by banpei

Rare bosozoku cars: Toyota Corona T14

July 23, 2009 in Rare Bosozoku cars by banpei

I have a weak spot for the Toyota Corona T14 series: they are closely related to the Toyota Carina and Celica.

I found this great bosozoku styled Corona some time ago on multiple meetings and picture galleries:
Bosozoku style Toyota Corona T14
Bosozoku style Toyota Corona T14

It has been modified seriously with a sharknose, fins, big lip, oil cooler, deep dish wheels, tsurikawa and a big V-shaped exhaust! Unfortunately I could not find a picture rear of the car including the V-shaped exhaust:

Bosozoku style Toyota Corona T14
Bosozoku style Toyota Corona T14

Unfortunately this is the only Corona T14 I could find grachan/bosozoku styled pictures of… On the other hand I could find shakotan styled Coronas in large amounts:
Shakotan styled Toyota Corona T14
Shakotan styled Toyota Corona T14

That is very understandable: this last RWD Corona and they are mainly used for drifting nowadays. This series offered a cheap, relatively lightweight car and featured some new generation engines with great potential. Where did we hear that before?

Drifting Toyota Corona AT141
Drifting Toyota Corona AT141

During the 70s Toyota created a great diversity in platforms: they had the Publica (P), Corolla/Sprinter (E), Celica/Camry/Carina (A), Corona (T), Mark II (X) and Crown (S) and a few other platforms on which they built their cars. Toyota decided to merge the Corona and Celica platforms to cut costs and did this starting with the Corona T14 and Celica/Camry A5 generations. The Celica/Camry/Carina wheelbase remained the same, but the Corona wheelbase shrunk by 25 mm.

Factory stock Corona TT140 sedan
Factory stock Corona TT140 sedan

The Corona was positioned above the Carina and offered, just like the Carina and Celica, independent rear suspension on all luxurious and sports models. The wagons were based on the same platform as the Carina so Toyota only changed the front section to match the Corona look. The rear section of the wagon is entirely the same as the Carina, including the live axle.

Factory stock Corona sedan and wagon
Factory stock Corona sedan and wagon

Later on Toyota also offered the Corona as a taxi with an additional LPG engine (Diesel was already available). This Corona was basically a mix and match of the Corona and Carina: front looked like the Carina while the mid and rear section were Corona. Later taxi models featured the Carina taillights.

The 1982 and 1983 Corona taxi
The 1982 and 1983 Corona taxi

The Corona hardtop Coupe was targeted as the grand tourer edition of the Celica and positioned between the Celica and the Soarer. It offered great luxury above the spartan Celica and Celica XX models while it had less luxurious options as the new Soarer.

All varieties of the Toyota Corona hardtop coupe
All varieties of the Toyota Corona hardtop coupe

Toyota had borrowed some styling cues for the Corona T14 from BMW: the nose had a slight wedge in it, its rear section featured a BMW style rear door and its boot and taillights were slightly borrowed from the BMW 7 series of that era:

This Corona sedan shows its BMW lines
This Corona sedan shows its BMW lines

The Corona offered, like the Carina, a great variety of engines: from the 1.5 liter 3A-U till the 2.4 liter 22R. Of course it featured the sporty 135hp 18R-GEU and 130hp 4A-GE in the GT and the performance 160hp 3T-GTE engine in the GT-T.

The mighty 3T-GTE twin cam 16 turbo engine
The mighty 3T-GTE twin cam 16 turbo engine

After this series the Corona and Carina models merged, the platform changed to FWD and started to feature a bit more dull styling. The Corona T14 series is the last great Corona.

by banpei

Rare Bosozoku cars: Nissan S13 180SX

June 25, 2009 in Rare Bosozoku cars by banpei

Last weekend we featured a very nicely exhaust of the week on bosozoku style: a bosozoku styled Nissan 180SX!

Exhausts look like a sculpture on this RPS13 180SX
Exhausts look like a sculpture on this RPS13 180SX

The 180SX is a rare sight on the bosozoku meetings! We only found two examples of a 180SX and we even suspect that it is actually the same car!

Bosozoku styled Nissan 180SX S13
Bosozoku styled Nissan 180SX S13

Great mystery is why it is badged Datsun and not Nissan: the 180SX is too new to be badged Datsun abroad and in Japan Nissan never marketed as Datsun!

Bosozoku styled Nissan 180SX S13
Bosozoku styled Nissan 180SX S13

The styling of this 180SX is a grancha version of the 180SX: you can’t even recognize it except by its roofline. It looks a bit more like a successor of the super silhouette formula Nissan Silvia Turbo S12!

