The Festival of 86, 2016

The Toyota 86 is about passion, fun and excitement. That’s why the Festival of 86 exists.

PRACTICAL MOTORING was invited to attend the third Festival of 86 in Canberra, along with over two hundred attendees in their 86s (and BRZs), plus a smattering of Celicas, Supras and MR2s.


About the only thing each 86 had in common was, well, the fact they’re classifed as an 86. There were maybe five or six standard cars (or apparently so) in the lot, and some cars had many thousands of dollars spent on them to varying effects.


Custom numberplates were more common than not, and generally the cars showed that you don’t need to drive a standard vehicle; you can truly make it your own whatever your budget or taste, and that’s especially true of the 86 for which there is a vast amount of aftermarket parts.


Also on offer at the Festival was a range of entertainment; aside from being able to wander the lines of 86s, there was on-track action with chances to win hotlaps with the three pro racing drivers competing in the 86 Race Series…


…and drift rides on the skidpan with rally drivers.


Various vendors were there to show their wares – anything from swaybars to superchargers to tyres and wheels…so many wheels! There were interviews with chief engineer Tetsuya Tada who spent a lot of time signing car components. A simulator time attack battle raged for most of the day – Project CARS on Playstation 4 running a virtual Toyota 86 racecar, and the winning time was a 2.18 at Bathurst. And the previous day Toyota had revealed the 86 Shooting Brake, which Festival-goers were some of the first in the world to see.


It’s quite rare for a car manufacturer to organise and support an event of this nature. At best, most of the others lend varying degrees of support to club-organised events, but the Festival is free, well organised and totally funded by Toyota. That’s why it was good to see three of the nation’s 86/BRZ clubs acknowledge Toyota’s effort with gifts of photographs. The event may have cost a bit, but the goodwill generated by Toyota can’t be bought.


Many car companies trot out the tired old rhetoric about their loyal communities and fans, but Toyota eschews those empty words and actually makes things happen. Good on them, and we hope the Festival runs for years to come.


Here’s a five-minute video so you can see what happened at the Festival….

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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper