Tired of the same old car show? Want some excitement and spice? Well, the Supras Invade Las Vegas event might just be what you're looking for. Already in its fifth year since its inception in 1997, the Supras Invade Las Vegas event has proven time and time again what a car show should be--a place where looks and performance converge. Although dedicated to Toyota Supras, the Invasion is a car show any car enthusiast can appreciate. The three-day event combines the thrill of all-out dyno runs, heads-up drag racing at the world famous Las Vegas Motor Speedway and a show-and-shine car show with the added bonus of Vegas night life crammed in between. How can you resist? The Vegas 2001: A Supra Odyssey is the third time I've attended the event and each year the show gets bigger and better. Supra lovers come from all over the country to display their fine machines. Some as far away as Florida and Pennsylvania drive or trailer their Supras, while enthusiasts even flew in from Switzerland to come attend the world famous event.
The first day's festivity determined who was going to be king of the dyno. Bragging rights were on the line and Silver State Motorsports was the place to be. For only $40, Supra owners were given two dyno runs on a Dynojet chassis dyno. Mike Arnett, Silver State Motorsports owner has been part of the Supra Invade Las Vegas event since day one and is constantly amazed each year with the kind of power being generated from the cars. More than 100 enthusiasts gathered around as each new contender was strapped to the Dynojet. About 50 Supras went to battle, but only one would come away as king. Last year's winner Saad Saad was the man to watch and was disappointed when I didn't mention he was the winner of last year's dyno shootout with 800-plus hp from his Supra beast. Gully Polo set the pace with a solid 805.1 hp and 663.5 lbs-ft of torque. Mark Tozer challenged Polo's run with 793.9 hp and 648.2 lbs-ft of torque from his single-turbo creation. As you already know, the 2JZ-GTE engine is totally over engineered and Tozer's single-turbo Supra proves this theory. Tozer swears his engine has never been apart and is still using the factory cams and head gasket. That's some durability. Once again, defending champion Saad proved he was still king with a mind-blowing 901.9 hp and 752.9 lbs-ft of torque to the wheels. Next year Saad is going to try to break into four digit territory and we can't wait to see. We'd like to mention all three vehicles were nitrous-assisted.
Unlike last year, where drag racing kicked off the event, the Supras visited Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the second day in 2001. The obvious players in the drag racing portion of the show were Saad Saad, Gully Polo, Angel Robles and Ryan Woon. Polo set the fastest time on street tires with a blistering 10.41 at 139.6 mph. Angle Robles in his GReddy T78 single-turbo monster also ran through the timing lights with an identical 10.41 elapsed time but with a slightly lower 135 mph. Woon's new white lightning (he sold his black Supra to Tozer), recorded a 10.58 at 134 mph. The man to watch was Saad, but an ailing clutch prevented any record times. Saad did make it to the finals and won when Robles red lit trying to cut a good light.
The last part of the show was the show-and-shine, which gave fellow compadres a time to talk about Supra tech and have a good all around time. Rob Smith brought out a killer twin-disc carbon-on-carbon clutch made specifically for the high-powered Supras (this month's "Supra Tech" article). The entire unit weighs substantially less than the factory counterpart and is surprisingly affordable. More than 100 Supra owners came to display their vehicles from classic normally aspirated MkIIs to single- and twin-turbo MkIV monsters. The best part of the show was that contestants were also the judges. This made the car show extra special, given your peers were the ones casting the votes.
This year's Supra Invade Las Vegas was the best show yet and we can't wait until next year. After speaking to Keith Hart (Supras Invade Las Vegas promoter), he hopes to add a road course competition to the agenda next year. Until next time, keep the Supras roaring.