A 1987 Toyota Corolla GT has sold for £46,250 at auction, a UK record for this model.
Although the price might seem ludicrous for a car as ubiquitous as the Corolla, this is a particularly rare and highly sought-after example.
More commonly referred to as AE86 after its internal model designation, it has become iconic among Japanese car enthusiasts. Its light body and front engine/rear-wheel-drive configuration made it popular as a racing car too.
Performance car fans would also buy them as fun road cars, tuning their engines for more power and racing them in the mountains of Japan. The AE86 reached true legend status as the vehicle driven by the main character in car-focused anime series Initial D.
As well as having this iconic status, this particular Corolla had a couple of other unique features that pushed the price up.
The first is that it had one owner from new. The original owner bought the car to cheer herself up after separating from her partner and has held onto it for more than three decades.
Secondly, given these models’ popularity with enthusiasts, finding an example that has not been modified or converted for racing is becoming nearly impossible. However, this example is completely free of any changes.
It was originally ordered from Hallens Toyota in Cambridge and is presented in ‘time warp’ specification, complete with the original Nokia phone cradle, Toyota-branded mudflaps and dealer-badged registration plates.
It has 92,000 miles on the clock and is in fantastic condition. It was keyed in 2006 and insurers deemed the repair too expensive, so the owner took the car back and had the paint restored to as-new.
The final price, seen on the Car and Classic auction site, is the highest ever recorded for this model in the UK, and beats the US record set in March this year of $40,000 (£29,000).