When the Nissan S platform got into its fourth generation in March 1989 it created the Nissan 180SX (aka 200SX and 240SX abroad). The Nissan 180SX S13 was basically the successor in looks of the Nissan Silvia S12. The Nissan Silvia 180SX was a trim level of the Silvia S110 and the Silvia S12 was already well known in the US as the 200SX (without Silvia badging). It was quite naturally for Nissan to name the car with the SX badge when they decided to split up the Nissan S platform into two seperate models. This created the Nissan Silvia S13 and the Nissan 180SX S13.

Factory stock kouki Nissan 180SX S13 Type X
Factory stock kouki Nissan 180SX S13 Type X

In Japan the Silvia got a coupe bodytype with fixed headlights while the 180SX got a fastback (aka hatchback) bodytype with popup lights. It didn’t take long before the first combinations of those two started to appear in the streets: street racers who wrecked their 180SX frontends mated that with the lighter and cheaper Silvia frontend and created the Sileighty (aka Sil80) this way. The other way around wasn’t popular since it was heavier and required changes in the wiring. When Nissan spotted these conversions they decided to have an “official” Sileigthy as well. They had them produced by Kids Heart and sold some of those cars through the official Nissan dealer network. Also different combinations exist: S13.4 (S13 mated with Silvia S14 frontend) and S13.5 (S13 mated with Silvia S15 frontend, aka strawberry face) since the S platform remained the same.

Nissan Silvia S13 and 180SX crossover: Sileighty
Nissan Silvia S13 and 180SX crossover: Sileighty

The 180SX initially got a 1.8 liter CA18DET, hence the 180SX designation, but in 1991 it got upgraded with the SR20DET engine and later on in 1996 with the SR20DE engine. It remained badged as the 180SX and not as the 200SX. Funny enough the 180SX was badged as the 200SX in Europe with the CA18DET engine and never got the SR20DET engine. In the US it was badged as the 240SX since it was powered by the KA24E and KA24DE engine: Nissan thought the US needed displacement instead of smaller turbo engines.

180SX with the SR20DET engine
180SX with the SR20DET engine

At first the 180SX was available as two versions: the Type I and Type II. The Type I was targeted for performance while the Type II was targeted for luxury. After the first facelift in 1991 the 180SX Type I got the SR20DET engine and got bigger brakes and a limited slip differential factory installed to handle the car better after this power increase. The Type II got the four wheel steering system HICAS II which got improved after the first facelift with the Super HICAS. After the second facelift in 1992 the Type III became available which was even more luxurious than the Type II: it got climate control and a cd player factory installed. After the third facelift in 1994 the Type I and Type II trim levels were renamed to Type R and Type X and the fourth facelift in 1995 only added a driverside airbag. The final facelift in 1996 had a lot of visual changes and added the cheaper Type S trim which offered the non turbocharged SR20DE and lacked the four wheel steering system. Production of the 180SX finally ceased in December 1998.

A great video of Ken Nomura (Nomuken) visiting the 180SX Type X assembly line in the Nissan factory somewhere late 90s:

The 180SX still remains very popular nowadays: it is a cheap mass produced rear wheel drive sportscar. Both its engine types have big potentials: both CA18DET and SR20DET can easily be tuned over 300HP and figures end somewhere between 500 and 700HP! Since the platform itself remained roughly the same almost all suspension upgrades for the newer S15 can be used on the S13 as well. Most people use the 180SX for drifting nowadays and it is often seen at MSC drift events!

A Nissan 180SX driver participating in the MSC drift championship
A Nissan 180SX driver participating in the MSC drift championship

In case you are wondering about the S13 designations you see at your average drift coverage: R stands for fastback/hatchback, P stands for SR20DE(T) and K for HICAS II/Super HICAS. That last designation will most probably be disabled on that car I guess… But of the time you will see either RPS13 (180SX with SR20), or RS13 (180SX with CA18), PS13 (Silvia with SR20) or plain S13 (Silvia).

I can imagine why the 180SX never got to be a popular bosozoku style car: it is too new to be popular in the 90s, it is too flashy and it is too modern styled. The examples above don’t leave much detail of the 180SX to be seen, so can we actually account them for a bosozoku styled 180SX?

by banpei

Rare Bosozoku cars: Nissan Cedric 230

June 4, 2009 in Rare Bosozoku cars by banpei

This week we feature the Nissan Cedric (and Gloria) 230. In contrary of the Cedric/Gloria 330 it is a rare bosozoku car and we had a very hard time to find more than one picture!

Some time ago we featured a video of it already:

This full version shows everything about this great Cedric: it is spacious, it looks bad, got a great horn and this hardtop version doesn’t have a B pilar!

We even managed to find a picture of this beauty:
#23 Bosozoku style Nissan Cedric 230
#23 Bosozoku style Nissan Cedric 230

You see, it even got the stance right!

