EVENTS: 2012 All-Toyotafest, Part 01

The 2012 All-Toyotafest was abuzz with the excitement generated by the neo-hachiroku. After a decade and a half of supposedly sporty front-wheel-drive offerings, the lightweight FR Toyota is back with a vengeance. For throngs of Toyotaku in attendance it was cause for celebration. 

On the way to Long Beach we spotted this bright red TE28 surf wagon and formed an impromptu caravan with the JNC Cressida. The cruise down the 710 to Queen Mary Park was short-lived but we felt the love that only another owner of an old Japanese wagon can know.

Now don’t go thinking second-gen Corolla wagons are common in Cali. Tania Abrego‘s was the only other one in a show of about 400. Note the addition of a difficult-to-find “S-5” badge from a US-market 5-speed mango. However, even with bolt-on flares this car would not pass Japan’s shaken safety inspection because it’s illegal for a wheel to stick out past the fender. Nevertheless, it confirms two-door wagons are just cool, no matter what.

Here’s a JNC success story, a 1973 Corona sedan that was not too long ago a faded “ran-when-parked” heap of pea green steel that hadn’t moved since 1994. But thanks to an ad in our forum, this baby has a new lease on life.

Toyota apparently really dug this pea green color in the early 70s. Here’s a caged boricua drag peanut with an intercooler for a grille. Note yet another S-5 emblem. A growing trend?

A green Corolla race car of a different stripe, the Performance Options mango can be seen tearing up SCCA Solo courses in the Bay Area. The winged pegasus of the old school Mobil Oil logo is a classic touch.

We are pleasantly surprised to see more clean AE86s like Tim Chan‘s zenki Corolla GT-S take the place of highly modified drift machines. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Kit Fung‘s AE86 coupe has been modified with a Levin fixed-headlight front end, but the important thing is that it’s clean. Matching step-lipped Work Equip 01s are a nice touch as well.

Toyotafest isn’t just about the old school. As part of the extended ToMoCo family, Lexuses (Lexi?) are welcome too. The 5-Axis modified Lexus CT200h might just be the meanest looking hybrid on the planet that it’s trying to save.

The 5-Axis Lexus GS is equally menacing. Supposedly, the spindle grille that is luxury marque’s new corporate face alludes to the thread spindles on Toyoda’s automatic weaving looms, without which there would be no Toyota cars today.

Sadly, among import tuners the term “TE37” is more recognizable as a wheel than a Toyota. They just don’t get much love. Frank Tan‘s third-gen Corolla may not get a shaken sticker, but it exudes a certain late-70s California charm.

The great thing about TE37s is that the SR-5 sport coupes continued the TE27’s tradition of factory flares. They were no longer bolt-ons, but still provided a tough stance with a proper old school wheel and tire fitment like John Montepiedra‘s.

A rare TOM’S Racing badge from the 1980s.

Pocholo Gatmaitan‘s flared 1971 peanut rides on Panasport barrels 8.5 inches wide on the front.

And a cauldron-deep 9.5 inches on the rear.

It’s refreshing to see a mango in a vaguely period color that is not dark green or orange. That it rides on three-piece Tom’s Igetas is even cooler.

Mike Muniz‘s TE27 would be just about perfect — after all, it has period correct Tosco TRD wheels and actual fender mirrors unmolested in their original silver — if not for the 1969 Boss 302 Shinoda Stripe.

We first saw Jeffrey Rodriguez‘s 1977 Celica liftback stopping showgoers in their tracks at the XXR Wheels booth at SEMA last year. At Toyotafest it was reppin’ hard with a Philippines Centennial license plate.

We have much more to show you, but until next time we leave you with something that shows the incredible diversity of Toyotas on display at this event: an apocalypse-ready 80-series Land Cruiser.

Photos by Martin Kim.

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26 Responses to EVENTS: 2012 All-Toyotafest, Part 01

  1. cesariojpn said:

    No stock-looking Toyotas…..I am saddened.

  2. i love the 2 1975 sr5…nicely restored.thnx Ben,let it come

  3. Nigel said:

    The 73′ Corona looks awesome.
    Great show pics., looking forward to part two.

  4. Addison said:

    Damn, I need to hurry up with my TE37 Resto/Mod.

  5. Jeffrey Rodriguez‘s 1977 Celica liftback

    It looks so slick and mean compared to the SEMA pics of it with the sponsor stickers.

    Trying real hard to not to beat myself up not going to this years TORC. If it this years show didn’t land on my birthday.

    Too much stuff happening on 5/5: Birthday, Cinco de Mayo, Free Comic Book Day, Avengers movie first weekend, Mayweather vs. Cotto, TORC

  6. ZAk said:

    BEST SHOW EVER!! Defently worth flyIng across the country for the frs is much better in person:)

  7. Kevin T said:


  8. JDMGuido72 said:

    Man! I really need to get my 72 Corona Coupe going! Gotta show up the 4 doors 😉

  9. N8S said:

    nice pics thanks for sharing, awsome showing

  10. Pete240z said:

    Wow, now I have 2 shows to go to someday………..

  11. addison said:

    getting it cross country will be fun.

  12. Big Mike Muniz said:

    That’s my RHD orange with black graphics TE27 posted above. The striping is there just to change things up a bit. I’ve had people that really loved it or really hated it. I have had 21 TE27’s within 24 years. Every single one was painted one color and no pin striping. Thought I’d try this look. The stripes may be gone by this years JCCS (maybe I would win something this time :-). That is of course if I enter this car and not my Red TE27 road race car with the 12A full bridgeport rotary engine that I entered last year. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and said hi.

    • Ben said:

      We love your car, Mike, and as graphics go that one is really not that bad (we have seen way worse on other vintage Japanese cars), it just belongs on a Mustang. But hey, Larry Shinoda was Japanese American, so maybe it fits!

  13. Nick said:

    I think that Shinoda stripe looks better on that TE27 than it ever did on a mustang(p.o.s)! As a man in New Zealand restoring a KE36 (1976) and a ke26 (1971) I have alot of respect for anyone that can build a straight clean 70’s rolla!!

  14. joel said:

    On that blue TE27 mango , the wheels mounted on it A original 3Piece Toms igetta wheels not a August Feroce.

  15. Tyler said:

    LOVING the pea green.

  16. joel said:

    I guess my 81 corolla dx (3sge powered) TE72 didn’t make the cut in your collection of pics 2012 toyotafest

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