Silver Bullet: Toyota Supra (Mk4)

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Words & Photos: Giancarlo Pawelec

With plans to combat and outshine the popular Datsun (now Nissan) Z-car in the late 1970s, Toyota introduced a remake of their popular Celica to the west. Brought to the USA in 1979, this new flagship sports car was given the badge of Celica Supra Mark 1. New to the Toyota lineup was a 2.6-liter, inline-6 cylinder, 12-valve, SOHC motor (known as the 4M-E) boasting an impressive 110hp. Furthermore, this was the first motor that Toyota featured with electronic fuel injection – an innovative engineering feat in its day. Just over a decade later, Toyota introduced what would be the last and quite possibly the most sought after Japanese sports car in the 20th century with the Mark 4 (Mk4). This sleek-lined coupe was completely revolutionary when introduced as a 1993.5 model boasting a 2.6-liter, sequential twin turbo charged inline-6 cylinder motor tagged as the 2JZ-GTE and producing 320bhp.

Fast forward to the new millennium and glance at this beautiful masterpiece of automotive design and engineering. Still after almost a decade since its last production run in the United States, the Mk4 Supra still tugs at heart strings worldwide with its bold looks and even more impressive performance. Having been around many top notch Supras, the temptation to feature another was too great for refusal. The crew at Wicked C.A.S. (www.wickedcas.com) promised a show quality Alpine Silver-colored Mk4 Supra and was it ever impressive. With an engine bay cleaner than anyone’s kitchen table and more bling-bling than a rap star’s teeth, the show and go were both present.

The lucky owner of this Japanese supercar is Brian, a New Hampshire resident. After only a handful of minutes chatting, one can clearly note that he is a true Toyota Supra enthusiast. In fact, not only did he seek the best parts and craftsmanship for his ride but he also uses it as a daily driver. His philosophy towards building a rolling work of art is that of a purist, not a museum curator. Having owned the Supra for much of its life, Brian began with the more common add-ons including a set of large 19-inch CCW 505A wheels finished in shiny chrome and wrapped in Continental ContiSportContact 2 265 and 295 rubber. Next to go was the factory suspension components that lacked substance for aggressive driving so a set of TEIN Flex coilovers were put in place. Now with the lower side of the vehicle complete with new ‘shoes’ Brian needed to compliment it with look-good pieces.

Like most early production Mk4 Supra owners, Brian upgraded the entire lighting system including front headlight, taillight and turn signal assemblies to the ‘dark housing’ style found in later models. For better visibility at night, Halo HIDs were installed for both low and high beam. The only other small detail changed to the exterior of this silver bullet is a custom cut and fitted Wings West front lip. Keep in mind that Brian’s philosophy of automobiles is that of a purist, so to say that this Supra lacks a full aero kit or useless vinyl graphics on the shell is simply wrong.

For the interior portion of this daily driver both Sparco and Greddy goods were enlisted for creature comfort and as the monitoring tools of choice. A set of Torino race buckets and harness bar help keep the driver in place during hard runs while an array of 60mm gauges provide accurate and much needed readings including fuel and oil pressure, exhaust gas temperature, oil temperature and boost.

Cockpit aside, the audio / visual department of this machine is also finely tuned and features an array of catalogue goodies. The entire factory setup has been improved greatly by the guys over at Wicked C.A.S. with the use of JL Audio products that reads like a press release. Two JL Audio amplifiers power three 8W7 subwoofers, ZR650-CSI component speakers and a XR560-CXI coaxial set. Up front, a Kenwood head unit keeps all ones-and-zeros in check. Custom enclosed in the trunk area are two Xenarc 10-inch touch-screen monitors and a Mac Mini computer system.

Now if up to this point your mouth is not drooling and heart pounding like the time of your first crush, take a seat as we move onto the power plant of this silver Mk4 – the real reason this generation of Supra still lives strong in many enthusiast’s minds. The notorious 2JZ-GTE motor is known for producing big numbers, some say even more so than its Nissan rival the RB26DETT. To prove that this motor can not only make big numbers, but be extremely reliable as is the case with Brian’s daily commute to and from work – the entire internals and even transmission of this monster have been left untouched. The first few modifications for more power were a set of HKS 264-degree camshafts, Titan Motorsports cam gears and Unorthodox Racing pulleys. Now that some ponies have been freed, Brian felt the need – yes, the need for speed. For this, the choice was simple and a call was made to Sound Performance (SP Racing, Inc.).  Not long after, a shipment of go-fast goods arrived – including an SP63 (0.68 A/R) turbocharger, 3-2-1 stainless steel headers, various pipes, intake, timing belt tensioner and fuel rail for the large 750cc injectors.

