For most of us, it’s a phrase we heard countless times as a kid: “When you grow up, you can be anything you want to be.” All through grade school and even during college, we’re constantly reminded that we should be pursuing a career we don’t dread getting out of bed for in the morning. But how many of us actually see that dream become a reality? Philip Yeung of Spoolin’ Performance has succeeded in taking the leap and making a career out of what he enjoys doing most: making cars go fast.
At a very early age, Philip got his start turning wrenches in the driveway with his brother. Acting as an unofficial apprentice of sorts, he spent as much time as possible working alongside his older brother, learning the tricks of the trade. Eventually, a good friend of Philip’s inherited a Honda Civic from a relative. Naturally, his first reaction to this news was to come to Philip for inspiration and advice. They decided to turbocharge the car, despite the fact that they had very little cash to work with. As a result, with the help and support of his friend’s father, Philip was able to borrow a welder and start fabricating. To say he was hooked would be a massive understatement.
It was the experience of building and modifying this inherited Honda that eventually led to Philip fabricating turbo kits, exhaust manifolds, and other items for friends on the weekend in his free time. Despite the long and often inconvenient hours, Philip was bringing in more cash than most of his friends working regular jobs, and best of all, he was doing something he loved.
After years of trial and error working odd jobs, Philip decided to pursue his passion for automotive fabrication and opened his own shop called Spoolin’ Performance. Though the company specializes in Honda and Acura turbo kits, Spoolin’ has expanded over the years, becoming more than familiar with Toyota Supras and V8-swapped RX7s.
This brings us to the beautiful example of the MKIV Supra you see before you. You might be asking yourself, How could a young driveway mechanic move from piecing together homemade turbo kits to owning one of the most expensive and sought after Japanese platforms of the ’90s? The answer? A massive amount of dedication and years of blood, sweat, and tears. When Philip decided to purchase this particular Supra from a friend, the car was essentially in shambles. It had made its way from shop to shop over the years, and it seemed that the more people who tried their hand at perfecting the car, the worse off it was. Hacked up body panels, botched wiring, and a couple of less-than-quality paintjobs had left this Supra in bad shape. It would have been easy to walk away—and most people would have—but Philip saw the potential.
Not long after he bought the car, a cracked oil pan resulted in engine failure. Eager to begin righting the wrongs that had been committed, Philip had an entire bottom end assembled using the best components available. Unfortunately, the shop that assembled the engine made some critical mistakes, and the complete forged bottom end that had just been built let go less than 10 miles after it was completed. Frustrated, Philip understandably decided to take a break from the car. The Supra took a back seat to other builds at the shop, sitting in a corner of the warehouse for more than a year before it was finally revisited.
With motivation to tackle the project restored, Philip removed the blown motor and sent the chassis over to his father’s shop, Almaden Collision, in San Jose, California, where he convinced his dad to re-spray the car’s exterior and engine bay while the motor was out. After countless hours of sanding and bodywork to remove remnants of other body shops’ failed attempts at a paintjob, the car was sprayed a vivid hue of red borrowed from the Yamaha R1. “At first, the paint was a bit loud for me, but in the sun the color pops. In the shade the color settles down, and that’s how I like the car. It’s kind of like my personality: When I want to keep to myself, I can—but when I want to be loud, I’m in your face,” Philip explains. In addition to the color change, a few subtle exterior components were added to toughen things up without going too over the top. The Modelista Designs front bumper flows well with the Stillen side skirts and Do-Luck cowl hood. Out back, the factory spoiler was ditched in favor of a much more subtle carbon-fiber lip spoiler, also from Modelista designs. These simple but effective changes give just the right amount of balance to the flashy red paint, maintaining a clean but menacing appearance.
Though it was a bit less painful to look at, Philip continued to grow tired of seeing the car sitting around. Still disheartened by the previous engine failures, he decided to try a different approach. At this point, he just wanted to enjoy driving the car without dealing with reliability issues. Keeping things simple, Philip picked up a used 2JZ with a factory bottom end. After removing the head and taking it to Dave’s Engine and Machine for a performance valve job, the engine was reassembled with the factory bottom end left intact. To his delight, the compression numbers were good across the board. One might suspect that things stayed tame from this point forward, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Philip fabricated a number of custom parts for the 2JZ through Spoolin’ Performance, including a unique twin scroll bottom mount turbo manifold—something that had previously not been seen in the Supra community. A BorgWarner S366 turbocharger was installed, along with a ton of supporting fuel system modifications.
