There’s Japanese Domestic Market, then there’s JDM. Just because something is made for the Japanese market doesn’t mean it fits with JDM style. Given the severe modifications in many sections of the Tokyo Auto Salon, it was heart-warming to see students of Toyota Automotive College produce a prime example of JDM: the Toyota Starlet KP61 STREET.


It’s starting to fit a theme I saw on some of the best cars here: small, British Racing Green, tasteful racing stripes, and, uh, small. It’s really no secret that I love super minis.

I own one in the GA3, and I’ve talked about loving old Fiats (Insert Number Here) and 1980s Hondas like the Today and the CRX. And the Starlet was really Toyota’s competitor to those—especially its homegrown rival at Honda. The Starlet Glanza and the Logo TS, while late 90s super minis, almost even look like siblings.


There’s so much to love about this classic JDM silhouette, I honestly don’t know where to begin. The classic design of the deep dish wheels in a dark brass, the clear side markers, the swooping mid-hatch wing, the fender mirrors, leaving the back bumper unpainted and the stock period matching taillights—it all adds up to an absolutely amazing whole that is everything I have ever loved about small Japanese cars.


It’s almost enough to make me a Toyota fan. Good job, kiddos. Well done.

Previously Correspondent, Asia at Jalopnik and LGBT Editor at Jezebel. Lover of the Oxford Comma, despite AP Style, and the Commonwealth "S." Patreon:

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