A few months back we brought you the story of Joshua Nepa's sinister-looking Pandem widebodied Toyota GR Supra fresh off its big 2019 SEMA Show debut, where it sat center stage in the Yokohama Tire booth. We learned then that Josh considers himself to be something of a Supra lover, and to prove the point he introduced us to this '98 Supra Turbo in his stable - an A80 to go with his A90.
Purchased in '09, Josh's MkIV obviously has a touch more history than his MkV. He found the Supra in Los Angeles being sold by its original and only owner in bone stock condition with zero modifications (like a gift from the car gods). Josh tells us he saw the online ad, traded in his Range Rover, and hopped on a flight to L.A. from his hometown, Phoenix, Ariz., to seal the deal.
Within a year he had the car's output up to 550hp, but after losing to a boosted Honda Accord one night, he decided he'd had enough and turned up the wick to over 900hp. The Supra has been red, and then snow camo, and then purple; it used to have its rivets exposed when it first started wearing its Rocket Bunny bits. In short, this iconic Toyota sports car has been through a transformation or three in the last 11 years, and where it sits now is a refinement of all those past lives.
1,000HP By Mail
We've featured some pretty wild and unusual 2JZ swapped-vehicles over the years, but fabricator and tuner Andrew Carroll's Toyota-powered '72 Chevy El Camino might be the craziest. Andrew happens to be the Director of Operations at SupraStore.com in Florida, and when it came time to redo the 2J in Josh's Mk4 Supra, the owner entrusted its rebuild to Andrew. He kept displacement the same in the 3.0L but threw in some CP forged slugs in the bottom, as well as longer duration HKS 272 cams and Supertech valve springs and titanium retainers in the head.
The strengthening and big cam were in preparation for a bump in boost pressure once the engine was pieced together, courtesy of a big-daddy BorgWarner EFR 9180 single turbo upgrade. Helping manage system pressures are Tial wastegates and blowoff valves, with exhaust pushed out through 4-inch HKS plumbing and air coming in via GReddy intake. The Toyota straight-6 was also outfitted with 2,000cc fuel injectors and E85 conversion.
Pro Transmissions headed up the Stage-3 rebuild of the A80's Getrag V160 6-speed transmission, and for the increased power production the call was made for a burly RPS carbon twin-disc clutch and ACT flywheel. When Josh and his employee Jason had the bolt-on mods wrapped up, they handed off the AEM Infinity ECU tuning to Tony Szirka at UMS Tuning, who got the car to break the 1k horsepower threshold and also make 765 lb.-ft. or torque.
When we shot Josh's Supra, it was running a combo of Airrex and Accuair suspension components, but recently the system was updated; the Mk4 now rides on an Air Lift 3P/3H airbag setup installed by Aaron Hunt. The wheel choice is a bit of a throwback but stylized perfectly for this presentation, Work VS-XXs with custom neochrome lips and centers color matched to the Supra's exterior paint. The rollers are shod in some serious stickiness, too: Toyo Proxes TQ DOT drag radials.
While this Mk4's grunt is nothing to scoff at, the car's exterior is pretty original looking, implementing a variety of parts from a range of companies to accomplish the appearance. Josh says the A80 rocks a one-off Rocket Bunny kit that was cannibalized from the setup for the Scion FR-S and then fabricated to fit the Supra body. In between the work performed by his employee Jason and the guys over at West Motors, they got the body shaved, installed the Ridox front bumper cover, Veilside side skirts, TRD rear wing, and carbon hood. West Motors further molded in the Rocket Bunny fenders (deleting the rivets) and diffuser, and then tied everything together with PPG Deltron Ceramic Grey paint that bleeds onto the carbon hood and wheel centers.
Which leads us to the purpose of this car - because honestly, who builds a 1,000hp Supra and then puts it on bags and throws a giant stereo system into it? The owner who's a car-show guy, that's who. After 11 years with Josh, this Mk4 has barely added another 10k miles to the odometer, but it isn't for lack of attention. He says he's constantly changing the A80, with a new trunk setup and Garrett G42 turbo upgrade recently to go with the redone air suspension we mentioned earlier. He's hoping the car will see 1,300hp by the end of January, which might sound like a crazy number to some - but for fanatics like Josh, it's just another step to building the perfect Supra.