EVENTS: 2013 All-Toyotafest, Part 04 — The Angular Eighties

055bh5702_Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno

Though just the size of California, by the 1980s Japan had become the world’s premier industrial giant. With unprecedented growth and technology advancements, Nihon’s cars of this Bubble Economy, especially Toyotas, established a unique design philosophy that was on full display at the 18th Annual All-Toyotafest

061bh5386_Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno

Look at any Toyota catalog from 1980 through the end of the Showa Era and you’ll see a distinct lack of one thing: curves. It was as if suddenly, everything but the rulers vanished from ToMoCo design studios.

059bh5383_Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno

Even elements within taillights were all rectangles and right-angles, and when they couldn’t make square wheels, they made the spokes as blocky as possible. But that’s not to say this angular design was a bad thing. On the contrary! Supra alloys are probably one of the best factory wheels Toyota has ever produced.

195bh5482_Toyota Celica Supra MkII A60

Everything from the lowly Corolla to the flagship Supra was built on this theme, and it had the bonus effect of brand cohesion. The P-Type Supra actually looks like the big, six-cylinder brother of the scrappy AE86.

120bh5397_Toyota Celica A60

And check out the gorgeous techno-box lines on the Supra’s actual little bro, the A60 Celica. When we last saw Jesse Ortiz’s blue 1JZ RA64 it was rolling on black barrels but white 15-inch Epsilon meshies are a great choice too.

068bh5350_Toyota MR2 AW11

And check out the uber-geometric lines of the AW11 MR2. Though the Work VS-XX is more of a modern tuner wheel, it works with this epitome of angularity. The askew muffler is almost necessary to break up the symmetry.

025bh5389_Toyota Tercel 4WD Sprinter Carib

We were stoked to see Angel Monico‘s all-original Tercel SR5 4WD at the show. This thing was a cream puff (or at least a cream parallelogram), so props to Angel for being custodian to the normally unloved. The original 1.5L 3A engine has 95,000 original miles, which for an 80s Toyota, means it’s just broken in.

064dh5637_Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno

You all know Janet Fujimoto and Duane Segawa‘s hachiroku coupe. It’s a down-to-the-shell restoration, and since Janet works for Toyota USA she was able to source a ton or OEM parts. It’s probably the cleanest resto of a proper USDM Corolla GT-S in the country right now.

057bh5377_Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno

Larry Sheridan originally bought his gray two-tone coupe so he could install the motor in his other project, a Nash Metropolitan. But once he got a hold of the hachiroku, he was put under its spell and was unable to gut it. Larry received the Long Distance Award, having driven his AE86 from somewhere in British Columbia 500 miles north of Vancouver.

123bh5465_Toyota Celica A60

This Toyota Celica GT-S on SSR EX-C fins convertible belongs to Joel Luz of Toysport. Though sold officially by Toyota, droptop A60s were shipped to America as coupes and converted by American Sunroof Corp. But that’s what the 80s were all about — cruising, top down with palm trees floating by above you in a coachbuilt car with flip-up headlights.

198bh5676_Toyota Celica Supra MkII A60

The MkII Supra was a home run for Toyota. Upon its debut, it immediately won Motor Trend‘s Import Car of the Year and was on Car & Driver‘s 10 Best list for ’83 and ’84. Freddy Chavez‘s 1985 Supra was absolutely gorgeous, museum-worthy example of the award-winner.

244bh5540_Toyota 4Runner

Remember the days when a 4Runner was just a Hilux with a detachable canopy? Classic trucks are hot in the collectors’ market right now. and though the 4Runner may be overshadowed by the FJ40 as far as Toyotas are concerned, but examples like Marcelo Montoya‘s lifted ’86 are quickly catching up, and they’ve already made a Matchbox toy of it.

176bh5681_Toyota Cressida X70

If there’s one style of car that exemplifies the Bubble Economy it’s the luxury four-door sedan. In Japan, aspiring Very Important Persons had Crowns, Crestas, Chasers and Mark IIs to choose from, but in the States all their hopes and dreams would fall on one model — the Cressida.

186dh5630_Toyota Cressida X80

In recent years the ur-Lexus sedan has experienced quite the renaissance, and for good reason. When new, they were mostly purchased by responsible family-having types, so many survived the years in good condition, but under the business suit they’re basically four-door Supras. Adrian Almazan’s MX83 proves how slick they can look with just a simple drop on MA71 Supra wheels.

