SEMA 2009: Toyota’s Old School Flavor

Yesterday we showed you some genuine nostalgics from Subaru and Honda. Toyota has been known to bring old school cars to SEMA in the past, but this year they cooked up a bunch of new cars with old school flavor.

This is what Toyota is calling the Hot Rod Tundra, an attempt to prove that a “work truck could be made into an American-styled hot rod.” Why you would want to prove this, no one knows.

The Tundra may include Bonneville Moon hubcaps, a fully tucked and rolled interior, and Cherry Bomb exhaust, but we thought the concept of a hot rod Toyota truck was better executed by the FJ40 Land Cruiser Low-Boy from 2006.

The Tundra did, however, have a bitchin’ custom-milled katakana Toyota logo about the size of a football lodged in its grille. Raise your hands if you think Toyota should go back to this logo on all their cars.

With a towing capacity of 10,400 pounds when equipped with a 5.7L V8, we always thought the Tundra would make a great rescue vehicle for craigslist finds.

American-styled hot rods are fine and dandy, but why not some Japanese-styled ones? Over at the Scion booth, 5 Axis Design did just that, with a massively bubble flared Scion xB, complete with gray-painted Mooneyes bullet fender mirrors.

According to 5 Axis head honcho Troy Sumitomo, the one-off 18×10 and 18×12 custom wheels were inspired by vintage Hoshinos and Work Equip 02s. We think they look killer without being a blatant copy and hope 5 Axis puts them into production. We’d love to see these on, say, a Z31 Nissan 300ZX.

The panel van design was appropriately retro, but it served another purpose: to hide the DJ booth that folds out of the back. Most attendees will focus on the wild Transformer aspect, but we went gaga over the nostalgic touches.

Mooneyes fender mirrors also found their way to Brandon Leung’s retro Scion xB pickup. Are fender mirrors the next big thing among Scionistas?

A matching Honda Ruckus by Bowls sat in the back, ready to be dispatched in an emergency like KITT in Knight Rider.

Now let’s take a journey to the opposite end of the Toyota spectrum. After nonstop drooling over Lexus LFA photos since the Tokyo Motor Show, we finally got to see it in person. And let us tell you, it is every bit as majestic in real life.

Looking sinister in matte black, the car eerily drew all spectators to it like the gravitational pull of a black hole. Lexus employed a full-time security guard to keep an eyeball on it all day.

Like the Toyota 2000GT, the LFA’s surface belied a blend of complex curves and creases that were only visible in certain lighting.

Dan got to lift the hood and reported that it he could have held it with his pinky fingernail. But if that fails, the hood prop is made of carbon fiber.

The monstrous hood covered the even more monstrous V10. It doesn’t look big, sitting far back behind the front wheels like that in a front midship layout, but that gives you an idea of just how large the car is.

Exotic materials swathed the interior. The top half of the steering wheel was composed of carbon fiber while the bottom half was aluminum. This was for a more sold on-center feel. The only person allowed to sit in it was the spokesmodel, whom I immediately proposed to (and was rejected by).

This was a pre-production model, and tape lines around the badges were still evident around the F badges. Was this a camouflaged test mule? Were carcasses of German mosquitoes still lodged in its massive, rear-mounted radiators?

Like the LFA itself, of which only 500 will be produced, Lexus was trying to keep even the LFA T-shirts exclusive, limited to something like 150.

Here’s a parting shot to haunt your dreams until tomorrow’s coverage. Sadly, Toyota announced on the same morning that the are quitting F1.

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16 Responses to SEMA 2009: Toyota’s Old School Flavor

  1. Bob says:

    Those wheels on that XB- Perfection. Wow.

  2. cesariojpn says:

    You didn’t get a picture of the booth model for the Lexus LF-A?!?!? The Hell?!?!

  3. Kev says:

    I need a cold shower after those LFA pictures.

  4. Slag says:

    I have cufflinks with that old Toyota (Toyopet) logo on! $NZ5 from the Salvation Army.

  5. banpei says:

    That Scion xB is still missing some touches: an oil cooler up front and some big long pipes coming out of the side of the car… 😉
    The wheels are a true piece of art! 😛

  6. E-AT_me says:

    i love me some Mooneyes. Heck, i’m wearing a mooneyes jacket right now. and besides the flames, that tundra would be one of my dream trucks. i love pick ups on Moon discs.. 🙂 toyota has definitely done it right.

  7. Nigel says:

    You guys always find the cool stuff !!!
    I raise my hand for the old Logo.

  8. Sr-FairladyZ says:

    “The car eerily drew all spectators to it like the gravitational pull of a black hole.” Haha!
    Hey, if 5 axis makes those wheels, I’ll gladly put them on me Z31! 🙂 That Scion is totally Boso, I love it! It reminds me of a certain Boso S30 I’ve seen on JNC before…

    Keep the awesome footage coming please!

  9. bert says:

    Someone needs to stuff that V10 in the Tundra and go out and smack some Dodges around!

    The LFA is an awesome car, especially in matte black, but I think the 2000gt pulled of the compound curves much better!

  10. Charliebucket says:

    I want the wheels of the XB. i hope they go production on those!

  11. james (yellow_sub) says:

    HA ae86 inspired my ass. my xb looked like that red one over 6 months ago. oh well i suppose i should be flattered by it.

  12. Ben says:

    James – I wouldn’t say this is AE86 inspired… more like other various old school styles.

    Your xB is awesome, btw!

  13. Sensei Oludo Sukulu says:

    Hey Yellow Sub, get off your soapbox and sit your butt down!

    You should be more than flattered, dude! There is a whole movement in Japan, which I’m sure you are aware of, that has been influenced by YOU too! What blows my mind is HOW did this happen when they are from the past….and you….are…..2009…..

    Hey, I got it….. IS THERE A FLUX CAPACITOR IN THE BACK OF THE SUB? You sneaky guy….. Doc your buddy too?!

    Get a grip son….Your car is cool (in it’s own way) and it’s an expression of YOU, that’s it! Nobody copied you, it’s more like you and Five Axis both were inspired from the same Japanese culture. Get over it already and quit sobbing/posting all over the net. Don’t be a Jack AsS!

    Class dismissed, you’ve been schooled! ;-P

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