Event>> Motorsport Japan 2010 – Replicars

This year's running of Motorsport Japan featured something rather interesting. On the Saturday there was a display of around 15 rally cars and, somewhat oddly, a brace of four Skyline R32s (though there's an obvious thread, they're all Group A machines). The thing that makes these cars so interesting is the incredibly well executed attention to detail. This is typical of Japan.

A good example is this Mitsubishi Evo mimicking Tommi Makinen's car from the 1999 season (where the Finn scored his fourth title on the trot). Take a look at the scrutineering sticker in the upper left hand corner, it's spot on. The level of detail on these cars is just insane!

Here's an excellent example of the late, great Colin McRae's Subaru Legacy from the Manx Rally (part of the British Rally Championship). I'm guessing this must have been 1991.

A close-up of one of the three Hasemi Motor Sport Skyline R32 tributes.  

Unbelievably rare in Japan, I'd imagine this might be the only Ford Sierra Sapphire in the country. It is of course, a replica of Francois Delecour's Group A car from 1991. This is a later version of the car that replaced the RS200 in world championship rallying after Group B was outlawed. The Sapphire never won a world championship event and was pretty quickly succeeded by the Escort RS Cosworth in 1993, a car that chalked up a good number of wins before its successor, the ultra-successful Focus came on the scene in 1999…   

The styling of the Sapphire is a vast improvement over early Sierras, and the front grille on this particular model (earlier image) shows where its successor's styling came from. 

This is about the weakest example of a replicar among the bunch, drastically incorrect wheels taking away from an otherwise perfect cosmetic job. That GT-style rear wing doesn't help either.

The detailing was so good that there were actually examples of the same car from different seasons – proving there are a lot of die-hard Tommi Makinen (and Evo) fans in Japan.  

 Isn't this the 1998 Evo 4 that had the Shell livery only for the 1000 Lakes? Again, another Makinen mount. 

 Evo 3 – surely one of the best car designs I've ever seen. Absolutely love 'em.

There were also a few non-Japanese machines, mostly Peugeots (apart from that Sapphire). This looks to be a Rally Finland copy – I forget who the competitors were – but it was an all-Italian crew.  

Here's another Grifone (Peugeot 'base team' from Italy) copy – and it's of Valentino Rossi's 206 the first time he competed on the Network Q Rally (Wales Rally GB).

Off in the distance I see a Group A R32….looking forward to checking that out in more detail.

This Impreza mimics an Arai Motorsport example that competed on Rally Japan.

Another view of that very impressive Evo 4 from the 1000 Lakes. 

 Here's a perfect Evo 3 example from the Rally De Espana.

And a flashback to someone who holds the accolade as the only entrant to win a World Rally Championship event for Spanish make SEAT, Toni Gardemeister.  That win came on the 1999 WRC Monte Carlo Rally in an Ibiza kit car. 

Here's another Evo 4, this one all decked out with lightpod for nighttime stages – remember those? 

Ahhh yes, what collection of rallying machines would be complete without a Celica GT-Four WRC ST205, and particularly, a Didier Auriol-piloted example? Ironically, this one mimics his 1995 Rally de Espana machine, the only WRC event from which he was ever disqualified.

This was the only 'classic' rally car in the bunch, a Datsun 240Z, the car that saw such success on the Safari Rally in the early seventies. Interestingly, it had a 23e Monte Carlo Historique plaque on the bonnet (which was run in May this year). Wonder if that was authentic and the car actually contested the event.

And over to the JTC Group A touring cars from the early nineties.  

There's something about those two pairs of round rear lights that I just can't get enough of.  And of course the fact that these machines (the real ones), whilst looking almost identical to their road car cousins, were potent racing beasts.  

Here's a perfect rendition of the Hasemi Motor Sport GT-R from 1991. Interestingly, this one is a re-make of the car that contested the Macau Grand Prix support race that year. 

 This is a well-executed replica of the 1993 FET Sports GT-R that raced in Group A's Division 1. Though the real car had gold BBS rims if memory serves…

This is a copy of the Hasemi Motor Sport-run UNISIA JECS GT-R from the same season. Wheels are incorrect as real car's were black. 

Despite the minor inconsistencies, they all look great.

A shot from the rear of that 1991 Hasemi Motor Sport car of racing icon Masahiro Hasemi.

 Apart from the colour of the wheels, this is perfect.

How's this for getting the details freakishly right? It's a replica participant sticker from the 1993 granddaddy of Group A meets, the late-season Inter Tec event at Fuji Speedway.

I just can't get enough of the rear of these BNR 32s… 

For that matter, I feel the same way about the front of these cars too.  

I'll end this post with one of the less famous liveries from that era, the Kyoseki machine of Toshio Suzuki and Akira Iida. 