179bh5418_Toyota Cressida X70

They’re also prime candidates for 5-speed and engine swaps with bits from the rest of the ToMoCo family. The show had everything from stockers to 1UZ V8s to cars like Josh Demuro‘s 2JZ-powered sled on display.

183bh5690_Toyota Cressida X70 bosozoku


Remember Lloyd Letherman‘s 2JZ X30? This is his other car. Lloyd’s latest project is a bright red bosozoku sled, slammed and flared and ready to do the shakotan boogie.

182bh5423_Toyota Cressida X70 bosozoku

Naturally, this is a Sparkle Garage production. It may not be everyone’s cup of matcha, but we think you’ll look back on this in five years and think these guys were ahead of their time.

212bh5410_Toyota Soarer Z20

However, if having four doors was too much practicality, high society types could opt for the Toyota Soarer. Matt Harada‘s JDM-only predecessor to the Lexus SC was the height of Bubble Economy luxury. The personal luxo-GT also had double wishbone suspension at all four wheels and, had it been offered for sale in the US, its sleek styling that would have looked like it came from the future.

214bh5416_Toyota Soarer Z20

Sure, highly bolstered bucket seats are nice, but what Bubble Era interior would be complete without bespoke doily seat covers woven with the Soarer gryphon logo. Fancy!

248bh5541_Toyota Van

Yes, the 80s were the apex of boxy design, but the pinnacle of pinnacles came in the form of the one-box van. Toyota’s YR39 was so vanny that they simply called it the Van. No model name needed.

251dh5653_Toyota Van

The cabin is a cubist work of art. Everyone either owned or knows someone who owned one of these bread boxes, and that’s why of all the cars out there we featured it on our Made in the 80s / Loved by the Ladies shirt.

253bh5544_Toyota Previa VIP purple

By the end of the Showa Era in 1989, the knife-edged styling was on its way out. The next decade would bring rounded, organic shapes embodied by the egg-shaped Previa. Japanese automakers began to design their cars for maximum palatability in many different countries. We’ll probably never go back to origami-inspired design, but that’s what makes us nostalgic for the 80s.

That concludes our 2013 Toyotafest coverage, but in case you missed it here’s Part 01 — the Very Old and Very New, Part 02 — The Seventies, and Part 03 — Late 70s Luxe.

This post is filed under: events, toyota and
tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

11 Responses to EVENTS: 2013 All-Toyotafest, Part 04 — The Angular Eighties

  1. Nigel says:

    Thank you for more Cressida’s and thanks for the great coverage
    of All-Toyotafest guys.
    (My father use drive a Previa every day, he was the customer shuttle/parts pick up guy
    for Brimell Toyota in Scarborough, back in the 90’s).

  2. Kay_Dubbs says:

    I have decided to attend next years Toyotafest thanks to all this great coverage by JNC. Gotta start saving for a plane ticket. Hope to see you there!

  3. J.A.C.K says:

    omg! the van is so sick!!! makes me nostalgic for my high school days!

  4. Patrick Strong says:

    That MR2 was my favorite car at the show. Though modern in design, I think the gold rims had the effect of evoking a real ’80s feel…they brought to mind the old BBS RS basketweaves one would have seen back then on various Porsches, tuner Mercedes, and other pieces of drug paraphernalia.

  5. cesariojpn says:

    “Classic trucks are hot in the collectors’ market right now. and though the 4Runner may be overshadowed by the FJ40 as far as Toyotas are concerned, ”

    4Runners up to the 2nd generation have seen a resurgence simply because they are versatile and more compact that other comparable SUV’s of the era.

  6. Adrian says:

    Thanks for including my blue MX83! Means a lot!

  7. Tou says:

    Very nice pics… Thanks for showing my AW11

  8. Token Blk Guy says:

    Man this was great coverage. JNC you guys really know how to cover events. Cant wait to attend next years event. Im deployed right now so I missed it this year. Ill be bringing my classic MKII Supra with me next year to hang with you all.

    Supra’s, Cressies, and 4Runners are my weakness 😛

  9. yoda says:

    I wouldn’t call the Tercel 4WD wagon “unloved”, but back in the day it was loved by people in places where they salt the roads; THAT’S why they’re rare! (Along with early ’80s Subies and AMC Eagles…)

  10. Brian says:

    I want an AE86 so bad…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *