By Steve & Tamami Laser
Over the years, we’ve attend car shows across the globe, from the Tokyo Motor Show and Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan, to our favorites in SoCal, including the Japanese Classic Car Show. Yet the show that made us all misty-eyed was the 2021 All Toyotafest, held at Marina Green Park in Long Beach, on June 5.
We got emotional for several reasons: First, it was the 25th Anniversary of the All Toyotafest, and memories of the past shows came rushing back. Second, it was the first car show that we’ve attended in more than a year, due to the pandemic. Third, we really appreciated the efforts by TORC, the Toyota Owners and Restorers Club, to host this event.
TORC kindly provided us with media passes, so we arrived early, and started our photography and note taking session. To celebrate the All Toyotafest’s Silver Jubilee, we’ve made 25 separate videos of some of the coolest Toyota, Scion and Lexus vehicles at this year’s show. You can watch them here, or visit our CarNichiWa.com YouTube channel.
The sporty Celica is one of our favorite Toyotas. In our first video (above), we highlight some of the outstanding coupes and liftbacks at the show, proudly displayed by their owners.
This beautiful 1974 Celica epitomizes the first-generation body style, with its classic coupe profile. We liked everything about this car, from the bright red exterior, to the selection of aftermarket alloy wheels.
This 1994 Celica GT-Four, ST205 WRC Edition, a right-hand-drive, limited edition, Japanese market import, is rarely seen in the U.S.
We stood in awe of this Celica’s 3SGTE engine, and marveled at the top cover badge, designating this car as number “2266” of only 2500 built. Kudos to the owner for bringing this amazing car to the All Toyotafest.
Supra & GR Supra
With all generations of Toyota’s classic sports car on display, collectors and enthusiasts had the chance to admire a wide array of Supras at the 25th All Toyotafest.
The fantastically detailed Turbo engine, and tricked out engine compartment, was a joy to behold, fitted with performance mods, including TRD parts.
All-new last year, the GR Supra was well represented at the All Toyotafest, while this highly modified car caused double and triple takes with its extensive wide-body work.
Toyota’s mid-engine MR2 is a fun-to-drive sports car that continues to appeal to driving enthusiasts who relish its dynamic styling, performance, handling, and affordability. Which model is our favorite? We like them all.
There was a great turnout of second-generation MR2s at the All Toyotafest. This one was loaded with charisma, and was beautifully detailed inside and out.
Second-gen MR2s offered a 2.0-liter, twin-cam turbo 3S-GTE engine. During its intro in Japan, Toyota said this powerplant featured a twin-entry ceramic turbocharger, and air-cooled intercooler, for improved efficiency and response.
Looking inside, we discovered that this MR2 is a right-hand-drive model. When it comes to affordable, collectible mid-engine sports cars, the MR2 is tough to beat. And with three generations to select from, there’s something for everyone.
As one of the world’s best-selling cars, the Corolla continues to be popular with collectors, who often seek out the rear-wheel-drive models, known as the AE86, or “Hachiroku.”
We’ve seem a wide variety of modified Corollas over the years, yet this rally inspired masterpiece takes the cake. We really like the Team Toyota Euro livery, and “Daily Mirror RAC 1973 International Rally” script on the doors.
While the owner must have spent countless hours working on the exterior and powerplant mods, the interior made our jaws drop. The retro-style dash is loaded with knobs, dials, and switchgear that wouldn’t look out of place in the cockpit of a vintage aircraft.
We’ve been fans of the Toyota Land Cruiser since we were kids and always enjoy the great turnout of vehicles at the All Toyotafest.
According to the owner’s documentation, this 1968 FJ40 is the product of a nine-year frame-off restoration. While the color scheme is said to be original for the vintage, the engine has been upgraded.
This rig is powered by a 1974 inline-6 teamed with a similar vintage tranny and transfer case. Meanwhile, power steering, power brakes, and vintage air help to make this a very civilized Cruiser.
And the interior was beautifully done, too. We imagined ourselves in the comfy bucket seats, navigating a narrow mountain trail with the thin-rimmed steering wheel. We would love to own a Cruiser like this one.
