1988 Toyota 88C Pilots: H. Ogawa, P. Barilla, T. Needell Team: Toyota Team TOM’S Race: 24th GC (C1 class) at Le Mans in 1988 Ebbro - 43686 (diecast)
Designed by Hiro Fujimori, the 88C was Toyota’s weapon for Group C prototype tracing for 1988 and 1989. The car was an evolution of the previous year’s 87C, and as all Toyota’s prototypes at the time, Dome was the manufacturer. In fact, Dome made three 87Cs in 1987 that were converted to 88C-specs for the following season. The car counted on a sheet-aluminum monocoque with a honeycomb core as a chassis, with an asymmetric suspension system. Suspension at the front was through double wishbones, while at the rear top rockers were fitted with in-board springs. That was necessary so that there was more room for the ground-effect tunnels underneath.
Without fluids the car weighed 907 kg, which was pretty good. The engine was Toyota’s 3S-GTM, an inline-4 centrally mounted on a separate sub-frame. Displacing 2140 cm³ and turbocharged, it delivered the cavalry through a March 85T five-speed manual gearbox. With an output of 650 hp (680 hp for classifying), top speed for the 88C was 357 km/h. Since the average speed for the 1987 race was 199.661 km/h, the 88C was fast enough. But definitively not as fast as the WM-P88…
Established in 1974, TOM’S (Tachi Oiwa Motor Sport) is an official Toyota racing partner since 1975. Though primarily involved with domestic racing in Japan, in the 80’s TOM’S was Toyota’s works team for Group C racing. For the 24 Heures du Mans of 1988 TOM’S had two cars in the fray, cars #36 (#88C-006) and #37 (#87C-007). Though #37 only managed 24th place, #36 finished in 12th. However, the cool thing about #36 is that one of its pilots was Tiff Needell, one of the best parts of 5th Gear IMO.
In scale it’s a REALLY nice model. Basically, what I have come to expect from Ebbro. And just because of the livery, I think this is now my favorite Toyota of the W-143 Garage. The TS050 is a nice car but has boring livery, while the SARD MC-8 has a nice livery but I don’t care much for the car. Therefor, the taka-Q 88C is my favorite ☺.