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If Toyota had entered the Winston Cup in 1972 ?


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Toyota has been competing in the NASCAR Cup Series since 2007 with the Camry, but the kit I have built this time is a NASCAR version of the Toyota Crown, built under the fictional assumption that Toyota was competing in the Winston Cup Series 51 years ago in 1972.
The fourth-generation Toyota Crown, unveiled in 1971, was an ill-fated model that was changed to the fifth generation in just three and a half years, as its overly innovative body design was unpopular with the conservative buying public of the time.


I was still in junior high school in 1971 when this Crown was unveiled, and I found the two-door hardtop design very attractive, showing similarities with the body designs of the Ford Torino, Mercury Cyclone, and Dodge Charger of the time.

So, based on the following fictitious background, I decided to refurbish a production car kit of the 4th generation Crown to NASCAR specifications.

..When the fourth generation (S6#/7#) Crown was first exported to the U.S. in 1971, it was decided to enter the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in order to increase its name recognition and appeal its performance in the U.S.
 The decision to enter the series was made with the main sponsor, Crown Cola, which had the third largest market share but was still far behind Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola, and wanted to expand its market share, aiming for a synergistic effect of raising awareness of the "Crown" car name and sponsor name.

The basic plan was to combine the body of the "1971 TOYOTA CROWN HT SL" released by Doyusha in Japan with JO-HAN's "Ford Torino OVAL TRACK RACER" and modify it to NASCAR specifications, but detailed fitting adjustments were necessary. The following is a brief description of the project.

1. Body

In order to fit the wheelbase of the JO-HAN Ford TORINO, the body was cut at the rear end of the front wheel arches and the first half of the body was extended by 8mm by inserting a plastic plate.
 The front wheel arches are slightly extended outward to accommodate racing tires.
 In addition, various moldings and emblems of the production version have been shaved off, the race-spec fuel inlet, gas cap, and overflow pipe have been reproduced, the taillights have been removed and a rear panel added, catch pins have been added to the engine hood and trunk lid, front and rear spoilers have been added, and the doorknobs have been removed. 


2. Front Grille

 The Japanese domestic version is equipped with two rectangular headlamps, which were changed to four round headlamps that existed in the overseas version, and headlamp covers were installed. The leftmost lamp has a mesh finish for cooling the oil cooler.

3. cockpit, roll cage, and chassis

 Basically, the cockpit, roll cage, and chassis of JO-HAN Ford TORINO were used, but the upper part of the roll bar was modified to fit the Crown body. The instrument panel is from a Monogram early 80's NASCAR kit, and the 70's American Powerslide instrument decals were applied.





4. Engine

 The V8 engine of the first generation Toyota Century, Toyota's top-of-the-line car at the time, was a cross-flow OHV system with a center-plug hemispherical combustion chamber, the so-called 'HEMI' engine.
I have tried to create the engine as it should be by combining engine parts from JO-HAN, monogram, and Revell under the assumption that this V8 engine was modified to be a NASCAR engine.

5. tires and wheels

 Tires and wheels are from the Ford Torino Talladega released by Polar Lights.




6.Paint and Markings

 The paint scheme is that of the Ford Torino that Buddy Baker drove in 1972, sponsored by Royal Crown Cola, and the decals are from Powerslide.








As mentioned above, it took a long time to complete the project, but when it was finished, I felt that the Crown hardtop, which was unpopular in Japan at the time, was transformed into a powerful racing car that is very NASCAR stock car-like, and I personally enjoyed the project very much.



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Must agree with the other comments, looks very much like a NASCAR contender and with Buddy Baker as driver I'm pretty sure it finished well. Really appreciate the work you did extending the nose section, that is some really clean work.

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Thanks everyone!

I am glad that you all enjoyed this model, which I produced based on my fantasy of what it would have been like if such a scene had been realized.


Edited by gami8630
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I had no Idea the Crown was that big but seeing is believing . But did Toyota even have a 400 plus cubic inch v-8 back then that could have even qualified for any events on the Nascat schedule in 1972. Great job on this ultimate fantasy build.

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