After the big boost upgrade, Brian needed to safeguard his motor against any wrong doing. An HKS Ti exhaust system feeds hot gasses to the atmosphere while an HKS GT wastegate, racing blow-off valve and the famous super sequential blow-off valve assist in relieving necessary pressure build up during throttle play. A Greddy 3-row intercooler drops the incoming air temperature for the charge while an oil catch can helps with any lubricating issues.

Monitoring all engine systems is Greddy’s E-Manage system while an HKS VPC Rom reads and sends the necessary data to the motor. Other electronics include an HKS DLI II ignition system, FJO wideband system and HKS EVC EZ boost controller. With the setup as is, this Supra SP63 single-turbo setup with stock internals boasts roughly 600whp and still capable of more boost. The only thing Brian’s ride lacks is, well nothing.

Having built his dream machine in only a few years and made it truly what he has always desired, Brian is one of the few in the automotive world who actually feels satisfied. Then again, who could blame him with a powerful vehicle like this Mk4. As has always been the case through the minds of many purists, the true key to making any ride a success (be it a race car or daily driver) is balance and to this Brian has remarkably succeeded. With a touch of class on the exterior from simple upgrades to the subtle yet very pleasing interior and entertainment system, topped off with a chromed powerful motor to match it all – this silver bullet gets the attention it deserves. What Toyota once began as a way to defeat its rival Japanese auto maker in sales some three decades ago has now become the passion of one and the envy of many.

SPECS

– Wings West Front Lip (Custom Cut)
– 1998 Supra Headlight Assembly
– 1998 Supra Taillight Assembly
– 1998 Supra Turn Signal Conversion
– Halo HID 9006 Low Beam
– Halo HID 9005 High Beam
– Halo HID H3 Low Beam

Interior

– Sparco Torino Race Bucket Seats
– Sparco Harness Bar
– Greddy 60mm Fuel Pressure Gauge
– Greddy 60mm Boost Gauge
– Greddy 60mm Oil Pressure Gauge
– Greddy 60mm Oil Temperature Gauge
– Greddy 60 mm Exhaust Gas Temperature Gauge
– Custom Painted Dashboard
– Sparco Fire Extinguisher

In Car Entertainment

– Kenwood Head Unit
– JL Audio 1000/1 Amplifier
– JL Audio 300/4 Amplifier
– (3) JL Audio 8W7 Subwoofers
– JL Audio ZR650- CSI Component Set
– JL Audio XR560-CXI Coaxial Set
– Custom Power Supply by Wicked C.A.S
– JL Audio Wiring
– Dual Powermate Rotary Control Knobs
– Custom Mounted Monitor In-Dash
– Custom Trunk Enclosure
– (2) Xenarc 10-Inch Touch-Screen Monitors
– FM-Band Control Modulator
– Mac Mini Computer System
– Carnetix Custom Computer Power Supply
– Custom USB Port
– 250Gig Computer Hard Drive

Wheels / Tires / Brakes / Suspension

– CCW 505A (Chrome Finish)
19×10-inch, custom offset (Front)
19×11-inch, custom offset (Rear)
– Continental ContiSportContact 2
265/35/ZR19 (Front)
295/30/ZR19 (Rear)
– OEM Toyota Calipers Front & Rear (Chromed)
– TEIN Flex Coilovers
– TRD Front Strut Tower Bar (Chromed)

Engine

– HKS 264 Degree Camshafts
– Titan Motorsports Cam Gears
– Sound Performance SP63 Turbocharger with 0.68 A/R
– Sound Performance 3-2-1 Stainless Steel Header
– Sound Performance 3-inch Ceramic Coated Downpipe
– Sound Performance 3-inch Ceramic Coated Mainpipe
– Sound Performance 4-inch Chrome Intake
– Sound Performance 30inch Intercooler Piping
– Sound Performance Timing Belt Tensioner
– HKS Ti Exhaust System
– HKS GT Wastegate
– HKS Racing Blow-Off Valve
– HKS Super Sequential Blow-Off Valve
– Greddy 3-row Intercooler
– Greddy Oil Catch Can with -10 AN Braided Lines
– Boost Logic Dampened Crank Pulley
– Boost Logic Turbo Blanket
– Fluidyne Aluminum Radiator
– AAP Motorsports Fan Shroud (Chromed)
– Zirgo Fans
– MVP Motorsports Aluminum Idler Pulley
– Unorthodox Racing Pulley Set
– Autobahn Motorsports Radiator Plate
– Lowell Precision Machine Custom Work:
– Blow-Off Valve on Throttle Body
– ABS Heat Shield
– Radiator Overflow Tank
– Lowell Precision Machine A/C Delete Bracket
– Custom Cut Spark Plug Cover
– HKS VPC
– Greddy E-Manage
– Dual Walboro 255lph Fuel Pumps
– Sound Performance Fuel Rail
– 750 cc Fuel Injectors
– HKS DLI  II Ignition System
– FJO Wideband System
– HKS EVC EZ Boost Controller
– WOTM Clutch

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