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1997 Toyota Supra - Supra Hero

The origin story of how an 800HP Mk IV Supra got its super-power

Andrew Beckford
Oct 16, 2018
Photographer: Patrick Lauder

All too often when admiring a high-quality build at a local meet or major car show, we take for granted the fact the car we are admiring was once completely bone stock. We also tend to make the assumption that what we see is the final product. We constantly fail to appreciate there was an epic journey for that particular car to get to that point, and it's highly likely that its journey isn't close to being over.

1997 toyota supra ridox front bumper Photo 2/22   |   1997 Toyota Supra Ridox Front Bumper

For Eric Lam, the vehicle that drives his journey is the Mark 4 (Mk IV) Toyota Supra you see in this feature. And its journey started long ago when Eric was still a teenager.

Eric fell in love with Toyota's legendary sports car when his father handed down his '89 Supra to him. Eric loved (and still owns) that car, but after attending a "Supras Invade Las Vegas" event, Eric heard the siren call of the Mk 4 Supra..

Fast forward four years later to 2009 and a 22-year-old Eric finally saved up enough to buy a pristine 15th anniversary Mk IV Supra from his good friend, who specifically saved the car for him to buy, thus marking the next chapter in Eric's journey.

Taking inspiration from Supras Eric read about in Super Street (aw, shucks!) as well as SupraForums.com, he began collecting parts and piecing together his vision of the ultimate Mk IV.

1997 toyota supra ridox side skirts Photo 6/22   |   1997 Toyota Supra Ridox Side Skirts

Starting with the engine, Eric ditched the stock twin-turbo setup and built a single-turbo system with a Precision 8385 turbocharger as its foundation. An AEM Infinity 6, combined with an AEM boost solenoid and Tial MVR wastegate, help manage the forced induction to the tune of 818 horsepower and 600 ft-lbs of torque on E60 flex fuel. The turbo inhales through a K&N filter attached to a custom intake pipe and a GReddy three-row intercooler mated to a Virtual Works intake manifold. The 2JZ exhales through a DOC exhaust manifold paired with custom dump tubes, custom 4-inch downpipe and midpipe, and finally out through a HKS 4-inch racing Ti exhaust.

A "thicc" Koyo radiator with custom AN fittings helps keep everything nice and cool.

Of course there is a supporting cast of additional parts that make all that magic happen, but that list is so long that I literally can't fit it all here.

If the exterior of Eric's car looks familiar to you, it's because another source of inspiration for his build is the legendary Manabu "Max" Orido, which means nearly every major exterior mod is sourced from Ridox. That includes the front bumper, carbon fiber front splitter, carbon side skirts, front fenders, and carbon fender splitters. The only non-Ridox exterior mod is the rear spoiler, which Eric scored from another legendary JDM aero tuner, AB Flug.

1997 toyota supra 2jz engine Photo 10/22   |   1997 Toyota Supra 2Jz Engine

To help match the exterior paint, a hint of green pearl was mixed into the clear coat on all of the carbon fiber pieces.

The interior has been refreshed to its former glory with brand new OEM dash panels, floor mats, cluster lens, glove box, and even passenger airbag. The rear seats and door handles have been re-upholstered in black suede while the front seats are Bride Stradia II Japan Venus units. Eric takes control of his Supra with a 360mm Personal Neo Actis wheel mated to a Works Bell hub.

Eric's Supra is suspended on KW Variant 3 coilovers and sits on a set of Work Meister S1 three-piece wheels custom finished with gunmetal faces inside of anodized polished lips with gold hardware. The wheels are staggered with 19 x 10 sizes up front and 19 x 11 in the rear. The two front wheels are wrapped in Toyo R888 265/35 tires up front while Toyo R888R 295/30 tires envelop the rear rollers. Again, there are many more pieces at play here when it comes to the Supra's suspension geometry but his spec list is dense!

1997 toyota supra bride stradia II japan venus seats Photo 14/22   |   1997 Toyota Supra Bride Stradia II Japan Venus Seats

Though as much as he's done with his Mk IV so far, Eric is far from done. Recently he's become bitten by the half-mile racing bug so he is looking rebuild the motor and push his turbo to it's full capacity of 1,400 horses.

