By on June 2, 2015

Toyota Soarer Aerocabin

This 1989 Toyota Soarer Aerocabin is a rare bird, especially in the U.S. With only 500 units built, all in April 1989, the Japanese droptop is the holy combination of a lengthened Supra chassis and bippu style for those wanting to feel the wind through their hair without sacrificing privacy.

This particular example, shot in Los Angeles by Keith Charvonia of Speedhunters, is owned by Bird DePrez and his girlfriend Corinne. While it may look fairly bone stock, DePrez has given it a TTAC Approved™ mechanical massage.

Instead of cutting the roof completely off, Toyota found it fit to hollow out the Soarer’s top and give it a folding hardtop mechanism in 1989. When the top was up, the Aerocabin model looked like any other Soarer. However, with the roof panel in its folded position and tucked away in the trunk, air could flow through the passenger cabin while the car retained its very ’80s coupe side profile. A crossmember in the roof was added for structural rigidity since the second-generation Soarer was never engineered to be a convertible from the outset.

Speedhunters_Keith_Charvonia_Soarer_Aerocabin-7

Every Aerocabin was shot with the exact same white-over-gold two-tone paint. Under the hood sits the predecessor to the 1JZ-GTE, a 232 hp 7M-GTE 3.0L turbocharged I6, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.

That combination wasn’t good enough for DePrez. But, thankfully, he showed incredible restraint when choosing upgrades.

Upon learning of the Soarer’s blown head gasket after it arrived in the U.S., DePrez had the inline-six bored over by half a millimeter, added a Driftmotion CT26 turbo with 3-inch downpipe and sandwiched a Titan metal head gasket with ARP studs. Corinne did her part by rebuilding an R154 manual transmission from a stickshift Soaker to replace the not-so-performance-tuned four-speed slushbox.

Speedhunters_Keith_Charvonia_Soarer_Aerocabin-5

The Soarer Aerocabin is equal parts weird and awesome, especially when you consider where Toyota is today. Even though enthusiasts point to models like the Supra as proof of Toyota’s focus on fun, it’s cars like this Soarer that show Toyota once had a soul.

You can read more about this Aerocabin and see additional photos over at Speedhunters. Bird and Corinne also have a blog chronicling the engine rebuild.

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10 Comments on “This Toyota Soarer Aerocabin Is the Droptop for the Paparazzi Averse...”


  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    As rare as these are, there were at least 3 or 4 of them exported to the US last year.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I love it. 80s coupe styling, mesh wheels, white/gold two tone, appropriate drivetrain upgrades. Good stuff.

    Then again, I drive a white Toyota coupe (FR-S) on gold wheels (Enkei PF01… though I’d love some gold BBS LMs or similar), so it isn’t much of a surprise that I like it.

  • avatar
    kmoney

    The working man’s version of the Ferrari Superamerica.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    That is a gorgeous car. I want it immediately.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The white coupe in the background looks very interesting. Its tough to get a good view of it but appears to be a Isuzu Bellett or 117. Though it could be a non-Cosmo Mazda.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    This is peak JDM

    It probably has a digital bidet with a 10 band graphic equalizer display too

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Lol, truly it is.

      That site which bumpy ii posts links to had one for sale like a month ago. Bet it’s still there, but I dunno what the site is.

      EDIT: I do know!

      http://www.japaneseclassicsllc.com/1989-mz20-toyota-soarer-turbo-7mgte-aerocabin.html

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Nope, that one sold.

        IVI still has a pair, though:

        http://www.importavehicle.com/1633_V20140809012643/Ontario%28USA%29/1989-Toyota–Soarer-Aerocabin-for-sale

        http://www.importavehicle.com/1633_V20140626201641/Ontario%28USA%29/1989-Toyota-Soarer-Aerocabin-for-sale

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Lol, whatever is left of those 500, all of them are gonna end up in the US.

          Yuck that “video” gave me a headache on there. And the fartcan exhaust is gross, and ruining the subtle luxury.

  • avatar
    Shinoda is my middle name

    RH drive FTW!

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