Toyota Supra GT500
Some ideas look really good on paper, it’s the real world that causes the problems. Back in 1995 Toyota decided to make a car for the GT500 class of the Japanese GT Championship. They took the JZA80 as the starting point, threw out the stock block twin turbo and installed a 2.2 litre 4 cylinder that had been developed by All American Racing for IMSA. It was much lighter and needed little or no money to be spent.
OK they were not going for an attempt on an outright win but the performance of the Supra was broadly in line with their Japanese opposition, the Honda NSX and the Nissan Skyline GT-R, so they would be competitive, sure thing. Only in the time since the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours, the premier GT class had been revolutionised with the arrival of the McLaren F1 GTR and the Ferrari F40 GT-E. The Japanese teams were at a huge disadvantage to the Woking built machines and Maranello’s old thoroughbreds.
Toyota Celica GTS
If you’ve got clout with your congressional rep–these days that means, what, a credit balance with his or her ever-ravenous campaign?–you can scam a ride in an F-15. But if, like most of us, you haven’t pledged sufficiently, you’ll have to settle for a demo jaunt in a Celica GT-S. It’s the closest you can come for less than 25 large to the jet-fighter sort of bubble-packed zoom.
Is there a more exciting cockpit this side of the Acura NSX? The Celica has a huge windshield that starts low, down by your knees it seems, and sweeps back toward your forehead. If there are bogeys overhead, you’ll see them. The sills of the side windows sweep down as they go forward, too. The view out is exhilarating. The black leather-wrapped wheel is just the right arm reach away. It tilts to clear your sight of the dashboard dials. Your legs stretch out under the dash, and the seat holds securely without being confining. Most of your surroundings are covered in dark gray vinyl (Toyota’s way of simulating an aluminum monocoque?), interrupted by black on the handles you’ll grab, or where glare would intrude.