QotW: What’s your dream touge build?


Touge. It’s the reason Japanese sport coupes adhere to the doctrine of lightweight, high-revving philosophy. 73 percent of Japan’s landmass is mountainous, and the touge roads are where a uniquely Japanese form of hoonage was born. So, if you live in a country where the best roads snake like ramen noodles over drastic elevation changes, you’re going to want to drive a certain type of car.

What’s your dream touge build?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the ultimate Toyota-Mazda combo?” 


When asked about a Toyota-Mazda combo, most of you conjured dreams of some kind of Frankenstein rotaryota like victor‘s 20B Corolla or Mick Beattie‘s 13B FR-S. As a first-gen Supra owner, I particularly like felix‘s idea of a 20B MkI. However, a few of you surprised with a Toyota powerplant in a Mazda body, like Kurt‘s hypothetical 3KR Familia Coupe. However, the most well-written and entertaining comment came from Andrew Golseth, who either thought outside the box or misunderstood the question entirely:

Best Toyota and Mazda garage combo?

Toyota Century and a Mazda Miata!

Think about it. With the Century you have a classic and elegant cruiser that essentially nobody else has, at least not any commoners! You can relax in comfort for those laid back days, bathing in the conservative indulgences the Imperial limo provides. But when you aren’t feeling like a mob boss and you want to have fun, you have the most iconic droptop sportscar ever made! The Miata comes out of the garage and you’re touge’n it up through the mountainous backroads. Yet despite your racecar anecdotes, you’re barely breaking the law in the Miata while having more fun than you legally should in a hairdresser’s convertible.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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33 Responses to QotW: What’s your dream touge build?

  1. Kuroneko says:

    Easy! For the Usui Touge in the opening pic – a white M-series S800 roadster, no soft top and a fixed red hardtop. Big red roundels on the doors, trunk, & hood, no bumpers, straight exhaust, a RSC 5-speed, FCR carbs, 13-inch RS Watanabe wheels, and a 12,000 rpm race-built engine.

    Most importantly; no passenger seat so I cannot be told to ‘slow down’…

  2. KZL says:

    A NA MX-5 with a K24 frankenstein (K20 head with K24 bottom end) with ITB’s and enhanced chassis rigidity through thicker anti-sway bars and strut bracing sitting on some stiff coilovers for those all important bends and 15″ watanabes slapped with some fat (as fat as you could fit on stock fenders) semi slicks and a titanium exhaust system! The dream!!! The sound!!! The N/A responsiveness, the sound of the individual throttle bodies gargling like monsters upon intaking beautifully crisp mountainous air coupled with the inherent handling characteristics of the chassis only enhanced by sorted suspension and chassis rigidity. That would really complete my dream for the ultimate touge build.

  3. Dankan says:

    An Autozam AZ-1 with a CBR1000RR motor and the biggest brakes I can stuff inside the wheel wells.

  4. Angelo says:

    I’m gonna go with the usual… A hachi-roku( either models ), with the panda scheme, the heart of a AE111 corolla, 15-inch watanabes, and modded suspension work

  5. mikeyee says:

    Hiro Hatada’s ae86 comes to mind with building my corolla to mountain-spec.


    Im getting pretty close. Instead of a high sprung stroked out 4age, I opted for a poorman’s stroker with a 7AG with highcomp ae92 pistons mated to an ae92 smallport head. Suspension for the meantime are HTS shocks on budounoki coil overs. But I may change to something more suitable to the rougher roads up here in northern CA. Then I have a cage Im throwing in, and going to keep my interior complete (It no longer counts as a street car when it’s stripped!). Drivetrain is T50 with shimmed oe LSD. We’ll see how it does this summer!

  6. Mike McCarthy says:

    NA Miata- rollbar, strut tower brace, seatbelt tower brace, stock 1.6, megasquirt ecu, ITBs, Watanabes, ebay coil overs, flyin miata front and rear sway bars & a few JNC decals stuck on it 😉

    I’ve already got the miata and the decals….just need the rest of the stuff 😛

  7. Tom Westmacott says:

    On the touge, a lot of the time the speeds are quite low due to the tight corners. So you need a car with good low-speed acceleration, and good torque to fill the gap between 2nd and 3rd gears. How about a forced-induction mid-engined car which had the quickest 0-30mph time in the world when it came out in 1987 – no, not the Ferrari F40, but the much more desirable supercharged AW11 Toyota MR2.

