Toyotafest 2012>><br/>yotas By The Sea

Let’s waste no time now jumping back into the massive celebration of all things Toyota held in Long Beach over the weekend. From sidedraft carbs to massive turbochargers and yes even hybrid powertrains – there is much more to share from Toyotafest 2012.

Ever since I attended the JCCA New Year Meeting in Japan earlier this year I’ve had a craving for fender flares and vintage wheels. Needless to say, I got my fix from Toyotafest.

In stock form the MX83 Cressida isn’t much, but when outfitted with a 1JZ swap and GX81 bumpers like this one it becomes America’s best substitute for the JZX cars we were so tragically denied.

This sweet little Corolla race car was built by Joey from a shop called Performance Options in Oakland. I had a chance to visit Performance Options recently so you can expect more on this coming soon.

There probably aren’t many people that would consider a ’93 Corolla sedan as a prime build platform, but this was actually one of my favorites for the whole event. For starters there’s the complete JDM Levin conversion on the exterior.

As well as a blacktop 20-valve swap with a turbocharger added for good measure. A high revving turbocharged four in a sedate looking early ’90s economy sedan? Awesome.

Perfectly matching the exterior of the car are a set of Tom’s aero style wheels.

While a manual might be the enthusiast’s choice, this car is actually equipped with an automatic trans. I wonder how well this works with the turbo 20-valve?

It’s hard to think that it’s been nearly 10 years since Toyota launched the Scion brand in the United States by importing the ist and the bB from Japan. From the get-go the Scion xB was marketed as a canvas for customization, and the idea still resonates today.

This particular xB was looking sharp on 15″ Equip 01s with a hearty amount of negative camber.

This black Lexus LS may have been the most impressive VIP car at the show. It’s not quite as extreme as the cars popping up in Japan these days, but it had some wild touches like the six tailpipes out back.

With all the great machinery around, I couldn’t resist aiming my lens for a bit of Wheelhunting. Whether it was the ballin’ Weds Mavericks on the aforementioned Lexus…

…or the timeless Tom’s wheels affixed to this TE27 Corolla.

I recently decided to part ways with my own AE86 and I was actually prepared for a bit of regret as I walked through the AE86 section at Toyotafest. Must find a replacement soon…

It’s unfortunate that by the time the stylish liftback version of the Celica went on sale in the United States those big 5MPH bumpers were mandated by the government.

Luckily JDM bumpers can be outfitted for a cleaner look that brings the car’s Mustang inspiration to life.

Another thing I miss about my AE86 – the note from that 4AGE…

It would be wrong to not have a Century at Toyotafest. While I’m sure that most people that come to Toyotafest or JCCS are familiar with the Century, I bet it gets some pretty strange reactions from the public on the streets of Southern California.

“Is that a Rolls Royce? A Lincoln? Oh, it’s a Toyota?”

The same could go for the Toyota Crown. You could throw some Mercury or Plymouth badges on one of these and 99% of the public would go right along with you.

The car that was generating the most amount of foot traffic at Toyotfest was the Five Axis-equipped FR-S. Yes, the excitement is back.

HPI Racing also had their new FR-S RC cars available. Is it too early to make a Christmas wishlist?

I always thought it would be funny to buy a Lexus LFA and replace the Lexus badges with Scion ones just to throw people off.

Mad Max Corolla brothers in the parking lot.

Mini trucks don’t get a whole lot of love on Speedhunters, but sometimes you gotta make exceptions.

Not only was this little truck hammered to the ground…

…it also had its utilitarian four cylinder replaced with a 1UZ V8. I approve.

Another LS, which is of course the natural habitat for the 1UZ.

Lloyd’s Sparkle Garage Cressida just keeps getting cooler and cooler – now sporting a full 1JZ swap.

With that I’ll wrap up the second volume of my visit to Toyotfest.

I’ll be back tomorrow to wrap things up with one more batch of coverage.

-Mike Garrett

Toyotafest Pt.1

More Stories by Mike Garrett



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

some pretty darn sick vintage toyotas right there!
and that 5-axis FRS....oooooo!


please tell someone has done up a celica supra... where have they gone
...mine blew up racing, but i did beat that mustang.


Stay tuned for a very cool one in the near future!


 @Mike Garrett Quality coverage Mike! Thank you!


 @Mike Garrett Quality coverage Mike! Thank you!


Some beautiful cars


I see my dad 83 toyota corolla in the back ground we will be at irwindale this thursday to run hopefully we will run deeper into the 5s in the 1/8 mile our best so far is a 5.71@124 and our friend karly picture in the 1st pic as well will be there with his 3tc turbo 73 corolla!!!!! great pics mike it would be awesome if you came down to irwindale to do some Much needed drag racing convrage help
here our some vids of my dads car Santos Renovales


Seems like the TRD Toyota Solara 5 spd 1MZ Supercharged vehicle never gets much attention. I think it's a great looking platform from the Camry family. Great photos BTW!


Mooooarrrrrrr minitruck coverage!!


Mike the bumpers you're referring to on the Celica were actually offered in the US market and are known as "smiley bumpers" amongst Celica enthusiasts. To the best of my knowledge they were only offered in the plain slim style on original 71 and '72 models, then the 73-74 models had two little bumper pads added and in '75 they changed the whole design to the thicker, undesirable bumper.


got the ae92 20v turbo front picture? posted were only interior n rear end


great work...! Mike


RE: ae92 20v turbo Automatic trans works great does not fall out of boost. Did not have enough time to install 6-speed before the show.Installing transmission as you read this.Hope to satisfy you enthusiast's.


 @1 OLDEVO leave as auto, full time swag!!


 @1 OLDEVO how many PSI does that factory airbox handle??


 @sean klingelhoefer
 the liftback celicas came with smiley bumpers in japan starting from 1973!! :) in the US market, the japanese cars had ugly big bumpers, like the celica liftback and 280z.


There are 84 celicas with 2jz swaps at Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS).


 @1 OLDEVO Very cool. I'm sure the 6-speed will be fun, though the auto was pretty unique.


 @sean klingelhoefer Yeah, I've seen plenty of Celica coupes with nice small bumpers but it's unfortunate the liftback wasn't brought to the US until monster bumpers were the norm. Also...smog laws for post '75 models in California :(


 @1 OLDEVO I notice the gauge cluster is from RHD car , LHD one should looks like this ,


 @Mike Garrett Ahh duh, I didn't realize what you were getting at, nor did I realize that the liftback didn't come over until '75.


Just a random question: you going to Nisei this year, Mike?


 @LouisYio Not quite sure yet. If not, I have a feeling someone else from SH will be there.


 @JesseGray Boosting around 6 to 8 PSI at the moment. Fabricating a different box to handle more boost.


 @evel That's what I said! I just work on the car and make suggestions. Owner wants 6 speed.


more pics of rt80/81 pls...


Wish there were more events in Florida...especially like this! And I love all the 1j swaps :)