Toyo Tires consistently has one of the best displays at SEMA. It offers the most diverse lineup of cars of any company, from classics to supercars to scratch-your-head stuff like a slammed Mercedes G-Wagen. It also offers a convenient pass-through between the Central and South Halls of the ginorrmous Las Vegas Convention Center, because who wants spend 30 minutes wading though swarms of dudes wearing Guy Fieri flame shirts and the booths of fifty knockoff wheel companies you’ve never heard of just to meet up with your friend who texts, “I’m over by the new Supra,” (there are 8,000 new Supras at SEMA). But I digress. Onto the cars!
One of our favorites at the show this year was the Datsun 1200 of Robb Ferguson, the automotive artist known as Good Show. We were impressed by its minimalist style, with its Rocket Bunny TS-inspired wing, Pandem flares, and front lip, as well as Hayashi Streets. An A-series in proper Nissan blue with heaps of custom milled yet tasteful bits resides under the hood. The rarity of a B110 Sunny (or any Sunny, for that matter) at SEMA left a lot of people scratching their heads at what the car was.
The fourth-gen Subaru Legacy isn’t exactly 25-year nostalgic yet, but we love wagons. As the last proper Subaru wagon to be sold in the US we have a soft spot in our hearts for it. It was purple.
We were tickled to see a clean little Wonder Civic standing out among the acres of gaudy Lambos. The 1980s Honda hatchback was powered by a B16B swap said to be good for 240 horsepower and had a Rywire harness tuck with smoothed out engine bay, as is the fashion with Honda builds. It’s crammed with JDM aftermarket bits like the front lip and mirrors, and rare BBR Competition wheels over Spoon brakes. We really dug the fact that the owner opted for the 1500 S trim of the EA over the Si since they were doing a Type R swap anyway, which provided the added bonus of a sweet Victoria Red over silver two-tone.
Rowie Landicho’s real CP9A is one of the very few Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Vs in the US. Done up in time attack style with a Varis ASSO Version widebody kit. Filling the flares are 18×10.5-inch Volk CE28 Club Racer II wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes R888R tires over Project Mu brakes. Inside, a custom Cusco cage surrounds Recaro RS-G Ralliart Edition seats. The 4G63 is said to be capable of 450 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. Not only is it rare, but this Mirage will devour supercars for breakfast.
You would think that with 2019 being the 50th Anniversary of the Z, one of the most important sports cars of all time, there would have been more Zs at the show. But no, we only saw two. Autofashion USA’s was the best S30 we saw, but the competition wasn’t even close. We are glad to see the sleek Speed Forme G-nose kit come stateside after admiring them from the Tokyo Auto Salon. The other Z, well, there’s Google for that.
Riko Gutierrez’s AE86 went through an astounding transformation. Before he began work on it, it was a typical gutted 1984 SR-5 (coincidentally, also gold, or Light Topaz Metallic in Toyota parlance) shell abandoned by a wannabe drifter. Respectfully, Riko didn’t want to chop up a clean GT-S and so he went through tremendous effort to turn the rusty, rat-infested pile of parts that had sat for 12 years into a SEMA show car.
Powered by a built Beams 3S-GE in a stitch-welded chassis with a period TRD-style aero kit over black Work Equip 40s, his passion for the AE86 clearly shows. The paint job itself, Riko told us, cost $25,000. Instead of the AE86 he could have had a nice Bentley instead, but he wanted to put his efforts into a build of a pioneering drift machine. It should pair nicely with his street-driven AE86 and matching 240SX in his collection of flagship drift machines.
Joel Tan’s turquoise Hakosuka also started out as shell, lacking even a floor pan. Starting with a bucket allows for much more freedom and much less guilt if you’re doing a build this extreme. There’s the turbo 2JZ, but the exhaust exits through the hood. The rear suspension has been converted to pushrod style, and a Moon tank-style fuel cell lurks in the trunk. You might even notice that Joel converted it to left-hand-drive. Though there is still more to do, even as is the car was a total head turner.
And finally, we were pleasantly surprised to see N’s Stage, the Japanese Suzuki Jimny aftermarket specialists at the Toyo display. Dubbed the Little Monster, it is a custom pickup version of the incredible Suzuki Jimny. The truck has been raised two inches courtesy of a Battlez lift kit with remote reservoirs. It sits on new Work Crag Galvatare wheels, which we don’t think have been officially released yet, wrapped in Toyo Open Country MTs. It was quite cool to see a modified Jimny in the US!
That’s it for the Toyo display, but we will have more SEMA 2019 coverage soon. To be continued…