1987 LM07 Toyota / Gr.C
- ◎The final version LM05C Group C car produced by Japan’s Le Mans Garage
- ◎Powered by a Toyota 3S-G engine (2.1ℓ Inline-4 Turbo)
- ◎Raced in Fuji and Suzuka 1000km races in 1987 and finished 7th in both races
- ◎Just finished a complete restoration by a Japanese specialist
The LM07 Toyota is a Group C machine produced by the Japanese Le Man Garage in 1987. The Group C machine not being popular among the casual fans, we need to delve into the background of how this machine came to birth.
In 1982, the Group C was founded, and that October at Fuji Speedway, WEC Japan was held. It had been a while since a world championship was held in Japan so among Japanese constructers, the mood to create a domestic group C machine was high. Among them was Le Man Commercial Group’s contractor division, Le Man Garage, which imported and sold racing cars and parts.
The LM03C debuted on July 1983 at the Fuji 1000km with Haruto Yanagida/Koji Tomioka as drivers. The LM-03 was developed as the third car they developed following the Thunder LM-39 which raced both GC and F2 and the Skyline Turbo C which was developed for the Kyalami 9 Hour Race in 1982. The side radiator of this Group C machine shows major influence from the Porche 956 and the chassis combines the single skin aluminum twin tube monocoque with rear steel tube sub frame.
The car is equipped with a Nissan LZ20B-type 2089cc straight-4 turbo, thus the car entered as the Fairlady Z/C. But due to lack of rigidity of the chassis and lack of engine power and maturation, the car struggled. Next year in 1984, improvements were made and 3 cars were introduced as the LM04C. The cars were distributed to Central 20 racing led by Yanada and Hasemi Motor Sports led by Masahiro Hasemi, with Hasemi/Kenji Tohira finishing 4th at the All Japan Fuji 1000km. In 1985, the Le Man Garage developed a LM05C that passed the safety guidelines introduced that year.
The basic concept follows that of the LM03C and 04C but the monocoque of the footboy, etc. were upgraded to fit the safety standards, and the aluminum honey comb applied to improve the rigidity. Also the body design was revamped with the Venturi-structured under floor and the hollow, called the Porsche hump, was moved to the front to improve the aerodynamics.
On the other hand, the LM05C is fitted with a 2341cc Nissan FJ23 inline-four, four-valve turbo engine. On the right side of the body, a radiator and oil cooler , on the left side an inter cooler was mounted. The LM05C (At the time, called Nissan Turbo C) debuted from Team Le Man at Fuji 500 mile in July, and in the rain at the WEC Japan the trio of Osamu Chugo/Akio Morimoto/Piro Emanuel started from the 23rd grid and finished second to everybody’s surprise after Kazuyoshi Hoshino’s March 85C Nissan, the first Japanese driver and Japanese car to win the WEC.
Next year in 1986, with Nissan providing the powerful VG30-type 3-liter V6 turbo, Le Man decided to change the chassis to March but in order to utilize the good balance that the LM05C had with the smaller-output engine, they created the LM06C with a 2090cc Toyota 4T-GT inline-4 turbo. With CARA as their sponsor, the duo of Akio Morimoto/Frantz Conrad raced in the All Japan Endurance Championship and WEC In Japan, but unfortunately the 10th place finish at the All Japan Fuji 500km was their best finish.
The LM07 Toyota is the LM06C with a Toyota 2140cc inline-4 3S-G turbo. The chassis and body has basically not changed from the LM05C but with OLIO FIAT as a sponsor, Osamu Nakako/Maurizio Sandro Sala pair performed well in this car, such as 7th place finish in the opening race at the All Japan Fuji 1000km. They also finished 10th at the Fuji 500 mile race and 7th in the International Suzuka 1000km. The car put up for auction is the only LM07 Toyota built in 1987, which Japanese specialist restored to running condition. Due to its recent restoration, a shake down and setup of the individual parts are still required.
LOT NUMBER 5