A Supra Story

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: A Supra Story

  1. #1
    SupraForums Member lunar0utlaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    averill park ny
    Age
    30
    Posts
    62

    A Supra Story

    By Bryan VanZandt
    I was 14 when I bought my first third generation Toyota Supra; this was a time where Ask Jeeves was one of the only search engines, and I hadn’t seen Paul Walker drive the Mark IV in The Fast and The Furious yet. I had no idea what the Supra was, or what the name Supra would come to embody. The first time I saw a Mark III Supra, the body lines where sharp, the silver paint was crisp, and by God, it had pop up head lights. It just looked like it was asking to be driven fast. Sitting in the driver’s seat was like sitting in a fighter jet; the leather seat was like a glove, and the dash was full of instruments all oriented toward the driver. The sound from the aftermarket exhaust was throaty. An obsession was born, and I knew I had to have that car.
    I worked odd jobs for people all summer and fall to pay the $900 asking price. The Supra was then driven to my grandparents’ house, so my mom would not find out about it. Their driveway was long and allowed me to drive at least a little bit. I learned how to drive stick tooling around on the drive way and backcountry roads. It was fun to feel the road, while listening to the engine roar and the turbo spool.
    It was a little while after I got the car that I saw The Fast and The Furious, which had hit the movie theaters two years prior. This of course was like adding gas to a fire, and the obsession grew.
    As you would expect, you can’t hide things from your mom very long. The car had to go; my mom was worried I would wreck once I could drive it to high school. Of course, this didn’t end the obsession. The expression “absence makes the heart grow fonder” fits perfectly here; the Mark III became my dream car.
    Fast forward a few years, and I was a senior in high school when I found someone selling a light blue 1989 Supra targa in good shape. Well, it was in good shape except for the engine; the block knocked harder than a door-to-door salesman. After some “shrewd” negotiation, I got it for $300 and a spare computer I had laying around. A replacement eBay engine, and lot of hard lessons later, I was in love all over again. For two years I drove that car everywhere.
    By the time I was almost through my first year in college, I had a lot of time under the hood and only a high school and college student’s budget to work on it. I took it to a few test and tune nights to see what it could do in a quarter mile. The little blue Supra wouldn’t pull extraordinary numbers. but it would be in the low to mid 12s religiously. I would go to autocross events when I could find them. I had a lot of great times in that car.
    Then, I found a red 1988 turbo Supra hard top for $500, and made one of the biggest mistakes in my car history. I couldn’t see past the word “turbo”: the car was in pieces, the engine was in boxes in the trunk, and the interior was all but gone. When it arrived to my house, it was apparent that the car was rusting away, and the engine parts where not all accounted for. However, I wanted a hard top turbo, so I sold the car that had been so good to me, and got to work on the new project. The rust turned out to be worse than I expected as I pushed on. The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, until I found that the rust had compromised the structural integrity of the car. After nearly a year of dumping money into it, it was apparent that I had to give up on this Supra.
    By this point, I found out that the kid that bought my old blue Supra attempted to port and polish the head with a drill and failed, destroying the head. He cut the body up attempting to make it look “cool”. I also found out that he was into shady stuff. I had betrayed the car that had been the best to me. 8 years later, I found out that it was most likely crushed, an incredibly sad end to a car that only wanted to have fun. I wish I could find out what ever happened to the silver 1988 supra. Does it have a place to call home, if the guy from Massachusetts still has it? Had it met a similar fate as the blue Supra?
    Some time passed, and the rusted supra just sat under a tarp, waiting to be a donor for the next project. I was again Supra-less. I looked everywhere for one, trying to find one that was not rusted out. Living in Upstate NY, most of them had not fared well over the years. I finally gave up looking for the dream project, as it seemed impossible. It was also around this time that I was single and kind of trying to stay that way.
    However, sometimes life has plans for you, and when you’re not looking for something it finds you. That is when fate put someone in my life; my best friend, my wife, Stephanie. Shortly after we started dating, someone told me about a Supra hidden away at an old mechanic shop. The shop was not far away, so I decided to go take a look. Hidden behind a few rows of cars and a lot of dust, there she was, sitting on 4 flat tires. The black paint was faded, the clear coat worn out, and the leather interior had dried out and cracked over the years. It was truly a great barn find. Twelve years before, the previous owner had blown the head gasket and dropped it off to the shop for repairs. Unfortunately, the shop owner replaced the engine, so it was not numbers matching. During the repair, the owner passed away, and his wife gave the mechanic the title in lieu of payment. Looking at the build plate, it was built in May of 1989; it was within a month younger than me. The car had just over 60,000 miles on it, which matched the DMV records. I had to have it.
    Today, I have owned my dream car for nearly 9 years, and put 20,000 overall miles on it. I have enjoyed all kinds of projects, like converting it from automatic to an r154 manual transmission, building a 7mgte engine, and swapping the entire interior. I have some big plans for it, like building a twin turbocharged 1UZFE, and I can’t wait to restomod the car with my twins Samantha and Dean when they are older. This will not be a car I sell; it will be a car I pass on. I know it is not a Ferrari or Lamborghini, but there has always just been something about the third generation Toyota Supra that I just can’t quantify. Like all dream cars, it is more than the sum of its parts, more than a hobby: it is an obsession.
    88 turbo targa(sold) ...89 n/a Targa(sold)...88 turbo hard top (rusted away)....89 let's get to work