    Mine would have an open intake and exhaust, and a T-bar roof so that I can vividly hear the 4AGE howling off the rock faces, cutting through the humidity of those hot Japanese summer nights. Dark metallic Blue Mica with gold 15″ Enkeis would look good and, after dark, minimize the chance of the police getting an accurate fix of my car’s colour. Yes, I think the compact, mid-engined AW11 would be an ideal mix of fun and speed for the touge.

  8. Mike Anderson says:

    Datsun Fairlady roadster with SR20VE swap, ITBs, big brakes, decent exhaust..

    9000rpm, 213whp, super light, and sounds amazing.

    I already built it, so I guess if I am dreaming, I would add IRS to the back..

  9. OptionXIII says:

    I’d start with a 1.6 NA Miata chassis, beef it way up with stitch welding, braces, a roll bar, door bars, NB subframes and such. 6UL wheels and XIDA suspension for maximum stick. A killer light setup for great visibility at night. Top it all off with a bit of vintage accents and some nice seats, and you’ve got a great touge machine.

    My bit of trickiness would be the engine. MotoIQ has a Hayabusa engine swap going, and they’re talking of selling it. 11,000 RPM would sound wicked off of canyon walls and take a good 100 lbs off the front end. Pushing that through one of the best shifting transmissions of all time in one of the best handling cars… well, who can argue with that?

    Not convinced? Just listen to this:

  10. DanM says:

    A CJ5 with Four Wheel Drive and Smokey on my tail.

  11. Andrij says:

    TE 27 Levin – hands down. Stock standard to cruise those wonderful roads.

    If it comes to a modified road car, what else, but a TE 27 Levin of course, with upgraded brakes and suspension, slightly wider exhaust system, Watanabes all round and a modified 2TG with twin carbs.

    No radio, as those 4 throats inhale some beautiful mountain air. Music to my ears.

  12. Nihonnotekko says:

    My dream touge build would be a 4 port 13B swapped series 1 RX-7. Lowed just a tad on the stock 4 spoke alloys with some mild engine work to bump the power a few ponies and it would be bliss. I imagine running through corners with the windows down and the moonroof perked wide open. The fresh perfume of mountain greenery flows though the car. I pop the shifter into a lower gear and a symphony of carbureted gurgles, crackling exhaust, and the distinct scream of the 1.3L rotary engine pierces and swells through the air as the tach needle sweeps up and down all 8000 RPMs. I know it’s not the greatest car in the world, but a grin can’t help but affix itself on my face for the entirety of the drive because for me, sitting in that drivers seat, nothing else could beat the feeling.

  13. Ken says:

    I’d take a Nissan Fairlady 240Z, turbo KA24 swapped. It’s all I want for the touge, and enough torque IMO for corner-to-corner acceleration.

  14. Kane says:

    This answers would have worked for last weeks question and now i wished i had used it.

    One of my dream builds that would work awsome for touge is, a FD rx7 with a 2JZ under the hood 😀 pluds old school jdm alloys with good tyres and a few more tasteful mods (Both performance and cosmetic).

    It dident take me long to choose this answer becouse me and my mates have talked about this dream build many of times haha.

  15. rockabillydude says:

    C130 laurel 😀
    (yup that is my universal answer)

    however i`d go a bit crazy this time!

    – alfa romeo 75 v6 and transaxle gearbox (who needs reliability or fire safety)
    – flares and subtle wings front and rear like the kenmeri gt-r (painted flat black)
    – yanking out about everything that dont make me go faster
    – deep dish ronal alfa romeo rims to hint at what engine i pack
    – a high gloss olive green paint job showing a few scratches from where my driving fell short 😉
    -most essentially ofcourse would be the plush monkey hanging from the bright yellow rollcage!

    now if only i had a pile of cash somewhere….

    • Serg says:

      Yeah dad has a GTV6 and a 75 – he had another 75 once before. It burnt down.

      Just make sure none of the fuel system or ignition are AR and you’ll be right….

  16. Serg says:

    Horsepower sells cars, torque wins races. On a mountain, uphill in corners, then downhill into more corners, you do not want an engine that does nothing below 5k – I mean I love my SR but I’m not deluded, the thing lacks balls down low. What are you going to do, drive around on the limiter or waste precious seconds changing gears? No, you want this – http://www.bulletcars.com/cars/

    Toyota 1UZ (or LS engine if you’re lazy/cheap) in an MX5. Plus bracing. Lots and lots of chassis bracing.

