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Naturally-Aspirated 2JZ-GE '95 Toyota Supra with ITB's

All Natural, Grade "A" Aspiration

Yuta Akaishi
Dec 23, 2015
Photographer: Sean Lucas

By the age of 9, Brendan Taft was well on his way to becoming a professional athlete, training with the U.S. Olympic badminton team and competing internationally. Being half-Indonesian (the other half Irish) likely had a bit to do with his sport of choice, but it also came naturally for him—"talent" they called it, hard work and dedication is what it felt like. Prodigy status and the accompanying career opportunity left little time for much else; his daily routine consisted of practice in the early morning, school, practice in the evening, then finally a few hours to relax. That was Brendan's life; naturally, the time he spent with his family became increasingly important to him as his athletic career blossomed. The travelling, however, provided rare opportunities to read something other than textbooks, and picking up issues of Super Street and Import Tuner at the airport became an integral part of Brendan's routine.

1995 toyota supra custom stillen side skirts Photo 2/18   |   1995 Toyota Supra Custom Stillen Side Skirts

Brendan found little need to change this routine into his teens despite having become a nationally ranked player. At the age of 16, he was given his parents' old Accord to get himself to and from school and practice. But on the weekends, he made use of his newfound freedom and attended car shows whenever possible—driving as far as San Diego to experience the fascinating "import culture" firsthand. Brendan's parents were supportive of his interests, his father especially, who was very much a car enthusiast himself. Despite his father's interest in older domestics, Brendan was drawn to Japanese imports, intrigued by the smooth body styling and the ability to further customize them aesthetically. His first love was the "FD" Mazda RX-7; he loved every aspect of it and knew he had to own one someday.

1995 toyota supra 2jz ge engine Photo 3/18   |   Extremely rare to find a Supra that's naturally aspirated, let alone one with a custom ITB setup.

In '03, at 17 years old, Brendan's life began to crumble before his eyes. As a professional athlete, the majority of his social life had been his family—the single constant that he'd been able to count on, and for that he cherished them. When his parents decided to file for a divorce, Brendan had no choice but to accept that life would never be the same. It was during this trying time that Brendan's father approached him with the idea to sell the Accord. Brendan would be responsible for posting the car for sale—should he succeed, they would look for a replacement car together. Brendan saw this tough situation as an opportunity to finally get his RX-7. He helped his father sell the Accord, and the money went toward the search for his dream car.

1995 toyota supra stillen side skirt Photo 4/18   |   1995 Toyota Supra Stillen Side Skirt

From that point on, all of Brendan's free time was spent on Craigslist and eBay—he even went as far as to test drive several RX-7s. Exhibiting incredible restraint, especially for a teenager, he turned down all of them, partially due to the disappointment he had experienced with the FDs he'd driven thus far. Brendan considered expanding his search to more than the one model. He came to the realization that the FD may have been keeping him from appreciating other cars, namely the A80 Supra. Despite it being the height of the Supra's mainstream popularity thanks to The Fast and the Furious, Brendan was able to find several that fit his criteria and his budget. Together with his father, they pored over online listings looking for "the one." Finally, they decided on a low-mileage, red, manual, non-turbo model located clear across the country in New York. Payment was sent, transportation was arranged, and they waited. The car arrived a month later, and upon initial inspection, it became apparent that it was not quite what was advertised. The paint was faded and the body, although straight, was home to an ungodly amount of dents. Nothing could dampen Brendan's excitement, and he embraced the car for what it was—10,000 door dings and all.

1995 toyota supra techno toy tuning throttle stacks Photo 5/18   |   1995 Toyota Supra Techno Toy Tuning Throttle Stacks
1995 toyota supra custom individual throttle bodies Photo 6/18   |   Together with FSR Motorsports, Brendan's 2JZ makes 260 whp with a throttle response and sound that are simply unmatched to many Japanese sports cars on the road.

Among its many merits, the relationship between Brendan and his Supra became an outlet for him emotionally—helping to diffuse the issues at home, a sanctuary of sorts. The new responsibilities associated with car ownership—paying for registration, insurance, and general upkeep—created the need to pick up additional shifts at his part-time job, adding to his already busy schedule. Brendan continued his athletic career, until unfortunately an injury forced him to retire at the age of 20—he was ranked fifth in the country. Brendan embraced this change in his life and was appreciative for the time he had been able to commit to the sport and the decade's worth of lessons it had taught him. Naturally, the Supra had been mildly modified by then with a set of TEIN coilovers, a Bomex bumper, Stillen skirts, Racing Hart wheels, and a respray. Brendan had been active in the online community since his initial purchase, but following his retirement from badminton, he became increasingly involved by attending meets and shows whenever possible. Despite the jokes surrounding his car's lack of boost and engine modifications, he found a solid group of close friends who supported his build.

1995 toyota supra nuke performance fuel surge tank Photo 7/18   |   Nuke Performance fuel surge tank mounted in the trunk behind the 'cage and crossbar.

The logical next step for Brendan and his Supra was to upgrade the 2JZ-GE. All signs pointed to forced induction, and sure enough, an aftermarket turbo kit was purchased. Somehow, this milestone meant far less to Brendan than he had expected—there was something lacking emotionally. As long as the uncertainty persisted, he held off on the install. It was around this time that Brendan came across images of a certain Supra built by YSR Japan—naturally aspirated with individual throttle bodies and a custom tubular exhaust manifold. Something stirred within him and he knew that despite openly laughing in the face of logic, an individual throttle bodied-2JZ was what he needed to experience.

