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Thread: Toyota 578A

  1. #1

    Toyota 578A

    This is the incredible Toyota 578A Group 7 racer. Toyota developed and built the 578A in late 1969/1970 with the intention of competing in the Can-Am series.

    It was powered by a twin-turbocharged 5 litre quad-cam Toyota V8, with alloy block, flat-plane crank, and mechanical fuel injection. It produced 800 horsepower (at a time the best big block Chevy powered Can-Am cars had around 700 horsepower) and weighed around 650 kg. Sadly, it claimed the life of Minoru Kawai in a testing shunt at Suzuka in August 1970, and Toyota opted to shut down its Group 7 program. Subsequently, the 578A never raced.

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  2. #2
    I don't know whether or not it's the photo, but it does look a bit stubby...

    And are those wheels from Lola?

    We didn't get much information about this car in the day, I seem to recall that there was or was to be a Japanese round of the Can-Am at one stage, probably a bit later.

    Nice to see it...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    I don't know whether or not it's the photo, but it does look a bit stubby...

    And are those wheels from Lola?

    We didn't get much information about this car in the day, I seem to recall that there was or was to be a Japanese round of the Can-Am at one stage, probably a bit later.

    Nice to see it...
    Group 7 regs were only introduced in Japan in 1968, so the level of progress, both speed and technical, was staggering. Everything on these cars was designed and manufactured in Japan, including the wheels. That said, there were some things the Japanese copied.

    The most important race in Japan during the 1960s was the Japan Grand Prix for sports cars, contested on the high-speed Mt Fuji Speedway. It seems the Japanese focused more on reducing drag than seeking downforce, hence why the cars often looked quite stubby. In most cases they featured a Manx-tail.

    There were two races held at Mt Fuji late in 1968 and 1969 in which several Can-Am cars from the US attended. The factory McLaren team didn't make the trip, but a lot of other top teams did. It wasn't a round of the Can-Am, but was essentially the next best thing.

    I agree Ray, nice to see these cars. There hasn't been a great deal of information about this period of racing in Japan.

  4. #4
    I think there were several Japan GPs...

    A Touring Car Grand Prix and a Sports Car Grand Prix and also the openwheeler Grand Prix which attracted the likes of the Mildren team, Leo Geoghegan and I think I recall Graeme Lawrence going there too. Didn't Leo win it in 1969?

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