Japanese Nostalgic Car events cover


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TORC All Toyotafest
Long Beach, California


T he thirteenth annual All-Toyotafest, presented by the Toyota Owner's and Restorer's Club, has come and gone, and it was a doozie. The move away from the Queen Mary meant that gone were the lush lawns of the Long Beach waterfront, but the new location at Veterans Stadium was a huge improvment in acreage. That means approximately 450 old and new school Toyotas on display for our - and subesequently your - viewing pleasure.

2008 marked the 40th American anniversary of the the Toyota Corolla, which first came ashore in 1968. Devotees of the world's best selling car of all time came out in full force, ranging from bone stock KE10s to modded TE27s to super-souped up AE86s, set up for drag or drift. Just about every single one of the ten generations of the evergreen compact was represented. Defying imagination, there was even an unmodified AE86, albeit an SR5, present. And we have to admit, that even though we're biased in favor of the rear-wheel-drive Corollas the E97 wagon was pretty darned nifty.

For rarity, it was hard to top not one but two sickeningly original T90 Corona Hardtops, a rare mustard yellow Corona Mark II Wagon, a pair of blue Carinas (long lost brother of the Celica) and a BJ70 Land Cruiser from Iceland. Never-before seen models like this Toyota Century suddenly materialized to the surprise of even the most of the long-time 'Yota-heads. There were plenty of gorgeous Lexus sedans nearby with wheels that each cost more than our Cressida wagon, but the Century was the original VIP gangsta.

When Toyotafest first expanded to include newer cars some of the die-hard old schoolers disapproved. But we love shows like this. It lets the Lexus and Scion owners walk amongst Coronas, Celicas and Starlets to understand the ancestry of their newfangled machines. As proof of this, a 1958 Toyopet fully restored by owner Jean-Louis "Frenchy" Dehoux, one of less than 2000 of the first car Toyota sold in the US, won Best in Show. "With all the other just amazing cars out there, when they announced mine for Best in Show, I felt tears coming up," said Mr. Dehoux. We're with ya, Frenchy, and congrats. You deserve it! END

For coverage of All Toyotafest 2007, click here.
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