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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, most of you know by now that I am a bit of a MkI nut. Have been looking for and collecting info on the MkI pace cars.

These were used at the United States Grand Prix (USGP) Formula One races sponsored by Toyota (Long Beach and Watkins Glen) from 1979 till 1981. Recently picked up a couple more pieces and decided it was finally time to post a bunch of this stuff.

Here are the specs and mods (these come from a Toyota Tech newsletter and some race programs):
1979 Toyota Celica Supra MkI
- 4M-E turbocharged to 6 p.s.i.
- 220 hp
- Bridgestone racing tires
- aftermarket wheels
- heavy-duty clutch
- Bilstein gas-filled shocks
- heavier spring rates
- capable of reaching 138 mph on the Long Beach track and over 150 mph at Watkins Glen
- one interesting note is that is has a Celica imprinted bumper cover - something not seen on the production 79 Supras

Here are some photos:


Starting with a fairly common poster:





A staged publicity shot, with the lightbar added, from the Toyota Tech magazine:




If you look closely you can see them at the back of the pack in this LBGP photo:




Two photos from the Watkins Glen program, using a very different lightbar setup:







And my latest finds - a publicity calendar and an artwork proof with the LBGP light bar (and the true test of a Supra enthusiast - what do you see first - the MkI or the blondes?)






EDIT - Jan 29-2008 - add more photos

Here are a few more photos I dug out:

A neat photo of three generations of Celica/Supra Long Beach GP Pace Cars. A 1st gen Celica in the background, a MkI Supra to the right and a MkII Supra in the foreground (I guess the 78 Celica was only used one year and didn't make the cut for this photo).



Also, another photo of the Watkins Glen pace car:

 

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cool shit

do you have toyotatech magazine?
any pics of the engine?
any idea on the turbocharger tech?
I'm also looking for info on the griffith sunchaser legato targa version of the mk1 supra. Any info on that?

I'm thinkin ghte took the 4me and used m-te and m-teu parts with 6 psi of boost and a water to air intercooler or no intercooler...pp springs and swaybars.
 

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Thanks for sharing this bit of history! I didn't know there was more than 1. What's the stock top speed of MK1's? 150 mph:eek4dance: is more than I expected from a 4M!:zzzzz: Oh, and I like my 1981's outside rear-view mirrors better! :p
 

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Good lookin' cars... What size were those tires? They look kinda beefy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good lookin' cars... What size were those tires? They look kinda beefy.
What - no questions about the rims? LOL - I caught your comment in another thread :)

I looked closely at the original of the poster - can't read anything other that the white lettering. If I can find anything definitive, I'll post it.

About the biggest thing I have seen fit in the front wheel wells is a 225. If I had to guess (and that' all it would be at this point) - I'd say they are probably 225/60 R14s - same as on the MkII. That matches the original tire diameter - they came with 195/70 R14s.



do you have toyotatech magazine?
any pics of the engine?
any idea on the turbocharger tech?
I'm also looking for info on the griffith sunchaser legato targa version of the mk1 supra. Any info on that?
I have a copy of the Toyota Tech magazine - EVERYTHING that was in it on the cars is already in the thread. No photos under the hood and no details on the turbocharger. If I find anything, I'll add it here.

On the Sunchaser legato (kind of o/t here, but anyway :)) I don't have any photos - this link http://www.pitt.edu/~chirdon/sunchaser/index.html has some good Sunchaser info. IIRC, they only made one Legato.
 

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Here's another part of my collection.



Sorry it's kinda blurry.
 

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I'm also looking for info on the griffith sunchaser legato targa version of the mk1 supra. Any info on that?
On the Sunchaser legato (kind of o/t here, but anyway ) I don't have any photos - this link http://www.pitt.edu/~chirdon/sunchaser/index.html has some good Sunchaser info. IIRC, they only made one Legato.
Okay.... Looks like I need to find more free time & start posting here more often.... So....

1. A Griffith Sunchaser Legato, DOES NOT EXIST!!! If someone can find proof of one ever existing, then I will eat my words!!!