Toyota Trucks & 4Runner
With decades of production, and countless varieties available, Toyota Trucks remain popular with collectors for their ruggedness, and easy to modify character. Our video shows the wide variety of trucks at this year’s All Toyotafest, including the Hilux, 4x4s and Tacoma.
This rare Toyota Stout is decked out as a work truck for Cabe Toyota in Long Beach. As a long-time supporter to the All Toyotafest, Cabe was one of the many vendors with displays at this year’s show.
We’ve seen lots of Toyota Trucks with camper shells, yet this Sunrader full camper conversion is a rare sight. The owner kindly let us view the turbo engine under the hood, and check out the cozy interior, that looks like a relaxing spot to enjoy a weekend camping adventure.
For campers seeking a vehicle that’s a bit easier to garage, this Toyota 4Runner, with its detachable, rooftop-mounted aftermarket tent, makes a practical alternative. Our video also highlights other cool 4Runners at the All Toyotafest.
Mark II / Cressida
Owners continue to transform Toyota Mark II and Cressida sedans into wild customized machines, similar to those that cruise the streets of Tokyo. The cars on display at the All Toyotafest this year bring to mind a popular car-tuning subculture, with exhaust pipes that reach for the sky, and shark-nose body styling.
The Crown nameplate is historically significant since a Crown sedan was the first Toyota sold in America in the late 1950s. Our video previews two of our favorite Crowns at the All Toyotafest; a modified Crown pickup and a 1972 wagon.
This right-hand-drive Crown pickup has been enhanced in the retro-mod style and sports “V8” badges on the front fenders. Known as “Utes” in Australia, this is a super-rare sight in America, and one of the cleanest we’ve seen.
This beautiful 1972 Crown Custom wagon was a joy to behold. It features three rows of seats (with the rear seats facing rearward), an upgraded 2JZGTE engine with VVTI and intercooler, an auto transmission, and air conditioning.
We’ve been lucky to ride in a variety of Toyota Century sedans in Japan, where they’re often used to shuttle hotel guests (or VIPs) to destinations, instead of hailing a common taxi or van. The long-running, often chauffeur-driven, luxury car (that came before Lexus) has become a popular collectible.
The Century name was originally selected to commemorate the 100th birthday of the founder of the Toyota Group, Sakichi Toyoda, when the car was introduced in 1967. The second generation Century, launched in 1997, was the first Toyota to offer a V12 engine. While the current generation Century, displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017, is a hybrid (see our video from the show).
Talking about cars that we don’t see very often, the Toyota Starlet retains a dedicated following of enthusiasts. This rear-drive, ‘80s-era econo-hatch transforms nicely into an affordable, personalized sporty car.
Once upon a time, car-based pickups, like the El Camino and Ranchero, were popular. This rare “Avatruck” is based on the first generation Toyota Avalon sedan. It’s a custom-built vehicle that brings to life a full-scale, drivable dream machine.
Toyota brought the new, second-generation, 2021 Mirai to the All Toyotafest. In addition to its stunning good looks, this Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) is a fun-to-drive, five-passenger sedan, based on the TNGA GA-L rear-drive platform, that also underpins that larger Lexus LS.
A fully redesigned Toyota fuel cell system offers increased power and acceleration, plus an extended driving range rating. The compact, high-output FC stack is located under the hood, while the motor and drive battery are in the rear. There’s no need to plug it in – the owner visits a hydrogen refueling station to fill up the tanks, which takes around five minutes.
Toyota’s youthful Scion division lives on with collectors, who continue to customize the boxy xB in new and innovative ways. The xB in our video was transformed into a “TRD Off-Road” style, featuring a raised ride height, plus oversized wheels and tires.
We liked this second-generation xB, that’s been treated to a one-of-a-kind, customized exterior color scheme. It’s distinctive appearance really stands out on the street.
Owners often take their xBs to the next level, with redesigned, customized interiors, limited only be the imagination. We admired the look of the customized cabin in the xB off-roader shown above.
