I got this awesome KP47 Toyota Starlet video link from Chihiro Yoshimura from AE/KP drift team Peak, from Kanagawa Japan. I absolutely LOVE the vintage racing footage of the old KPs… in the video, where they actually feature the car though, I was a bit puzzled because the car’s sitting on Gotti wheels, which are Italian, not Japanese. I would imagine that a car like this would/should be running some sort of TRD wheels or RS Watanabes or SSRs. I don’t think those Gotti wheels were originally used on this particular car… maybe the owner of the car, Kuwahara Racing, just swapped them out at a later date. But for once, let’s stop talking about wheels.
The real star of the show is the HEART of the Starlet – the Toyota 3KR racing engine, designated 137E and prepared by Toyota Team Tom’s for circuit racing. I had to pause the video and rewind it several times so that I could get a better look at the really cool vintage parts used on this car. Most of these are what I like to call unobtainium… that is, you will never in your life find parts like this! Stuff like the vintage KP47 TRD parts, like the fiberglass hood and N2 flares, TRD rear wing, TRD high rise 3KR headers… should I go on?!
The engine itself is rare as hell, and worth much more than most of the cars that I own. (Except my TE27 maybe.) I absolutely love the INCREDIBLE video footage of the 3KR’s slide valve mechanical fuel injection, and the fuel bouncing around on the throttle plate… sooo sick. (Just imagine – this is an early ancestor of the Keihin FCR slider motorcycle carbs that became so popular for swapping into AE86s) Getting legit information on the 3KR engine is very, very rare. The stock 3K engine was a pushrod Toyota motor that came in early Starlets and Corolla variants… but this 3KR is a specially prepared “race use only” engine that was never even in mainstream production. It’s a 1298cc dual overhead cam, 16 valve engine that produces 180ps at 9500rpm. That’s just crazy!!! Especially when you imagine what YEAR they developed this thing… this was raced and developed by Toyota Racing Development engineers in the late 1970s and early 1980s!
Let’s move to the interior portion of the video. Holy effing sh!t I’m about to punch someone in the face right now! Look at that old school TRD/Nippondenso 13,000rpm tachometer, which is very very very very very very very very RARE. Imagine this. the old TRD logoed Nippondenso tachs are ridiculously rare enough… but this was the tach that TOSCO used even before they produced the custom logoed TRD version. OMFG.
Even the 10mm Toyota shift knob in that car is hella rare. If you notice, it says “LIFT” next to the R. This is only for early model T50 transmissions, which required you to lift/pull the shift knob up in order to access the reverse gear, so you didn’t accidentally screw up and put it in 4th. This is a highly sought after shift knob. I already have one, but if anyone out there has one for sale, I’ll buy it. Let me know.
Just look at that TRD Japan dry sump oil pan underneath the car. I’m dying over here. The whole underneath of the car has been beefed up with pillowball rods (adjustable rods with heim joints), and a panhard rod was added to keep the differential centered when taking corners.
Another thing that makes me drool like a moron is the TRD dearched leaf springs that are used in the rear. This allows the car to get dropped without compromising suspension travel.
I’m amazed at what they did to the front suspension; I’m going to have to study it a bit more. Looking closely at the car, it appears like they are using some sort of old school AP Lockheed brake calipers up front to make it stop on a dime, and the rear brakes have been converted to discs!
Check out the fire extinguisher mounting location underneath the front passenger seat… I might have to jack that idea for my own cars. I like where it’s mounted. Easy to reach, yet out of the way.
It seems like our site has been overrun with drifting videos, and not enough of THESE videos. Oh my God. I’m in love. I’m going to dream about this car tonight.
:: Antonio Alvendia
PS: ARIGATO Chihiro!!!!