That Time Toyota Argued Its Fuel Tank Was The Trunk For Le Mans GT1 Rules

Samuel Reason

It’s quite funny that Toyota the creators of such regular family cars as the Camry or the RAV4 also built some of the wildest cars in motorsport history. Especially when they were focused on using the rules as loopholes. One of the projects that pushed the limits further than any other was the 1998 GT1-class homologation special. Codenamed the TS020, and referred to as the Toyota GT-One.

Toyota still keeps one as proof that they did build strange motorcars back in the day. You now find it in a vault in Cologne, Germany in the motorsport’s division headquarters. And it has many funny stories to tell. For example, at the time the GT1 class rules book stated that any racing version of the car had to also have a regular road-going version. Essentially, racing cars also had to be road legal. However, the rulebook was especially vague on how strict one had to follow these guidelines. Something Toyota would regularly take to its advantage.

During the 1990s this meant that many of these races were filled with prototypes that claimed to be road ready such as the Porsche 911 GT1 and the Mercedes CLK GTR. So Toyota jumped in to try to win the competition. So this small window in history gave birth to some of the strangest racing cars that were supposed to have functional street counterparts. Many teams like Toyota would build its car with a track first attitude and then would figure out how to pass the compliance later. This type of rule-bending gave birth to some strange vehicles.

One of the funniest requirements was GT1 cars had to have a compartment to fit a suitcase, basically, they needed a trunk. First Mercedes didn’t put a hatch on the trunk compartment to save weight. After Toyota saw this they took it one step further, eliminating the truck completely. When questioned by officials they argued that the empty fuel tank could hold a suitcase. Amazingly, the regulators agreed that was fine! Because nothing in the rules said you actually had to be able to place a suitcase in the trunk.

Next Article
  • The Legend Of The Sleeping Barbarossa Emperor

    Emperor Frederick I. also known as Barbarossa was an Emperor of modern-day Germany. He became a symbol of stability and national unity, even years after his death. Because the country fell into war and civil war, the people longed for the peace that had existed with Barbarossa’s rule. The legend started because his body was...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Shark Arm Case in Australia

    In 1935, the infamous case of the shark arm started when a tiger shark in captivity vomited up a human arm. The tiger shark was in the Coogee Aquarium Baths on public display. After just a week it became very ill and vomited in front of a crowd. What came out was the forearm of...

    Read More
  • In Russia Cows Are Wearing VR Headsets To Produce More Milk

    You may have seen the photos flying around social media of cows wearing VR headsets. And no they’re not actually fake. These Russian farmers have been putting VR headsets on their cows. Apparently, it can lead to a much higher yield of milk and more money for the farmers. Of course, commenters quickly asserted that...

    Read More
  • The Crypt Of Civilization

    An airtight chamber that was built sometime between 1937 and 1940 is found in Georgia, by the Oglethorpe University. It’s called the Crypt of Civilization and is not planned to be opened until AD 8113. The container is filled with many artifacts and sound recordings from early 20th-century life. The idea was to build something...

    Read More
  • Crooked Teeth Are A Modern Phenomenon

    When you think about cavemen you probably think about clubs, caves, and running away from dinosaurs. So having time for dental hygiene would not have been a top priority. However, research shows that ancient humans had much better teeth than today. Crooked and ill-aligned teeth are a completely modern phenomenon. ...

    Read More
  • Swedish Man Who Tried To Build A Nuclear Reactor In His Home

    One Swedish man tried for months to build a nuclear reactor in his kitchen, and he would probably have never stopped. Richard Handl was curious if he could split an atom at home. Police finally shut down his home research center after he made a call to the radiation authorities to ask if what he...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Stock Market Hackers Of 1834

    A little-known tale of one of the first times cyber crime happened on the stock market is the tale of the Blanc brothers. What’s even more amazing is it happened in 1834 when there was no internet or computers. But since 1794, France had its national telecommunication lines and network called the semaphore telegraph. It...

    Read More
  • Elderly Tenant Received Over $17 Million To Move Out

    A reclusive man who had lived alone for over 30 years was paid an estimated $17 million to move out of a rent-controlled apartment in New York. By far the most expensive payment ever made to relocate a tenant. Apparently, the man’s apartment was extremely damp, very cluttered, and cramp, but still, he refused to...

    Read More