  2. Remove Advertisements
    SupraForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Super Moderator Wreckless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    9,900
    Quote Originally Posted by lunar0utlaw View Post
    By Bryan VanZandt
    I was 14 when I bought my first third generation Toyota Supra; this was a time where Ask Jeeves was one of the only search engines, and I hadn’t seen Paul Walker drive the Mark IV in The Fast and The Furious yet. I had no idea what the Supra was, or what the name Supra would come to embody. The first time I saw a Mark III Supra, the body lines where sharp, the silver paint was crisp, and by God, it had pop up head lights. It just looked like it was asking to be driven fast. Sitting in the driver’s seat was like sitting in a fighter jet; the leather seat was like a glove, and the dash was full of instruments all oriented toward the driver. The sound from the aftermarket exhaust was throaty. An obsession was born, and I knew I had to have that car.
    I worked odd jobs for people all summer and fall to pay the $900 asking price. The Supra was then driven to my grandparents’ house, so my mom would not find out about it. Their driveway was long and allowed me to drive at least a little bit. I learned how to drive stick tooling around on the drive way and backcountry roads. It was fun to feel the road, while listening to the engine roar and the turbo spool.
    It was a little while after I got the car that I saw The Fast and The Furious, which had hit the movie theaters two years prior. This of course was like adding gas to a fire, and the obsession grew.
    As you would expect, you can’t hide things from your mom very long. The car had to go; my mom was worried I would wreck once I could drive it to high school. Of course, this didn’t end the obsession. The expression “absence makes the heart grow fonder” fits perfectly here; the Mark III became my dream car.
    Fast forward a few years, and I was a senior in high school when I found someone selling a light blue 1989 Supra targa in good shape. Well, it was in good shape except for the engine; the block knocked harder than a door-to-door salesman. After some “shrewd” negotiation, I got it for $300 and a spare computer I had laying around. A replacement eBay engine, and lot of hard lessons later, I was in love all over again. For two years I drove that car everywhere.
    By the time I was almost through my first year in college, I had a lot of time under the hood and only a high school and college student’s budget to work on it. I took it to a few test and tune nights to see what it could do in a quarter mile. The little blue Supra wouldn’t pull extraordinary numbers. but it would be in the low to mid 12s religiously. I would go to autocross events when I could find them. I had a lot of great times in that car.
    Then, I found a red 1988 turbo Supra hard top for $500, and made one of the biggest mistakes in my car history. I couldn’t see past the word “turbo”: the car was in pieces, the engine was in boxes in the trunk, and the interior was all but gone. When it arrived to my house, it was apparent that the car was rusting away, and the engine parts where not all accounted for. However, I wanted a hard top turbo, so I sold the car that had been so good to me, and got to work on the new project. The rust turned out to be worse than I expected as I pushed on. The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, until I found that the rust had compromised the structural integrity of the car. After nearly a year of dumping money into it, it was apparent that I had to give up on this Supra.
    By this point, I found out that the kid that bought my old blue Supra attempted to port and polish the head with a drill and failed, destroying the head. He cut the body up attempting to make it look “cool”. I also found out that he was into shady stuff. I had betrayed the car that had been the best to me. 8 years later, I found out that it was most likely crushed, an incredibly sad end to a car that only wanted to have fun. I wish I could find out what ever happened to the silver 1988 supra. Does it have a place to call home, if the guy from Massachusetts still has it? Had it met a similar fate as the blue Supra?
    Some time passed, and the rusted supra just sat under a tarp, waiting to be a donor for the next project. I was again Supra-less. I looked everywhere for one, trying to find one that was not rusted out. Living in Upstate NY, most of them had not fared well over the years. I finally gave up looking for the dream project, as it seemed impossible. It was also around this time that I was single and kind of trying to stay that way.
    However, sometimes life has plans for you, and when you’re not looking for something it finds you. That is when fate put someone in my life; my best friend, my wife, Stephanie. Shortly after we started dating, someone told me about a Supra hidden away at an old mechanic shop. The shop was not far away, so I decided to go take a look. Hidden behind a few rows of cars and a lot of dust, there she was, sitting on 4 flat tires. The black paint was faded, the clear coat worn out, and the leather interior had dried out and cracked over the years. It was truly a great barn find. Twelve years before, the previous owner had blown the head gasket and dropped it off to the shop for repairs. Unfortunately, the shop owner replaced the engine, so it was not numbers matching. During the repair, the owner passed away, and his wife gave the mechanic the title in lieu of payment. Looking at the build plate, it was built in May of 1989; it was within a month younger than me. The car had just over 60,000 miles on it, which matched the DMV records. I had to have it.
    Today, I have owned my dream car for nearly 9 years, and put 20,000 overall miles on it. I have enjoyed all kinds of projects, like converting it from automatic to an r154 manual transmission, building a 7mgte engine, and swapping the entire interior. I have some big plans for it, like building a twin turbocharged 1UZFE, and I can’t wait to restomod the car with my twins Samantha and Dean when they are older. This will not be a car I sell; it will be a car I pass on. I know it is not a Ferrari or Lamborghini, but there has always just been something about the third generation Toyota Supra that I just can’t quantify. Like all dream cars, it is more than the sum of its parts, more than a hobby: it is an obsession.
    I got my first MK3 as a 17 year old in 1999. I managed to swindle my Dad into thinking that a Toyota 6 cylinder with a turbo wasn't anything like a V8 muscle car or fast... that didn't last long either but I managed to hold on to the car.

