To help celebrate five decades of race and rally cars, Toyota has recreated a handful of old-school liveries and classic styling cues in a series of six one-off GT86 coupes. 

The fleet of RWD sports cars will make their debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, an annual event held on the grounds of Goodwood House in West Sussex, England. There, they will participate in the festival’s Moving Motor Show on June 25th, where visitors will have the chance to drive each on a prescribed route around the Goodwood Estate, including the renowned 1.16-mile hill climb course. The GT-86s will most likely be in high demand, so get there early if you want a decent shot at the driver’s seat. Of course, if you miss the Toyotas, don’t fret – it’s expected that models from Ferrari, Porsche, and Aston Martin will also be made available. 

Afterward, the Toyotas will move to the Goodwood racing circuit where they will be put on static display in support of the popular Drift Experience. Launched in 2013, this low-grip driver’s education program utilizes the GT86’s universally acclaimed handling prowess to teach the basics of at-limit driving. 

Each of the GT-86 one-offs was giving the custom vinyl treatment courtesy of Motor Mode, a UK-based specialist in automotive wraps and decals. They faithfully reproduced the original liveries to match the lines and proportions of the more modern coupe. To complete the look, ride height was dropped by 40 mm (1.57 inches) using lowering springs. This appropriately brought the arches down to fit snugly against new wheels from Rota, which provided just the right set of retro-looking rollers to complement the new vinyl, individualized for each car. Finally, a new stainless steel exhaust from Milltek Sport adds the correct kind of aural presence, not to mention a healthy dose of power as verified by the trusty ole’ butt-dyno. 

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

The Event

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is the perfect place to unveil these six Toyota throwbacks. The event has been around since 1993 and features a bevy of motorsportbeauties, both new and old. The main draw is the hill climb, where fans get an up-close taste of some spectacular speed machines at full chat.

The main draw is the hill climb, where fans get an up-close taste of some spectacular speed machines at full chat.

The course is short, but features 92.7 meters (304 feet) of elevation change with an average gradient of 4.9 percent. The official fastest time is 41.6 seconds, with an average speed of 100.385 mph, as set by Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren MP4/13 Formula 1 car in 1999. In 2006, Heikki Kovalainen purportedly managed a sub-40 second run behind the wheel of a Renault R25 Formula 1 car, but the time was never made official.

In addition, there’s also a soapbox challenge (a downhill race featuring gravity-powered cars from the likes of Cosworth and Prodrive), a forest rally stage, a supercar run, and a concours-style auto show. Planes also get in on the action, with airshows featuring crowd pleasers like the RAF Tornado and Red Arrows aerobatic team.

Beyond the GT-86s, Toyota’s presence will be further strengthened by a speed run on the hill climb by Gazoo Racing’s World Endurance Championship-winning TS040 hybrid, piloted by Anthony Davidson and Mike Conway. After heading up the hill, the TS040 will then be put on display alongside the FT-1 concept and the newest edition Aygo. Meanwhile, the rally stage will see 30 years of WRC history, with runs made by the Celica TE27, RA40, ST205, ST185, and TA64 Group B car, not to mention the WRC Corolla and John Midgley’s AE86.

In short, there’s a lot of action at Goodwood, and it’s all incredibly accessible, which is perfect for something like the GT86, known for being an entry-level sports car with all the makings of a true enthusiast’s icon.

In short, there’s a lot of action at Goodwood, and it’s all incredibly accessible, which is perfect for something like the GT86, known for being an entry-level sports car with all the makings of a true enthusiast’s icon. To have the chance to drive one draped in historic livery surrounded by motoring passion that is infectious at an event like this will surely help push a few fence-riders towards a purchase.

Doubly so for the Drift Experience. The program features expert instruction to help participants learn what it takes to keep the GT-86 at full boil. After a briefing, the drivers undergo a variety car control exercises, such as straight-line threshold braking and obstacle-avoidance braking techniques. There’s also a “low-grip facility” with a “special custom-made slippery surface” where they will learn how to control under- and oversteer on an ice-like surface, turning with the throttle when pitched sideways.

Even at low speeds, it’s a fun and informative way to not only hone one’s personal skills, but also get a taste for the Toyota’s capabilities. The cost is £49 ($75) for a 30-minute session and £89 ($136) for an hour-long session. There are also more expensive packages available that include lunch and access to a nearby health club.

That’s not bad for pro instruction in someone else’s car! If Toyota wanted to use something like this to sell the GT-86 even more effectively, it might be smart to offer something like Shelby’s “Try Before You Buy” program, which gives prospective customers the chance to wring out a collection of fast machines from the famed tuner on a real race course, with the guidance of hired hot-shoes. If the participant decides to take the plunge and buy a Shelby, the instruction program fee is automatically applied to the purchase price.

The Liveries

Toyota Pays Tribute To Its Heritage With One-Off Classic Liveries For GT-86 High Resolution Exterior
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Toyota Pays Tribute To Its Heritage With One-Off Classic Liveries For GT-86 High Resolution Exterior
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Toyota Pays Tribute To Its Heritage With One-Off Classic Liveries For GT-86 High Resolution Exterior
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Speaking of Carroll Shelby, let’s talk about the liveries. First up is the white car with the blue hood, which was inspired by a set of old 2000GT racers created by the legendary American auto designer. Back in the late ’60s, Shelby was responsible for Toyota’s racing program in the U.S., entering several 2000GTs in the CP category of the SCCA production car series. Competing against established rivals from the U.S. and Europe, drivers Scooter Patrick and Dave Jordan managed to clinch several victories throughout the 1968 season.
Next is the Yatabe Speed Trial 2000GT livery, which uses a yellow body and green hood. This is homage to the 2000GT that set multiple world and international speed and endurance records in 1966, during a brutal 72-hour stint at the Yatabe High Speed Testing Course in Japan, effectively underscoring Toyota’s potential in the world of motorsport.

