Toyota Fest: The New Classics
Updated: Nov 6, 2019
The word classic in the nomenclature or cars usually denotes one of two things, first that the car is 25 years or older; secondly it means that it is an iconic car regardless of the era in which it was released. For Toyota fans we have some current vehicles sold today that would be considered classics, the 86/FRS for example is one of them; it denotes the return of the lightweight sports car to Toyota's lineup. Cars that are from the Japanese Domestic Market like the EP82 showcased below, are now old enough to be imported and might be new to the average car show attendee. The automotive world has now passed the crest where the less popular vehicles become the ones most sought after, with the rise in prices of older Celica, Supra, Corolla and Starlet models; something a bit more contemporary and affordable can be had with that same cool factor.
The ZN6 chassis was a hit since it's release, combining a rear wheel drive layout aimed to please enthusiasts with Toyota sensibility and reliability packaged in to a ride anyone can enjoy. For @GT86Alpha his ride represents in your face style, a blue and silver camo wrap with blue wheels, it says that it's not too precious to enjoy a bit of fun on a back road.
Probably my favorite new "hachi roku" was this well sorted kouki Toyota 86. I'm a sucker for carbon fiber and the fender, trunk, and wing really accented the pearl white body it was draped on. Some aero bits like a front splitter, rear diffuser, and cannards add some aggressiveness finished off by black STR rims and upgraded rubber. Consider this colorway a panda...an angry panda.
Remember the Toyota Starlet? It hasn't been sold in the United States officially since it left the market in 1984, but it lived on for a few generations overseas to much success. The switch from the rear drive KP series that we all know and love to the front drive EP chassis we learned about through video games and Best Motoring videos. The EP82 pictured here is a GT Turbo model powered by a 4E-FTE, a 1.3 liter 4 cylinder packing 133 horsepower that helped propel the just under a ton hatchback to law breaking speeds. To make this example a bit special it was fitted with some period correct O.Z. Racing Rally wheels and a Razo exhaust system.
What I can say about one Supra I can say about most, they make power...lots of it, and for some the purpose of that power is to blast through the quarter mile. Imagine this black MKIV pulling up behind you, I'd recommend pulling over to the right lane as the Mickey Thompson ET Street tires that latch on to the Weld Racing wheels tell a story of someone who needs traction and loves speed. The 2JZ is and might always be the power plant of choice for import drag racers looking for low times, for the street it at least provides a reliable foundation to turn back the challenges or cars with larger displacement engines. I'll let the owner chime in on what he enjoys most while driving his menacing JZA80.
Collecting rare parts is a thing as an enthusiast, sometimes you keep it in storage and other times you use the pieces you purchased. Work wheels aren't necessarily hard to find but take time to acquire like the custom staggered set on this JZA80, they cover a big brake kit from StopTech that help slow down the front mount intercooler equipped coupe. The combination of a streamlined front lip, side skirts and wing are all pieces that were common in the 90's and 2000's but have become hard to find new or in good condition. The part that stood out the most was actually on the inside, a TRD Steering wheel, while you could purchase a variety of different wheels to fit your car, choosing an OEM option adds that attention to detail lacking from some enthusiasts who rush through their builds.
Any vehicle that's right hand drive does two things, it catches your attention, and it tells a story. A lot of vehicles that cross the Pacific and land in the states are modified, on those few occasions that a car like this Turbo Supra show up and has most of its OEM parts in place it makes you wonder if the original owner loved this car more than others. Preciousness is always seen in retrospect, from it's days off of the assembly line to coming to Toyota Fest, this blue 4th gen has not been modified too greatly with the only thing that stands out being a set of bronze wheels. The contrasting blue and bronze on the outside is a way to subdue the image this car represents as it lacks the usual GT wing that was a selected option in its day. Inside the car a TRD steering wheel and OEM fabric seats really pop as the graphics inside are so retro and so cool!
It may be a bit of a GT car/ 2JZ overload but when we talk about the new school we have to mention the Lexus SC300/400 also known as the Toyota Soarer in Japan. Not many examples came in manual like this example which is either original or converted, but riding on basically the same architecture as the Supra; it has made for a more affordable entry point in to high performance cars.
Not to be outdone of course is Sean Musa's (@sc400turbov8) SC400 that makes an out of this world 781 wheel horsepower and 779 lb ft of torque from a stock bottom end 1UZ. Sean's car is kitted with a RareFab turbo setup that tests the limits of the drag slicks out back and all of the cars at various drag strips and the streets of Mexico. The modifications all scream "race me" and I hope a full feature is in store for the future, the use of a modified 1UZ shouldn't be a surprise to anyone as many off-road trucks and cars from Down Under use the power plant to make gobs of reliable ponies.
Lastly we take a look at another facet of the new school way of doing things, adhering to a set of rules that make normal cars look aesthetically pleasing. The last generation Celica came in two varieties, the GT featuring a 1ZZ engine and the GTS that bundled more features and a rev happy 2ZZ under the bonnet. With this generation of Celica not being as treasured as one would think after finding it to be rewarding to drive for a front wheel drive platform, it makes for an affordable Toyota to transform in to something different. The merlot colored wrap drapes a wingless "Action Package" body, lowered to barely clear the front and rear Rotiform LAS-R rims shows that the focus is on cruising the streets in style...definitely nothing wrong with driving down your own path.