5/18/2016 9:45:57 PM
The 21st Annual Toyota fest show was held in Long Beach, California on May 7, 2016, with the iconic Queen Mary serving as the show’s vintage backdrop. Toyota fest, which is hosted each year by TORC (Toyota Owner’s and Restorer’s Club), is known as the largest West Coast gathering of Toyota cars. Examples vary over a wide range of entries; old school, modified retro-rods, restorations-in-progress, and fully restored vehicles are present, along with modified current-model cars. This event brings together diehards from around the world – their common interest is the love of all things Toyota.
This year’s event went back to its roots as TORC directors made the decision to acknowledge each owner’s efforts within their selected category of participation and recognize individuals for outstanding and/or unique work, in an effort to lessen the idea of the event being a competition. In years past, Toyota fest was a car show with typical first-, second-, or third-place awards in specific categories.
The 2016 edition of Toyota fest was also bittersweet for the company and its loyal owners in the Southern California area; this is the last Toyota fest before the company makes the move to their new headquarters in Plano, Texas. Within the past few months, Toyota has made headlines not only on the corporate move, but also by restructuring their branding as the Scion nameplate fell victim to the fickle nature of the automotive market. Toyota fest 2016 marked the last event where Toyota Motor Sales USA contributes to the event with three brands.
Next year, only Toyota and Lexus will be present as the Scion brand will dissolve into the Toyota family. Noted as a final farewell party for the Scion brand, the marketing team pulled out all the stops and displayed the best SEMA cars in Scion’s 10 year history including the FIVE:AD speedster, the original xB DJ car, Air Runner-equipped Kogi BBQ xD, and many more.
To say the turnout was huge was an understatement. Classic Toyotas like the 2000GT, Publica, Celica, Land Cruiser, AE86, MR2, and Supra were present, while the newer-generation Scion FR-S and VIP Lexus models also jam-packed the venue from the shoreline to the parking lot; nearly 500 cars were on display this day.