Birth of shoot­ing star Auc­tion fail a phase

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL | -

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.

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