuser fell off! I was so upset. That was a painful moment but, fortunately, I went to the garage and they fixed it. But I sure learned a lesson — I’ll never allow anyone to drive my 86 ever again!

I can’t take my eyes off this car, I love it that much. Every time I park it and walk away, I find myself looking back a couple times. The same symptoms occur with most car enthusiasts and I certainly am one; my passion for cars has always been in my blood. I remember receiving a gift when I was a kid. It was a box of a dozen toy sportscars. There were different-coloured miniature cars and hot rods with flames on the sides and big shiny chrome wheels. I loved it, and growing up in Dubai — a haven for those who love all manner of cars – along with reading all the copies of wheels that belonged to my dad, really fuelled my interest.

I would say my older brother is my biggest influence in me getting a sportscar. He owns an original AE86 and has been racing and modifying cars since back in college in the Philippines. They call him ‘Turbo Kid’ as he loves turbos.

 

We’d love to see his Hachiroku some day! Where do you like to drive your 86 the most?

It is my daily driver and so I love driving it everywhere. I enjoy taking it to car shows and events, but the best place to drive the 86 is on the track. I’ve tracked my car twice and have been to drift sessions four times and plan to participate even more in the near future. It’s its natural habitat and shines there the most. I’m also a member of a few car clubs here and now the weather is cooler I’ll be participating in many of their events.

 

We’ll keep an eye out for you and the car. What others have you owned in the past?

My first car was a used Polo, which my brother and I modified. We added new alloys and lowered the suspension. However, it used to overheat a lot, so I sold it and bought an Altima S, and a month laterI had added 18in alloys to it. I sold that and got a Land Cruiser, which I bought off my uncle as I needed an SUV for the family.

I have fond memories of all my previous cars (and I am making lots of new memories with my 86!), but the best car
I have ever driven has to be the Ferrari 458 Italia. I got to drive that on the track in Las Vegas last March. It was an amazing experience and I must admit that it is my dream car. Along with a Nissan GT-R R35... And a Lamborghini Aventador.

 

Got a hot ride? Email us at mywheels@gulfnews.com with a photo and description and you could be our next my wheels star!