The red car with the black hood was inspired by Ove Andersson’s Celica 1600GT. Back in the early ’70s, Andersson’s first-gen Celica was entered into the Daily Mirror RAC Rally with official support from Toyota, earning a class win and a ninth-place finish overall. This car also helped motivate the founding of Toyota Team Europe, and eventually, Toyota Motorsport.

Toyota Pays Tribute To Its Heritage With One-Off Classic Liveries For GT-86 High Resolution Exterior
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If the white car with red, orange, and yellow stripes looks familiar, it might be because it’s the same livery used on the Speedhunters “Maximum Attack” FR-S that won the Scion Racing Tuner Challenge last year. The look originally springs from the IMSA GTU Celica run by Dan Gurney and the All-American Racing Team between 1983 and 1985, which was the first car to race in North America under the Toyota Racing Developments (TRD) flag.

Another popular color scheme can be found in the red and green Castrol livery from the Group A Celica GT-Four rally car. Originally debuting in the WRC in 1994, the Celica managed to accumulate seven podiums during the 1995 season, including outright victory for French driver Didier Auriol in the Tour de Corse.

Last but certainly not least, there’s the striking Esso Ultron Tiger livery, originally seen on the legendary Supra. Previously known as a mainstay of the highly competitive All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship, race versions of the Supra competed in the series between 1995 and 2006, managing to stay on track a full four years after production ended for the the road-going variant.

Toyota GT 86

2013 Toyota GT 86 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Known in the U.S. as the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, the GT-86 is a joint venture between the two Japanese automakers to create a front-engine, RWD sports car that offers aggressive styling and unflappable driving characteristics at an affordable price. The name harkens back to the iconic Corolla AE86, a car well-established as being both fun and accessible. Subaru provided its 2.0-liter flat-four engine, which produces 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, while Toyota handled pretty much everything else. The result is a driver-focused two-seater for about $25,000.

Read our full review here.

Press Release

Many of the qualities that make the GT86 an exceptional modern sports car are rooted in generations of classic performance Toyotas, from its great handling to its timeless, low-slung styling. In a tribute to some of the great race and rally cars of the past 50 years, a fleet of six GT86 has been transformed with faithfully recreated classic liveries and retro styling details.

Toyota Pays Tribute To Its Heritage With One-Off Classic Liveries For GT-86 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Each car is inspired by a different model. They include two sporting versions of Toyota’s original sports car, the 2000GT, and Ove Andersson’s 1970s Celica 1600GT rally car – the machine that helped inspire Toyota to launch a full international motorsports programme. The IMSA GTU Celica that raced in North America in the 1980s, the World Rally Championship Celica GT-Four and the Esso Ultron Tiger Supra from the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship are also celebrated.

Vehicle vinyl specialist Motor Mode has reproduced key elements from the original liveries in the right proportions for the GT86. New springs bring the cars’ ride height down by 40mm and Rota has provided new wheels in different finishes to capture the retro look. A new Milltek Sport stainless steel exhaust system provides the finishing visual and aural flourish.

The coupes – a strictly one-off collection – are making their debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Moving Motor Show on 25 June, where they will be available for public test drives on a course that includes Goodwood’s famous hillclimb. For the remainder of the festival they will be on static display at the Goodwood racing circuit, supporting the hugely popular GT86 Drift Experience.

Cars in detail

Toyota Pays Tribute To Its Heritage With One-Off Classic Liveries For GT-86 High Resolution Exterior
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Yatabe Speed Trial Toyota 2000GT (yellow with green bonnet): this 2000GT set multiple new world and international speed and endurance records during a 72-hour run at the Yatabe High Speed Testing Course in Japan in 1966. It demonstrated Toyota’s commitment to engineering a sports car with world class potential.

Shelby Toyota 2000GT (white with blue bonnet): racing legend Carroll Shelby masterminded Toyota’s racing programme for the 2000GT in the USA. The intention was to demonstrate the car’s potential when pitted on track against established American and European competition. Drivers Scooter Patrick and Dave Jordan duly claimed a number of victories during the 1968 season.

Ove Andersson’s Toyota Celica 1600GT (red with black bonnet): Andersson’s entry in world rallying with the first-generation Celica paved the way for the founding of Toyota Team Europe – and ultimately today’s Toyota Motorsport. The liveried GT86 celebrates the car he entered in the 1972 Daily Mirror RAC Rally, with official manufacturer support from Toyota. His class win and ninth place overall were an early sign of the great things the partnership would deliver.

IMSA GTU Toyota Celica (red with yellow stripes): Celica was the first Toyota to race in North America under the Toyota Racing Developments (TRD) banner, competing in the IMSA GT series. The IMSA GTU car prospered with Dan Gurney’s All-America Racing Team between 1983 and 1985.

Castrol Toyota Celica GT-Four (red and green Castrol livery): this Group A Toyota made its World Rally Championship debut in 1994 and went on to claim seven podium finishes in seven events entered during the 1995 season, including victory for Didier Auriol in the Tour de Corse.

Toyota Pays Tribute To Its Heritage With One-Off Classic Liveries For GT-86 Exterior
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Esso Ultron Tiger Toyota Supra (tigerskin effect): Supra was a longstanding entry in the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship, competing from 1995 through to 2006. In fact its competition life went on beyond the end of production of the road-going Supra. When its track days came to an end, it enjoyed a new lease of life as a virtual racer in the Gran Turismo computer game. The Esso Ultron Tiger car was one of the most distinctive-looking to take to the grid.

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