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  Toyota 7 Turbo

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Country of origin:Japan
Produced in:1970
Source:Company press release
Last updated:November 27, 2007
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionToyota ventured into the prototype category, and although it was a big step forward, the Toyota 7 was powered by a 3-litre V8 Toyota 300hp engine whereas the Nissan R381 and Taki Racing Lola T70 both were powered by an over 5-litre V8 Chevrolet 450hp engine. With this obvious handicap, the Toyota 7 was never able to win a Japanese GP.

However, the Toyota 7 showed its strength in the various endurance races it entered. In 1968 the 1st Japanese Can-Am race - a race that was on a par with the Japanese GP - was held with many entrants joining from overseas. Yukio Fukuzawa led the Toyota 7 to 4th place, followed by 3 more Toyota 7s, dominating 5th to 7th positions. At the 2nd Can-Am race, Minoru Kawai was standing on the centre of the podium. Later Toyota was able to prove Toyota 7's potential by winning the Fuji 1000 km, Suzuka 12 Hours, and Suzuka 1000 km.

The following year, 1969, Toyota came out with a new 5-litre Toyota 7, which made its debut at the July Fuji 1000 km race. Expectations grew in Toyota for the Japanese GP, however, Nissan came out with a 6-litre engine and Toyota finished in 3rd to 5th positions. One month later, Minoru Kawai was able to hold back the Americans to win the Japanese Can-Am race with a refined Toyota 7.

In 1970 Toyota had planned to enter the US Can-Am races overseas with a Turbo-charged version of the 7, but with the deaths of Fukuzawa and Kawai during testing, the Toyota 7 project was put to rest.

Featured is the still-born Toyota 7 Turbo, which was not raced before the program was abandoned. The car was retained by Toyota and restored to full running order to liven up Toyota's entry into Formula 1. It is shown here in the Louwman Collection Museum, where it was displayed on loan from the factory museum.

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  Article Image gallery (2) Specifications