Compared to that this kyusha styled Cedric suddenly doesn’t look that stunning anymore:
Kyusha styled Nissan Cedric 230
Kyusha styled Nissan Cedric 230

The Cedric and Gloria 230 did share the same floorpan and body, but in contrary of the 330 they did not share the same face: they still had their individual front ends. Only starting with the 330 Nissan finally merged the two cars fully!

Factory stock Nissan Cedric 230
Factory stock Nissan Cedric 230

Both cars were featuring several L series inline 4 and inline 6 engines, so the L20, L24 and L26 were all available.

Factory stock Nissan Cedric 230
Factory stock Nissan Cedric 230

The Nissan Cedric/Gloria 230 is a rare sight at the bosozoku meetings and we do have an idea why. First reason:

Many 70s and 80s Japanese police series used/abused the Nissan Cedrics and Glorias to make spectacular car chases. It was not uncommon to wreck up to 15 or 20 cars per chase! And the biggest problem was that the Cedric and Gloria were mostly used as policecars, so they were wrecked in masses!

Second reason: the image of a policecar is not really appealing to a bosozoku!
And the third reason: rust! There are not many Cedrics and Glorias left.

Personally I do prefer the Cedric/Gloria 330 over the 230 and that’s probably just like every bosozoku boss would!

[I posted this article earlier this week on bosozokustyle.com]

by banpei

Rare Bosozoku cars: Mazda Savanna RX3

May 28, 2009 in Rare Bosozoku cars by banpei

It is a bit weird: in contrary of the Mazda Cosmo AP RX5 the Mazda Savanna RX3 is a very rare Bosozoku styled car. We could only find two pictures of one single car!
Bosozoku style Mazda Savanna RX3
Bosozoku style Mazda Savanna RX3

Even though the Cosmo AP RX5 is a much bigger and meaner looking car, the Savanna RX3 is looking a lot meaner than its predecessor the Mazda Familia Rotary R100 and should really appeal all petrolheads.
Bosozoku style Mazda Savanna RX3
Bosozoku style Mazda Savanna RX3

The Mazda Savanna RX3 also had a big racing history: it debuted in 1971 at the Fuji 500 Tourist Trophy race and won instantly! It came just in time to prevent the Nissan Skyline GT-Rs from getting 50 consecutive wins for the Japanese Grand Prix!
Winning Mazda Savanna RX3 on Fuji Speedway Tourist Trophy
Winning Mazda Savanna RX3 on Fuji Speedway Tourist Trophy

If you are interested in this race, Japanese Nostalgic Car blog wrote an excellent article about this race!

The RX3 then continued to race for many years afterwards and even got over 100 victories at the end of 1976. It even is still being used for many different races nowadays: amoung them dragraces as well:
Mazda RX3 drag racer
Mazda RX3 drag racer

The RX3 is based upon the Mazda Familia 808 platform (in some countries called 818), but then powered by a rotary engine instead of the inline 4 of the 808/818. The outside of the car remained the same except for the twin round headlights at the front and the round taillights at the back of the car.
Factory stock Mazda Savanna RX3 4 door saloon
Factory stock Mazda Savanna RX3 4 door saloon

On the inside the interior was a bit more sportier than the standard Familia: the dash remained the same but it featured semi bucket seats.
Mazda Savanna RX3 interior
Mazda Savanna RX3 interior

What really helped was the weight of the car: the Familia only weights 865kg, so adding a powerfu
l rotary to such car makes it an instant winning combination! However the car still featured leaf springs and a live axle, so the handling of the car was not as good as the RX2 Capella. But what can you expect from a family car?
Factory stock Mazda Savanna RX3 4 door saloon
Factory stock Mazda Savanna RX3 4 door saloon

The Savanna was not only limited to the Coupe version of the Familia, but also delivered on the 4 door saloon and 5 door station van.

In Japan, Australia and Europe the Savanna was delivered with the 10A engine, while in the US only the 12A featured on the car. Starting from 1975 all it got an update and since then all Savanna RX3s got the 12A engine.
Mazda 10A Wankel engine
Mazda 10A Wankel engine

Of course the sporty image of the RX3 had to be mentioned over and over again. Take for example the poster for the RX3 SP:
Mazda RX3 SP: not a slowpoke
Mazda RX3 SP: not a slowpoke

All in all I don’t really understand why the Savanna RX3 is not a popular bosozoku style car: it looks bad, it had racing history (with wide fenders!), it features a rotary and best of all it was also available in 4 door saloons! A large package of elements which create a good foundation for a popular bosozoku car!

Stylish Mazda RX3
Stylish Mazda RX3

Maybe that is the whole point: it just reminded too much of the Familia family car. Or maybe it became an instant classic and the price remained too high during the 80s and 90s? Or maybe it was just the wrong car: the car that killed the 50th consecutive victory of the Skyline? Or maybe it was too small: the car is the size of a Nissan Sunny or Toyota Corolla. Who knows?

