By Steve & Tamami Laser
Two of our favorite car shows are held every year in Long Beach: The Japanese Classic Car Show is a must-see for fans of all the different brands. While the All Toyotafest is called the biggest and the oldest gathering for Toyota, Lexus and Scion enthusiasts.
Presented by TORC, the “Toyota Owners and Restorers Club,” this year’s show was held at Marina Green Park on June 1st. TORC kindly provided us with media passes, and we made a beeline to the Supra area (above) where owners proudly displayed four generations of Toyota’s iconic sports car.
What’s under the hood? Attention to detail by the owner of this third-generation Supra results in a show-quality, spotless engine compartment where the 7M GTE turbo-6 looks like new.
We had the chance to get a close-up look at the all-new 2020 GR Supra before the show opened and the car was surrounded by folks getting their first look. Toyota North America and Toyota Motor Sales displayed several new vehicles at the Toyotafest this year.
The new Supra is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The car was co-developed in a collaboration with BMW and will be built by Magna Steyer in Austria.
Our video features a quick look at the 2020 GR Supra Launch Edition. The “GR” in the fifth-generation Supra’s name stands for Gazoo Racing. It’s the first global model developed by the international umbrella for Toyota’s worldwide motorsports program.
Going on sale this summer, the GR Supra’s exterior design was inspired by the FT-1 concept car styled at CALTY studios in Southern California. We love the look of the new GR Supra (and can’t wait to drive it). Toyota says the base MSRP for the Launch Edition is $55,250, while regular models start out at $49,990.
We tried to capture as many vintage Supra models as possible at the Toyotafest in our above video. Which one was our favorite?
This gorgeous fourth-generation modified Supra Turbo was one of our favorites. We really liked the look of the car dressed with aftermarket enhancements and a full body kit, including the hood, plus a super nice set of wheels.
We also admire the second-generation Supra, like the one above. This 1984 “Celica Supra” with its 2.8-liter twin-cam 6-cylinder engine and 5-speed tranny had an original MSRP of $16,469, according to a copy of the window sticker displayed with the car.
Love for the Toyota Celica runs deep at the Toyotafest where owners proudly displayed an array of coupes and convertibles at this year’s show.
This stunning Celica GT looks a bit different from typical U.S. models since it’s fitted with Japan-spec bumpers and taillights. In this form, it’s easy to see how the rear styling was inspired by Mustangs of the era.
We’ve seen this highly modified first-generation Celica at previous shows and it keeps us coming back for more. The mirror-straight body looks nearly stock, yet the huge rear wheels and super-wide tires announce that this car means business.
Our jaws drop whenever we look under the hood. This turbocharged engine is a true work of art and simply breathtaking to behold.
And then there’s the artfully crafted interior, complete with right-hand-drive, performance gauges, and a shifter that looks like its ready to run at the drag strip.
Toyota also offered a sneak preview of a new 86 model for 2020 called the Hakone Edition. Based on the 86 GT, it adds special exterior paint, 17-inch bronze wheels and a black spoiler.
Paying tribute to Japan’s famous Hakone Turnpike, the new model features special interior accents with tan and black Alcantara-trimmed seats, an 86 logo embroidered on the dash, and tan stitching on the steering wheel. Under the hood is the stock 2.0-liter boxer-4 coupled to a 6-speed manual or auto gearbox.
Collectors and enthusiasts continue to build their own uniquely customized variants of the Toyota 86, aka Scion FR-S. Depending on one’s budget and taste, modified versions run from mild to wild, with the car shown above causing plenty of heads to turn.
While Toyota doesn’t offer a turbocharged 86, some owners install their own kits, engineered by aftermarket performance suppliers. So equipped, this car with the huge rear wing likely goes as fast as it looks.
Three generations of the MR2 (including the MR2 Spyder) were on display at this year’s Toyotafest. We recorded some of the incredibly clean stock and modified sportscars in our video.
Toyota has brought back the Supra, so we wonder if the mid-engine MR2 might one day stage a return? Never say never (Chevrolet is about to introduce a mid-engine Corvette). In the meantime, this gorgeous first-generation MR2 Supercharged made us stop in our tracks.
With the 4A-GZE engine, the late ‘80s MR2 boosted the fun factor with a factory installed belt-driven supercharger and other mods. Sold in the U.S. for just a couple of years before the second-generation MR2 was introduced, these are highly collectible cars.
How popular is the Corolla? Toyota has sold more than 46 million units worldwide since it was launched more than 50 years ago. Multi generations of the Corolla are popular with collectors, including the coupe, AE86 “Hachiroku” hatchback, and wagon.
Several Corolla spinoffs were produced, including the Sprinter and Levin Trueno. While not originally sold in the U.S., collectors can individually import these cars and drive something truly unique.
The highly detailed 1.6-liter twin-cam engine in this model is a joy to behold. It sports side-draft carbs and looks like it was just built yesterday.
The Corona was one of the first mainstream cars that Toyota sold in the U.S. that really caught on with consumers. The white 1968 Corona coupe shown in our video was named “best of show” at this year’s Toyotafest.
This conservatively styled Corona sedan looks period-correct wearing a shade of light blue paint. It brings back memories of the late ‘60s when our elementary school teacher drove a nearly identical car.
