Short of driving it through a hailstorm of anvils, it's tough to crush the life out of a '94-to-'98 Supra. For more than a decade racers have been cramming enough boost into the Supra's 2JZ-GTE iron-block six to put a 10-ton brick of Wisconsin sharp cheddar into geosynchronous orbit over Milwaukee, and problems are still rare. The chassis has the impregnable structure of a beryllium atom, the suspension soaks up abuse like the universe's greediest masochist, and the brakes could stop continental drift-on Pluto. No wonder this car, which never sold in huge numbers when it was new, is popular and coveted now.
Matt Andrews' '97 Supra, hailing from Irvine, Calif., made it into the USCC last year when other cars that were invited dropped out and makes it into this year's competition on its own merits. Like last year, this Supra is tuned to be a daily-driven machine that retains the placid manners of a stocker while packing the punch of a series of turbo tweaks and intense respiratory therapy. The engine of Andrew's beast, however, has never been opened. Everything inside the engine is just as it was when it left Toyota's plant in Japan way back in a previous century.
Externally the turbo system has been replumbed with a Boost Logic 4-inch downpipe, a 4-inch Random Tech catalytic converter and finally a single T67 P-Trim turbo ramming into a Boost Logic tubular manifold. The stock injectors have been swapped out for a Boost Logic fuel system with 75-pound units. A Nitrous Express system for squirting N2O is aboard should the forced induction elements prove inadequate, and the nitrous controller is integrated into the Powerhouse Racing ECU.
A PWR radiator, TRD thermostat, GReddy oil cooler and B&M power steering cooler keep things from glowing cherry red into uselessness. It finishes in an HKS Super Drager exhaust.
This is all a big move up from the essentially stock turbo system the car wore last year. In fact, the one familiar element is a GReddy three-row intercooler in the nose. Behind the engine is a RPS Carbon clutch that channels torque through the stock six-speed transmission and driveshaft to a TRD clutch-type differential.
Under the car Tein Flex coil-overs are in place fore and aft. Custom-built hollow anti-roll bars tame, well, roll and a Sparco harness bar fortifies the structure an itty bit. The whole suspension has been optimized by EMI Racing Suspensions. But the major elements in the handling equation are the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires in the 265/35R-18 size up front and 295/30R-18 out back on iForged Aero wheels.
The front brakes are StopTech's 14-inch rotors clamped by four-piston calipers wearing Pagid Orange pads. The rear still runs the stock Supra discs but the system has been comprehensively reinforced with stainless-steel lines and runs premium Motul 600 fluid. EMI Racing worked with Andrews during on-track tuning sessions to maximize performance from the brakes and the alignment.
The body is deceptively stock except for the Automodelista carbon-fiber hood and a custom carbon-fiber radiator duct fabricated by After Hours Automotive. On second thought, maybe there's nothing deceptive about the body at all.
Inside, the passenger compartment gets a set of Sparco Milano S seats, Sparco six-point harnesses and a Sparco steering wheel. Because this car spends so much time on the track, there's a brace of supplementary gauges and gadgets aboard, including a Power Enterprises combination boost controller, electronic peak and boost hold gauge, a Power Enterprises electronic water and oil temp gauge with integral electric fan controller, a Racelogic traction control system and Tein EDFC controller for the dampers.
Because this car is still used on the street too, the sound system includes a JBL 600-watt amplifier driving Infinity Kappa Perfect 10-inch subwoofers in a Creative Car Audio custom subwoofer box that has been carbon-fiber wrapped by After Hours Automotive. However, the stock head unit is retained if for no other reason than that the stock head unit works fine.
Don't let the photos fool you. For all intents and purposes this is a wholly different car than the one that competed in last year's USCC. It may look something like the car that was around last year, but it should perform with inflated ability. As Andrews now says, "This car gets me mad ass. Literally. I'm married and my wife hates my car."
1997 Toyota Supra TurboEngineEngine Code: 2JZ-GTEType: 2997cc, turbocharged and intercooled, inline six, four valves per cylinder, DOHCInternal Modifications: Unorthodox cam gearsExternal Modifications: Boost Logic 4-in. down pipe, 4-in. Random Tech catalytic converter, T67 P-Trim turbocharger, Boost Logic tubular manifold, GReddy three-row intercooler, PWR Radiator, TRD thermostat, GReddy 16-row oil cooler, SPAC oil cooler fan, HKS Super Drager exhaustEngine Management Modifications: Two HKS SSBOVs, Powerhouse Racing ECU
DrivetrainLayout: Longitudinal front-engine, rear-wheel driveDrivetrain Modifications: Stock six-speed, RPS Carbon clutch
SuspensionFront: Tein Flex shocks, custom hollow anti-roll barRear: Tein Flex shocks, Sparco harness bar
BrakesFront: StopTech 14-in. rotors, StopTech calipers, Pagid Orange pads Rear: Stock rotors, Carbotech Black pads
ExteriorWheels: 18x10-in. (F) & 18x11-in. (R) iForged AerosTires: 265/35R-18 (F) and 295/30R-18 (R) Michelin Pilot Sport CupBody: Automodelista carbon-fiber hood, After Hours Automotive Custom carbon-fiber radiator duct
InteriorSparco Milano seats, Sparco six-point harnesses, Sparco steering wheel, Creative Car Audio custom subwoofer box carbon-fiber-wrapped by After Hours Automotive, Infinity Kappa Perfect subwoofers, JBL 600-watt amplifier