Cars of Bendix October: ToyotaFest 14
One of the best single manufacturer meet in Australia we had the pleasure of attending
ToyotaFest - It’s one of the biggest and best organized single make meets anywhere in Australia. Thanks to a passionate team of members and moderators from the massive Toymods forum, the annual Toyotafest has been going on strong for 14 years! The meet is so well known it attracts interstate visitors, car fans, as well as owners of rare Toyotas (yes, they exist!). Castle Hill Toyota played the gracious host this year, by opening their multilevel car parks for Toyota owners to show off their pride and joy.
Toyota Sports 800
If there was an archetype for a Japanese, affordable, rear wheel drive sports car, surely the Toyota Sports 800 must be it. It’s one of the first Japanese sports cars ever made, with Japanese characteristics that we take for granted today. The entire chassis, frame, even the seats were made from aluminium so it only weigh 580kg. To make full use of the flat two 800cc carburetted engine, Toyota’s designers refined the design for better aerodynamics, resulting in the classic, rounded, and instantly recognizable face of the 800. With only 3,131 units built, and an estimated 10% surviving, it’s highly unlikely for anyone to see it in the flesh. Lucky for us, Al’s fully restored Sports 800 graced Toyotafest with its presence, allowing many who has never seen one in real life get an up close and personal look. Al’s passion for all things Toyota led him to this rare find in Japan. The mint example here is one of two Sports 800 in Australia. As the owner of Al Palmer Repairs, he specializes in Toyotas and is well known for his collection of rare Toyotas. It’s the ancestor from the likes of 2000GT, Celica, 86 GT and the LFA came from.
Corolla Levin GT Apex 1984
It’s the car (or twin of the car) that launched a million dreaming drifters worldwide. Initial D popularized the hero’s car, the Toyota Corolla Trueno GT Apex so much so that what was to be relegated as another funky Toyota relic, is now in demand and hugely respected everywhere. Jesse’s own AE86 has a similar story; he loves drifting, and his Levin has modifications to get it sideways anywhere, anytime and in control. The instantly recognizable silhouette is enhanced with a Vertex bodykit, and sits on top of Work Equip 01s front and SSR Formula Mesh rear. Motive power is provided by a more modern silvertop 4AGE 20V. Rebuilt with forged bits for reliability, a Haltech Sprint 500 ECU coaxes max power to it. Between the rear wheels sits a TRD 2 way LSD with a 4.77 final drive, to make the full use of the high revving, naturally aspirated 20V. Finally, a Stewart Wilkins hydro hand brake allows Jesse to initiate gutter to gutter drifts with a simple yank of the level.
Toyota Supra JZA70
Daniel’s Toyota Supra JZA70 is packing a very big secret under that massive bonnet. Sporting the familiar ‘banana bunch’ intake manifold, the Holden 5L V8 lurking in the engine bay confused many people with the deceptive Toyota badged rocker cover. The strange plates begin to make sense now. Many assumed it’s the legendary 1UZ-FE V8 from Toyota’s luxury barges, but no, this is simply a rebuilt 308 ripped from a Holden Commodore. It’s sporting an STA supercharger as well, making some hefty power. Making sure the Holden heart work hand in hand with Toyota’s electronics is a Haltech ECU and dash cluster. The subtle body kit features a one off custom lip, GTR N1 vents on either side, and the whole body has been resprayed and rubbed back meticulously by its owner. And finally, it’s finished off with a set of 20in FR Simmons.
The Lexus ISF is Toyota’s take on the European Mercedes Benz C63 AMG, BMW M3, and Audi RS4 sedan beasts. The ISF is equipped with a 5L V8, that’s been touched by Yamaha to produce 311kW, all directed to the rear wheels. Aidan’s ISF is modified to be simple yet effective show stopper. The factory widened guards of the ISF are filled up with Rotiform KPS wheels, measuring 20 x 10.5in rear and 9.5in up front. Instead of opting for coilovers and have its cruising ability ruined, Aidan opted for the more expensive setup of airbag suspension. The ability to go as low as possible while raising itself up to avoid humps and driveways is immeasurable. It also warms Aidan’s heart when onlookers stop, stare and take pictures of the ISF parked and on its guts. The Joe Z carbon tipped exhausts help announce his arrival and departure, should you miss the sight of him rolling in decked on the floor.
