ONE-OF-A-KIND - Toyota Soarer JZZ20 AeroCabin 1989

Daniel and Niklas Kaikkonen built this extremely rare Toyota when they were only 16 years old. As far as we know, this is the only Aerocabin JZZ20 Soarer in Finland, maybe even in Europe. Shakotan style, fast and built with precision, this car is a classic tale of ”art from scrap”.

This Aerocabin was first spotted in Finland in 2009, when Ami Aalto, uncle of Daniel and Niklas Kaikkonen saw this beauty in Japan Import's garage. Kimmo Viherkoski from Japan Imports had stumbled upon it by accident, and when he found out there were only 500 of these made, he just had to buy it. The car was pretty much stock and in good condition. Ami didn't buy it then, but five years later he found it online, and started to make some queries. This time the Soarer was an ”unfinished project car”, with the engine and transmission missing, most parts of the interior gone and what was left of the exterior had been painted black. It was too much of a project for Ami, and the deal was left undone. The fate of this beautiful classic seemed to haunt Ami's dreams, however, and he soon called his nephews, Daniel and Niklas, who had talked for a long time about building a project car. They soon decided to buy it, and planned right away that the build should be in Shakotan style. The guys were very young at this time, so this was their first project then, and their biggest project to date.
The car arrived in 2014, and on the very next day of the arrival the guys started to work on it. They didn't have a lot of skill in the beginning, but they did have determination and passion, and they learned on the job. First they had to clean the car of unnecessary junk and remove all the useless panels so they could prep it for painting. The choice of colour was easily decided, so without further ado the car was coated with this lovely white. New bumpers, both front and rear, were next to impossible to find, so the twins borrowed bumpers from Jan Hulkko's (Piikkiö Customs) Soarer, and made fiberglass replicas of them. Daniel and Niklas had never worked with fiberglass before, so this was also a first. The vinyls were cut by hand, for budget reasons, and they give a nice touch of the 80's.
The next job on the list was to install a new engine and powertrain, and new wirings, and.. well, everything, essentially. The engine of choice is a Toyota 2JZ-GE, and they mated it with a W58 manual transmission and an RPS clutch. The mid sump engine didn't fit behind the front axle, so the sump had to be modified a little. Relocating stuff and welding new connectors like a boss, the young twins modified their way to success. The stock driveshaft didn't fit, obviously, so the current one is a mixture of a MK3 Supra's and Soarer's driveshafts. A DIY exhaust manifold was installed to breathe air into a CT26 turbocharger, and a generic Chinese intercooler with DIY intercooler pipings were installed. AEM ECU, tuned by Janne ”CD” Kaasalainen controls everything, and everything is awesome, as you can see from the smoke of joy. The oil cooler with its oil lines is classic Shakotan.
What caused the major portion of headaches was the interior, since it had been missed along the way. The dashboard was sourced from a GA70 Supra, and the same car sourced a heater core, gauge cluster and floor mats. All the wirings had to be remade, since they were non-existent. A GA70 Supra, once again, worked as the organ donor, and donated all the necessary wirings and fuse boxes. The dashboard was almost an instant fit, with some small modifications on both sides, and before final fitment the dash was coated in faux leather. A Nardi steering wheel and GULL seats were bought from a friend, and some 4-point seat belts were installed, since the guys love them some sideways action. The car has seen some upgrades since these pictures were taken, since it has gotten a new GZ20 interior with a digital gauge cluster and all.
After the interior was otherwise finished, it was time to tackle the non-functional roof mechanism. That ordeal took a few weeks, since Niklas and Daniel had no reference pictures, and the mechanism is very complicated. A lot of different steel wires and proximity switches created a labyrinthine and delicate puzzle, but after some minor part replacements the roof started working. Which is nice, since it's the definitely the biggest singular star of this show.
The suspension was upgraded along the way. The car was set up with a BC Racing V1 coilover kit. The rear struts must be kept low, so that the roof can be folded back, so the struts were modified to sit lower. At the same time the springs were swapped to stiffer ones: 18kg in the front and 20kg in the back. Kimmo Blom from Touge Imports sourced these awesome SSR MARK I wheels, which the guys had set their eyes on when starting the project. The wheels were ordered directly from factory, and they really are a nice alternative to the usual wheel choices in JDM vehicles.
Shakotan style and low. There's a ”Tsurikawa” (train or subway handle) hanging in the back. Putting these in your car symbolizes breaking the law, and if it's scraping the ground, it's telling other people that your car is low enough. What started as a salvage project of virgin builders became a phenomenally well built JDM car. It's rare, it's fast and loud, it looks awesome and it drifts like a beast. The car also got 3rd place award in American Car Show's ”young builder” category, which is a very good accomplishment for guys this young, and first timers none the less. Niklas and Daniel are a fine example to the younger generation of builders, that even if you don't possess all the knowledge in the world, anything is possible if you just have enough of determination.



Toyota Soarer JZZ20 AeroCabin 1989


2JZ-GE+T, CT26 turbocharger, AEM V1 ECU


RPS pressure plate and clutch, W58 transmission, limited slip differential


BC Racing V1




SSR MK1 15x8.5” ET +5 and 15x9” ET -1


195/55 and 205/55, black and round


Glass fibre front and rear bumpers


Dashboard and floor carpet from a GA70 Supra, OMP 4-point seat belts, psychedelic gear knob, Nardi Torino steering wheel, race seats


A new car is on the way from Japan for an interior restoration


300hp and 500Nm


Powerbyte, JT-Carfix, Lahden Työkalumakasiini, Driftworks, Lakesteel, AMK-automaalaus, JL autohoito, Salon autoagent, Markart, Func Crew, CDLC, Jape, Vikke, Samppa, Kalle H, Toni P, folks at home, Kea