In Dec 1973 RT104GT-MQFG serial number 012064 was prepared for the Toyota Division in South Melbourne (Australian Motor Industries).
It was driven off a boat in Feb 1974 and registered LUO833 sight unseen by Vic Roads and began its life as a developmental car that AMI was going to assess for suitability to import in limited numbers.
I understand that the MD of AMI drove it around along with a purple GT Celica.
I am told more often it did 180's on wet roads when driven by his wife on Yokaham radials.
It was quite powerful to drive..
It ran the Toyota high compression 18RG engine, P51 F series gearbox and 4.111 7.5 inch LSD.
The live rear axle is totally unique to TRD nothing like a Corona, it has pins and locating rods and the whole car set up more like a sports sedan than a Corona.
It had a top speed demonstrated of exactly 200 km/h at 6500 rpm in 5th.
In 1975 it passed thru dealers including Weribbee and then onto Stawell Dealer Nalders and was driven by mechanic Steve Baird.
I saw it once in the main street of Ballarat in 1975 and again at the Golden Mile Hill climb at Ararat where I believe it set a course record for a production sedan.
In June 1974 Modern Motor did a full page liftout story in full colour.
NO IMPORTS OF THE GT CELICA OR CORONA WILL OCCUR.
In late 1976 Nalders called me and said if I wanted it to go to a Toyota Dealer in Campbellfield and offer them $4500, I could buy the car.
It was being trucked to Sydney.
I intercepted the car on a Friday and paid $2000 deposit and the balance on the Monday and acquired it with 52000 km of developmental time on the speedo.
I was told go away take it away do not tell people that these cars are for sale cos they are not going to be offered here in Australia.
In 1977 Toyota approached me to use the car as a service vehicle in the 1977 Singapore Airlines London to Sydney Rally and it was used to service ultimate Class A winner Wes Nalder and Noal Richards in their 3KB Corolla Coupe.
It was seconded to Toyota again in 1978 to support the three Celica GT's driven by Hilton, Hurrey and Nalder in the Repco Around Australia trial and again conveyed personnel and parts to wherever they were needed in the east coast regions of the rally stages.
It was often used to run ahead of the pack to trip the CAMS radar traps, which would result in a crew being disqualified if caught speeding.
The car was never rallied per-se it was set up for rallying with 90A alternator and four Cibie Super Oscars and a sump guard, the original steel wheels widened to 6 inches and monroe shock aborbers.
We often fitted new parts to test for Toyota including a W50GT box and 3.9 diff on occasions.
We also fitted the first disc brake rear end for a live axle.
Another was imported and fitted to Hurreys GT Celica in 1978.
The car was retired with a leaky head gasket around 1980 and sat in my shed until 1992 when I sent it to the Toyota buffs in Mosyton (Jenkins) and they cursed and ground and stripped all the scratches and dents and restored it.
By 1986 many spares came into the country via API at Springvale and the car nearly had a 3TGTEU fitted but we decided not to bastardise it and leave it original.
In 2004 I totally sourced all the bearings and rebuilt the diff and gearbox.
I pulled out the 3.9 and W50 box and refitted the P51 Box.
The early Toyota 9.7:1 CR head was retired with its small valves and bad gasket retention.
The head is now a stronger later Yamaha with better valves and it runs on PULP OK.
A top overhaul with rings and bigends was done around 150,000 km.
New clutch and pressure plate, thrust bearing and drive train repairs.
It is so original it still runs a points dizzy, we have not upgraded to electronc but have the parts.
The only other MOD was to fit rear disc brake calipers, but it still has a rear drum hand brake.
And we still have the old drum brakes ala Corona.
KM 242000 still has original steering box, tailshhaft, it has had new tie rod ends and balljoints.
The bonnet is not original or the radiator as we hit a roo back in 1978.
To the best of my knowledge I have only ever seen a GT or coupe in japan and no other GT in Australia or New Zealand of this mark.
Maybe someone can tell me otherwise.