EVENTS: 2016 All-Toyotafest, Part 03 — Sporty Fours

199-0015_Toyota Corolla TE27_Toyota Sprinter Trueno TE27 inkan

As we saw in Part 02, Toyota has had no shortage of grand, powerful machines powered by the legendary straight-six. However, the company built its fortunes on millions of inline-fours. Using its vast production reserves, it has over the years been able to bestow many of these four-bangers into an affordable sports coupe package for the masses. Here are some of them that showed up to the 2016 Toyotafest. 

148-0216_Toyota MR2 AW11

In Part 01 we saw an SW20 MR2 invasion. AW11s were edged out due to the first-come, first-serve registration process but the ones that did show were all incredibly clean and, for some reason, red.

146-9911_Toyota MR2 AW11

As we saw with the SW20s and Supras, a timeless stock or close-to-stock body is the prevailing look these days. In the example of Martin Maxwell’s 1986 A-Dub, even though a pretty serious blacktop 20-valve 4A-GE with velocity stacks and a 6-speed transmission sits under the hood, only a subtle aero skirt is applied.


The AW11’s 4A-GE sibling, the hachiroku, was well represented. Again, the trend towards clean, un-fussy bodies — with perhaps a li’l JDM-ing of the bumpers — marches on. Kit Fung’s Levin-converted Coupe on Work Equip 01s was hypnotic with its rare headlights. One couldn’t help but get pulled into its gaze.

181-9998_Toyota Corolla AE86

Adrian Siazon’s blue kouki hatch looked sharp on Volk TE37Vs, which feel more appropriate on 80s cars than those from the 70s. We are also finding new appreciation for the solid, non-panda colors offered on export models and their factory “GT-S Twin-Cam 16V” decals.

193-0018_Toyota Corolla AE86

At first something seemed incongruous about James Ota’s hatch. Its gray-black two-tone was offered for one year only, on zenki AE86s, and never in Japan. However, everything about it said kouki, including its JDM bumpers, lights, mirrors, moldings, and interior panels. Turns out, it was indeed a 1985 US-market zenki, but completely converted. With super-correct 15-inch Dori Dori wheels wrapped in Yokohama S-Drives added, it looks the part of a JDM touge runner, but the US-market color ensures you’ve never seen one like it anywhere else.

178-9997_Toyota Corolla AE86

Edward Larios’s zenki is an heirloom that’s stayed in his family since it was new. It was purchased on January 3, 1985 from Hollywood Toyota, which happens to be the very first Toyota dealership in the US, founded in 1957. Edward still has the original window sticker, showing a price of $9,983. He also kept the original registration card, temporary ID, and a sales contract showing that the showroom added a $1,000 markup justified by a “wash and wax” and “dealer prep” for an out-the-door price of $10,983.

Today, it has 257,000 miles and a few cosmetic mods like the side markers on the front fenders, fog lights, and gold-painted pizza cutter wheels. It looks like an amazingly Something tells us that Edward isn’t going to let it go any time soon.

187-0005_Toyota Corolla AE86 N2

Bryan Swartz’s hatch is a genuine RHD specimen imported from Japan. He even has a stack of kanji-covered documents   With an Impulse N2 body kit once popular in Japan’s drifting community and “tons of carbon fiber,” it had the most extreme appearance of any AE86 at the show.

195-0021_Toyota Corolla AE86

And then there was Feras Faraj’s 1985 Coupe, repainted in an oh-so-proper shade of off-white. With an interior taken from a kouki GT-V, a drivetrain that reads like a who’s who of JDM aftermarket parts — Cusco LSD, Tomei cams, Toda valvetrain — and a set of Dori2 3-piece wheels, it looks exactly like something Keiichi Tsuchiya himself would be hustling through the mountains of Japan during an episode of Best Motoring.

246-0068_Toyota Corona T40

Robert New’s barikan Corona is a staple at Toyotafest, but this year it provided a visual contrast with the bone-stock sedan we saw in the previous installment. Its slightly faded black plate matches well with gunmetal Wats. And we like how the tires aren’t overly stretched. This is how a modified Corona coupe would’ve looked on the streets of Showa Era Tokyo.

