The JGTC Toyota Castrol Supra is one of the most iconic Japanese racing cars in history and, thanks to a great discovery, TOM’s, the manufacturer that helped Toyota develop its racing cars in Japan, has initiated a complete restoration project of a unit abandoned for more than 20 years in a warehouse in Japan.
However, the project is now at risk as they are not receiving the funding they hoped to make this project possible. It would be a real shame if this story didn’t have a happy ending with such a legendary race car.
JGTC Toyota Supra abandoned in a warehouse in Japan for 20 years.
Due to the lack of activity in motorsports during the coronavirus period, many manufacturers and fans in Japan began to share their racing machines on social media. And the surprise came when someone shared some photos of an old Castrol TOM’s Supra discovered in a warehouse where it had been abandoned for more than 20 years.
Regarding the history of this unit, this is the car that competed during the 1998 season in the All Japan GT Championship. It’s not the 1997 champion car, but the white, red, and green colors continue to make it a true icon. Specifically, this is car #36 driven by Masanori Sekiya and Norbert Fontana.
During the 1998 season, the car appeared to be less competitive than the previous year, which was likely due to its switch from Bridgestone to Dunlop tyres, as some Japanese fans suspect.
The car was found with rust in some areas damaged by the track battles. Additionally, its race-spec 3SGTE engine was removed from the car. Recall that the JGTC Supra used the Celica’s engine instead of its original 2JZ-GTE to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.
After such a discovery, TOM’s decided to acquire the car again for a full restoration project. However, due to financial difficulties caused by the lack of activity during the lockdown of the pandemic and the races without spectators, TOM’s has needed to share the project with the fans in order to obtain the financing that this project requires.
Castrol TOM’s Supra restoration project.
TOM’s has opened a crowdfunding page on the Japanese platform Makuake (similar to Kickstarter) with three different tiers of fundraising. With $94,000, they can restore the interior and exterior so the car can be displayed at events. If they reach $282,000, they can also make the car drivable again, but not at full speed. Obviously, the goal is to achieve 50 million yen ($470,000) for a complete restoration so that the car can burn the circuit again.
- 1. ¥10 million: ($94,000 USD). The interior and exterior will be restored, so the car is presentable at car shows.
- 2. ¥30 million ($282,000 USD). The mechanicals will be restored to a point where “normal” driving is possible.
- 3. ¥50 million ($470,000 USD). A full restoration that will allow the car to be driven at speed on the track.
Donors of the most basic levels will get things like stickers or a book about the restoration of the car in return. However, donations of more than $900 will generate the first substantial reward: They will be able to attend the launch party for the restored Supra.
From there, the rewards start to get really interesting and are usually commensurate with the level of the donation. You can get a package that includes a season ticket for the 2021 Super GT championship for $4,700. But, if we also want to have access to the team’s hospitality in the VIP area in each race, we will have to double that donation.
But the reward that will really drive you crazy is the one that starts at $28,000. Besides having your name engraved on the car, you can rent the car for a track-day with the support of the team (can you imagine driving that beast?). Important to mention that there can only be seven donors who pay that amount.
The funding is also open for international fans, however, if you for example have the privilege of driving the car you will have to travel to Japan.
- ¥5,000 ($47 USD) level: Donors will receive a silver commemorative sticker noting their participation.
- ¥10,000 ($94 USD) level: Same as the previous level, except donors will receive a gold commemorative sticker.
- ¥30,000 ($282 USD): Same as the previous level, plus “regular” project updates.
- ¥50,000 ($282 USD): Same as the previous level, except the project updates will come in the form of a book.
- ¥100,000 ($940 USD): Same as the previous level, plus an invitation to the project completion event.
- ¥500,000 ($4,700 USD): Same as the previous level, except donors will receive a black carbon commemorative sticker plus a 2021 SuperGT season pass.
- ¥1,000,000 ($9,400 USD): Same as the previous level, plus a 2021 SuperGT season pass with VIP access to the TOM’s hospitality area.
- ¥3,000,000 ($28,200 USD): Same as the previous level, plus the right to rent the car for one day and drive it on the track, plus the right to have your name engraved on a caution plate (bucket seat, suspension, or steering).
- ¥5,000,000 ($47,000 USD): Same as the previous level, except the right to have your name engraved on the caution plate (wheel, hood, or rear wing).
- ¥9,999,999 ($94,000 USD): Same as the previous level, except the rights to have your name engraved on the ECU.