Rear-drive coupes go old-school for Goodwood. Meet the famous race cars that inspired them

The Goodwood Festival of Speed, in lieu of an actual British motor show, is increasingly as much about the new, shiny cars as the old, patina-furnished racers.


What Toyota aims to do at the end of June, though, is to bridge the gap between the two. The six cars you see above are half a dozen shiny new GT86s, bequeathed some very fetching vinyl wrap liveries by their racing ancestors.


To ensure the GT86s have the performance to do justice to their iconic motorsport colours, select tweaks have been applied in the form of a Milltek sports exhaust, 40mm suspension drop and some exceedingly lovely Rota alloy wheels that we implore Toyota to stick straight on the official options list.


The best bit? Head to the Moving Motorshow that precedes Festival weekend and you can drive these yourself. Don’t get too attached, though, as they’re deemed one-offs just for Goodwood. Handcuff yourself to the steering wheel of your chosen ’86, though, and you may be able to force Toyota’s hand…


Scroll the images above for a closer look at both these retro-tastic rear drivers, and the cars they pay homage too. Then tell us which one you like most below…

First up, this white-and-blue wonder with surely the greatest alloy wheels yet to grace a GT86. And that modified ride height ensures it sits on them rather sweetly. So what does it pay tribute to?

Why, this Shelby Toyota 2000GT. Yep, none other than Carroll Shelby can take credit for taking Toyota’s loveliest-ever looker and making it competitive in American motorsport, the GT picking up a handful of SCCA production car victories in 1968.

Next, what could be mistaken for the company car of Tony the Tiger. And a car you certainly couldn’t lose in the supermarket car park when you’ve been to stock up on Frosties.

The ’86 borrows its big cat-inspired livery from this Esso Ultron Tiger Toyota Supra, one of the less subtle iterations of a car that raced for over a decade in Japan, and one which you’ve no doubt come across on several racing sims.

A little more subtle – but only a little, given its gold alloys – is the ’86 you might have seen prowling in the background a couple of slides back. Its red, orange and yellow striping could only belong in one decade…

…and sure enough, this IMSA-spec Celica raced from 1983 to 1985, the first Toyota racer campaigned with the now familiar ‘TRD’ name. IMSA GT cars of the era are iconic for their boldness, with big bodykits and specs that deviated wildly from their base cars. This Celica had 300bhp.

This one’s seriously retro, no? Classic Esso logo, exceedingly period wheels, blanked out rear windows. Its inspiration?

Another 2000GT, whose livery the GT86 apes most faithfully. This one is famous for setting numerous speed and endurance records at Japan’s Yatabe proving ground in 1966. Driving continuously for 78 hours, it averaged 128mph over 10,000 miles, bagging three world records.

Red with black bonnet, this GT86 looks to be some gratuitous spot lights short of being a full-strength tarmac rally car.

And sure enough, it harks back to this rally-prepped Celica 1600GT, which won its class at the 1972 RAC Rally. And it has the spotlights its modern-day homage sadly lacks.

Last, but certainly not least, the liveried up GT86 that should prove most recognisable, particularly for younger readers. With Castrol badging and white, green and red aplenty, it could only be related to…

…the mighty Celica GT-Four rally car of the 1990s. Suffice to say, its latter-day livery buddy won’t be able to carry off flying with quite his much panache or lack of disastrous crashing.

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