Birth of shooting star Auction fail a phase
A RADICAL Toyota sports car that was born in Australia could be heading to the world.
The 86 Shooting Brake was conceived in Melbourne, built in Japan, and has already triggered massive interest in Europe.
It’s an extension of the 86 sports car that is already a global bestseller and has the personal backing of chief engineer Tetsuya Tada.
Toyota has previously tried to spin the 86 into a convertible, even building a concept car for motor show displays, but Tada believes there is more potential in the Shooting Brake.
Asked directly if it could be headed for full-scale production, he is enthusiastic.
“Yes. Definitely not no,” Tada said. “Yes, there is more potential than the convertible.”
The car was unveiled on Friday last week in Canberra in advance of the third annual Toyota 86 Festival in the national capital.
The Shooting Brake project began in November 2014 when Tada was first shown a clay model of the car, developed by Toyota Australia’s product design team.
It was fast-tracked in Japan and the display car in Australia this week is a drivable prototype.
The car is a four-door with an extended 86 roofline that creates a hatchback-style boot.
The man behind the project, Toyota Australia chief designer Nick Hogios, says there was a lot of discussion on the original idea before his team settled on making only minor changes to the 86’s rear quarter and roof.
“(We were) like kids in a lolly shop,” Hogios said.
“We thought about restyling more of the car, however, like good parents saying no to too many sweets, we made the decision to keep as much of the original 86 as possible.” A PRIZE winning Falcon GTHO has been passed in at auction after it failed to reach the $500,000-plus asking price.
Arguably the most collectable car in Australia, the sought after Phase III model was expected to sell in the $470,000 to $520,000 price range.
But it was passed in after bidding topped out at $480,000 at the Shannons auction in Melbourne.
It was reported the car changed hands later for more than this figure.
In 2007 a similar Falcon sold for a record breaking $683,000.
The figure is a far cry from the original $5302 in 1971.
With a 351 cubic inch (5.8litre) V8, the GT-HO (the HO stood for handling option) was a race bred special.
Based on the 1969 XW GT, only 300 Phase IIIs were built for Bathurst, with the addition of a beefy rear anti-sway bar, larger Holley carby, lumpier camshaft, free flowing intake manifold and different lifters and valves.
The engine pumped out an impressive for the time 300bhp or 224kW in today’s figures, but the real figure is said to have been closer to 380bhp or 284kW.
It was apparently understated for insurance purposes.
The GT-HO could sprint from 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds and was able to dispatched the quarter mile in 14.4 seconds.
Four-time Bathurst winner Allan Moffat drove one of the cars to victory in the 1971 Bathurst 500 where the cars finished in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place plus 5th and 6th.
The car auctioned on Monday had been the hands of its current owner for 25 years.
Delivered new by Murray Ford of Ipswich, Queensland in June, 1971, the matching numbers car was fully restored to factory specification in 1998. The restoration was so good it took out the GT Nationals in Adelaide the next year, then in Brisbane in 2003 and was a runner-up at Brisbane in 2011.
This particular example was selected by Ford Performance Vehicles as the poster car for the launch of the BA FPV GT 290kW at Bathurst in 2004.