Shannon’s O.M.P. (One Mean Panda)

First off, I would like to apologize for all our readers for the lack of content for the Car Feature section. I know I haven’t been active lately and have been greatly busy with life especially being a family man and a father to my precious L.O. (Little One)….. ehem!  Well, enough about that!! Anyway, I do want to make it up to you guys and gals by supplying you with a great amount on info and photos from my recent coverage. So without further adieu…..Let me introduce to you our next Car Feature.

This time around, the feature belongs to a fellow who’s been in the AE86 scene for a long time. His passion for the AE86 is fueled by the obsession to create the best out of this aging platform. He can be seen on car shows, track events, and car meets.  But don’t mistake this person as someone high and mighty just because he got all that…and then some!  This lad is rather humble and down-to-earth.  He’s willing to share his knowledge and experience with the AE86 if you ever want to know it more.

Back in the day he owned two AE86 platforms; a hatch and a coupe. I met this guy back in 2004 when Super Autobacs was still in its hay day. We had an impromptu meet where all the Corolla guys had gathered.  He had this beautiful and clean black AE86 hatchback with the JDM Trueno conversion and a set of rare SSR Star Sharks wheels. My first encounter with this person was rather a pleasant one as he was friendly and approachable. Unfortunately his AE86 Hatch met an untimely death at a track event.  His car got hit when he came off the tarmac and hit dirt. Then another fellow racer lost control of his car and pummeled his car on his AE86 hatch….OUCH! Because of that he only got one Corolla left in his arsenal…..his O.M.P. AE86 Levin Coupe.

This article is somewhat a tribute to his old AE86 hatch as some of its parts have been integrated to his Levin Coupe.  I guess it’s his way of putting in the AE86 hatch’s soul into a new body to continue on the journey..

Let me introduce to you Mr. Shannon Kobashigawa. A long time fellow enthusiast and AE86 aficionado. photo _DSC2935 copy_zpsotkr2vji.jpg

Picking up the pieces from the past.

Here we have Kobashigawa-san putting in a different engine in his AE86 Levin.  This orange engine is from his AE86 hatch. photo DSC_0123_zps61rkxq6j.jpg

The other engine is coming off. photo DSC_0126 copy_zpspiknpirr.jpg

 photo DSC_0131_zpsgy8xxoti.jpg

AE86FC:   Please tell us something about your self? Like your name? What do you do?  What are your hobbies?

Shannon: I am a paralegal. I work in the field of securities law. I enjoy working out and being active. I try to work on my car on the weekends when I have the time. photo DSC_0127 copy_zps1af0vude.jpg

 photo DSC_0136 copy_zpsyijmua4c.jpg

AE86FC:  You mentioned about paying tribute to your old hatch; tell us something about your other AE86 Corolla and what happened to it?

Shannon:  I bought it from a guy in Buena Park back in November 1996.  It was completely stock with 118k. I slowly converted it over to a track car. Unfortunately, I was rear ended at button willow. photo _DSC2672 copy_zpsm7olyvdw.jpgThe result: One Mean Panda Levin with a soul of a Trueno hatchback! photo _DSC2720 action_zpsbbmpzrkd.jpg

 photo _DSC2786_zpsjccijsiq.jpg

AE86FC:  So from your old AE86 hatch to this Panda Coupe, what did you do to
it; any mods and changes?

Shannon:  New paint job, suspension, I try to keep oem parts and upgrade old parts with aftermarket stuff if I can.  My main goal is to make it as comfortable as possible while still maintaining is fun driving abilities. photo _DSC2798 action_zpsritsrony.jpg

 photo _DSC2817_zpswqsinsv4.jpg

AE86FC:  Do you work on your own car or do you have a shop that you take it to have it maintained and/or do mod services?

Shannon:  In the past I took my car to Pass Racing for specialized installations like trd suspension bushings, rear diff rebuild install. Recently, I have been doing all work myself.  photo _DSC2818_zpssgd0vfjq.jpg

 photo _DSC2836_zpskdmi38rl.jpg

 photo _DSC2840_zps6ag5lomr.jpg

AE86FC:  In a couple of words, how would you best describe your AE86 Coupe?

Shannon:  It’s a beautiful mess! Lol photo _DSC2865_zpsm88cpsiy.jpg

 photo _DSC2863_zpssbq0kcdi.jpg photo _DSC2853 copy_zpsqnyqbtjl.jpgShannon’s Levin sits one a set of Greddy Type-S Coilovers. Nice!!! photo _DSC2860_zpswfbdpjhn.jpg

 photo _DSC2873_zpscsupcfkb.jpg

AE86FC:  While several people got their AE86 inspiration by seeing them in a
car shows, going to a drift event, or simply watching the anime like Initial D; what was your inspiration in getting one?

Shannon:  my good high school friend had a 1986 gts two tone blue hatch with power windows and a sunroof. I had recently gotten into an accident.  I was looking for another car to replace it and he convinced me to buy one. At the time  in 1996 I didn’t know much, if anything about drifting, initial d or rear wheel drive. In those days Hondas were really popular!  I guess I was lucky to be introduced to the car so early.

 photo _DSC2886 copy_zpst1oyetjo.jpg

 photo _DSC2911_zpsspfn8lkg.jpg
 photo _DSC2902_zpsfwblw4zd.jpg

AE86FC:  What other cars were you driving before you got into the AE86 scene?

