Abandoned In Japan: The Schnitzer Group 5 Celica
If there’s a JDM race car’s history with a bigger hole in it than Trust’s Schnitzer Celica LB Turbo, I’d like to know what it is! Essentially we have a car that we know how it ended up, but no idea how it got there.
I won’t go into too much detail about the life and times of the Schnitzer Group 5 Celica while in Europe, Simon Mallet and Rod Chong from Speedhunters have covered its racing history quite well already. The question we want to address is, “What happened to the Schnitzer Celica that made it to Japan?”
Apparently one of the Schnitzer Celicas was bought to Japan in 1979 by TOM’S which had its front aero revised and raced in the Fuji Super Silhouette Series (opener to the Fuji Grand Championship races). Then in 1982, TRUST Japan took ownership and reverted the front aero back to the original Schnitzer version for that year’s super silhouette races. For the 1983 season TRUST fielded its new Porsche 956 in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) series and retired the Schnitzer Celica when the super silhouette series gradually died and was abandoned in 1984. This is where the story gets a little hazy. At some point after 1983, the TRUST Celica LB Turbo disappeared and as far as we can tell, never saw the race track again. So where did it end up? Here:
It’s probably the saddest of all the “junk cars”   in Japan. To think that at one point in its past this car was circling race tracks in Europe in just mind blowing. It’s also strange that – as far as we know - TRUST hasn’t bothered to track the Schnitzer down, or why the current owner (assuming TRUST sold it) has to left it to rot outside next to a pile of junk. In both instances it could be a simple case of a lack of funds or time and I’m quite sure that this car has a greater meaning to some people and not others. Still, it’s not the type of car you’d expect to be abandoned somewhere.
The pictures of the TRUST sponsored Schnitzer above are quite old, I don’t have any information on the location or when exactly the photos were taken so the car could very well be in better shape than is shown. The information here is incomplete so if anyone out there has any more photos or information on this car and its life in Japan, please drop us a line.
Words: Justin Karow
Images: sawacchiな日常, Trust Japan, Dan Yasunaga