Back in 1965, Toyota introduced their first ever production sports car – the Sport 800. The Sport 800 wasn't the most powerful car in the bunch, having only an 800cc dual-carbed flat-two engine, which produced 45 PS. It did however, use weight, or lack there of, and aerodynamics to its advantage. To prove it's competitiveness, Toyota entered four Sport 800s into the Suzuka 500km endurance race in 1966, and captured a one-two win.
As the years passed by, the 2nd placer Sport 800 was left in a rather dilapidated state as seen in the photo below. Apart from finishing second, this specific chassis was also one of the first to leave the factory as seen on its '10007' chassis number. After being recovered by Toyota and discovering its historic significance, it was passed on to Gazoo Racing to get a new lease on life.
Due to the amount of decay, more than half of the vehicle's body had to be rebuilt from new sheet metal. Furthermore, the motorsport-prepared Sport 800 was different from the production car. This left the restorers to seek advice from owner's clubs as there was also no spare parts or design drawings to refer to.
To make this restoration as faithful to the original model, new old stock components were used. For parts that couldn't be found, they were fabricated The race suspension was also rebuilt and retained. Meanwhile it's engine has benefited from modern balancing techniques to improve response and durability.
Recently, the team finished restoration of the the lightweight racer, and has now been reborn as the Sport 800 GR Concept. Finished in the same livery as the current Gazoo Racing models, it is the newest addition to the Gazoo Racing concept line up together with the GR Super Sports Concept and the GR Supra Racing Concept.
Watch the video above to see the tranformation of the Toyota Sport 800.