MRO Magazine

Classic Toyota Corolla Debuts in the Coast-to-the-Heartland 2016 Great Race

June 17, 2016
By Business Wire News


A great race for a great car! An iconic first-generation 1970 Toyota Corolla sedan will be joining more than 130 vintage cars in the Great Race, a long-distance endurance competition. Starting in Northern California and ending in Moline, Ill., Toyota’s participation is part of the Corolla’s 50th anniversary celebration.

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Jamie Bestwick and the 1970 Toyota Corolla (Photo: Business Wire)

Jamie Bestwick and the 1970 Toyota Corolla (Photo: Business Wire)

Toyota’s first-ever entry in the collector-car endurance road rally, the vintage Corolla will be driven by Jamie Bestwick, 13-time X Games gold medal winner in BMX Vert and SCORE Baja 1000 veteran.

The Corolla will feature a vintage early 1970s racing livery and the Toyota Great Race team will sport period racing uniforms, a fitting homage to the brand’s rich motorsports heritage. The Toyota Corolla itself remains true to its original 1970 specifications – a testament to its capabilities and Toyota’s core values of quality, durability and reliability.

“When Toyota first introduced Corolla in 1966, it became a worldwide overnight success not just because of its quality and style, but also because it allowed so many to pursue their personal adventures and create memories in their car,” said John Myers, Vehicle Marketing and Communications National Manager. “The Great Race provides a perfect opportunity to celebrate the spirit of Corolla, the world’s all-time best-selling car and still one of the top-sellers in the U.S., while also recognizing Toyota’s racing heritage and having some fun along the way.”

The Great Race, which features classic vehicles dating back to 1916, truly captures the Toyota “Let’s Go Places” philosophy. Drivers start in San Rafael, Calif., today and end in Moline, Ill., on Sunday, June 26, following the historic Lincoln Highway through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota and Iowa. The winning rally team will receive a large eagle trophy and a check for $50,000.

Each driver and navigator team, including Bestwick and his navigator Laurence Foster, will receive a set of course instructions at the beginning of the day that indicate every turn, speed change, stop, and start that the team must make throughout the day, leading to a series of checkpoints laid out between the start and finish lines of the race. The team will be joined by a variety of guest navigators along the route, including off-road racing champion BJ Baldwin, world-class snowboarders Amy Purdy, Elena Hight and Louie Vito, professional BMX rider Drew Bezanson, musician Mike Eldred, motocross racer Andy Bell and motorcycle racer and designer Roland Sands.

The course avoids timed segments on interstate highways, opting instead for scenic local, county, and state highways whenever possible through some of the most picturesque backdrops in the United States.

For more information about The Great Race, including schedules and route stops, please visit For daily video updates from Toyota visit or

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S.). Toyota operates 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S. alone which sold almost 2.5 million cars and trucks in 2015) – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety, and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit

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Kyle Cabodi, 310-496-4474