In conclusion, I'd have to say the enthusiasts who 'build' these cars are obviously fanatical, and cost doesn't seem to be an obstacle. I don't think I've come across the same type of thing in any other country – can anybody enlighten me? Is this popular in your part of the world, or is it a uniquely Japanese thing?

 – Len Clarke 



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

i really dig this post!!!! reblog.


to a lesser degree there are quite a few bathurst replicars in australia. especially of the brock commodores and falcons. with one or two r32's thrown in. but not this extent that i know of


Rad. I'm feelin this.


Legendary raritets =)


PIC 10 isn't evo 3...but evo 2...noted the no side skirt.....


In Germany sadly a lot of cars where "tuned" by bloody idiots, but we got still a very rare group of people, who rebuild cars from Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW which take part in the German Touring Car Masters.


when japan gt is held in Malaysia, there is a competition for japan gt look alike car..


Living here in Singapore one will often see 206s and WRXs with decals mimicing the WRC versions but the logos will often be set in the wrong fonts and they'll customize the name labels to their own (Which is odd when it's being driven by a mid-40s chubby accountant and or his wife). Here it's more about trying to make the owner look cooler rather than it genuinely paying homage by trying to make a replica.


Pic 10 isn't an Evo 3, unless someone, for some weird reason, has changed the body kit to that of an Evo 1-2.

I doubt it!


dang do u know where i can get hi res pics of those evos? i use them as screensavers!! i have an all evo folder of screensavers for my mac. would love to have those pics!


Wonderful cars!!!!!!


im enjoying the extensive coverage of the GTR

i think there should be a month dedicated to the beast


You wouldn't believe how many wankers put WRC-like graphics on their normal Imprezas in the UK. Wrong colour graphics, wrong colour car, both, etc etc. It's ridiculous.


Great write up, although I've got to disagree with the statement 'The styling of the Sapphire is a vast improvement over early Sierras' - I'd take an RS500 over a Saphire any day of the week.


theres got to be more replicas like the silvias and corollas back in the day!! :)


The 206 is a Belgan car as it has the 'Radio Contact' stickering on it .

It used to be a regional radio station in my neighbourhood


The Peugeot 206 (photo 11) features the livery from Kronos Racing (Belgian team). Bruno Thiry drove it in 2002 and 2003. Funny that the car on the photo has a Grifone(Italian team) sticker and Radio Contact advertising (wich is a Belgian local radio station). The driver and co-driver are italian so I don't think it's completely correct :-)


over here in america, we have... fast a nd furious remakes. mostly remakes from cinematic cars. starsky and hutch, scooby doo van, bullit mustang, knight rider trans am, so on and so forth


Those 32s are so nice.


Now this is my kind of car show/...


Len, this is Japan at its finest and I'm glad you were there - I missed an EPIC weekend for some reason...

I heard once that when the Japanese devote themselves to the perfection of something, the results are simply extraordinary.

By the way, That S30 didn't look to be the oldest car in the group - is that a Nissan Laurel I spotted in the background of the close up shot of the yellow Makinen Evo 4?


I'll make mine the Aghini Catalunya Charismo Evo III.

I loved the Yellow Ralliart livery they had.

I ended up buying a WRX impreza but it never had the presence of the evo.

1995 was THE year!




Wow, what an awesome post. I'm a amazed at how you know about all these cars, Mr. Len Clarke. You as a car geek is an understatement. It's good that you covered this event for this year!


Amazing level of detail poured into these machines. Makes a refreshing change from the poor replicas we see in this country.


Reminds me of my early Gran Turismo days...


great article, amazing display of cars!!!

more pics please


evo 2 - rear spoiler with lifted lip. no side or rear skirts.

also i think that's an evo 6 with the rally lights?


wow i remember playing with these cars on grand turismo 1 and 2


To add on to Fe3LGuD's list, the General Lee, Bandit's Trans Am, Blues Bros cruiser, DeLorean time machine, etc. etc.


some good efforts here.. money well spent!!


Moar of that great Celica ST205 Please !


this post brought me back to my rally obesssion days


i was wondering if this is anything related to building model cars, but then graduating to the modeling in 1:1 scale.


Second yellow (Winfield) Evo is an Evo V, not IV, otherwise, fantastic post!


good looking replicas car.. I have one too .. a EVO3 Tommi makkinen from monti carlo rally .. :)


@Adam Zillin

That looks like an early '80s (1982?) Nissan Violet.


second yellow is a 6 mate, i can put money on it. look at the splitter.


Ah, the Legacy is close but no cigar! The Rothmans logo should be a few more inches to the left. The tip of the "S" is a bit too cut-off.


good write-up. love the history included with the captions.


Hey- speedhunters should do a feature on L'aunsport in Chiba! Anyone feelin this style should get over there (or at least over to launsport.com)!


this is an event held every year lots of classic cars and replicas