[I posted this article earlier this week on bosozokustyle.com.]

by banpei

Rare Bosozoku cars: Toyota Corona Mark II T60/T70

May 15, 2009 in Rare Bosozoku cars by banpei

This week we feature the first of the popular Mark II series: the Corona Mark II T60/T70 series. This Corona Mark II coupe may not be a GSS coupe but it surely does look well under that bosozoku skin:
Bosozoku style Toyota Corona Mark II coupe RT70
Bosozoku style Toyota Corona Mark II coupe RT70

Eventhough the later Mark II models are immensively popular as zokusha the first Corona Mark II series is not popular at all! So far this is one out of two Corona Mark IIs we ever encountered.

Factory stock zenki Corona Mark II RT60
Factory stock zenki Corona Mark II RT60

The Corona Mark II was basically a model designed to fit between the middle class Corona and the upper class Crown. It was only slightly larger than the Corona but it did have a lot of luxuries only to be found in the Crown, like better seats and larger engines. The car was produced as sedan, wagon, coupe and hardtop coupe. The sedan and wagon look very much alike the Corona T40/T50 (a bit dull) while the coupes are sleekly styled after late 60s American cars.

Factory stock kouki Corona Mark II RT62
Factory stock kouki Corona Mark II RT62

The Corona Mark II engine range started with the 1.5 liter 2R and ended with the 2 liter 18R. Eventhough normally bigger is better this did not apply to the Corona Mark II: it featured the 10R engine which got later renamed to the 8R-G. If you are a Toyotaku the G typing should already ring a bell: it means twincam (DOHC) with sidedraft carburetors!

Factory stock Corona Mark II Coupe RT72
Factory stock Corona Mark II Coupe RT72

The 10R/8R-G was a 1.9 liter engine and was capable of producing 140HP and was placed in the top of the range Corona Mark II: the RT75 GSS hardtop coupe, which after the facelift and 8R-G renaming got the RT72 designation. The GSS was mated with a 5 speed gearbox and weighted only 1050 kg so it had an amazing power to weight ratio for its era: 7.5 kg/hp (16.5 lbs/hp), that is more than the 1969 MGB was capable of! Okay, the 3 liter MGC came near, but it had 1.5 as big a displacement as the Corona Mark II! The Corona Mark II GSS was capable of reaching 200 km/h and doing the quarter mile in 16.60 seconds! Amazing performance for a factory stock car in the late 60s!

Corona Mark II GSS Hartop Coupe RT75
Corona Mark II GSS Hartop Coupe RT75

Even though examples of bosozoku styled Corona Mark IIs are really hard to find it don’t think it was an impopular zokusha during the early 80s. The reason it is a rare find nowadays is mainly because most of them are too far gone!

[I posted this article earlier this week on Bosozokustyle.com

by banpei

Rare Bosozoku cars: Toyota Crown S6/S7

April 14, 2009 in Rare Bosozoku cars by banpei

This week we have a real oddity: a Toyota Crown MS65 sedan carbio:
Rare bosozoku car: Toyota Crown MS65 sedan cabrio
Rare bosozoku car: Toyota Crown MS65 sedan cabrio

I only saw one picture of a bosozoku styled Toyota Crown before, but that was the same car before it became a cabrio:
Rare bosozoku car: Toyota Crown MS65 sedan
Rare bosozoku car: Toyota Crown MS65 sedan

This is just the same as with the Galant Lambda: the car looks bonkers, as the Brits would call it, and it really makes a beautiful Bosozoku styled car. Als the MS75 hardtop is a good counterpart for the superfluous Ken-Meri Skylines we see too often… However it just doesn’t make it as a typical Bosozokus styled car because the car is lacking something: it wasn’t really meant for sports and racing!

Factory stock Toyota Crown hardtop coupe MS75
Factory stock Toyota Crown hardtop coupe MS75

The Crown S6/S7 was the fourth generation of the Toyota Crown, however it was the first Crown to be marketed as Crown in Japan: previous generations were called Toyopet.

Factory stock Toyota Crown sedan MS65
Factory stock Toyota Crown sedan MS65

This new crown featured the new 4M 2600 engine, which was the 2.6 liter version of the M engine. The older 2 liter 1M was also still available.

The Crown was meant as a luxury car and the Hardtop coupe was meant as a “personal luxury car” before that term became a hyped thing in the late 70s.

Factory stock Toyota Crown Estate (van) MS63
Factory stock Toyota Crown Estate (van) MS63

The Mark II (and later on the Chaser) were meant as the sporty cars between the Corona and the Crown. The Mark II did feature the 4M engines later on so it is understandable why the Crown hardtop coupe never really became a sporty car.

[I posted this article earlier today on Bosozokustyle.com]