Hasegawa 1/24 Denso Toyota 88C

KIT #: 20235
PRICE: 2400 yen SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Curbside. 2007 release


Back in the mid 1980s, Group C sports car racing was as popular if not more so than Formula One. The Toyota factory decided to get involved and so hired Tom's, a company that specialized in tuning and high performance parts to run the operation. The resulting Toyota group C car made its debut in the 1987 season, running in both the Japanese Group C championship and select European races.

For 1989, the 88C was the car of choice. It was actually a development of the earlier 87C, something that is quite common in car racing, for cars are rarely exactly the same from race to race. The #38 car that is the subject of this kit was a steady runner but never won any races. Its highest finish was 4th at Dijon This kit shows the car as it ran in LeMans in 1989. Two cars were entered and finished 12th and 24th.

The sponsor, Denso, is a Japanese spark plug company.


This is one of many fine sports and racing kits produced by the various Japanese companies. Tamiya and Fujimi both are involved and this one from Hasegawa is as nice as any. It is a curbside, which means no full engine, but it does contain a full interior. Most of the chassis on these types of kits are flat pans with axle stubs on which the wheels will fit. Not having chassis detail isn't really a big deal as these cars usually had flat undersides to enhance air flow and produce downforce. The kit does provide a transmission housing so when one looks in the rear, something is there besides a blank wall.

As there are variants on this Toyota, Hasegawa has made such that these can be modeled. This means that the bodywork is not a single, complete piece as one might expect. There are inserts for the side and rear to allow for this change. Wheels are plastic and there are no chrome bits. Four nicely done vinyl tires are included and bagged separately from the rest of the kit. The parts are molded in white, supposedly to allow for minimal painting, but most of us will paint this one. Unpainted plastic just looks like unpainted plastic! The clear bits are quite well done and will allow a good look at the interior.

The large decal sheet is quite well done with the white bits on the windscreen and side windows being reproduced on the sheet. All the red parts will need to be painted, but it doesn't appear that it will be too onerous a task. Note also that pretty much the entire inside of the body and interior will need to be painted matte black. It is well worth planning things out accordingly to get the best results. There is another sheet that has tire lettering. This is a dry transfer sheet so it will stick to the vinyl.


If you like sports/racing cars, then this is a kit you should consider. It wasn't a big winner, but later versions of this chassis went on to dominate the IMSA GTP series with All American Racers.


Kit instructions.

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August 2023

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