  17. Nathan says:

    A Toyota SW20 much in line with what Prime MR2 offers: rev. 4 3S-GTE, custom downpipe, Berk exhaust, a conservative tune to minimize turbo lag, a sport suspension or coilovers, meaty aftermarket brakes, and the MR2 Turbo’s e153 transmission. The mid-engine handling is wonderful, and while perhaps not quite as nimble as an AW11 or W30, the whooshing sounds of the turbo are just too cool and make one feel like an IMSA racer in the ’80s or early ’90s.

    An SW20 with a Frankenstein Motorworks’ 2GR-FE V6 swap and a properly sorted suspension and brake setup would also work wonderfully. Want an even hairier beast? Build the engine just a little and throw in forced induction.

  18. Yoda says:

    Fiesta ST, stock, standard non-Recaro seats and sunroof.

    Because Japan doesn’t build anything like that anymore, and the weather looks iffy in the lead pic.

    Also that cracked pavement looks like a USDM road but the left-side signage infers otherwise. UK/Ireland?

  19. Tyler says:

    I would say my 1984 rx7 gs, peripheral ported na 12a, lsd, huge IMSA wing, fender flares, mild boso exhaust, 14 inch starsharks with the thickest tires I can fit in the wheel well, but that is just a plan.

    My true dream would be a Cosmo with a conservatively ported 13b with some tiny twin turbos that hit max boost below 5k to ensure that seat grabbing acceleration at a low rpm. It would have a fully built suspension, but none of that Japanese-American conversion, parts from later 7’s and anything custom I can make. It would look completely stock on the outside though. It would rip through the mountain pass fluently without hesitation and that 13b would buzz so greatly you would think killer bees where chasing you. People would think you came straight out of a museum when they first see it, but be happily supprised by the mind bending handling and acceleration when they take a ride.

  20. Mick Beattie says:

    I’d take a Datsun 1200 coupe and wedge in an SR20DET. Keep it simple inside with some Bride buckets. But where I would go off the Aussie bogan beaten path, would be to have some negative offset 14″ Watanabes tucked under some nicely pumped fenders, as opposed to the 18″ chrome crap most prefer down here.

    Light and nimble with more than enough power to make things exciting.

    • Kuroneko says:

      > as opposed to the 18″ chrome crap most prefer down here.

      Ha! They’ll take your passport off you if you’re not careful! What’s next? Drinking Super Dry instead of Fosters?

  21. Will B. says:

    my dream build for a touge? Well, i have a soft spot for J-Tin, but not the standard kind: my pick would be a 1985 Celica GTS with a turbo 22re swapped in from the 86 4runner. With a little suspension work and that factory IRS, the handling would be supurb and the Cressida brake upgrade to stop the weight. With that 22re Grunt for torque that just pulls in the entire band, added to the turbo kick at 3700 RPM, it would pull out of every corner better than the 4age, at least in lower revs, and thats what you need to pull up the mountains of a touge.

  22. Justin says:

    I’d love to build a charcoal grey 510 coupe with a vg33et, adjustable rear end, z32 brakes, lowered on shakotans.

  23. hachibrokeyou says:

    My dream build would be a kp61 starlet with a 250hp 2-stroke yamaha v6 outboard motor mated to a w58 with a supra rear end. I’ve heard that ready to go with manifolds those motors weigh less than a 4age and plus it would sound like the biggest, most pissed off chainsaw in the country was tearing through the mountains.

  24. Moody says:

    One of my overall dream builds I normally have mountain roads in mind when day dreaming on where i’d drive it:

    – 240 Fairlady Z with G Nose in off white
    – Complete OS Giken TC-24 (we’re dreaming right?)
    – 15″ Gunmetal Mug Watanabes
    – Small over fenders
    – Front Fender Mirrors
    – Z432 Ducktail
    – Half Cage
    – Bride Brix seats
    – Nardi Woodgrain Steering Wheel
    – Ohlins DFV Coilovers
    – Rear disc conversion and full Wilwood 6/4pot setup

    Brb praying to Gaben.

  25. STAYlow says:

    Not a single FF car. For me it’d be an EF hatch, B16A2 lsd with ITBs, gutted, CTR seats, low on Enkies 4 spoke classic wheels, Azzena R tires and no body treatments just all Honda. This will be the next Honda I build. Saw so many clean examples out west it just made me want one that much more.

  26. Russ. says:

    I feel I must comment because I built it.

    My Touge Monster was born on the touge when i was living in Japan.


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