One bite at a time... Little bit of back story shall we? I learned all my fundamentals on our family car. My mom and dad bought the 1983 Corolla SR5 when they got married in Puerto Rico as their big gift. Incidentally it was the last new car ever. Through two kids, many moves through my dad's career in the USAF, and growing up, the car never left us. When my time rolled around to start driving, I wanted nothing more than to have this car out on the road. It sat for a few years and needed some TLC so my dad turned my loose with the FSM and the toolbox and I learned the ways of the wrench. It was a rewarding and invaluable experience in the coming years. However, it seemed to be a magnet for soccer moms minivans and one deer. I was never faulted for any of the collisions but after a few whacks over 4 years I decided if I was going to be the harbinger of death for a car, it may as well not be my dad's (side note: if any of you know of any AE71's lying around with good quarters, give me a holler) I figured I'd stick to what I know and I discovered club4ag and spotted a car for sale. gtsr5 was selling his 4AGE swapped SR5 for what was, I have now come to appreciate, a reasonable sum that 19 year old me could afford. Thank you DrifterS for starting me down this path. Steve if you're still out there drop me a line. Fast forward a few years. A roll on and rattle can paintjob later, I gallivanted about my youth in my car. Some suspension stuff, a 20v, a JDM bumper, and other goodies later and it was starting to form up into the dream car I was after. She was suffering from some mild cancer but I simply couldn't put the car to rest for long enough to actually fix everything wrong with her. The temptation to drive was too much. It was fun though when I would on the very rare occasion see another one and park alongside. Then came the events of 31 MAY 2012... There I was minding my own business on the way home from work and a young lady driving on a learner's permit with no supervising adult in the car decides to cross an intersection on a red light. There was nothing I could do. I was hysterical. The responding officers almost called me an ambulance as I nearly passed out from hyperventilating. As my car lay there bleeding out, I couldn't even speak. What else could I feel after 5 years of work, time, money, blood, sweat, and tears was taken from me? Naturally her insurance company wanted to offer a pathetic $1,050 total loss settlement. I would not let it happen. Over the next year, I sent weekly faxes to the adjuster showing what the cars actually sold for on the market. Big thanks to all of you guys here. Many of your For Sale ads landed at the desk of this poor adjuster. I went full Shawshank Redemption on this poor man and he probably knows more about AE86's now than anyone at State Farm insurance. By the time my offensive ended, I was presented with a $3,950 settlement. I opted to keep my salvage car and had $2,900 to play with. I would like to offer this one bit of advice however: Disregard females. Acquire currency. Buy Corolla parts. Stay single if you want to have a project car. Amazing how women can make that kind of money evaporate... After two years of my poor car languishing in neglect, I couldn't bear not to have a Corolla on the road and began my hunt for a transplant shell. Through absolute luck, Craigslist in middle-of-nowhere Alabama had the answer. A scrap yard employee was selling two zenki SR5 hatches for an exorbitantly low price. I could have run there with cash in hand. I picked up the cars and dropped them off in the garage at my parents' house where the 1983 used to dwell and then came the wait. Not to get too personal and buzz-killing, but crippling depression plays havoc with your happiness and life's priorities. Long story short, I'm getting better. It's been a rough couple of years. After 1000 days (yes, bizarrely it turned out to be exactly 1000 days since the cars arrived Strange how life works), one of the cars emerged from its den. I decided it was time to get started.