Considering the effort that went into this project, and the car’s astonishing history, I’m surprised Toyota hasn’t been shouting about it since it was finished. Based on what I can glean from the project website through crude translation, this car is chassis number UP 15-10007, which won the very first Suzuka 500km race in the mid-1960s. Through Toyota’s de facto factory racing team Gazoo, the car was restored to like new and given a few modern updates.

In preparation for racing back in the 1960s, this Sports 800 was fitted with a bunch of modifications, as one would suspect. It’s got front and rear jacking bars, which used a lever pole much like what Formula One still uses today. A larger fuel tank for endurance racing was added, as was a safety roll bar.

To give the car much needed power, the stock 45-horsepower flat-twin engine was ditched and replaced with a racing-updated power unit. With higher compression, a performance camshaft, a ported intake manifold, and a larger carburetor, the engine now makes a massive 70 horsepower. By pulling some weight from the flywheel and the cooling fan, it’s able to breathe a little easier.

When Gazoo uncovered the car after decades of neglect, it was in pretty rough shape. It wasn’t really in a position to be saved, so they decided to give it some mild upgrades. More than half of the original body panels had to be ditched for new pieces, for example.

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In the process of the restoration, Gazoo reinforced suspension pickup points to make the chassis stiffer. A unique suspension damper was crafted specifically to match the car’s weight and power. A completely custom interior was installed to make it a bit safer while matching the styles of the day. Further improvements were made to the engine, including balancing all of the components, and building a special exhaust manifold. Finally, the ignition system was given a modern tune-up

It’s a really cool little project, and I love the outcome for the little car. It keeps most of what made it a great racer in its day and just updates things a bit with more modern technology. I’d love to give it a go, myself.

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There is unintended consequence for Toyota in all of this, however. I can’t help but ask what the hell happened to the Toyota S-FR?

H/T: Jacky W

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