265-0160_Toyota Celica A60 inkan

We’re pretty sure this is Miguel Olano’s RA64 Celica that was saw at JCCS 2014 and 2013. On both those occasions it was wearing gold Epsilon wheels and a different lower chin spoiler, so perhaps the car changed owners since then. Either way, it appears the black and gold theme was kept vigorously in tact.

253-0148_Toyota Celica A60 Convertible

The cleanest stock A60 Celicas at the show ere both convertibles. Something about them really attracts the purists and, clearly, trophies. We were walking with Yuichi Ikegaya of Utilitas, who had traveled all the way from Tokyo to attend the show, and he kept remarking on how much he loved these cars. Of course, they were converted in the US by American Sunroof Corporation, so they were never available in Japan.

257-0150_Toyota Celica A60

Rounding out the Celicas was Oscar Salazar’s 1985 RA65, which as you can see has fully embraced a bosozoku theme. With star-shaped takeyari, giant overfenders and copious amounts of glitter, it rolled in as part of the Moonlight Runners crew, whose Cressida we saw in Part 02. This wasn’t just a case of throwing cosmetic add-ons. A 22RE under the sparkly hood had been rebuilt with an ENGNBLDR head and cam as well.

258bw_Toyota Celica A20 bosozoku Moonlight Runners

A third Moonlight Runner appeared in the form of a flat-nosed first-gen Celica. Purple bubble fenders and takeyari exhaust actually look fairly on point, and using a worn, kouki Celica as the basis should quell any pitchfork-raising from the purists.

258cw_Suzuki bosozoku Moonlight Runners258aw_Toyota Celica A20 bosozoku Moonlight Runners

When we saw Oscar’s car at JCCS 2015 it stood out but seemed out of place. This year, all three Moonlight Runner cars plus two bosozoku-inspired bikes rolled in together, zoku-revving and creating quite the stir. I believe it was the first-gen Celica’s passenger who was hanging halfway out of the window waving a full-sizedトヨタ kana-logo flag as the team made a lap around the parking lot.

The dedication to the bousou entrance was incredible. Both purists and native Japanese might balk at the celebration of what can be a very anti-social group in its native land, but as someone who wants to see more automotive culture cross over, I couldn’t have been more delighted. To be continued…

Stay tuned for more Toyotafest 2016 coverage. In the meantime, in case you missed it, check out Part 01, as well as these stories from Toyotafest 2015 (Part 01, 02, and 03), 2014 (Part 01,02, 03, 04), 2013 (Part 01, 02, 03, 04), 2012 (Part 01, 02, 03, 04), 2011 (Part 01, 02, 03, 04, 05), 2010 (Part 01, 02,03).

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8 Responses to EVENTS: 2016 All-Toyotafest, Part 03 — Sporty Fours

  1. Nigel says:

    I will not give away my guess, to what the next part is…

  2. Jim Simspson says:

    What a great line up of cars, I would be delighted to own any of them…

  3. Cesariojpn says:

    The gold painted pizza cutter wheels look UGLY. Paint it back silver.

    • Randy G Hone says:

      Actually, that pretty much is a stock colour combo we had here in Canada, gold rims, red interior. At least mine was. New.

    • JovaTecH says:

      I like the combination of red exterior with gold wheels.looks very neat in that 86

    • dickie says:

      it looks like a period-correct early 2000’s example of a teenager’s first car.

      probably something between “why did my parents stick me with that old import turd when i told them i wanted a new Mustang? oh well, guess i can paint the wheels and put some Autozone fog lights on it…” and “my friend told me this car was in an anime called Initial D, maybe i’ll try to torrent it.” stages of ownership.

      if he does keep it in the family, i hope he takes good care of it. should be easy to return it to showroom stock.

  4. Jon says:

    thank you for the write up on our group (Moonlight Runners) we greatly appreciate it. JCCS will be interesting to sat the least.

  5. Feras says:

    Thank you for the kind words Ben!

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