Jordan Butters

As is often the case, 86 Day here in the UK took place a couple of days after the calendar said it should.

Well, to speak the truth, it took place exactly two months after it really should, but this isn’t the place to petition the international eradication of the frankly ridiculous month/day
dating nomenclature.

Hosting this year’s Corolla Brotherhood event – specifically, The 10th Annual Retro Toyota Gathering – not on the right date was possibly a subtle protest against Americanisation, but more likely just because everyone was at work on Thursday.

The venue for Saturday’s modest-sized get-together was the popular Caffeine & Machine in Warwickshire.

Amidst Boris & Co.’s ever-fluctuating regulations and commandments regarding how we should all be conducting ourselves whilst surrounded by floating COVID-19 particles, C&M has come up with a sensible system whereby you have to book to attend, with only a set number of cars per block booking.

For a start, there really aren’t that many of them around in the bigger scheme of things. Subtract those currently in pieces, or being rebuilt, and minus those tucked away under tarpaulin like a gradually dissolving savings fund, and there are even less. That’s before you factor in convincing a Corolla owner to drive halfway across the country on one of the hottest days of the year without any air-conditioning (of course they’ve removed it) to meet with other like-minded weirdos.

Service Station.

Service Station.

Ultimately none of this mattered because, as I’ve come to learn over the years when attending Corolla Brotherhood events, the annual AE86 gathering isn’t about the number of cars that show up, but rather the community that surrounds this Japanese automotive icon.

Several of the attendees are recovering Corollaholics, while a few are aspiring fans yet to experience their first ‘hit’. Some, like myself, have no interests in the automotive equivalent of self-flagellation, but we like the people and vibe surrounding those that do. Plus, making fun of your mates’ weird hobbies is what makes friends, friends.