EVENTS: 2013 All-Toyotafest, Part 03 — Late 70s Luxe

003dh5611_Toyota Celica A20

The Oil Shock of 1973 killed off Japan’s racing programs, and by the later half of that decade emissions regulations were sapping the performance out of factory offerings. With their dreams of buying a Suzuka-ready sports coupe dashed, consumers turned their attention to luxe over lightness. 

113bh5333_Toyota Celica A20 Liftback

Contrast this late ’76 or ’77 Celica Liftback with the early 70s coupes. There’s nothing  like a dealer added Landau roof and louvers to turn your sporty GT into a boulevardier. We’re not knocking it though. In fact, we love the porn-tastic period correctness is exudes. It’s a signifier of a certain time and place and we wouldn’t change a thing on it.

111bh5464_Toyota Celica A20 Liftback

However, just because automakers were turning their backs on performance doesn’t mean that owners were. It was still possible to  trick out your RA29 like Jeff Yee‘s with Vitaloni racing mirrors and SSR meshies to complete that racing look.

110bh5463_Toyota Celica A20 Liftback

Likewise, Brian Karasawa‘s Liftback is a classic nisei style build, with blacked out trim, wink mirror and Hayashi Command 500s setting the style of the day.

116bh5448_Toyota Celica A40

The second-gen Celicas are another nisei (second-generation Japanese American) favorite, especially the kouki versions with the four square headlights. The Kamei front lip is the perfect period piece for this black beauty.

188bh5525_Toyota Celica Supra MkI A40

Of course, if you were a mid-level yakuza on his way up the ranks in 1980, you’d need something with more cylinders, like a 1980 Celica Supra. With a longer nose to accommodate a butter-smooth Toyota straight six and a “T” grille plucked straight from the nose of the 2000GT, it Aichi’s flagship GT of the heroin-spoon-and-mirror-ball era.

189bh5526_Toyota Celica Supra MkI A40

Especially in jet black, it would have been the perfect intimidation vehicle to slink through the streets of Tokyo with between pachinko parlor shakedowns. This particular example came laden with accessories straight from 1980s like chrome door sill guards, louvers (which we removed for the show), and wire wheels minus the wire basket.

208bh5477_Toyota Supra MkIII MA71

Fast forward a couple generations and we have Guillermo Polo‘s gorgeous ’92 Supra Turbo. Enthusiasts often gripe when their favorite sports machines morph into plusher and plusher land barges with each redesign, but the Supra moved in the exact opposite direction. By the time the third gen rolled around, it was a twin-turbo beast that was terrorizing the Wangan instead of carrying gold-chain wearers to the Playboy Club.

206bh5341_Toyota Supra MkIII MA71

There were a lot of MkIII Supras at this year’s Toyotafest, and while a lot of them had a plethora of rare JDM parts, there’s nothing like a clean, stock-appearing example. Plus, black on black leather is pretty much the rarest and most sought-after combo of the MA71, and we’re glad to see he’s kept it mostly original.

203bh5479_Toyota Supra MkIII MA71

In the 70s all manner of sports cars were available in brown, but it’s a bit surprising to see an A70 Supra in metallic chocolate. Still, props to the owner for rocking an unusual hue. Definitely unexpected!

238bh5529_Toyota Hilux

We’re always fascinated by workhorses like this Hilux pickup that are anything less than beat to hell. Instead, it was flawlessly clean in every way. We also saw this being trailered on Interstate 10 heading west the day after Toyotafest, with a silver MkII Supra following. Respect!

240bh5532_Honda Z50

Best of all, the Hilux held in its bed a custom Honda Z50 motorcycle, complete with flame job, looking like something you might see at the Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod and Custom Show.

242dh5660_Toyota Hilux

With Josh Itzaina‘s long and low ‘79 Hilux, you could ride a bike straight onto the bed if you needed to. Its extended bed made its slammage all the more dramatic, and we dug the long and low look. Josh said it was a lowrider work in progress, but we think it’s pretty much perfect as is.

146bh5362_Toyota Corona Hardtop 1974

One of our favorites from this year’s show was Lawrence Keller‘s 1974 Corona Hardtop. With just the right blend of sleek looks and luxury, the RT114 is a wholly under-appreciated platform, and Toyota was just nailing it with every pillarless hardtop it made during that era. Park it to its competition at the time — the Chevy Vega or, god forbid, a Mustang II — and there’s just no comparison.

148bh5488_Toyota Corona Hardtop 1974

We’ve seen a couple here and there at past Toyotafests, but never in any significant numbers like the Corollas or Celicas. Lawrence has swapped the stock 18R-C for a twin-cam 18R-G feeding an HKS exhaust, but other than that it’s just a slight drop on some nice BBS wheels. It’s a stunning example of a clean build that doesn’t go overboard with add-ons. Just a drop and some nice BBS rims is all this car needs, visually.

We’ll have more 2013 Toyotafest coverage coming soon, but in case you missed it, here’s Part 01 and Part 02.

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8 Responses to EVENTS: 2013 All-Toyotafest, Part 03 — Late 70s Luxe

  1. acbpanda said:

    Nice, the 1974 Corona looks sick!

  2. Big Mike Muniz said:

    That Corona has been a show winner even when the former owner and kababayan Jojo Abello had it. Looks like nothing has been altered since I last saw it at last year’s JCCS. Still a very beautiful car. In the Philippines this car was known as a “Macho Machine”, probably because it looks tough compared to the other J-tins of the same year. If I had more room in my stable I would have jumped at the chance to buy this car when it was for sale, but that means I would have to make room and get rid of one of my other cars…and that’s not going to happen. I’m just glad that the car is now in the hands of the new owner Lawrence. It is evident that he will take good care of this car and continue taking the car to shows for all of us to see and appreciate.
    -Big Mike

    • WIQDTOY said:

      i think the term “Macho Machine” for that year Corona came from an old TV commercial when an action star from Philippine Cinema did the said commercial advertising the Toyota Corona in the Philippines. the term “Macho Machine” stuck with this Corona because of the actor. i forgot the name of the actor. side note: the Toyota Corona was the rival of the Colt Galant Lambda of the same era. i see more Colt Galant Lambdas than i do Toyota Coronas everytime i go back to the Philippines!

    • Lawrence Keller said:

      Big Mike… Thank you for the Kudos. BTW just last week I changed out the BBS wheels to a nice set of Work Ewing II Fins. They look great on the Corona. Lawrence

  3. pete240z said:

    love that Kamei front air dam – those were the ones to buy back in the day.

    • Big Mike Muniz said:

      yup, those and also FOHA airdam and spoilers. and don’t forget those hard to find Formuling fender wind splitters…

  4. Camshaft said:

    Thank you so much for all the A40 love, I can’t get enough of these things.

  5. Rod Panhard said:

    With my then newly-minted drivers license, I would have laughed at the Celica GT liftback with the landau roof too. But I agree. Umpteen years later, it creates an interesting time capsule effect.

    In Detroit, they installed the landau roof at the factories. For the Toyotas and Datsuns sold here in the U.S., the dealers would install them. It provided them another item to make a profit on that the customer really couldn’t place a value on. Add that to the “polyglycoat” and “door edge guards” and “rust proofing,” and the dealers had plenty of room for haggling.

    Now, once you’re done haggling and sign papers, they add an extra line for “window etching.” I think I like the old way better.

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