Throwback: All Toyotafest 2014
2024 Intro

In just over a week’s time, the Toyota Owner’s and Restorer’s Club – TORC for short – will return to Long Beach, California for the 28th running of All Toyotafest.

Since 1995, this event has been bringing together a diverse group of Toyota enthusiasts with just as much variety in their Toyota models. The 2024 show will be no different, and it’s always exciting to see what turns up. Today, we’re winding back the clock 10 years for a throwback look at All Toyotafest 2014.

2014 Feature

Toyota and Southern California have been linked since the brand’s very first days in the USA in the late 1950s. The first Toyota dealership in America was located in Hollywood and after that would come the company’s massive American headquarters in the city of Torrance.

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For decades Toyota’s operations have been a major player in the Southern California car industry. But that’s all about to change. Last week, the company announced plans to move much of its US operations to Texas to take advantage of that state’s business-friendly policies.

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While the move to Texas makes compete sense from a business standpoint, Toyota’s large presence in Southern California will be sorely missed. For decades LA has been an epicenter of Toyota enthusiasts – and nowhere is that more evident than at Toyotafest in Long Beach.

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It just so happens that Toyotafest 2014 was held just days after Toyota announced the move to Texas, and there certainly seemed to be a strange aura around this year’s show. But at the same time, it was also comforting. Because while Toyota’s corporate operations might be packing up and heading off for greener pastures, the passion for the brand in SoCal shows no signs of fading.

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In typical LA fashion, the weather for this year’s event couldn’t have been better. If anything, it was actually a little on the hot side with a mid-summer feeling despite the fact that we are just a couple days into May. Sunshine and Toyota: two Southern California institutions.

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I consider Toyotafest one of the most enjoyable events on the yearly calendar, and regardless of the fact that it’s limited only to Toyota, Lexus and Scion-branded vehicles – it has one of the most diverse lineups of any car show I’ve been to.

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Spread among the grass near the world famous Queen Mary, you’ll find everything from lifted Land Cruisers and slammed Scions to immaculately restored Celicas. Enthusiasts of all types have been gathering in the SoCal sun for 19 years now to celebrate their love of Toyota.

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While I’ve covered Toyotafest several times, it seems that every year there’s a bunch of cool cars that I’ve never seen before. Sure, there are plenty of familiar ones, but it’s always impressive to see just how many Toyota maniacs come out of the woodwork for this event.

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This is heavy. What you are looking at is a perfect replica of the Toyota Hilux pickup that Marty McFly drove in the movie Back to the Future.

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While this isn’t the exact truck used in the movie, it looks exactly like it, with all the correct details accounted for.

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For starters you’ve got the correct wheels and tires and the KC lights sitting up top. The push bar on the front is also completely authentic to the one in the movie.

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Although Marty’s 4×4 might not be considered one of Hollywood’s most iconic movie cars, there wasn’t a single person who didn’t recognize exactly what this was. I’d say it’s just as cool as the DeLorean BTTF replicas out there.

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Along with rows of Celicas, Corollas and other more popular Toyota models, Toyotafest also includes a lot of the more obscure Toyota models, many of which have disappeared from California roads. This 1975 Corona Coupe is very much one of those cars.

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I was initially drawn to this car based on rarity, but as I got closer I became even more impressed with what I saw.

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The exterior was perfect, and almost completely original. The only real change is under the fenders, where a set of Panasports with nice meaty tires now live.

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But it really gets good under the hood. Not only does it have a twin cam 18R-G swap, there’s an old school HKS turbo kit added to it.

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I’ve been able to attend a lot of classic car meets in Japan and even over there I’ve never seen anything like this. Such is the rare treasure you find at Toyotafest.

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For being a great looking, lightweight, turbocharged mid-engine sports car you’d think the SW20 MR2 would be more popular than it is. It does appear as though more and more modified SW20s are starting to pop up at events like Toyotafest.

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This one was quite aggressive with a matte orange finish, crazy wheels and some wide body work.

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Some would say that the whole bolt-on over fender thing is getting overdone, but I think the raw look suits the MR2 well.

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It also helps that this car is wearing a particularly badass set of 18-inch Work Equips with enormous lips and flat white centers.

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It also looks like there’s plenty of bite to back up the bark, thanks to the large Precision Turbo turbocharger outfitted to the car’s stroked 3S-GTE.

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The Toyota Prius is a car that gets a lot of hate from red-blooded car enthusiasts, but personally I’ve got nothing against the wedge-shaped hybrid. In fact, I like any car that’s built to do a specific task and do it well – and the Prius certainly does that.

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I also think the Prius can make a pretty cool looking cruiser, and the builder of this example took things to a new level with a full-on luxury VIP theme.

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As you can see, it sports a rather dramatic exterior makeover with an Aimgain Lexus-style aero kit and some cool one-off wide body work.

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Further adding to the VIP look are a set of large diameter Avant Garde wheels tucked under the hybrid’s custom fenders.

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Let’s not forget the interior which has been totally refinished in red leather with all the bippu toys. If you are going for a comfortable and cool looking cruiser, why not get 50mpg while doing it?

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Next up we take a trip straight back to the 1980s with this badass second generation Supra. This is throwback tuning style at its best.

