Yeah, I know it's been a long time since I used some '80s heavy metal reference as a title for a feature car, but in the past two or so weeks, while I stared in awe at the images of John Leigh's '95 Toyota Supra, destruction was the one thing that found its way into my thoughts. I began to think back to the West Leg kickoff of our 2004 Tour in Dallas. That's when I first noticed this magnificent red specimen. Not knowing that this car was once a non-turbo version of Toyota's now discontinued supercar, I continued to drool over it, along with the rest of the Tour goers.
It would take a very keen eye to even realize that John's Supra started life as a sluggish naturally aspirated hunk of metal. To most, the 2JZ-GTE engine appears as if it were the first and only powerplant that this JZA80 has ever had. But it isn't. Just to get the car running like a Supra should, John had SGP Racing swap out the engine, transmission, harness, ECU, and rearend for the twin-turbo counter parts, which seems like a lot of work considering that the next step was to yank out the engine again and outfit it with an SGP full-race short-block that consists of oversized low-compression pistons and forged connecting rods. The top end was reworked with a port job and fatty valves as well. But the truth is in the boost, like I always say. OK, I never said that before, but that's not really the point. What it all boils down to is the combination of an ITS GT74 dual ball-bearing turbo, a 100hp shot of Nitrous Express laughing gas, and lots of boost. Well, the giant 1,200cc injectors and dyno time tuning the AEM EMS had a lot to do with the end result of 1,032 hp as well. No, that's not a typo. John's Supra pushes more than 1,000 hp at the wheels, and it's fully street-driven. He even has the mileage from the 2004 Tour to prove it. Not that I saw much of his car while he was opening it up to top speed along what seemed to be a never-ending stretch of highway all the way to Atlanta. It didn't help that I was in a crappy rental Jeep with an Amish driver either.
In the brief moments that I happened to catch a glimpse of the Supra on the highway, it was damn near hypnotic. The Tein Type Flex coilovers managed to keep John's Supra rolling at a steady pace without showing signs of any imperfections on the asphalt. I'm not a big fan of red cars, but there's something about how the custom Renaissance Red paint blended so perfectly with the Do-Luck body kit. The 19-inch iForged Flex wheels looked like nothing more than a massive polished silver blur as the Supra propelled through the dirty south. Every once in a while I'd catch a little smidgen of red behind the front wheels, the Brembos that I'm sure get abused on an hourly basis trying to stop a 1,000hp car that tips the scale near 4,000 pounds.
I wasn't fortunate enough to ride in the Supra like our Nads in chief, but like I do at all upscale restaurants and clubs, I watched eagerly through the window. And I saw nothing but the best. At first glance, the 10,000-rpm TRD tachometer can be noticed tucked away in the factory gauge cluster. It's complemented with a batch of gauges from Auto Meter. From the Bride racing seats to the Eclipse DVD monitor, no corners were cut to make the interior any less spectacular than the rest of the car.
John has already shown us pictures of his next project car, an R34 Skyline GT-R. We don't know what John does for a living to be able to afford cars of this magnitude, but we want to get involved. He simply tells us he's "self-employed." We're guessing that's nothing like how our sex lives are "self-satisfying." You would never be able to tell John's destructive nature in a few short conversations with him. But he has to be as vindictive as it gets because nobody would set out to build a quadruple-digit horsepower street car without the hankering for a little bit of blood. At full boost, John's Supra won't hesitate to bring you down to China Town. It might not on the way to the liquor store or even at the local track, but rest assured that if you live in the vicinity of Houston and think your car is badass, John's Supra has your number, and it's almost up.
There are a bunch of people who build show cars and never drive them. Then there are people who have race cars that aren't streetable. Group them together and you have a grip of useless cars laying around. John's Supra is the epitome of what a Super Street car should be. It's laying down over 1,000 hp to the ground with a badass body kit and a sound system that would parallel that of an IMAX theater. But he doesn't just park it in the garage and let it collect dust. He drove nearly 1,000 miles to Atlanta on the 2004 Tour and still had to drive home while our weak-sauce asses flew back. We can't even manage to paint our project cars the right color or get them to the track without something bad happening. During our trek, John managed to get the Supra up to 165 mph, which is about three times as fast as Jonny drives on the freeway when there's no traffic. Keep in mind, we're reporting this way after the fact, so the po-po can't do a damn thing about it. Maybe they should have spent less time trying to eat donut holes out of each other's belly buttons and paid attention to what was happening on the freeway. But I don't want to tell them how to do their job. They're really busy right now trying to figure out a way to frame me for smuggling illegal firearms into the country.
Car: 1995 Toyota Supra
Owner: John Leigh
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Daily Grind: Self-employed
Under The Hood: 2JZ-GTE engine swap with harness and ECU; SGP full-race short block, 9.0:1 compression .20 over pistons, racing head package, SST 1mm oversize valve kit, bronze valve guides, upper radiator pipe kit, and custom intercooler piping; Pauter connecting rods; HKS header, GT2 wastegate, Twin Power ignition, Ti exhaust, and Racing blow-off valve; VeilSide lower intake, fuel rail, Hi-Flow Plenum, and 100mm throttle body; JUN 264 cams; ITS GT74 dual ball-bearing q-trim tangential turbo; Jet Hot 2000 coating; AEM EMS; FJO wideband O2 sensor; dual Denso fuel pumps; Aeromotive fuel regulator; 1200cc injectors; WOTM custom 4-inch downpipe; TRD oil cap; Titan cam gears; Unorthodox Racing pulley set; Boostlogic crank pulley; Nitrous Express 100 shot, 15-pound carbon fiber bottle, and GenX-2 kit; Signal radiator cover; battery relocation kit; GReddy four-row intercooler; Fluidyne radiator; Six-speed Getrag transmission; Ryan Woon Signature Series RPS carbon/carbon clutch; twin turbo axles and driveshaft; TRD limited-slip differential; TRD tranny mounts
Stiff Stuff: Tein Type Flex coilovers with EDFC
Rollers: iForged Flex racing wheels, 19x9.5 (f) 19x11 (r); BFGoodrich tires, 265/30 R19 (f) 295/35 R19 (r)
Stoppers: Brembo Gran Turismo Big Brake kit and rear rotors
Outside: Do-Luck late-model complete body kit and rear under diffuser; TRD hood; RMM carbon-fiber rear wing; Ganador carbon-fiber mirrors; Renaissance Red custom paint
Inside: CFX custom-molded carbon-fiber door panels and center console; MOMO Millennium Evo steering wheel, shift knob, e-brake handle, and shift boot; Sparco harness bar; Takata harnesses; TRD 10,000-rpm tach; IPT Motorsports carbon-fiber interior kit; Auto Meter EGT, boost, water-temperature, and fuel-pressure gauges; dual gauge pillar pod; Bride Ergo racing seats
Ice: Eclipse Pro Audio 8132 in-dash DVD player, equalizer, 8-inch titanium subs, and tweeters
Props: SGP Racing; BFGoodrich tires; Meguiar's; Modena Autowerks, Underground Graphics; Auto Meter; CFX; Do-Luck; NX; iForged; Signal Auto; Top Secret; Jun Auto Mechanic; OEM Alternative