While a 1,400 horsepower, hard-charging beast may seem like one heck of an end goal, for Eric it's just another step in the journey.

1997 toyota supra ridox bumper Photo 18/22   |   1997 Toyota Supra Ridox Bumper
1997 toyota supra work meister s1 wheels Photo 22/22   |   1997 Toyota Supra Work Meister S1 Wheels
By Andrew Beckford
50 Articles
1997 Toyota Supra - Supra Hero
Tuning Menu
Owner: Eric Lam
Engine: AEM air intake temp sensor, 3.5-bar map sensor, boost solenoid, Flex Fuel sensor, and fuel pressure sensor; Brown & Miller upper & lower crimped race hose; custom 5/16 (-3AN) stainless steel hardline; DOC Race exhaust manifold; Dress Up Bolt neo-chrome titanium bolts; Freed Engineering catch can; GReddy polished oil cap; HKS 264 cams; K&N filter; NGK Iridium spark plugs; Speed Factory burnt titanium exhaust studs; PHR Black Series pulley kit; polished valve covers; Precision 8385 turbo; Tial MVR dual wastegates and Q blow-off valve; TRD thermostat; Titan Motorsports carbon-fiber fuse box cover & billet radiator tie down; TTC billet tensioner arm; Virtual Works intake manifold; welded -16 AN polished upper water neck; Fuel Lab fuel pessure regulator; Aeroquip Startlite fuel hose; dual Walbro 450 fuel pumps; ID2000 injectors; Titan Motorsports fuel rail; GReddy 3-row intercooler; Koyo Racing radiator with -16 & -20 AN welded fittings; Lexus IS 300 electric fans; PHR IS300 electric fan shroud; Spoolin Performance intercooler pipes; Titan Motorsports carbon-fiber cooling plate; Too Precise Radiator overflow bottle; custom dumptubes, 4-in. downpipe, & 4-in. midpipe; HKS 4-in. Racing Ti exhaust; AEM Infinity 6 EMS
Drivetrain: Carbonetics triple-disc clutch; custom rebuilt driveshaft with larger U-joints; C's short shifter; Royal Purple Synchro Max gear oil; Redline Shockproof rear diff gear oil; Titan Motorsports solid shifter bushings; TRD transmission mount
Footwork & Chassis: Carbing rear strut tower brace; Ikeya Formula front upper A arms; KW V3 coilovers; Super Now outer tie rod ends; Nagisa Auto anti-sway bar end links; Tanabe top hats front & rear; Titan Motorsports front & rear anti-sway bars
Brakes: Brembo 6-pot caliper front/4-pot rear big brake kit; Goodrich stainless steel lines; ATE Blue racing brake fluid
Wheels & Tires: Work Meister S1 3-piece, gun metal face, anodized polish lip, gold hardware, 19x10" front, 19x11" rear; Toyo R888 265/35R19 front, 295/30R19 rear
Exterior: 1998 Supra headlights; RX350 HID retrofit; clear lenses; OEM potted Denso ballast; OSRAM CBI bulbs; Morimoto Matchbox fog light upgrade; Morimoto 5k h1 HID kit; JDM front side marker; custom LED turn signals; AB Flug carbon-fiber spoiler; Dress up Bolts titanium hardware; Ridox bumper, carbon splitter, carbon canards, carbon fender splitter, carbon side skirts, & front fenders; all exterior carbon fiber has a coat of green pearl/clear coat
Interior: New OEM dashboard, center console, floor mat set, cluster lens, dash panels, glove box, and 1998 passenger side airbag; carbon-fiber center console arm rest lid; black suede rear seats & door handles; Bride Stradia II Japan Venus front seats; Bride rails; LED conversion (dome light, cluster, window switch) - Stu Hagen mod; Sparco harness bar; Sucker Punch weighted shift knob; Personal 360MM Neo Actis steering wheel; Works Bell 60MM hub & tilt hub; Takata harnesses; TTC chrome dash rings; BTI Can gauge; Defi 60mm boost gauge; HKS DLI amplifier & turbo timer; Odyssey battery; TRD tach

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