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The angular body is wearing an old school Erebuni kit, with the white paint set off by some subtle ‘Celica XX’ insignia down the sides.

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The wheels are 16-inch Epsilon mesh and they further complete the retro street tuner look.

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Inside we’ve got a mildly upgraded interior, set off by a pair of vintage Recaro buckets for both the driver and passenger. Don’t forget the Recaro upholstery on the door panels either.

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The only modern touch I could find is in the engine bay, where a 1JZ turbo swap has replaced the Supra’s original 5M motor.

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Next is one of my favorite cars of the show – and also one of the most unusual. It’s a 1989 Camry and not only is it extremely clean, it’s one of the coolest sleepers I’ve seen in a while.

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If you do see a Camry of this vintage on the road today, chances are it’s going to be beaten beyond return. Not so in this case. This one is in fantastic condition.

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Not only that, but this is an All-Trac model, meaning it came equipped with the AWD system similar to the one used on the Celica.

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But the owner of this one has got once step further and installed a complete 3S-GTE engine and drivetrain from a 1995 Celica GT-Four.

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Yes, it’s basically a GT-Four in a four-door Camry wrapper, and that makes it completely awesome.

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For several years you could say that Toyotafest didn’t offer much by way of modern cars to be excited about. But now that the Scion FR-S has been around for a bit, the contemporary side of the Toyota community is alive and well. Who cares if the engines say ‘Subaru’ on them?

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Needless to say, the variety of modified 86s that came out got me once again wishing I had one of my own.

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Even with the popularity of the FR-S you still only see them on the roads occasionally, so it was cool to see so many in one place and all showing different degrees of modification.

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As with last year, one of my favorite cars of the FR-S bunch was this vintage-inspired example with Hayashi Street wheels and other cool details.

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How about a Prius with the same retro-flavored Hayashi wheels? I totally dig this.

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Here’s a Lexus SC – a car that many of us consider modern, but is quickly moving towards classic – or at least, neo-classic territory. Despite its age, the big coupe is still a looker, especially when dropped on a set of Work VS-KF wheels.

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And here’s the predecessor to the Lexus SC – the Z20 chassis Toyota Soarer. These were never sold in the US, but every once in a while you’ll see a rare JDM import on the highways of LA.

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The first generation Lexus GS is another car that still looks great despite its age. I’m sure you’ll agree that it looks even better in full Junction Produce mode.

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No cracked leather here or sun-baked surfaces here. The cabin on this GS looks as good as it did the day it rolled of the Lexus production line.

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It’s always nice to see a strong showing of MR2s at Toyotafest, and this year’s group included this tasty SW20 with candy red RAYS Volk Racing TE37s and plenty of go-fast goods. Talk about a great, if slightly underrated car.

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A 2001 Camry is a car that’s usually reserved for grocery store and college parking lots rather than car shows, but this one is pretty damn cool.

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Because along with  some suspension work and a set of J-Line wheels, the Camry’s 3MZ-FE V6 is wearing a TRD supercharger that takes it right into mega-sleeper territory.

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When it comes down to it though, the thing that makes Toyotafest truly special are the old cars. From restored ’60s and ’70s Corollas to the great angular Celicas and Supras of the ’80s, this year’s selection of vintage Toyotas did not disappoint.

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As far as these retro Toyotas go, it’s hard to get much better than a TE27 Corolla with a twin cam 2T-G under the hood and TRD TOSCO wheels at all four corners.

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For a while it seemed like few people wanted to play with A60 Celica notchbacks, but I was happy to see big group of them at Toyotafest this year, including this tough looking flared example. Nice touch with the stripes.

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Toyota Crowns are a few and far between in the US, and that’s why it was really cool to see this beautiful S60 wagon out there. I can’t wait for the day when I’ll be able to take my own S50 wagon out here…

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To me, the 70-series two-door coupe is one of the best looking Corollas ever made, and this 1982 example on factory Supra wheels was as clean as it gets. Big thumbs up.

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The first generation Supra never gets a lot of love, so it’s refreshing to see the guys from Japanese Nostalgic Car giving some love to the original.

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How about some love for the front-wheel drive Corolla? Here’s an AE92 sedan with a ton of JDM body parts thrown at it. Very unique.

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As much as we like modified cars, it’s also nice to see totally original examples of cool models – like this factory spec ST185 Celica All-Trac (aka Celica GT-Four).

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How’s this for something a little bit different? It’s an FJ75 Land Cruiser heavy-duty pickup that was originally used by the US Marine Corps during the first Gulf War.

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Finally, we have a fitting car to close out this post – a Celica liftback driven by Dan Gurney in one of the early Long Beach Pro Celebrity Races during the late 1970s. Few events better symbolize Toyota’s ties with Southern California than the annual race on the Long Beach shorefront.

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While Toyota’s large presence in SoCal will certainly be missed when the company moves to Texas, the memories and passion of local enthusiasts aren’t going anywhere.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia



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Nate’s father

Naaaaaaate…hey cupcake….sweetie pie….little bitch ass….


It's crazy to see how different of a time 2014 was especially for Toyotafest
I wonder what Toyotafest will be like for 2024 as we are in another peak era for Toyota