There's a saying that my grandmother used to tell me every day, back when I was a snot-nosed little tyke in the Philippines. It was an expression of principle and conduct, of love and life, and perhaps of the future and the past. I still live by it today and hope to pass it on to my kids-if and whenever I get my sperm count up again and the doctor clears me for sexual activity. Let's just say that it's all fun and Cialis until someone gets a severe case of priapism. Anyway, the saying goes like this:
"Ang maliit ay tito mo. Bastos ikaw. Ang mabaho iyong pek pek ng ina mo."
To this day, I still don't know what any of it means. My grandmother passed away before ever explaining, and I pretty much kept the saying to myself, concealing it from the rest of the world; until the past year, the year 2008, which was a momentous year for all Filipinos:
The lead singer of Journey turned into some Filipino cat who sounds more like Steve Perry than Steve Perry himself. There have been more references to Filipinos on "Family Guy" than any other Asian race, though I would prefer they talk more about the Hmong since, well, they're Hmong: Even Clint Eastwood finds them funny (See: Gran Torino). Rob Schneider, who is half Filipino, found work, which is an amazing feat seeing that he is, after all, Rob Schneider. The small Filipino dude from the Black Eyed Peas (and the rest of the Black Eyed Peas, for that matter) have decided to stop singing, saving us all a lot of headaches at the clubs. Jollibee opened up a restaurant in Queens, New York, which means I can get some juicy Chicken Joy after getting my Uniqlo fix. And last, Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, better known as Manny "The Mexicutioner" Pacquiao, decided to unleash some F-Fury ("Filipino Fury" for those who are not in the know) on three Mexican dudes, one of whom was a lingerie-wearing, East Los Angeles Mexican dude named Oscar De La Hoya. Now, if this wasn't the year of the Filipino, you can slap me with some tocino, bend me over a Jeepney, and call me silly!
But there was one more Filipino accomplishment that I almost forgot to mention, which would've been a shame because I was hired to write about it in this very article. And, no, it's not the fact that yours truly is back at it again on the pages of Super Street. To talk about it would just be crass, unnecessary, and so egotistical that it makes Kanye West look like Mother Teresa. So what if I happen to write for Super Street again? I mean, I should be writing for Super Street every month, right? Let's just say, after reading it for the past few months, that this magazine desperately needs Uncle Ro-Dogg in its life. But enough about me because that would just be ri-cock-ulous.
What I'm here to talk about is Joy Carino's '97 Toyota Supra. Yes, the Supra you see in front of you belongs to Joy, and she's not ashamed to let you know about it, especially if you happen to see her on the road. Her Supra, as if you already didn't know, is a special one. So special that if it were to attend school, it would be picked up by the short bus and be forced to wear a hockey helmet so the normal kids can call it Wayne Gretzky. Not that I did that to the special kids at school, but it would've been definitely special if I did (Note: Yeah, I called one of them Wayne Gretzky. What do you want from me? I was a poor kid from the inner city with bad acne, scoliosis, and an extreme case of halitosis. I had to make myself feel better somehow!).
Anyway, the first item you'll notice immediately is the widebody kit from Top Secret, called the "Final Evolution." It's unlike any body kit I've seen before. It looks very Italian with its sleek fenders and not-so-subtle styles, and it also looks very late '80s automotive couture with the hard lines in the front bumper and silver-standard low-rise headlights. It's undoubtedly a head turner, and Joy's inspiration comes from her ride's Japanese counterpart, Top Secret's V12 twin turbo Supra. You see, Top Secret, debuted this body kit on its Supra at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Salon, which took home Best of Show honors. The car was the best of the best in all of Japanese tuning, more or less owed to the innovative widebody. So if there were a car worth replicating, it would be that Top Secret Supra. Besides, Joy knew that it would be instant hit. She's part of the AutoConcept Elite crew, based out of Camarillo, California, and the shop that helped her brainstorm the F out of the car is High End Performance, renovators of all things good that come out of Japan.
