If you owned NSX, GT-R, Lexus SC/IS, Toyota MR2 Spyder or Subaru Legacy/Impreza, you would be excited if you watch Japanese Super GT race because you knew your car wasn't on the race track but it looked like your car transformed into Super GT race car. Japanese Super GT race started in 1994. In 1996, AE86 Trueno, MR-2 and Chevrolet Cavalier took part in Super GT race. (In 1996, Toyota was selling Chevrolet Cavalier. If you own a Cavalier and you like JDM, you can remove Chevy emblem and put Toyota emblem.) Super GT race is very popular in Japan now but in 1970, one Japanese race's popularity exceeded Super GT race. That race is TS race and TS stands for "Tokusyu Touring Car Race". Tokusyu stands for "special". TS race was not main race event at that time; the main race was Japanese Formula car race but TS race was more popular than the main race. I think TS race looks like the half time show of NFL. TS race was very popular from '70s until mid '80s. Many people made the line at the gate form at midnight before the race. Nissan Skyline GT-R (KPGC10) and Mazda RX-3 were racing at the TS race before the oil crisis in 1973. After '73, Nissan and Toyota spent much money and time for developing 1300cc-under cars and needed to focus on selling the cars. Nissan Sunny B110 (Datsun 1200), Nissan Cherry (Datsun F10), Toyota Starlet KP47 and KP61 and Honda Civic RS (SB1) all took part in the TS race.
This special event brought back the feeling of TS race. Tomei's Sunny B110 was very popular and it had yellow paint body with blue and red arrow signs. It stood out on the race track. A few years ago, Hirota Car Factory built a replica of Tomei powered Sunny and took part in classic race. It is replica but engine is real Tomei A12 motor. In fact Tomei is still selling the same racing parts for A12 motor. Please try to ask Tomei Japan if you have a Datsun 1200. One KP47 Starlet race car had special motor. Toyota customized the OHV motor to DOHC 3K-R/137E motor, which can make 180ps. Toyota spent over one million dollar for developing KP47 Starlet race car at that time. Nissan and Toyota built some TS race cars. They were called "Works Sunny" and "Works Starlet" by TS race fun. "Works" mean Toyota and Nissan spend a lot of money for developing/building race cars. One mechanic has a real Starlet KP47 and it is just one Works KP47 Starlet in the world now. You can watch it at the Japanese Classic Car Race or you can watch 3KR motor at the Toyota Historic car museum in Odaiba, Tokyo.
In 1980, Nissan Sunny B110 was still fast at the TS race but Honda Civic took top position from Sunny B110. Nissan Sunny B110 is FR; Honda Civic is FF. Team Yamato's Honda Civic TS race car has 1298cc OHC motor which can make 150ps. Engine was built by Mugen and engine was called MF318 motor. Stock Civic RS (SB1) motor can make 76ps. Team Yamato Civic was faster than Works Sunny B110 and Team Yamato was actually part of Honda R&D. You can watch Team Yamato Civic TS race car in the Honda Collection Hall at Twin-Ring Motegi race track in Tochigi prefecture. TS race is not just a race of the past; you can watch TS now. You can watch TS Sunny B110/B310 and TS Starlet KP47/KP61 at Japan Classic Car Festival in Japan. Not only TS race cars but also Honda S800 race car, Datsun 510/240Z race cars, Corolla, Celica, Hakosuka Skyline, Mazda Cosmo race car and more. It is not a car show; it's racing. The parking lot of the Japan Classic Car Festival is a classic car show of its very own. I would like to invite you to go to this festival if you like Japanese classic cars. If you want to watch TS racing now, please check YouTube.com, enter "B110 TS" and search, then you can watch TS race, new and old one.