May be it's a product of getting older, a trait that we pick up once we leave behind the safe comforts of our 20s and break through the threshold, the point of no return, our dreaded 30s. It usually comes the day after you discover your first gray hair and right before you realize your scrotum has dipped a full centimeter lower from the previous year (And, yes, I do measure my scrotum on an annual basis.) It is not about wrinkles, however, or increased instances of hemorrhoids, or even 5 o'clock early-bird dinners at Norms, though those are pretty damned good. This is about the moment you realize that (queue drum roll) things aren't what they used to be. Very anti-climactic, right?
Let me give you some examples: R&B music, the NBA, hip-hop, Dick Clark, The Price is Right, bottled water, the Hmong, stool softeners, porn. Should I go on? These were all at one point guaranteed to either make you dance, cry, swoon or laugh. Now all of them are just mere shadows of their former selves. The point is that seasons change, and you'll fully realize it when you start getting older. What really did it for me, other than listening to another dismal Soulja Boy joint, watching a depressing Drew Carey host The Price is Right, and seeing the Hmong in a Clint Eastwood movie, is Steve Sawicki's '97 Toyota Supra. If looking at his whip didn't give you a semi-erection, I don't know what will. The smooth chassis, large wheels, strong wing, the welcoming headlights. In other words, if I were a Volkswagen Jetta (the girliest car I can think of), I'd let this Supra smack me up, flip me and rub me down. From Cleveland steamers to rusty trombones to upside-down donkey punches, this is the type of mandingo you leave your husband for. Looking at it immediately prompted me to say, "They don't make cars like they used to."
Steve originally bought this Supra on eBay ten years ago, not only as a present to himself but also to cement the idea that Supras indeed belong to the state where beards get wet on the daily and taxation is as accepted as Nick Hogan behind the wheel. "Watching Supras run at the track about ten years ago, I knew at that moment I wanted one," Steve explains, "I wanted to build a super car and make it look and drive just like a JGTC." Since the JGTC, now known as Super GT, consisted of super rides with super bodies, Steve's first mission was to say good-bye to his Supra and send it off to the body shop. Originally, he installed a JUN front bumper, Tom's sideskirts and a Veilside rear bumper. But Steve knew this setup wasn't what he sought out, especially if he wanted to get major status in the tuning scene. So he saved up and purchased an authentic Top Secret GT300 widebody kit ($15,000 retail), molded it to the already stealth Supra chassis, and coated it with the factory Royal Sapphire Pearl paint, which was the original color. This process took the body shop nearly a year to complete, which gave Steve plenty of time to map out the rest of the car.
Underneath the hood, Steve modified virtually every part of the block and head. Up top, he installed a Titan Motorsports head, which includes Ferrea valves and valve springs, and a Titan Motorsports custom fully assembled valve seats. At the bottom, the 3.0L block beats its drums with a set of JE pistons and Carrillo H-beam rods with SPS connecting bolts. The fuel is powered by a Walbro fuel pump, Aeromotive fuel regulator, and 1000cc Titan Motorsports fuel injectors, all of which help deliver proper fuel to accommodate the GReddy T88H-38GK turbocharger. This slug gets low and dirty with a GReddy Type R blow-off valve, Type C wastegate, and 4-row intercooler and pipes. Some say it's as cold as ice, but Steve says it best: "When I drive, it sounds like a space shuttle, and when I stop, it smells like gasoline everywhere. It's awesome." The superstar of the engine bay would have to be the VeilSide intake manifold, which is considered to be one of the most expensive on the market. It's the BAPE shoe of the sneaker world, the Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls, the TJ Hooker of all the cop shows...yup, they don't make cop shows like they used to.
