One of Croooober fans` stories – USDM AE86! The history longing for 13 years!


First of all, we would like to thank Caleb for the time spent on the interview and for being Croooober`s user for a long time.

Looking back in November of 2021 when we were holding a photo contest on Instagram, among lots of cool cars we have noticed a unique car that was a bit different and had something special.  The car belongs to a pretty simple guy from Wisconsin who is a real car enthusiast who started his way at a young age and still keeps his passion nowadays.  We found his story just amazing and decided to share it on Croooober blog.  So if you have ever met Caleb or are a friend of his, please support this article with your warm attention.

Ever since riding in my grandpa’s Chevrolet Bel Air when I was very young, cars have always been my passion.  It was all about supercars until around 6th grade when I really discovered the world of aftermarket tuning.  Then the real fun started. I got the 6th generation Celica as my first car before I had my license and immediately put money into it.  It was the early 2000’s so things like stereo and neon lights were a must, along with the standard intake, exhaust, and suspension.  Throughout high school, I had the Celica, S13 hatch, S13 coupe, and an EF hatch. All with very basic setups as I was a high school student working part-time at $9 an hour.  After graduating it went to Audi A4 then 1st generation Eagle Talon AWD turbo. The S13 had quickly become my favorite car until I purchased my AE86 from a friend in 2009.  It started as an SR5 with a full GTS conversion with a Cusco 2-way differential. Things took a pause for a few years for college things then came back swinging.  Set the car up for grip with new suspension and grippier tires and started doing local autocross events and quickly moved to drifting more than small street sessions in high school.  A year later started the real financial pain and my over 1000 hours of overtime. Swapped in a 20V blacktop, painted the car, added flares, new wheels, upgraded clutch, cooling system, and added bucket seats.  2017 started the real overhaul to the point where there are very few things left that are original to the car. Everything had been upgraded or replaced.  The first major upgrade was swapping in a 3SGE BEAMS motor with an ORC single plate clutch, ITBs, and AEM standalone. The car looked and felt the best it’s ever been.  After shattering my factory ring and pinion in competition the rear end was fully built with weir parts. Blew the motor in 2020 and had it swapped in a weekend to make it to a friend`s first time holding a drift event.  Over the past almost 13 years with this car I have had so many great experiences traveling across the US driving different tracks and making even better friends and connections along the way.

Caleb`s instagram

AE86 current specifications:

3SGE motor
Koyo radiator
RS*R exhaust
Custom exhaust manifold
Oversized axles
One-piece driveshaft
Oil cooler
MRP oil filter relocation
GTS rear housing with a spool
Beefed-up ring and pinion
Tomei Fuel Pressure Regulator (FPR)
J160 6-speed drivetrain with ORC single plate clutch


Stance XR1 divorced rear coilovers, NCRCAs, +15 LCAs, traction brackets, Panhard bar, 4 link, manual steering swap, modified knuckles, and inner tie rod spacers


Link G4X ECU
ARC switch panel controlling


Thrash driver’s seat and harness
SW20 passenger seat
Custom analog Defi gauge cluster
Defi HUD speedometer
AEM wideband
TRD steering wheel (Period-correct)
Harness bar
Interior LED strips, and close to the full interior from the front seats forward


Goodline aero kit
Rear flares
Hibino inspired front fender cuts
Tube front & harness bar by Get Bent Design
DRoo-P inspired headlights
Strobe light kit

Work Equip 03 wheels:

F: 15×9.0 ET-16
R: 15×10.0 ET-42


F: Falken Azenis 205/50/15
R: Federal RSR-R 205/50/15

All work including paint done by me other than the harness bar and tube front end.  All tuning support and entire car wiring done by my friends the Panic bothers (Panic wire and Panic Made), and an ARC switch panel controlling the essentials (including party mode).  Now that that car is basically only driven at the track I also have an R32 sedan GTST with Cusco coilovers on 15” SSR MK1s and a selection of simple bolt-ons and soon to be upgrading to an HKS GT2530 turbo.

Thanks, Caleb, again, and Croooober wishes you all the best and hope to come across with you somewhere again!

Let us also announce that we are starting a new “My car” corner project and are looking for car pictures to share them on our Instagram account. You are also welcome to send us your unique stories on how you end up doing a car customizing or building, where the best ones will be posted on Croooober blog as article.

Did you enjoy reading the article?  If you did, would you give us some support by dropping a comment or sharing this article with your friends?

written by

Nurlan Nurkulov