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1983 Toyota Celica Street Racing - Driver

Import Cars From Yesteryear To Today

Scott Tsuneishi
Oct 1, 2008 SHARE
Turp_0810_01_z+1983_toyota_celica_street_racing+mazda_savanna_gt Photo 1/1   |   1983 Toyota Celica Street Racing - Driver

The Tides Have Definitely Changed
It All Began When I Attended My First Street Race At The Tender Age Of 16.

Living life in the fast lane became an obsession for me in the mid to late '80s. It all began when I attended my first street race at the tender age of 16. At the time, I was barely legal to drive and still learning the simplistic routine of properly shifting without smoking the clutch. But I thought I was the baddest kid on the block who owned an '83 Celica, sporting a stainless steel Sonic Turbo exhaust and Doug Thorley headers. My superior ego quickly shrunk into the size of a jelly bean after being exposed to a serious quarter-mile ass whipping by a Mazda RX3 at a weekend street race. I later learned from the hard-knock street life that the RX3 made a raspy noise not because of bad tuning but because it was sporting a J-bridge port and a set of 48mm Dellorto updrafts. A classic posse of Datsun 1200s and '77 Celicas screaming down the quarter-mile with a distinct sound and smell of side draft Mikuni carburetors still resonate fondly in my head. As the years continued to pass, so did the technology of cars as I managed to scrounge up some cash and sell the Celica for a used '92 Integra. The street races were at an all-time high as cars slowly began evolving from classic carburetion to a more sophisticated fuel-injection setup. Many of the more recognizable faces and names still within the industry today ran within the group such as Alex Shen known as "Texas Turbo" and his then famous MA70 Supra with Texas plates to today's import icon Stephan Papadakis who took to the streets in a nitrous-fed EF Civic (Steph, you never did ever tell us how much you were squeezing). The names and faces that have shaped today's import industry can go on for pages as a new generation of badasses are paving their own road to fame within the drift, drag, and road race scene.

Times have definitely changed since I experienced my first quarter-mile race. Our cover car is a prime example of superior Toyota engineering with a touch of Tommy Banh's Texas two-step, which propelled him to an amazing 228.7 mph. Tommy's Supra took top honors while Second Place went to a twin-turbo Viper that was nearly 5 mph slower. While we're on the subject of power, the team at AMS Performance generously sent us a copy of their dyno sheet, which we thoughtfully posted in our Final Call section. This dyno sheet also includes the vehicle specs that achieved AMS's world-record run to the tune of 1,130 whp on their drag-prepped Evo XIII, the world's highest horsepower Evo! If that doesn't get those V-8-lovin' kinfolks, nothing will. Before I lose myself and continue to ramble on about my glory days, I hope you enjoy this issue as Turbo magazine is committed to bringing worldwide event coverage and in-depth tech you've come to know us for.

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By Scott Tsuneishi
247 Articles

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