Steve claims his Supra sports a healthy 920 hp @ 7700 rpm, numbers that just sound crazy especially when he practically uses the car as a daily driver. But I guess he has a lot of trust behind the components underneath the chassis, mainly the parts that keep your scrotum in place. Let's just say it's a testament to the quality of these products if Steve chooses them for his Supra. A set of TEIN HA coilovers takes over the suspension, lowering the front 1.75 inches and a 2 inches in the rear. The Cusco front strut brace brings firmness to the ride, while the Titan Motorsports roll bar not only protects Steve's neck, but also adds stiffness to the suspension. Putting the 900+ horsepower to the ground is a set of custom-spec 19-inch Volk GT-7 wheels and Toyo T1S tires, laying down 9.5 inches of rubber in the front and 10.5 inches in the rear. Steven opted for some JDM-powered braking in the form of a GREX 355mm 6-piston brake calipers, pads and lines.
The interior is as gravy as the exterior with Sparco Milanos holding it down for the passenger and driver, and full set of gauges making sure hell doesn't break loose in the field. Steve also went with Sparco to dress up the steering wheel, 6-point harness and pedals. The interior dcor, along with the roughneck exterior and hardnosed power, was such a sight that Hot Import Nights shipped his Supra to Puerto Rico twice. If that's not a demonstration of tuning prowess, I don't know what is.
When it comes down to classification, Steve's car doesn't fall in JDM, show car or race. It surpasses all that because it has major status in all three. The Top Secret widebody kit alone gives the Supra license to be featured in this magazine. The unforgettable details in and around the chassis and engine bay makes you wonder why you're even bothering to put an aftermarket rearview mirror on your car. If "900+ horsepower" were a statement, it would be "Nuff said." All of which brings me to my ultimate point: They sure don't make cars like they used to.
1997 Toyota Supra
Owner Steve Sawicki
Hometown Orlando, FL
Daily Grind Route Sales Rep. For Carvel
Power 920 hp @ 7700 rpm; 760 lb-ft. @6500 rpm
Under The Hood 4Titan Motorsports 1S camshafts; S3 head, valve seats, 1000cc fuel injectors, triple pump fuel system, fuel rail, cam gears, ABS removal kit; Carrillo H-beam connecting rods with SPS car bolt; JE Pistons piston, piston rings; Ferrea valves, valve springs; Veilside intake manifold, throttle body; Aeromotive fuel regulator; Walbro fuel pump; GReddy air intake, headers, turbo manifold, T88H-38K turbocharger, Type R blow-off valve, Type C high-flow wastegate, 4-row intercooler and pipes, ProFec B boost controller; HKS carbon Ti exhaust, DLI ignition; NGK spark plugs; TMS valve cover chromed with TMS catch can kit, billet power steering and brake reservoir caps chromed, spark plug cover, polished brake master cylinder; Fluidyne radiator; NX intercooler kit; full engine bay paint; factory firewall insulation removed
Drivetrain Tilton triple-carbon clutch; TRD 1.5way LSD; Toyota Getrag V160 6-speed transmission
Stiff Stuff Tein HA coilovers; Cusco front strut brace; Titan Motorsports roll bar painted volk gold
Rollers Custom-spec 19x9.5 Volk GT-7 wheels with Toyo T1S 255/35-19 tires 19x10.5 Volk GT-7 wheels with Toyo T1S 285/30-19
Stoppers GREX 6-piston chrome calipers, braided steel brake lines
Outside Top Secret widebody kit (molded), carbon-fiber GT wing
Inside Sparco Milano seats, Flash 5 steering wheel, 6-point harness, quick release; Flex carpet; Seibon carbon-fiber panels; custom gauge pod wear passenger airbag; A'PEXi, FJO, GReddy, Blitz gauges; NX intercooler kit mounted in rear; battery relocated to rear; carbon-fiber dress up; Kenwood head unit
Props Shout out to my parents, my crew Jade Motorsports, Nero, Bottle, John, and Darrin at Titan Motorsports, Mackin Industries, Valvoline, Project Kics, Toyo Tires, Nitrous Express, Meguiars, Joey Tracey at Sinister Audio, Jimmy Byrne, Deepvision.net, my boys back in Laudy, to my boy Treetoptim R.I.P.
www greddy.com; hksusa.com; mackinindustries.com; sparco.com; tein.com; toyo.com