Sunset BLVD, Beverly Hills CA, November 2005
Migs' 1986 Corolla GT-S Hatchback
approx. current odometer reading: 405,000 KM (on chassis)
As of Summer 2008...
I ditched the crappy coil overs that made the car handle like crap and feel more like the tin can the car really is. You "drifters" can keep it.
I picked up some TRD Japan street springs and Tokico blues and the car is an absolute riot to drive again.
One valuable lesson I've learned after trying a stiff suspension...it ruins the feel and personality of the AE86. Without any body roll or flex, the car becomes incredibly boring to drive.
But hey, it's what "everyone does" so what do I know?
(I know I can drive the car really, really fast with what I have now)
Written in Fall 2005...
This car was purchased in fall of 2001 from a nice older-lady for an amazing $500 CAN after she walked into the Toyota service dept. I was working in and asked "Would anyone like to buy a Corolla?". Some conversations later, she could tell how much these cars meant to me, and hers in particular, so she gave me the once in a lifetime deal completely out of the kindness of her heart. The Gods of Oldschool were smiling upon me once again...
To this day, my hatchback is one of the cleanest examples of a regular daily-driven AE86 I have ever come across in Canada (that means winter too!), much of that being due to my constant unrelenting efforts. Even with around $10k CAN worth of Toyota dealership work performed over the years, the car still needed plenty of love and attention once I became the owner. Aside from those usual never-ending maintenance requirements, the car was simply screaming for attention. Since that time, it has slowly and methodically been maintained, rebuilt, and modified to my exact demands...more importantly, almost completely by myself. I set out to make this car beautiful, perfectly street-able, fun, and above all, reliable. As with anything in my life, this car was intended to be, has proven to be, and continues to be a constant learning tool in more ways than I could ever describe.
I am so incredibly proud of my hatchback because of everything it exemplifies in the way I approach life. It is the culmination of years of toil and stress that has taken incalculable amounts of my income and personal time to build and maintain, and something I know that nobody will ever truly comprehend. I've placed incredible amounts of trust in this silly old Corolla throughout the years, and just when I think I'm crazy to put any more money into keeping it running strong, I remember all the joy it has brought me and all the incredible places it has taken me to. The amazing thing is how deep down, I knew that all my efforts would pay off some day. The trips, the lessons learned, the people I've met, the fun...nothing prepared me for the no.5 win at the Chicago RSR Drift Festival in 2004. Some people think this made my ego grow, but to those who know me, it should be obvious that it did nothing but reaffirm my outlook and direction with this car.
I have broken countless barriers with the hatchback, and impressed even more individuals with what I'm able to accomplish with it. Most of which, those who are too closed-minded to consider the fact that someone who resides in a notoriously-uneducated age bracket actually knows what he's doing behind the wheel of a car. The funniest thing is that the more I think about actually modifying the hatchback to fit the form of the stereotypical "AE86" or "drift car", the stronger my desire is to keep it exactly as it is just so I can continue to prove everyone wrong...but bring smiles to their faces while doing it.
If there is anyone out there who doubts that I'm already driving my dream car, then it just goes to show that you're unable to understand how much it means to me.
Long live the hatchback!
This car has probably driven to more places across North America than any other AE86 on the continent. Here are some of the major cities I've driven to with my hatchback:
Calgary, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Billings, Great Falls, Saskatoon, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Montreal, Quebec City, Buffalo, New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Key West...and the list WILL go on ;)
Here's my hatchback as of October 29, 2005...and my proof to the world of what I can accomplish with a whole bunch of hard work and determination...
The mandatory "mod" list...
Dreams of Drifting Copyright © 01/2000 Chris Migallo
all rights reserved
The maintenance list (This list is really really stupid because it is nowhere near being complete):
-installed new OEM head gasket
-completely cleaned head assembly and replaced valve seals
-installed new OEM air filter
-installed new fuel filter
-replaced spark plug wires with NGK units
-installed new OEM spark plugs
-installed new valve cover gaskets
-replaced throttle cable
-changed ALL fluids
-installed new OEM battery
-installed new OEM brake pads
-replaced OEM clutch master cylinder
-replaced all brake rotors
-ultrasonically cleaned/reconditioned fuel injectors
-replaced idle-up VSV
-replaced TPS, and set to OEM spec
-OEM ignition timing set
-installed new OEM distributor cap
-installed new OEM rotor
-cleaned/reconditioned brake caliper sliders
-yearly rust-proofing performed
-thoroughly cleaned engine/engine bay
-power polished paint
-windshield crack repaired
-flushed heater core
-flushed cooling system
-replaced speedometer cable
-adjusted odometer to reflect actual mileage (speedo cable broken)
-resealed cast plug gaskets
-front wheel alignment
-replaced e-brake cables
-replaced front fenders
-welded driver's side rear hatch pocket
-replaced distributor (x3)
-replaced exhaust y-pipe gaskets
-installed new OEM timing belt
-New lower control arm bushings
-New ball joints
-New sway bar link bushings
-New rear sway bar bushings
-New rear coil spring rubber seats
-Replaced rear hatch door