This bright blood orange Corolla is a very well-known car in the Toyota and Australian automotive scene. Jason bought it as a rust bucket in 2001, and with a vision in his head, started working on it. Fast forward 10 years, and the KE30 was finally road ready. Trends may have come and gone then, but Jason’s creation is timeless with its outrageous attention to detail, ingenuity, and all round effort. All the rust has been fixed, then the engine bay, rain gutters, aerials, and moulds has been smoothed over for the orange glassy look. The venerable 4-AGE lives under the bonnet, and powers the rear wheels through a T50 gearbox and a Chrysler Lancer differential. Inside, the stock old seats were replaced with Ford Laser TX3 seats, and the interior was decked out in purple vinyl. Custom door trims, handmade billet dash, gear shifter and hand brake enhance the wow factor inside. Jason loves taking it out to shows, and has won over 70 trophies in total. He’s even done the threepeat at Toyotafest, winning the Car of Show award for 3 years, from 2011 to 2013!
Definitely one of the most unique cars at Toyotafest, Dave’s Crown oozes character and style. The 1970s NASCAR inspired paintwork, widened 15in steelies and period correct decals just stops everyone in their tracks. It has an interesting story too. Dave procured the Crown from a mate, who imported this from Papau New Guinea. The uncommon front end was never available here in Australia, and the A-pillar windows were also rare. The square, American muscle car design suits Dave’s NASCAR theme to a tee. The hand painted Crown logo and drawing sets it apart from all the clean, restored, or modified Toyotas. The super low, negative offset wheels are tucked right into the guards, for that awesome shakotan look. Inside it’s been left mostly stock, except for the colourful Mexican blanket covering the rear seats. The rear parcel shelf has also been re-trimmed, with old school, technicolour Star Wars comic covers. All in all, it’s a unique build that really speaks volumes about its owner!one of the most unique cars at Toyotafest, Dave’s Crown oozes character and style. The 1970s NASCAR inspired paintwork, widened 15in steelieCelica TA22
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and was this Celica. In fact, Adam has been working on his pride and joy TA22 for over 20 years! It has gone through many different setups, but it seems like the Celica is approaching its final form. The sleek, pony car has been transformed into a quarter mile smashing machine. A forged 20V 4AG-ZE with a Garrett GT3540 sends 350hp through a two speed, manualized and transbrake PowerGlide to the massive rear wheels. To get the power down to the ground, 17 x 12in wide FR Simmons sit in the tubbed rear end, which now consists of Strange rear coilovers, a VK Commodore BTR differential with 35 spline axles, and attachments for a parachute and wheelie mounts. Adam doesn’t hold back on safety, as its run down the 400m at Sydney Dragway netted a 10.9 second pass, with potential to go even faster. Adam already has a new engine lined up, but we’ll keep it under wraps as his Celica continues to evolve.
The new Toyota 86 GTS is really only a Toyota in spirit, as it is considered the successor to the much beloved Corolla Levin/Trueno AE86. Beautifully balanced, rear wheel drive, lightweight and with a 2L engine that loves revs, it is a worthy successor. However, it is also heralded as the next hero sports car for aftermarket parts. Nearly everything can be modified on the 86 GTS, and Kurt, the owner of this particular one, couldn’t resist. The now ubiquitous body lines have been upgraded with the more aggressive TRD kit. 18in lightweight Rays TE37SL wheels fill the arches, and its fantastic road holding ability upgraded with a Tein Flex Z kit. In the engine bay, a turbocharger kit from Tunehouse sits aft of the flat four, delivering 200rwKW with just 7 pounds of pressure. Bringing the boom in the rear is a full exhaust from Blitz, with massive quad tips filling up the rear bumper recesses. Kurt has taken the 86 to the track, and plans to go more often, while slowly upping the power even more.
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