Tuesday 31 July 2018

787B. Nine's off the hook.

Now to blow the dust off a run through the Mazda factory in Hiroshima earlier last year; an all-too-brief moment spent with a sampler of Mazda back-catalogue highlights, and here specifically, some detail shots (although camera-phone "quality"..) of the absolutely iconic Mazda 787B - the April 1991 No.55 car that won the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

Kicking this off now with some recycled Instagram content to save repeating myself. Unusually/shamefully I'd dabbled in this photoset in both June 2017 and March 2018 before I seem to have thought to share the lot here. Yep, I disappoint myself...

"..speaking of iconic mid-engined Japanese machinery *cough*. From the Mazda factory museum in Hiroshima earlier this month: the Le Mans 1991 winning 787B. WHAT a livery.. #renown #mazda #mazdamuseum #mazda787b #787b #lemans #24hoursoflemans #r26b #26b #wankel #rotary #4rotor #quadrotor #raysengineering #volk #volkracing #wheelporn #wheelwhores #savethewheels #turbofans #drivetastefully #1991"

"RENOWN: "The condition of being known or talked about by many people; fame." ...and coincidentally (properly - it's a clothing brand!) the livery that ended up on one of the most known/loved racecars to ever come out of Japan. #renown #charge #mazda #mazdamuseum #mazda787b #787b #groupc #lemans #24hoursoflemans #r26b #26b #wankel #rotary #4rotor #quadrotor #raysengineering #volk #volkracing #wheelporn #wheelwhores #savethewheels #turbofans #drivetastefully #1991"

"Plastic hubcap on some old Mazda in Hiroshima last year. I was actually somewhat surprised by the lack of gutter-rash and cable-ties seeing how bald those tyres were, but whatever, they probably found a spare. A missed opportunity? Tell me about it eh! I'd have gone for those chrome numbers you get with the fake (actually totally legitimate looking and completely believable) fasteners. You know the ones.. with those dainty steelie-revealing spokes, super-lightweight plating, and one more wheel-nut than there are studs. REAL stylish... #raysengineering #volk #volkracing #superfinemag #magnesiumwheels #competitiononly #dunlopslick #mazda787b #787b #groupc #renown #charge #mazda #mazdamuseum #lemans #lemans24h #24hoursoflemans #r26b #26b #wankel #rotary #4rotor #quadrotor #wheelporn #wheelwhores #savethewheels #turbofans #aerocovers #drivetastefully #1991"

...uhh..? Righto. Let's just jump to "the rest":
The most flattering of angles. Not as though it has bad one, honestly; but that just looks killer..

A view of the steam-roller 350/710 R18 Dunlop slicks on the rear.

The centrelock Rays Engineering, Volk Racing, SUPER FINE MAG - sans cover - over what look to be four-piston Brembo calipers..

God, yet another phenomenal angle.. 

..and a closeup of the skinnier of the Rays Engineering mags. No, that's certainly no 'hubcap'.

Urgh, again, fantastic.

The quad-rotor 2616cc R26B; good for 515kW, 608Nm, and a brilliant source of pure noise..

I'm a sucker for long intake runners / velocity stacks..

..adding a little visual appeal to a motor which, if I'm being honestis far more technically interesting than it is pretty

Regardless, it's clearly ALL business; over 500kW (and a potential maximum of 670kW/900hp out of the 2600-odd cc's!) certainly not having too much trouble shifting ~850kg or so of carbon/kevlar monocoque Mazda.

Just awesome to see. Without a doubt one of my absolute all-time favourite race-cars right here.


Friday 20 July 2018

Suid Afrika vervaardig: An X70 Cressida Wagon..

One from the 2018 TCCAV Toyota 'Winterfest' car show held at Toyota Australia's former manufacturing plant (in Altona, VIC) earlier this month..

It's a fifth-generation Toyota Cressida (X70 Mark II, Cresta, Chaser, etc..) wagon, in wildcard South-African-assembled and 21R-powered 1987 RX70 form...!
Special here today both for having an engine we never saw in this chassis locally (Toyota's R) and a body style we didn't-but-absolutely-should've had; Toyota Australia choosing to stop importing these wagons when the X60 / fourth generation cars wrapped up in 1984...

Is it sad this is the go-to detail in my mind on these cars though?
Double-wipers on a rear window?! A detail Australia (..saying here with some confidence..?) didn't see outside of the XV10 Camry Wagon - coincidentally another Toyota of similar size. Isolated examples for obvious reasons; I'd like to know how the hell the need was justified...

Like its X70 sedan equivalent, these wagons (or "vans") are too a handsome thing. Thin pillars and a flat roof accentuating that length..

..and even further here with the good couple inches taken out of this particular car's ride-height!

Roll with your mates in the blue-velour lounge. The manual transmission and a AW11/AE82/AE86 "Twin-Cam" steering wheel adding a dash of sportiness..

..even if it's only wringing the guts of out a 21R-C four'!
Single-cam and emission-equipped for outputs of <70kW and ~150Nm; a far cry from the 121kW and 221Nm muscled up by the twin-cam six-cylinder 5M-GE (a pretty engine to boot!) powering even base Cressidas locally by 1987.

The Toyota South Africa Manufacturing Limited build tag, rarely seen locally.

Rosso Corsa text and a prancing horse? Oh yeah!


Tuesday 10 July 2018

276 horses short: The pedal-power JZA80 Supra.

All the motivation of a single 4 year old's lil' legs making the 276 horse (and 1100+ leg!) alternative that was Japan's car manufacturer's self-imposed "Gentleman's Agreement" of the late 80s through early 2000s seem.. well, stratospheric.

JZA80? SA80? Pff! 1995 JGTC Castrol TOM'S ABC-A80 Supra inspired pedal-car!

I love this thing. It's absolutely adorable.
Yeah, sure.. I might feel like a bit of a weirdo owning it when I don't actually have any children.. but when my inner-child is beaming? I'll manage. Failing that, it's a convertible caricature of an iconic 90s JGTC car. An inconveniently large model car...

..as yeah, as far as coffee-table decorations go.. err... well this one's the size of that damn coffee-table. Since it's no doubt difficult to get a proper sense of scale from these pictures alone, I'll clunkily paint a very clear picture: this thing's a metre long, 550mm across, 350mm to the top of the Supra's signature wing, and not-quite-so-accurately 400mm high overall. It's one large ol' chunk o' plastic.

Those large dimensions allowing even a simplified child's toy to accurately carry across some very fun detailing..

...so despite being dressed in that JGTC Castrol TOM'S Supra livery, this is very clearly styled after a pre-facelift Japanese-market production car - complete with optional aero skirts and rear spats! Yeahhhdorable...

Pedal power!

..and speaking of power; a pair of AA batteries inside that steering wheel power a bunch of goofy things. Lights flash and sounds play - fun to drive parents absolutely insane!

Pre-facelift means those mirrors are manually folding of course. The 550mm overall width dropping to a more carpark-friendly 500mm. The Barbie Jeep will do no damage today..

Safety labels, and the manufacturer or distributor revealed: Nonaka Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Their website still shows similar toys today, but unfortunately Googling revealed little more about this particular model. No surprise for what's clearly a pre-Internet mid-to-late 90s piece...

SO.. if anyone has any more info on these, well I'm all ears!

Done. Good fun.