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Old 28 Jun 2008, 15:15 (Ref:2239292)   #16
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Originally Posted by terryobeirne
I have coresponded with Hugh Marshall who drove one of the Thundersaloon Supras. he says both of them were built by Specfab, so neither may be ex works cars. The other (Cosworth powered) car was driven by Chris Hodgetts. The shell of one of them may survive.
anyone else have any more info yet??

It's not a very good pic, but this is presumably one of the ex-MIL/Toyota GB Supras, racing in Thundersaloons at Brands in the early 90's- I don't seem to have the programme for this meeting, so can't confirm the date, which car or who's driving...

...and just for good measure, one of the Bemani cars at the 1988 TT
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Old 28 Jun 2008, 15:41 (Ref:2239299)   #17
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Originally Posted by terryobeirne
Hewland told me they made 9 special gearboxes to order from Toyota. 7 for cars being built plus 2 complete for spares. These are a magnesium cased, close ratio dog box. I have one of these. When I was speaking with John Smith at some stage, he mentioned 7 cars in total.
I beleive all the works cars were made in japan. I dont have confirmation if it was TOMS or TRD, but I suspect TOMS.
I've written to Bemani & TOMS, so I guess, I'll keep hunting
To me that strongly suggests that those 7 cars are the works cars raced in Japan in Minolta, Fujitsu Ten and Biyo colours by TOM'S, and that any cars raced in Europe (aside from TOM'S appearances at Spa) are a totally separate issue.

I'm assuming from what you've posted that the John Smith car in Australia came from Japan. Was this a Team Toyota Australia effort? It would be useful to know some history, as my knowledge of the Aussie Group A scene is very patchy, particularly for the later years.

Didn't Garry Willmington have a Supra as well- was this an independent self-built job like his XJS, or an ex-Japan car?

I don't know much about the spec of any of the European cars, but can't help suspecting that TRD and TOM'S may not have had much- if any- input on these- Certainly, none of them were ever very successful, the RAS and MIL cars were both off-the-pace and unreliable, while Bemani went the uncompetitive but more reliable non-turbo route and ran in midfield
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Old 29 Jun 2008, 10:07 (Ref:2239597)   #18
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Yes, the John Smith car was built by TOMS Japan . I believe the Minolta/Fuxitsu sponsored cars were part of the same "family" of 7 cars, 1 of which was crushed here to avoid duties.
I understood from my brief correspondence with hewland, that the special gearboxes were built for Toyota Japan and their GpA racers , so I assume these are the cars built by TOMS. The 2 TOMS cars here, had these special boxes.

As far as I know, at that time, TOMS GB was concentrating on Formula cars and the BTCC front drive corolla (which I own), and they dont seem to have had much, if any, role in the Supras. Whilst TOMS GB may have been a bit of staging post for other european events, from what little I know, it never got anywhere near the depth of TOMS Japan.

I dont have any definite proof yet, but I'm sure the Bemani cars were ex TOMS. I have not yet had a reply from bermani. I have some contacts in Germany chasing leads at that end, so maybe something will eventually surface.

Toyota team Australia was disbanded when GpA finished in 1993 and the parts/cars scattered. John Smith, their lead driver, managed to hang onto the Supra and a pile of parts for this and his AE92 corolla. His AE92 corolla was sold many years ago and still competes in historic events.

The Gary Wilmington Supra that raced here was definitely not an ex-TOMS car. I have tried to trace the car , but the leads have gone cold. Whislt there is some anecdotal evidence it got converted back to a road car, it more likely was exported around 1999 when it appears it's then owner "did a runner" from creditors.

These were all expensively and professionally built cars, and given there was no new model to transfer parts to, I'll be surprised if they were all scrapped.
The search continues!!
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Old 29 Jun 2008, 10:39 (Ref:2239603)   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryobeirne
Yes, the John Smith car was built by TOMS Japan . I believe the Minolta/Fuxitsu sponsored cars were part of the same "family" of 7 cars, 1 of which was crushed here to avoid duties.
I understood from my brief correspondence with hewland, that the special gearboxes were built for Toyota Japan and their GpA racers , so I assume these are the cars built by TOMS. The 2 TOMS cars here, had these special boxes.
Thanks- I had a look on Google last night and turned up some pics of the Smith/TTA car and the Willmington car

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Originally Posted by terryobeirne
As far as I know, at that time, TOMS GB was concentrating on Formula cars and the BTCC front drive corolla (which I own), and they dont seem to have had much, if any, role in the Supras. Whilst TOMS GB may have been a bit of staging post for other european events, from what little I know, it never got anywhere near the depth of TOMS Japan.
It always puzzled me that with TOM'S GB already active, Toyota went the route of backing a separate team in the form of MIL for the BTCC Supra project- although they'd run separate projects with two teams in '87 when they set up the TOM'S GB fwd Corolla programme alongside the existing CHMS outfit...

I'd have thought it would have made more sense to farm the fwd Corolla out to another team and set up the Supra programm through TOM'S GB, sourcing full factory cars from Japan rather than set up a new operation to develop the car locally.

I guess with TOM'S GB already committed in F3, (and sportscars on the horizon- Toyota ran a full Group C season for the firsttime in '89, and TOM'S GB would be heavily involved in this as I recall) maybe there were capacity or 'political' issues.

