Wednesday, September 17, 2014

9k: This Is How We Do It: 1982 Toyota Starlet, 4AGE-powered

Update 9/16/14: The seller (Andres) sent us a note saying he found the write up and has dropped the price to $7,500, plus more pictures here.

Original post 9/7/14:  Every once in awhile, someone builds a car with such meticulous craftsmanship that you lose an afternoon in its build thread. Sometimes those cars are listed for sale. Sometimes they're posted by someone who knows how to operate a camera. And in even rarer circumstances, the listing includes the type of information necessary to inspire purchasing action. Nearly everything in this listing has been done the way it should be, and it's extremely refreshing. Find this 1982 Toyota Starlet with 4AGE power in Miami, FL for $8,990 via craigslist.

Gram Lite wheels. TWM individual throttle bodies. Toyo R888 tires. Those, along with the best from Eibach, MOMO, MSD, and Recaro, make an intriguing case even if they were stuffed in a cardboard box. In a rear-drive tin box motivated by an AE86-sourced 16-valve 4AGE, it's downright seductive.

This Starlet uses the AE86 5-speed manual, a custom shortened drivetrain, and an aftermarket limited-slip differential. Together with 15x7.5-inch wheels, aluminum four-link suspension, adjustable dampers and coilovers, and bracing, this thing could thread highway lines. Advanced Haltech tuning allows for E85 fuel and lots of power from the little four-pot, and it probably sounds heavenly through those aluminum intake runners.

The images say "macro lens," and the build quality says "you can actually trust this guy." The only downsides are preferential: A digital dash that hampers the retro vibe, an asking price near $10k, and its location in far-off Miami, a city that's closer (as the crow flies) to other countries than it is to most U.S. states. Those are nitpicks in a car that moves as beautifully and assuredly as it looks.

See a cheaper car with velocity stacks? Email us at

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. Although it's practically in my neighbors yard, I'm not too sure this will fly in SoFla at that price. The starlet cool factor it has in spades, and the build attests to his ability and taste. It's just that miami is saturated in its tendency toward the new and pretty, as opposed to the capable and remarkable. The ask on this is, like, the down payment and the first 4 months on a brand new IS350, which will look more fly pulling up to da club. Don't get me wrong, there is a strong car culture in Miami, but this just seems a little steep for someone else's project in this town. It will get sold though, no doubt.

    Plus, the Montell Jordan throwback title post brought me waaaay back to college daze so...thanks.

  2. My only question is "Why the #$%^&*# would you sell it?"

  3. Price lowered to $7,500...!
    More pics @

  4. I would buy this car if it weren't for the fender flares. I could deal with the ugly seats, but fender flares are like ipecac to me.

  5. Hey that is a lot of dreamy Starlet goodness for under 10grand. I think the price was fair before, now its a damn good deal. Some really good mods included on this car and it has to be a total riot to drive like a maniac. Wish I had the loot to scoop this one up! I'd dial it in with autox's and around town then enjoy some time at Watkins Glen a few events a year, woohoo!

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  7. There's a vast amount of money in that car.

    I'm fairly confident, though, when you look at the suspension spec and etc. that it'd be a noisy and rough little bugger on the street, so set your expectations accordingly.

  8. I love this car. I want to drive to high school and flip off all the cool kids while doing donuts in the teachers parking lot.

  9. Sweet!

    Two thoughts come to mind:

    1) Satisfying - What is more satisfying than executing a great build and then selling for a decent price to someone who will love it? What a great feeling this owner will have when the right buyer picks this beauty up.

    2) What's Next? - I'm guessing this owner has another sweet ride or project in his garage. I bet it is inspiring.


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