For example, let's take a look at the engine bay. Armed with a flurry of HKS products, like the performance oriented T51R SPL BB turbine, GT II wastegate, SS manifold, cams and cam gears, valve train kit, stroker kit, and metal head gasket, Joy's Supra has more power in its radiator hose than your entire Civic. The motor is also port and polished with a JUN surge tank, GReddy radiator line, ARC custom intercooler kit, and Aerodyne heat shields. All of which combine to make the Supra as fast as it looks.
Under the chassis is a sexy set of 20-inch SSR Professor MS1 wheels, wrapped in equally sexy Nitto NT05 tires. The wheels are 11 inches wide in the rear and 9.5 inches strong in the front. If they were men, they'd be Filipino porn stars. The Professors are stopped by some powerful brakes courtesy of AP Racing. Joy decided to use an AP Racing brake kit on all four corners, assuring the fact that the only way this thing would crash into a wall is if helmet-wearing special kids were behind the wheel. Inside the cabin is a venerable who's who of interior products, like Bride seats, Cusco rollcage, Personal steering wheel, and a host of A'PEXi gauges that'll make you wish you majored in Business and not stupid Psychology so you can actually afford any or all of the above.
But you can't go back in time, and that's really what this article is about. Though 2008 was the year of the Filipino, a year that I would use every jiggawatt available to repeat, it's about the year 2009, which is still up for grabs. It could be anybody's year; I hear the Hmong have started a Hmong hotties website that I'm sure Jonathan Wong will be frequenting soon enough. The Chinese own the world, the Japanese are still kinda weird, the Vietnamese still think they're French, and the Cambodians, well, they're still living underneath the shadow of the Hmong. For now, we're starting things proper with Joy's Supra and FYI, she's Filipina. My grandmother was right: "Ang maliit ay tito mo. Bastos ikaw. Ang mabaho iyong pek pek ng ina mo." Whatever that means.
'97 Toyota Supra
Owner Joy Carino
Hometown Camarillo, CA
Daily Grind wife
Under The Hood HKS T51R SPLBB, turbo funnel, GT II wastegate x2, SS manifold, cams 264/272, cam gears, stroker kit (3.4 L), valve train kit for 3S-GTE, metal head gasket, fuel rail, 1000cc fuel injectors; PE timing belt; JUN surge tank; Infiniti Q45 throttle body; GReddy aluminum upper radiator line; NGK racing spark plugs; SPAL fans x2; ARC radiator cap, oil filler cap, custom intercooler kit; Fluidyne aluminum radiator; Cusco oil catch can; Aerodyne heat shields; port and polished; ATL fuel cell (22 gallon); custom aluminum surge tank; Aeromotive fuel pump A1000 x2, PRO series fuel filter x2, PRO series fuel pressure regulator, high amp kit; R33 GT-R fuel pump
Drivetrain OS Giken triple plate clutch
The Power est. 1200 hp
Stiff Stuff Tanabe 5 coilovers; Roberuta Cup Kit with remote controller
Brains APEX'i Power FC, AVC-R
Rollers SSR Professor MS1 20x9.5 (front) 20x11.0 (rear); Nitto NT05 tires
Stoppers AP Racing brake kit, 6-pot (front), 4-pot (rear)
Outside Top Secret Final Evolution wide body kit, carbon fiber hood, GT Wing; Ganador carbon fiber side mirrors; BASF gold with gold pearl
Inside APEX'i EL II gauges with control unit, UEGO A/F gauge with wideband 02; ATL fuel level gauge; Cusco 6-point roll cage; BRIDE CUGA x2; Custom CF-Look leather upholster on door panels/center console; Splash shift hubs, quick release; Personal steering wheel
WWW aerodyne.net, apexi-usa.com, fluidyne.com, hksusa.com, mackinindustries.com (ARC), more-japan.com, tanabe-usa.com