Originally, this Supra began life as an NA model, so a number of items had to be switched over in order for the car to handle turbo power. A TRD LSD was installed, housed within a complete six-speed rear end from a turbo model fed by a custom South Bay Driveline driveshaft. Of course, a Getrag V160 six-speed transmission mated to the 2JZ via an RPS billet carbon twin disc clutch allows for smooth and reliable transfer of power. Lawrence Shipman tuned the car via an AEM EMS, and on E85, the Supra spun the rollers to the tune of 750 whp at 26 psi. The setup has remained reliable for more than three years while being abused constantly at both the dragstrip and during daily use, proving just how reliable and strong factory 2JZ engines are.
No Supra would be complete without a meaty wheel and tire setup, and Philip’s car does not disappoint. For street duty, a set of massive 18x10- and 18x11-inch staggered CCW classics wrapped in wide Toyo R888 rubber make sure that as much power as possible is delivered to the pavement. At the dragstrip, a set of Weld racing wheels with Hoosier slicks are swapped onto the car. To fit this setup, the stock NA Supra rear brakes were left in place, allowing the small-diameter wheels to clear the calipers.
In the end, Philip’s decision to take a leap of faith and follow his passion for fabrication has paid off. Not only has Spoolin’ Performance taken off, but he’s got a beautiful example of a Toyota Supra that proudly showcases some of his company’s innovation and fabrication skill.
Specs & Details
’95 Toyota Supra
Engine 2JZGTE turbocharged I-6
Engine Modifications Performance valve job and valve lash setting by Dave’s Engine and Machine, Supertech bronze valveguides, dual springs, and retainers; GSC S1 camshafts, Titan Billet tensioner, harmonic damper, billet pulleys, CF fuse box cover, billet radiator holders; Gates Racing timing belt, Spoolin’ Performance intake manifold, closed looped catch can, twin scroll bottom mount small runner turbo manifold, 4-inch turbo-back exhaust with closed loop dump tubes, 4-inch intake with Blox velocity stack, 3-inch intercooler piping, water neck, dimple died spark plug cover, dimple died cooling plate; Infiniti Q45 90mm throttle body, Tial MV-R 44mm wastegates, 50mm blow-off valve; BorgWarner S366 turbocharger, Precision AS1026 intercooler, GM boost solenoids, IAT sensors; AEM 3.5 bar map sensor, methanol injection; Precision & Turbo 1,200cc fuel injectors, Denso dual in-tank fuel pumps, -8AN feed line, high flow inline fuel filter, Ross Machine Racing fuel rails, FuelLab fuel regulator, C&R radiator with -20AN radiator fittings
Engine Management AEM EMS Version 1 tuned by Lawrence Shipman
Drivetrain South Bay Driveline custom driveshaft, TRD LSD, Toyota six-speed rear end, Getrag V160 six-speed transmission, RPS billet carbon twin disc clutch, solid shifter bushings
Suspension Öhlins coilovers, Megan racing traction rods
Interior STRI boost, fuel pressure gauge; AEM oil pressure, UEGO wideband gauge, Alpine IVA 505 multimedia station, PDX M12 amplifier; custom rear false floor, JL Audio 10W3v3-2 subwoofer, C2 speakers (f/r); CAS audio fiberglass subwoofer box, Optima battery, AutoMints air freshener, Recaro seats, SeatRails USA sliders, seat rails; Blox neochrome shift knob, red double-stitched leather shift boot, e-brake boot; 3M di-noc wrapped dash, Nardi deep corn steering wheel, SRR ignition switch panel
Exterior Aerocatch hood latches, Toyota delined OEM headlights, 98 Supra tail lights; Modelista Designs CF trunk lip spoiler, Top Secret front bumper; Stillen side skirts, Do-Luck cowl hood, Spoolin’ Performance CF rear exhaust shield, PPG Yamaha Shift Red paint by Almaden Collision in San Jose, California
Wheels, Tires & Brakes CCW Classics 18X10 (f) 18X11 (r), Toyo R888 275/40/18 (f) 305/35/18 (r), Toyota Supra NA rear brakes, Stoptech brake pads (f/r), stainless steel braided brake lines (f/r)