1998 TOM’S Racing Castrol Toyota Supra Is an Unexpected Barn Find
There’s something romantic about barn finds. The idea that there are hidden cars just waiting to be rediscovered and returned to the road, rust stains and all, is enough to captivate car enthusiasts around the world. In the United States, a typical barn find could include a stash of classic American cars. But elsewhere, the vehicles that people lock up and hoard are often very different.
This 1998 Toyota Supra racing car, recently discovered in Japan, is a perfect example. You see, it’s not just any Supra race car. (If you have played any of the Gran Turismo video games, you have to recognize the livery of the car right away.) Here’s a TOM’S Castrol Supra that raced at the Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC). According to TOM’S Racing, the car was found in a warehouse in the Chugoku region of Japan. Presumably, it has been stored there since the last time it ran, as the body still has scratches and other damage sustained on the track. Its beautiful Castrol green and red graphics are however still clearly visible.
Even if it doesn’t seem this bad in these photos, the supra barn racing car is apparently in bad condition. For one, there is no engine under the hood, although TOM suggests that the engine was found with the car. Second, many of his pieces are rusted by years of neglect. TOM’S Racing hopes to get the car back on track, but is asking for help from the Internet. The Japanese racing team has set up a crowdfunding project to raise funds for the restoration. Their objective? A fee of ¥ 50,000,000, or approximately $ 466,000 at current exchange rates.
In recognition of your contribution, TOM’S will engrave your name somewhere on the car. The exact location depends on how generous you feel. For example, ¥ 5,000 (about $ 47) has a “special site” on the car for you, which you will probably need to share with anyone who donates at this level. For ¥ 3,000,000 (approximately $ 28,000), you get your name engraved on a special security plaque in the driver’s seat, as well as 2021 Super GT racing passes (the successor to the JGTC) and access to the TOM’S Racing hospitality suite. You could also rent a car from the TOM garage for a day on the track. Even with all of these added benefits, it’s a high price. But for a super fan of TOM’S Supra, it may be worth it.
At TOM’S Castrol Toyota Supra won the JGTC GT500 class drivers’ championship and the team championship in 1997, but the TOM’S Supra was less successful the following year. The provenance of this Supra has not yet been revealed, but the fact that TOM’S Racing decided to restore it so soon after its discovery could mean that it is an important car. The team will post video updates on their progress on YouTube, and donors will receive exclusive regular project updates via the crowdfunding site.
We are not ready to spend any money yet, but we will certainly follow to see how this restoration works. At the very least, the discovery makes us want to dust off our PlayStation 2 and take the TOM’S Supra out of the garage for a ride around the Fuji Speedway.