I wonder if it was a case of Toyota GB being approached to back a BTCC Supra project by MIL, rather than Toyota instigating the programme and cotracting MIL & Specfab to build and run the cars....

Quote:
Originally Posted by terryobeirne
I dont have any definite proof yet, but I'm sure the Bemani cars were ex TOMS. I have not yet had a reply from bermani. I have some contacts in Germany chasing leads at that end, so maybe something will eventually surface.

Toyota team Australia was disbanded when GpA finished in 1993 and the parts/cars scattered. John Smith, their lead driver, managed to hang onto the Supra and a pile of parts for this and his AE92 corolla. His AE92 corolla was sold many years ago and still competes in historic events.

The Gary Wilmington Supra that raced here was definitely not an ex-TOMS car. I have tried to trace the car , but the leads have gone cold. Whislt there is some anecdotal evidence it got converted back to a road car, it more likely was exported around 1999 when it appears it's then owner "did a runner" from creditors.

These were all expensively and professionally built cars, and given there was no new model to transfer parts to, I'll be surprised if they were all scrapped.
The search continues!!
That's interesting.... I'd originally guessed the Bemani cars were built in-house, given that they went the n/a 3-litre route. They were backed by Toyota Switzerland as I recall, so maybe that helped them to secure ex-TOM'S cars or shells...?

Wonder where the Belgian RAS cars fit into the story....and where they are now?

It's also interesting that TTE in Germany never seem to have been involved, although their background was purely rallying and with a WRC project to run maybe it was a question of capacity- the ST165 Celica GT-Four appeared for the first time in 1988.

I think there was a rumour at one time early in '88 of Juha Kankkunen having an outing in one of the MIL cars at either the Donington ETCC round or the TT though...
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Old 3 Jul 2008, 17:25 (Ref:2243213)   #20
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Found these pics of historic event at Oran Park there is a Toyota in pic #4 behind green Skyline, not sure if its genuine or a replica but thought id post anyway.
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=530176
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Old 3 Jul 2008, 19:38 (Ref:2243299)   #21
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Originally Posted by banger_racer
Found these pics of historic event at Oran Park there is a Toyota in pic #4 behind green Skyline, not sure if its genuine or a replica but thought id post anyway.
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=530176
Looks like the John Smith car Terry was talking about a couple of posts back
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Old 3 Jul 2008, 19:57 (Ref:2243309)   #22
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And heres a better pic.
http://richardtaylor.zenfolio.com/p4...2E72#741355122
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Old 4 Jul 2008, 03:26 (Ref:2243538)   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banger_racer
Found these pics of historic event at Oran Park there is a Toyota in pic #4 behind green Skyline, not sure if its genuine or a replica but thought id post anyway.
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=530176
Yes that is indeed, John Smith in his genuine ex-works Group A car.
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Old 4 Jul 2008, 12:06 (Ref:2243805)   #24
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I took these photos of John’s GPA Supra and have them hosted on my website.
http://www.turbosupras.com/pages/en/...0GA/ma70ga.htm


I bought a lot of stuff from John years ago and still talk to him.

John is getting into the historic meets now and the Supra will shine.
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Old 6 Jul 2008, 04:46 (Ref:2244916)   #25
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NIcholas, a few comments from looking over your web-page
the gearbox is an english hewland, not Holinger, and its used in a magnesium housing.
100lb valve springs is not really a useful statement. You might have meat to say 100lb seat pressure??.
if I remember correctly, all the GpA supras had 65mm throttle body and there was nothing special about it, just the homologated part
The crank mods in that period were typically limited to getting the weight right. in some cases heavier turbo cranks were selectively machined down to the weight of the non-turbo crank, which was often the homologated one. thay way, the machining could be selective and have some other benefits.
I've sent you a PM about parts. cheers
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Old 6 Jul 2008, 09:08 (Ref:2245016)   #26
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Hi Terrryobeirn

Thanks for that; I will update the gearbox info. I didn’t get John Smith to proof read the article before it went up.

It’s great to find someone that knows about the cars.

The GPA throttle body I got from John had a hole drilled in the flap; don’t know if this was a poor form of idle control? Apart from that, yes is was the same casting as the turbo A road car.

How do you know so much about the GPA Supra, did you have involvement with the race team back then?

Regards Nicholas
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Old 9 Dec 2008, 22:07 (Ref:2351338)   #27
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just found this site and thread guys i actualy have 2 full group a engines and racetech management systems one of the engines is from the remaining car you have been looking for any info i wil l try and help i also have one of the gear boxes and aload of suspension so shout up will do my best
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Old 12 Dec 2008, 09:44 (Ref:2353357)   #28
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We mentioned early in the thread that the Bemani cars still seem to have been active in Switzerland well into the early 90's at least- This is the European Hillclimb Championship at St Ursanne in 1992...

http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimag...iers920007.jpg

That looks very much like a second Supra lined up behind car #374 in this shot.....
http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimag...IERS920021.jpg
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Old 16 Dec 2008, 09:54 (Ref:2355899)   #29
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Yes, I remember those cars had a very simple yet attractive livery - looks like they kept them for a long time!!!
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Old 19 Dec 2008, 22:20 (Ref:2358588)   #30
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I've written to Bemani and never got a reply. I'd be surprised if they were scrapped given they expensive parts used in them, and hopefully they are lurking somewhere in Europe. it seems like it will be a real mssion to find one of them

Last edited by chunterer; 20 Dec 2008 at 10:52.
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