Entries in Toyota (9)


Brooklyn Celica

A surprisingly minty Celica on the steet in Park Slope.  Great period color.


Specimen in the wild: Prius Sanctimonius

This made my stomach turn during a recent trip to the Dia:Beacon.


Pete Brock's JP6 Prototype: Toyota's stillborn Le Mans project

Reading this month's Vintage Racecar Magazine, I came across a fantastic period photo of a gorgeous low-slung GT car prototype. Its designer was Pete Brock, who penned the Shelby Daytona Coupe and was the originator of the Corvette Sting Ray.  Brock and his buddies Bruce Burness and Trevor Harris got together to design this car from the ground up for Toyota at their shop in California. This followed on the heels of Brock's successful work for Japanese maker Hino, which was then acquired by Toyota. By this point, Brock enjoyed a good reputation in Japan, which must be how he was commissioned to create the JP6.

The JP6 was to be Toyota's 2-Liter entry for Le Mans, using the inline six from the 2000GT as its powerplant (with view towards an eventual V8) and a diminutive spaceframe structure for the chassis. Development started in 1966, but was scuppered due to lack of funding by '67, and Toyota had the prototype shipped back to them where it presumably was scrapped or used as a testbed for other more promising projects. The car never turned a wheel in anger, but it certainly looked state of the art for the time, and was achingly beautiful. I have no idea what happened to the prototype, but I would certainly love to see it come out of the shadows if it does still exist.

Image credits: Automobile Magzine, top. Other images from Shin Yoshikawa's book on the 2000GT.

More info in French at 2000gt.net


The Toyota GT 86/Subaru BRZ: The RWD coupe Alfa should be building

By now the hype regarding the new RWD bargain exotic co-developed between Toyota and Subaru is all over the internet. In particular, the most recent Chris Harris video (below) makes it clear that this car will really be something special for all those who love RWD sports cars with soul.

Watching Harris powerslide the GT 86 through the corners of Jarama grinning ear to ear, I couldn't help but ask myself why the hell Alfa isn't making a car like this anymore. Sure there is the 8C, but it's a limited edition toy for the few, not a volume fun machine for the many, as the GTV6 and Giulia Sprint/GTV were.  Instead, Alfa is planning the inexplicable mid-engined 4C to be their entry-level sports car. And I just have to ask why they can't just go back to a winning formula of making great-sounding, great handling RWD cars that look sensational, at prices that compete with Infiniti rather than Aston Martin.  As an Alfista, I feel this new Japanese offering is the closest thing to what an Alfa is supposed to be like, but it lacks two crucial components: The sound and the looks.  My quick 15 minute photoshop job up top is not meant as a suggestion of what the car should look like, (it's still pretty ugly) but rather how much I long to see the Alfa Grille on anything approaching an affordable front-engine, RWD sports coupe again. I do hope the production 4C will exceed my expectations, but until then, I will keep dreaming of the day when Alfa finally gets back to the cuore sportivo.


Tokyo Street Sightings and bonus Mystery Car!

Overall, I found Hong Kong to be more of a prime place to spot modern exotic cars, but the cars in Tokyo tended to be a lot more interesting. Here are just a few of the cars I managed to photograph during my stay.

Can anyone guess what this is?  I'm pretty sure it's American.