While PlayStation fans know why Toyota would throw red and green swirls on an 86, the significance of a 2000GT in Shelby-style dress requires knowledge more esoteric.
Six versions of Toyota's 86 will be sporting a unique livery at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year, each vinyl scheme throwing back to a particular car in Toyota’s motorsport history.
Toyota’s racing CV stacked with prestigious entries, so the reasons why these inspiring legends were chosen in particular are deserved of the following attention.
CASTROL Celica GT-Four ST205
With the Supra having competed in the Japanese GT Championship and the Celica in WRC, there’s an equal chance your first sight of a Castrol draped Toyota was either of these beasts. But at Goodwood Toyota's red and white 86 will nod to the third generation of the Celica which dominated the dirt. It took over duties from the championship wining ST185 in 1995.
ESSO ULTRON Tiger Supra JGTC
As one oil giant left Toyota's corner, another came aboard. While less intimidating on an 86, the Esso Ultron tiger livery was introduced to the JGTC Supra raced by Aussie Wayne Gardner and Hideki Noda in 1999, the same year Castrol’s partnership with Toyota came to a close. However the kitty’s scratch couldn’t match its stripes – the Ultron didn’t place as well as its Supra forebears that year.
YATABE Speed Trial 2000GT
Before companies turned the Nürburgring in to a farm for performance marketing, endurance and speed trials used to be trick. Toyota was no different, and it instructed Tosco (then TRD) to build a 2000GT for a 72 hour high speed test at Yatabe in 1966 to coincide with the car’s release. It averaged 207.2km/h over the 72 hours.
CARROLL SHELBY 2000GT
Toyota’s ambitions for its 2000GT were expanded to the pacific when it sent three examples to Carroll Shelby to compete in the Sport Car Association of America series. It wore blue and white paint, while weight-reducing modifications, low profile tyres, 60mm lower ride height, and a bored out inline-six meant it was heavily modified by the US legendary tuner. Two 2000GTs finished second and third in the 1968 SCCA championship behind Porsche.
Ove Andersson’s Celica 1600GT
Hoping to find its way in to the WRC in 1972, Toyota approached Ove Anderson, who was considering building rally cars in retirement, to run its campaign. To start the partnership, Ove was gifted a 99kW Celica 1600GT to use for the British WRC rally. The car was the only rally Toyota in history to not use white for its livery.
IMSA GTU CELICA
In order to inflate its presence in North America, Toyota established a TRD arm in the US and delivered it two Celicas specified to FIA GT regs for the 1981 International Motorsports Association championship. The Celica's wide body proportions and eye-catching strips were recognisable, but it didn’t find much success in its first season, as it finished seventh.