If you’ve ever played bar trivia, you know that the secret to success beyond your wildest dreams (winning a single drink ticket per team member) is to know a bunch of random cool facts. But nothing in the world feels worse than being the person on a team for a specific category and coming up blank on a crucial question. So, to save your face to your friends, we’re here to ensure you never miss out on automotive trivia — and to crowdsource an internet’s worth of facts.
Yesterday, while researching for a blog about the Carroll Shelby-tuned Toyota 2000GT that just sold at auction, I was reminded about the other early race-prepped Toyota of legend: The yellow-and-green Yatabe record setter. Back in 1966, Toyota brought out a lightly-modified 2000GT to set an endurance record at the famed Yatabe test track. 72 hours later, it had set thirteen.
The car averaged over 125 miles per hour for three days, setting records for nearly every distance and time interval on the way. That original 2000GT was eventually lost to a fire, but Toyota now has a replica in its museum stable.
Yatabe, however, didn’t die out quite so quickly. Those of you who grew up, like I did, playing the incredibly eloquently titled Midnight Club 3 Dub Edition REMIX likely remember the name, but may not know the cars of the actual Mid Night Racing Team. The group was mainly known for its underground Wangan racing, but it too visited Yatabe to see what members’ cars were made of. The highest record still listed? 203.3 miles per hour, from an R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R.
Visits to Yatabe, and the speeds achieved at that historic track, are some of my favorite random automotive facts. But, I’m here to learn as much as I preach — what are your favorite facts on four wheels? We’ll collect your top comments this afternoon, so be unique!