I make no secret of being particularly fond of cars from the ’80s. Those of you who know me personally will attest that I am not that fond of modern cars. It is something about the straight boxy lines and the raw driving experience that appeals to me.
So when Ash, attended one of Fueltopia’s offline meets at the Ace Cafe, it is safe to say that I was pretty shocked when I saw his car. I’m not even going to pretend that I knew what it was and I am willing to bet on first glance, you might not either. With less than a handful of these cars on our shores it is definitely the lesser known Soarer.
What we have here is a 1987 Z20 MkII Toyota Soarer – a two litre, twin turbo’s rectangle on wheels – AND I LOVE IT! For me this ticks so many boxes, it’s long and sleek and designed with ample use of a ruler. Factor into the equation the noises it makes and we have a winning formula.
I feel that way and evidentially, so did Ash, who interestingly enough, never set out to acquire a MkII Soarer. He was looking for his first car to break out onto the scene with and had his sights set on a S14a with the intention of building it to be a showcar. It was during his scouring of the internet where he happened, by chance, to stumble across a freshly imported Z20 with only 52k miles on the clock!!
It was at that time he knew he had to have it, there was but one hitch, being in the Navy, he was out to sea for 9 months so he couldn’t actually go and see it. With frustration building he couldn’t let it slip so he got his friend Aaron to go and view it. A quick test drive and an email later, Ash was staring at this reply “Get this now! The amount of heads it was turning was unreal and how it drove it felt like a new modern car.”
That was it, Ash literally couldn’t wait, the deposit was paid and so begun that agonising wait. During which all the usual doubts and thoughts started circulating. What if he has bought a lemon and a long with inspiration and ideas of what to do with the car. An uncomortable cocktail of ideas when you can’t do anything about it.
It was a further two weeks until his mid-deployment leave when he could fly from Cape Town, SA back to England to go and stand in front of his latest acquisition. All fears were shed and now the excitement could being. Sure the paint wasn’t in the best condition but Ash had bigger plans.
Driving the car back he knew he had made the right decision, not only did he love the car but people were breaking necks to get a look at it. He enjoyed his 10 day ownership before handing the car off to Mission Motorsport to get painted whilst he had to return out to sea.
The torture of not being able to be with car and having thoughts swimming around his head of what the final look would be went on for a further 3 months until mid-December 2015. Mission Motorsport had sent pictures of what the new paint looked like but as I found out with this car, nothing beats standing in front of it and seeing the 20% purple paint job up close. Personally I feel it suits the car to a tee.
Whilst working my way around the car and shooting it, I couldn’t help but pick up on the small details.
Things like the factory window visors with the Soarer branding really were nice touches.
The rear spoiler was both big enough to make a statement but also small enough to not spoil the lines of the car.
The way this thing sat really set the whole look off. Ash tells me there is more left in the coilovers but the exhaust is currently 1cm off the ground and it is already showing signs of abuse.
Well you might think “so what, it’s a show car” well you see this is where things get a little more interesting. Being Ash’s only car, this is his daily. And whilst driving around looking for locations, he really isn’t afraid of driving it and treats like anyone would their daily. HERO!
Future plans for this car are to get the SSR SpeedStar MkI wheels refurbished and get some custom bolts for the split rims which he will tie in with the over fenders. It’s small details like this that make a big difference. On the interior, well he wants to keep it factory.
Understandably so, check out the dash on this thing! How cool is that?
And check out the lace throw on the rear seats. Notice the embroided Soarer logo.
I think caging the interior would be a waste, I love the way this thing looks inside. The seats are super comfortable too!
Special thanks to Phil McCusker for helping out.
- Spec list:
1987 Toyota Soarer 2.0 GT-Twin Turbo (GZ20)
2000cc In-line straight six, 24 valve, 1G-GTE
(Yamaha) gen 2 (211bhp standard – this one estimated 230-250bhp)
5 speed Manual W58 Gearbox
Kakioto turbo down pipe
Fujistubo Giken exhaust system
ULTRA ignition leads
Cusco strut brace
Tein fully adjustable coilovers
- 15″ SSR SpeedStar alloy wheels
Super cool digital dashboard
Blitz illumiDrive Turbo boost gauge
JDM in-car boost controller
Momo Classic steering wheel
Razo pedal set
Hiro Aero kit
JUN wide arch kit
Hakosuka rear spoiler