Shannon: My previous car was a 1986 Honda Accord hatchback.   That’s it!
 photo _DSC2899_zpslr2gzbxf.jpg

 photo _DSC2873_zpscsupcfkb.jpg

 photo _DSC2870_zpsdock1tf2.jpg

AE86FC:  What makes the AE86 different from the other cars that you’ve driven before?  It’s not a high performance, high powered car. As a matter of fact is actually quite the opposite; it’s under powered and it’s basically antiquated compared to the newer cars of today.

Shannon: It’s completely raw and unforgiving. No ABS or traction control.  I think that’s what makes it fun to drive. Modern technology in cars make people better drivers by covering up their mistakes.  Since the ae86 has zero tech, I believe it teaches people to be better drivers.  So when you drive the ae86 better and faster than modern cars, it’s highly rewarding.

 photo _DSC2876_zpsbguixog2.jpg

The panda coupe sits on a set of beautifully restored Watanabe wheels. photo _DSC2877_zpsu2v6srv8.jpg

AE86FC:  What part or parts on your car  that you considered rare and special to you?

Shannon:  Jeez… I think the car as a whole is getting rarer by the year. I have a non-power steering a/c compressor pulley,  oem center console arm rest, Watanabe falcon steering wheel, jubiride monocoque center bar, beat rush trunk bar, oem zenki coupe center garnish, jdm tail lights.

(The plate that you see on the center console is the chassis tag from his AE86 hatchback.) photo _DSC2891_zps109otb3i.jpg

AE86FC:   Do you have any future plans for your coupe?  If so, please do share them with us?

Shannon:  I plan to drive it and enjoy it as much as possible. I don’t really have any real plans for it but as my plate reads “All Pau” which is sarcasm for all done – we all know it’s exactly the opposite.  There will always be something to fix , change or modify. It’s never ending.  photo _DSC2942 copy_zpsmolty8to.jpg

AE86FC:  Any families, friends, and/or shops you’d like to thank for making your dream car a reality? If so, this is your chance to give a shout out!

Shannon:  Thank you to all my friends and family for your support. I’m sure there are a few people who are absolutely sick of hearing me talk about the work I do on my car. Special thanks to Oliver, Ronny and Tony for helping me work on my car and answer questions. Without your knowledge, I wouldn’t have been able to do this engine swap on my own.  photo _DSC2948 copy_zpsvkmewj4q.jpg

Shannon Kobashigawa’s  AE86 Panda Levin Coupe Specs:

1985 Toyota Corolla GTS
Front end Levin conversion with OEM metal fenders
Oem antenna
Auto explosion paint White/Black
CF D-Max hood
Billet aluminum spring loaded hood pins
Origin body kit
Cashew side mirrors
Carbon Fiber door visors
JDM Zenki taillights
OEM Zenki coupe center garnish
OEM Zenki coupe spoiler
Watanabe Falcon steering wheel
Recaro “confetti” SR3 seats
C’s short shifter
OEM center arm rest
Eclipse 7″ touch screen navi
Eclipse 5 channel amp with custom mount
Boston acoustics 4″ components
Focal 6.5 mids with custom kick panels
10″ solo baric sealed box
Re-webbed “Ferrari red” seat belts
Jubiride center monocoque bars
Cusco rear tower bar
Beat rush rear trunk bar
Battle Version lateral bar
Greddy water & oil gauges
SK engineering speedo
Rebuilt bluetop .5 o/s oem piston and rings
10″ dual flex-a-lite fans
DIF fan controller
Greddy thermostatic sandwhich plate
Setrab 12 row oil cooler -10an braided lines
Oem Non p/s a/c pulley bracket
Apex’i cat back exhaust
Stock 5-Speed T50 transmission
Weir performance solid spacer & max grip lsd kit

Toyota 4.5 final gear


Watanabe type R (front) 14×8 -6 (rear) 14×9 -19
Greddy coil over suspension
Project Mu rotors
Porter field brake pads
Stainless braided brake lines

 photo _DSC2834_zpsfqisezzl.jpg

 photo _DSC2844 copy_zpswt831chb.jpg

 photo _DSC2815_zps8gxppxwe.jpg

 photo _DSC2732_zpsnjugkvax.jpg

 photo _DSC2785 copy_zpsp0nu4upq.jpg

 photo _DSC2940_zpsmgcegvc5.jpg

 photo _DSC2926_zpsssfbfo4d.jpg

 photo _DSC2929 copy_zps6tmgqn17.jpg

 photo _DSC2921 copy_zpsjnkxpd9n.jpg

 photo _DSC2917 copy_zps1p9nwpay.jpg

 photo _DSC2914_zpsr3mddz3l.jpg

 photo _DSC2908_zpsadurl5b5.jpg

 photo _DSC2904_zpsc60hled3.jpg

 photo _DSC2854 copy_zpsbxraaybm.jpg

 photo _DSC2855 copy_zps5418fnlt.jpg

 photo _DSC2857_zps11jwne0b.jpg

 photo _DSC2934_zps30vhnvbo.jpg

Shannon’s Black AE86 Trueno Hatchback RIP 2014 photo IMG_0001_zpsflkd95kp.jpg

 photo IMG_0359_zpskfdf7n6x.jpg 

Shannon took the VIN tag from his AE86 Hatchback and made it into a keychain together with the Levin Coupes ignition key. “Gone but never forgotten”. photo _DSC2936 copy_zpsf1g7u2vn.jpg

Text and Photos By:  Ed Nueva

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s