2. For clarification purposes (because I feel like being picky), this is how it actually breaks down: Sunchaser = Celica Coupe. TX22 Sport = Celica Hatchback. Legato = MKI Supra. So it's actually a Griffith Legato. Since I've yet to see a MKI Supra in a "coupe" version...... You get what I'm saying..

3. "they only made one Legato". This actually needs correcting!!! Griffith only made ONE Legato that was TURBO'd!!! Otherwise, they did make quite a few cars that were regular MKI Supras with the Legato conversion. Exact production numbers unfortunately, are unknown.

4. "I'm also looking for info on the griffith sunchaser legato targa version"... The most information that you're going to find anywhere about the Griffith Legato's "on the Internet" is going to be in here: http://www.pitt.edu/~chirdon/sunchaser/sunchaser-days.pdf The article that was interviewed w/ Jose, is about the most information that I have read about the Legato's assembly process that I've been able to find. The majority of them, were assembled down in Florida & they are scattered around the country. See #6 for 1 example.

5. Pictures: (Yes, I realize I'm getting way off topic & this thread is about MKI Pace Cars, please bare with me). Pictures HAVE been posted before!!! ATTENTION duloblast: AHEM!!!!! If you had done a search on "Griffith Legato", guess what you would have found???? Hrmmm.... http://www.forums.celicasupra.com/showthread.php?t=30849&highlight=Griffith+Legato The pictures speak for themselves...... (P.S. Thanks to Archie for getting this Griffith brochure for me!! I still owe you $$$ for it!!!).

6. Are there any left??? Couple of years ago, Dave Koos (Supradavis) located 1 in the Phoenix/Tuscon area... It's not for sale & it's been in the family since 82. Dave did send me a picture of it in the driveway, I need to find it & scan it one of these days.

Back on Topic: This is information that is mostly based on speculation, so don't take my word for it..... Back about ~10 years ago when Keith Hart formed PacNW Supras, we had a member down in the Portland area who owned a 81 MA47 that was a Code 033 White/Code HB45 Beige Cloth interior & a 5 speed. "Supposedly" according to the owner Rick (whom I've met several times & has seen his car several times as well), his car was reportedly one of the Long Beach Grand Prix "Festival" cars (not an actual Pace Car) from back in the day. The car has had a few oddball mods to it (remains of turbo plumbing in the engine bay, a 3 point roll bar inside (that I've seen), and a drivers racing seat that was upholstered in the same HB45 Cloth material (that I've also seen). At the time (last time I saw Rick, was in either 99 or 00), he was still trying to get confirmation if his car was the real thing or not. To this day, I still have no idea, nor does he. Take what I just said with a grain of salt.

Back on topic #2: Not exactly a MKI Supra, but I do have a publicity photo of a Grey 78 RA Celica hatchback LBGP Pace Car somewhere in my stash of pictures. Karl, if you want me to post that one, LMK.

(Edit: I just found a bonus picture a few minutes ago. I have scanned both of them in, just need to upload to Photobucket).

Nice pictures that you guys have found in the meantime!!!
 

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Chris no worries Sir!! I know you got my back if I need anything!!


Toyota Sunchaser on the cover Motor Trend Feb 1980

 

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Back on topic #2: Not exactly a MKI Supra, but I do have a publicity photo of a Grey 78 RA Celica hatchback LBGP Pace Car somewhere in my stash of pictures. Karl, if you want me to post that one, LMK.

(Edit: I just found a bonus picture a few minutes ago. I have scanned both of them in, just need to upload to Photobucket).
Since I have not heard back from Karl, I'm going to put these up anyway.

Not exactly a MKI Pace Car, but more it's "older baby brother". 78 RA Celica Pace Car.



My bonus picture. I had completely forgotten that I even had this. Heh..

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Chris,
Good to see you back on the forum.

Thanks for adding the '78 Celica pace car stuff! :)

I hadn't seen the ad before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Added a few more photos to the first post.
 

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Added a few more photos to the first post.
Thanks, I love seeing or reading anything MK1 related and those pictures were new to me.:zzzzz:
 
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