TOYOTA 92C-V For sale
Rare Toyota factory car
Raced 1992/93/94 Le Mans 24h to 5th/6th/4th place
Entirely rebuilt & perfect entry for 2023 Le Mans Classic
Price: Please Inquire
Back in 1990-1993 the Le Mans 24h experienced a truly Golden Age, with great manufacturers competing in an effort to win the most iconic endurance race. Jaguar, Nissan, Mazda, Peugeot, Porsche, Sauber and Toyota designed exceptional race cars and provided considerable resources for their teams to build and race cars that were at the pinnacle of automotive development. The Japanese motor industry was in a period of great expansion and the European market was the top foreign target.
Toyota contracted Dome who first debuted at Le Mans with the spectacular « Zero » in 1979, and in 1985 a Toyota - Dome « 85C » appeared, powered by a 4 cylinder engine. Then in 1989 came the 89C, powered by a twin turbo V8. The cars proved to be reliable but suffered from a lack of an ambitious and sufficiently funded program. In late 1990 it was decided to draw the line and focus on the design and construction of a new car for the 1991 season based upon the new « Category 1 » regulations with 750kg cars powered by 3.5 liter engines. The new car called TS010 was extremely fast but the first tests proved that reliability was questionable.
However, the decision had been made in mid 1991 to develop a newer version of the Category 2 C-V cars , the 92C-V, as a « back up car » for Toyota’s Le Mans effort. Mazda’s victory at Le Mans in 1991 also confirmed Toyota's ambition to win.
In fact the 92C-V ( aka « 1992 Groupe C V8 » ) was more than an evolution from the 90C-V . Still built by Dome it benefited from totally new bodywork, suspension, carbon brakes and upgraded engine. It was indeed built to be bullet proof and reliable as pure performance was of no real interest back then over a 24 hour race distance. It was also designed to generate more down force because of the two chicane configuration of the circuit since 1991.
Two chassis were entered at the 1992 Le Mans and the subject car, chassis 001 bore number 35 on a beautiful red-rose on white body livery. It was driven by Fouché, Andskar and the legendary Stephan Johansson. Entered under the Toyota Team Tom's banner it was run by Trust, a well know Japanese Le Mans team and All Japan Sport Cars championship winner. It qualified in a respectable 17th place but soon consistently ran in the top ten. Despite awful weather conditions that usually generate less stress on mechanical components, the reliability of the Cat. 1 cars proved to be questionable and our car finished a remarkable 5th overall, the other 92C-V achieving 9th. place.
In 1993 the car was renamed « 93C-V » but still retained its 001 VIN. Its front end was revised to generate more down force, easily recognizable by its front flat splitter and the car was entered with race number 25. It was still driven by the Kiwi George Fouché, paired with the Swede Eje Elgh and Steven Andskar. It was a year of intense competition between the Cat 1 cars with no less that four Toyota TS010s and three Peugeots entered. Again the TS010 encountered failures and this was a « triplé » for Peugeot. Thanks to a remarkable effort on the Sunday morning our car managed to finish a surprising 6th overall only a couple of laps from the best placed TS010. 1993 was supposed to be the last year of Group C cars but this wouldn’t be the end of the 92C-V 's career.
Indeed for 1994 the regulations had changed opening a new area for GT cars but Porsche decided to « play » with the rules. They managed to homologate the 962 as a GT car with Dauer but Toyota decided to modify the 92C-V into a LMP1, an all new category at Le Mans. Despite a massive handicap in terms of weight ( 1000kg instead of 900kg ), fuel capacity and downforce, it was decided to enter another two cars that year. Most of the LMP1 modifications consisted in a repositioned rear wing, longer tail and smaller diffuser whereas the front remained the same. Chassis 001 was driven again by the reliable pair of Fouché and Anskar complemented by the famous Porsche ace, Bob Wolleck.
It qualified in 8th position only 4 seconds from the Courage C32 that achieved pole. In the early stages of the race the battle was very close between Courage, Dauer and Toyota but soon the Toyotas proved to be fast on track, chassis 001 running 2nd after one hour. The sister car, chassis 005 took the lead after 4 hours, with 001 3rd, then 1st and second after 7h and during the night our car shared the lead with its sister car. Unfortunately it suffered from minor issues and lost a couple of laps in the morning. However, 005 still held the lead until an hour and a half before the end of the race, when it broke a gearbox linkage and famously stopped on track at the end of the pit lane. It actually cost two laps to fix it and the car finished 2nd, only one lap from the Dauer Porsche. Toyota would not win Le Mans, a disappointment after leading it for most of the race. Our car chassis 001 finally finished a fantastic 4th overall proving its tremendous build quality and reliability.
In 3 participations the 92C-Vs always saw the chequered flag and essentially achieved better results than the TS010.
Only 001 and 005 were entered at Le Mans and each time they completed the race, a kind of record in this respect where only a handful of cars actually finished the race. After the race both cars returned to Japan and 005 was later donated to the Le Mans Museum. 001 however, was used as a development car for the GT-One engine that was in fact very largely based on that of the 92C-V .
This car, the sole example in private hands, remained Team Trust’s property until the end of the 2000s when it was acquired by a collector in South Africa who shipped it to the UK for it to be restored to its former glory.
In 2017 it was acquired by the current owner who had the car completely race prepared for Group C Racing with no expenses spared.
The car had a few outings before its engine was rebuilt in 2021 by famous engine builder Xtec delivering 782 HP with a very steady boost, running with Motec ECU and data logging. Since then the car has been developed in the hands of former Le Mans winner Eric Hélary.
The car's critical components have all been cracked tested and it is in race ready condition. It also comes with an extensive spares package.
There could hardly be a more historic, exotic and reliable Group C car to compete with on the historic racing scene. Its quality of build and proven cutting edge technology would make it a fantastic and trouble free car to race at the Le Mans Classic in 2023.
This three times Le Mans entrant is a fabulous opportunity to acquire an extremely rare Toyota factory car prototype, fully ready to race.