1995 toyota supra custom fsr exhaust manifold Photo 8/18   |   Custom 6-1 equal-length exhaust manifold developed by FSR.

What began as a relatively simple individual throttle body conversion and tune using AE111 4A-GE components became the beginning of a partnership between Brendan and FSR Motorsports that would continue to this day. The drastic improvement in response alone was enough to remove any doubt in Brendan's mind that he was making the right choice. He was committed to this new goal and spent the next several years working alongside FSR Motorsports optimizing every possible aspect of the 2JZ head. This process proved to be more difficult than anybody could have possibly imagined. There was simply no information available on the subject. Of course, the polar opposite of turbo setups had been tested and refined thousands of times over the last two decades, yielding countless foolproof formulas available to just about anybody. But for Brendan and FSR, they conquered a brand-new challenge—reworking the entire top end until their uncompromising standard was fulfilled to the tune of 260 rwhp, incomprehensible response, and the aural qualities of nothing else in this world.

1995 toyota supra juran racing tanida motorsports gtx600 bucket seat Photo 9/18   |   1995 Toyota Supra Juran Racing Tanida Motorsports Gtx600 Bucket Seat
1995 toyota supra juran racing tanida motorsports steering wheel Photo 10/18   |   Very rare Juran Racing/Tanida Motorsports bucket seats and steering wheel from Japan.

All too often, we allow popular opinion to make decisions for us. After all, following a path forged by another and beaten by many who've found success simply makes sense. Why risk extra time, money, and possible disappointment when a clear-cut process and result are readily available? For the automotive community, the very existence of a naturally aspirated Supra of this caliber provides undeniable proof that passion is relevant yet. We are reminded that in this day and age of cars being built for instant gratification and appealing to the masses, there are still heroes pursuing perfection for their own reasons and nothing else.

1995 toyota supra toxic tails led taillights Photo 11/18   |   1995 Toyota Supra Toxic Tails Led Taillights
1995 toyota supra modellista designs carbon fiber hood Photo 18/18   |   1995 Toyota Supra Modellista Designs Carbon Fiber Hood
By Yuta Akaishi
42 Articles
Naturally-Aspirated 2JZ-GE '95 Toyota Supra with ITB's
Tuning Menu
Owner: Brendan Taft
Hometown: Orange County, CA
Occupation: Meguiar's Surface Care Specialist
Power: 260 whp; 230 lb-ft of torque on E85
Engine: 3.0 2JZ-GE with Performance Solutions custom manifold; Titan Motorsports cam gears; Web Cams 286-degree camshafts; Supertech 80-pound dual valvesprings, titanium retainers, 1mm oversize valves, shimless buckets; OE Supra Turbo coil packs, spark plug cover, valve covers; TRD Oil Cap; Driftmotion fuel rail, distributor cap; Techno Toy Tuning ITB splash shield, 50mm throttle stacks; Sound Performance oil catch can; FSR coolant reservoir, Teflon-braided hoses, custom 6-1 equal-length exhaust manifold; Continental flex fuel sensor; Nuke Performance fuel surge tank kit, fuel pressure regulator; Walbro GST 450 fuel pump; Precision 800cc injectors; Koyorad radiator; Carbing radiator cooling plate; SP Engineering carbon-fiber fusebox cover; Garage Star spark plug cover bolt kit, custom oil cooler kit; Grex oil filer adapter plate; Gates Kevlar timing belt, billet timing belt tensioner bracket; Fujitsubo Super Ti exhaust; Titan Motorsports crankshaft pulley; Evolution Industries thermal resistant intake manifold gasket
Drivetrain: Fidanza lightened flywheel; Clutch Masters FX400 clutch; TRD quick shifter; OE Supra Turbo limited-slip differential
Engine Management: AEM Infinity
Footwork & Chassis: TEIN Type Flex coilovers; Swift 18k front, 12k rear springs; OE Supra Turbo sway bars; TRD front strut bar; Next Japan Miracle X cross bar; adjustable front control arms
Wheels and Tires: 18x10.5" +0 front, 18x12" +11 rear SSR Wheels SP1 Professor wheels in Flare bronze; 265/35R18 front, 295/35R18 rear Nitto NT05 tires
Exterior: Platinum VIP custom metal widebody; Stillen side skirts; custom side splitters; Shine Auto front bumper, splitter, diffuser; APR GTC500 carbon-fiber GT wing; Modellista Designs carbon-fiber hood; JDM Toyota rear visor, window visors; Toxic Tails LED tail lights; OE '98-spec headlights, turn signals; carbon-fiber exhaust shield; Aerocatch hood pins
Interior: Auto Power race roll bar; Juran Racing/Tanida Motorsports GTX600 bucket seat, GTX100 bucket seat, leather perforated steering wheel, super low seat brackets; TRD tachometer, shift knob, gauges; Titan Motorsports rear seat delete kit
Thanks you: FSR Motorsports for all of your hard work, late closing hours and great moments; Meguiar's USA; Henderson Performance; Garage Star; Royal Origin; Techno Toy Tuning; Narita Dog Fight; Yuta Akaishi; Mastermind North America; SSR Wheels; Toxic Tails; Nuke Performance; Koyorad; Sticky Icons; 714 Tires; Tim Yang; Lerry Liu; Nathan Taguyan; Hubert Barnum; Dominic Le; Erick Wei; Noel Barnum; Minh Nguyen; John Tran; Joe Joaquin; Julian Mondragon; Mike Shader; my brother Justin Taft; my supportive parents

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