“You thought Comic-Con was a blast? No offense, but cool cars, cool people, BBQ and windy roads sound much better to me. See how people celebrate their beloved Toyobaru’s in the Lone Star State”
By Kari Gonzalez
Weddings, concerts, and even career or hobby conventions are all examples of events that unite like-minded people. But what about something like a car, specially a non-exotic? The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins are two economy sports cars that you may not associate with a social experience, because they are just cars right? Well —you’re in for a surprise.
The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are the outcome of a Toyota and Subaru partnership to create the ultimate, affordable, rear-wheel drive sports coupe. What followed the inception of these twins is something that nobody really expected —a solid and cult-like following from Tokyo to Texas. And you may be thinking “So what? Lots of people love their cars and meet at car clubs every weekend… what makes the twins any different?” Turns out —a lot.
The best example of just how social these little cars have gone, is the fact they have their own globally recognized day. “86 Day” is celebrated by FR-S and BRZ owners and fans on the closest Saturday to the date of August, 6th or 8/6. The code 8/6 derives from the build-number the twins were given at birth by Toyota, as the FT-86.
“86 Day” brings together owners and fans alike, and because there is no real definition for the typical “86” fan, an incredibly diverse group ranging from teenagers to adults and even an eighty-two year old come out to enjoy the festivities.
Another thing you’ll notice is the variety in which these cars are designed, you’ll see some people love the car for what it is and don’t change a single thing, while some go very flashy and expressive, and some are built strictly as performance machines. I really love seeing how everyone builds and tailors their own “86”to their taste, and it’s nearly impossible to find one alike anywhere else.
Now, on to the best part… the driving! Every year all the club members get together to pick up the custom annual tee shirts the day before the festivities, but I wanted to do something different, something a little bigger. I picked up the phone and contacted my local Scion dealership “Toyota of Boerne”, and spoke to the manager about meeting at the dealership the night before the drive, and without any delay —he said yes! Toyota of Boerne prepared a full spread of hamburgers, toppings, chips, and drinks, and they seemed more than thrilled to host us. I don’t know of any other dealer that would be so open to socialize with their fellow customers and non-customers, even their staff came out to check out the cars, grab a bite, and chat with us like one big happy family.Saturday came around, and my husband and I were out the door by seven in the morning and on our way to Medina, a true Texas gem. Speaking of gems, Medina is home to “The Twisted Sisters” which consists of country highways FM 335, 336, and 337. These roads are hilly, twisty, and beautiful, but not for the timid, as you will find yourself on the edge of a cliff with loose gravel around you on a few occasions but hey, it keeps you on your toes. I don’t know about you, but my appetite goes crazy after a big adrenaline rush, and we were hungry, hungry, hungry. Luckily our drive ended at a burger place called The Bent Rim, and in true Texas fashion I proceeded to engulf a brisket sandwich in record time, which meant I was ready for the raffle and hopefully win some prizes! I managed to win a shirt, which isn’t the aftermarket antenna I was eyeballing, but I was happy to be a winner regardless.
The FR-S may not be for everyone, but the more I get to know the guys, girls, and families behind this huge fan base, the more I think I may be wrong. Texas “86 Day” was an incredible event with an awesome group of people that share the love for driving and cool cars. Can’t wait until next year!
Special thanks to: Toyota of Boerne, FT86Club.com, GrimmSpeed, Kraftwerks, Cobb Plano, ME Moto- East, Beat Sonic, ATSRacing.net, Diode Dynamics, DD Performance Research LLC, Raceseng, Counter Space Garage, Chin Motorsports.
Kari. “When not tinkering on my car, I’m endlessly rambling about auto-news to my very patient husband who tolerates it for hours on end. I’ve owned everything from a Tacoma to a Benz, and I now have a 2014 Scion FR-S to play with, which you may spot at The Circuit of Americas parking lot while I’m yelling at the top of my lungs.”