Iconic TOM'S Castrol Toyota Supra racecar found abandoned in Japan

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Historic Japanese racing team rediscovers an icon, looks to crowdfund restoration

Japanese performance cars from the 90s are some of the hottest property around right now, bolstered a new generation of younger enthusiasts who are just entering the car collecting hobby.

The Mark IV generation of Toyota Supra, in particular, is one of the most sought-after Japanese modern classics; with its fervent popularity fuelled by Hollywood blockbusters and countless video games remembered by this generation.

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One of the most famous Toyota Supras was recently found abandoned in a warehouse in Japan’s Chugoku prefecture. Inside, sitting dormant for an unknown amount of time, sat the number 36 Toyota Supra JGTC racecar, campaigned by historic Toyota tuners TOM’S and sponsored by Castrol.

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TOM’S first entered the Castrol liveried Supra in the All Japan GT Cup Championship (JGTC) in 1995, competing in the GT1 class that year. After the GT1 class was renamed to GT500 in 1996, the number 36 Castrol Supra scored two outright wins in 1997 and its two drivers won the championship.

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The car is in dire need of restoration, still showing plenty signs of battle damage from the last time it was on track. The engine is missing (although TOM’S suggests that the original engine was found with the car), and many components suffer from rust and corrosion.

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Of course, most younger enthusiasts will remember this car instead from early editions of the Gran Turismo driving game; first appearing in Gran Turismo 3 where the car was available in arcade mode or for purchase in Career mode for a whopping one million credits.

TOM’S seeks to restore the historic racecar, but is asking your help to do it. The Japanese racing team have set up a crowdfunding initiative to raise money for its restoration.

Their goal is a ¥50 million – or a whopping AU$673,000 – and to have the car back on track by the end of 2021.

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Pledges start as low as ¥5,000 (AU$67) which will see your name engraved somewhere on the car, as well as a certificate sticker, and constant updates on how the restoration is progressing.

Incredibly, the maximum donation package blows out to ¥9.9 million – which is an eye-watering AU$135,000.

For the price of two (and some change, even) top-spec turbo MkIV Supras, your name will be immortalised on the engine ECU, and you’ll also receive a deluxe project book of the restoration as well as constant updates from the team. You will also get a season pass to the 2021 Super GT championship, a season pass to TOM’S own trackside hospice area, and a one-day rental pass to use on track behind the wheel of one of TOM’S own cars.

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Even with all the bonuses, that’s a heck of a lot of money to put towards someone else’s car.

We’d be more inclined to take that cash and purchase the best MkIV Supra we could find. The way things are going, they’ll likely be worth that much one day.

 

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