Scion FR-S / Toyota 86
The spirit of the Scion FR-S lives on with the current generation Toyota 86. We highlight several of the head-turning, modified coupes in our video, including those that have been fitted with racing-style, wide-body kits.
Enthusiasts seeking to enhance the performance of their FR-S/86 models install their own turbochargers, superchargers, exhaust systems, and other mods offered by aftermarket suppliers.
Toyota said that more than 200,000 units of the 86 (including the FR-S and other variants) have been sold worldwide. We were happy to report that a next generation is in the works, with the new GR 86 on tap for the 2022 model year, continuing a joint-development relationship with Subaru Corp.
Lexus LS & SC
It’s been more than 30 years since Toyota launched the Lexus luxury division. The flagship first-generation LS sedan was built with amazing precision. Yet we don’t think the designers ever envisioned a LS quite like this modified Off Road model, the project of a creative owner.
What happens when a first gen LS sedan merges with a 4WD Toyota Truck? The result is a unique machine with raised ride height, big wheels and off-road tires, fender flares and more. Why does it wear Toyota decals? We recall that the LS was dubbed the Toyota Celsior in Japan, since the Lexus brand didn’t launch there until 2005. (And the Toyota livery looks cool on an LS!)
On the other end of the LS customization spectrum is the lowered look of luxury. This third gen LS has an ultra-cool profile, with its road-hugging stance, full body kit, good-looking custom rims, and low-profile tires.
We wanted a Lexus SC 400 so much when it was introduced for 1992 that we nearly sold all our possessions to get one. Our fondness for the big coupe continues all these years later, whenever we see first gen models, like the cars displayed by their owners at the All Toyotafest.
Lexus LC 500 Convertible
Today, our object of desire is the Lexus LC 500. We had the chance to drive one for a week, and write a review, when it was first introduced. Lexus brought this gorgeous new LC 500 Convertible to the All Toyotafest this year.
The LC 500 Convertible features a gorgeous interior, a lightweight soft top, and the same 5.0-liter, 471-horse V8 engine as the LC 500 coupe. And of course, we would love to have this car in our garage.
The compact Lexus IS sport sedan (originally called the Toyota Altezza in Japan), retains its popularity among enthusiasts and collectors. Offering a variety of models and powertrains, the first IS 300 was launched more than 20 years ago.
Lexus debuted a series of high-performance models with the “F” designation, including the IS F. With a 5.0-liter V8 engine, the IS F was indeed “Fast.” This car is dressed with the CCS-R (Circuit Club Sport Racer) livery. IS-F CCS-Rs competed in events like the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and Nürburgring 24 hours.
Lexus GS F
We rarely see a Lexus GS F, so we were thrilled to find one at the All Toyotafest. Lexus says the special model is the most powerful and exhilarating GS, equipped with a 467-horse V8, Torque Vectoring Differential, and 8-speed Direct-Shift auto trans.
While the GS F (and GS) is out of production, it joins the ranks of collectible Lexus models. In addition to its performance potential, we admired the racing-inspired interior, with high-back bolstered sport seats, and G-force meter in the dash. The 2020 model was fitted with a 12.3-in. split-screen navigation system.
We dig the Toyota Land Cruiser, and we’ve always wanted a Land Cruiser Prado. While that model is not available in America, its sibling, called the Lexus GX, can be found cruising the boulevards and backroads of SoCal. Lexus brought this modified GX to the All Toyotafest.
The Lexus GX is an object of desire, especially when its decked out like this one. Doing a quick walkaround, we noticed a number of enhancements, including an ICON upgraded suspension and branded alloy wheels. If we were in the market for a GX, we’d spec it just like this one.
For more show information visit TORC Toyota Owners and Restorers Club
CarNichiWa.com thanks TORC for providing us with All Toyotafest media passes
Looking for more blasts from the past? The following links will take you to our CarNichiWa.com All Toyotafest stories and videos from past shows.
Story, photos and videos © 2021 CarNichiWa.com