Step into our time machine, fast-forward 50 years, and emerge in a different world today where cars like the formerly conservative Toyota Cressida and Mark II are converted into radically customized cars.
Instead of cruising the streets of Tokyo, they’ve landed in Long Beach where, limited only by imagination, their owners transform their rides with “shark-nose” styling, huge exhaust pipes, and treatments that bring to mind Anime and Manga.
Before there was Lexus, Toyota built the flagship Century sedan. Typically chauffeur driven in Japan, the Century was never officially imported into the U.S. It was great to see this super-clean 1991 example at Toyotafest.
It’s difficult to tell different generations of the Century apart since the styling hasn’t changed much over the years. Remarkably, the Century is still in production in Japan, where a new ultra-luxury model was introduced last year featuring a new hybrid drivetrain.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Toyota Starlet, a small economy car that was briefly sold in the U.S. With its rear-drive platform, Starlet transforms nicely into an affordable racing car, like the ones we saw at Toyotafest.
This Starlet looks like it’s ready to take to the track with its huge fender flares, super wide wheels and tires, and a full roll cage.
As one of the longest-running Toyota nameplates, the Land Cruiser needs no introduction. However, some of the models on display at the Toyotafest this year raised plenty of eyebrows, including this super cool FJ45 pickup.
The Land Cruiser has been sold across the globe in a wide variety of body styles. This 1975 two-door soft top was incredibly clean and beautifully restored inside and out.
Vintage Land Cruiser models that were not originally sold here are finding their way into the hands of collectors. This turbodiesel-powered Land Cruiser Prado EX wagon is on our wish list. The Land Cruiser 70 is still produced and sold in places like Australia where it’s praised for rugged construction and go-anywhere ability.
Toyota Trucks represent an affordable and fun way to get into the collector market. These 4x4s were popular when new and continue to be seen on the street, trails, and car shows like the Toyotafest.
“Hey McFly, your dream truck has arrived.” It’s another Custom 4×4 from “Statler Toyota.” We’ve seen this replica of Marty McFly’s object of desire from “Back to the Future” before, and it continues to generate ear-to-ear grins.
Scion lives on in the minds and hearts of fans who continue to display their love for the brand and models like the boxy xB. Check out some of the radically customized Scions in our video.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: The custom van craze of the 1970s didn’t go away, it morphed into a smaller scale with the Scion xB. Just take a look at this lineup at Toyotafest.
This customized first generation xB (that looks like a butterscotch candy) pays tribute to the Toyota bB, the name for the Japanese market model (the Scion brand was an American and Canadian exclusive).
Owners take their xBs to the next level with amazing interior transformations like this one (that reminds us of a cool Japanese Kei car called the Honda N-Box Slash “American Diner”).
For a while, Scion sold two sporty coupes, the rear-drive FR-S (now the Toyota 86) and the front-drive tC (above). Like the xB, the tC has a legion of loyal fans who modify their cars to their heart’s content.
Lexus made our hearts beat faster with its display that featured the new 2020 RC F Track Edition. This was our first look at the latest high-performance coupe slated to go on sale soon at Lexus dealers nationwide.
Making its debut with a refreshed RC F, the Track Edition features a 472-hp V8 engine, Brembo® brakes, 19-inch BBS forged alloy wheels, a titanium muffler and connector pipes, and a carbon-fiber roof, hood, and rear wing.
Lexus says the RC F Track Edition is designed for “hardcore enthusiasts,” and quotes a 0-60 mph sprint of 3.96 seconds. The interior is fitted with Circuit Red leather-trimmed seats with Alcantara® accents, red carbon trim on the doors and dash, and a roster of high-tech goodies. (We’re saving up our lunch money since the base MSRP for this model is $96,650.)
It’s tough to believe that Lexus is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. And we’ve seen just about every type of modification that owners have made to their cars since then. However, we’ve never seen anything quite like this LS “Mud-A-Luxe.” Check it out in our video.
This one-off customized car looks like the offspring of an early LS sedan and a 4×4 Toyota Truck. The owner raised the ride height, added big wheels with off-road tires, fender flares, a rooftop basket, and some other mods to come up with a truly unique ride.
We fell in love with the Lexus SC when it was introduced some 27 years ago and it still looks fresh today. The car was called the Toyota Soarer in Japan, since the Lexus brand didn’t launch there until many years later.
This SC is definitely a Toyota Soarer. How can we tell? In addition to the badges, it’s a right-hand-drive model. And just to make sure, the owner has added a nifty “Samurai” style gear shifter!
Our last video highlights some of the cool Lexus GS, IS and RC models displayed by their owners. Do you know that the IS was called the Toyota Altezza in Japan?
The owner of this Altezza-style sedan went all-out with mods including giant fender flares, a full body kit, and a host of performance goodies.
We had a great time at the All Toyotafest and look forward to attending next year’s show which will be the 25th edition.
For more show information visit TORC Toyota Owners and Restorers Club
Want more blasts from the past? The following links will take you to our previous Toyotafest stories and videos:
CarNichiWa.com thanks TORC for providing us with All Toyotafest media passes
Note: Prices, features and specifications for the 2020 Toyota GR Supra, 86 Hakone Edition, and Lexus RC F Track Edition are subject to change without notice
Story, photos (as noted) and videos Copyright © 2019 CarNichiWa.com. GR Supra engine photo courtesy Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.