    You're right, man, there's something about a MK3 that you just don't get out of any other car, and once that bug bites you, you're infected, and it never goes away!
    Thanks for sharing your story! I'm impressed that your grandparents were on board with hiding the car from your Mom! LOL

    I don't think I'd go 1UZ for big power. If anything, if I found a clean NA targa auto I'd do a 1UZ swap and keep it NA just to have a nice torquey cruiser to enjoy with the top off, and something that I could drive from Upstate NY to San Diego without even the slightest bit of worry.
    There's just no way around it that going JZ is the easiest and most trouble free way to get 600+ hp out of our MK3's, and after all these years of projects and trying to do something different for the sake of being different - the most ho-hum 2JZ swap is remarkable and exciting as hell on the street and to enjoy driving, and I'll take enjoyed miles behind the wheel over impressed people on the internet any day of the week!

    Good luck with your build and your family - got any pics of your current MK3?
    Jeff
    "I spent a lot of money on booze, chicks and fast cars. The rest I just squandered." -- George Best
    Quote Originally Posted by KING View Post
    Who would have ever thought.....the impact an automobile can make.....

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Philly
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by Wreckless View Post
    I got my first MK3 as a 17 year old in 1999. I managed to swindle my Dad into thinking that a Toyota 6 cylinder with a turbo wasn't anything like a V8 muscle car or fast... that didn't last long either but I managed to hold on to the car.

    You're right, man, there's something about a MK3 that you just don't get out of any other car, and once that bug bites you, you're infected, and it never goes away!
    Thanks for sharing your story! I'm impressed that your grandparents were on board with hiding the car from your Mom! LOL

    I don't think I'd go 1UZ for big power. If anything, if I found a clean NA targa auto I'd do a 1UZ swap and keep it NA just to have a nice torquey cruiser to enjoy with the top off, and something that I could drive from Upstate NY to San Diego without even the slightest bit of worry.
    There's just no way around it that going JZ is the easiest and most trouble free way to get 600+ hp out of our MK3's, and after all these years of projects and trying to do something different for the sake of being different - the most ho-hum 2JZ swap is remarkable and exciting as hell on the street and to enjoy driving, and I'll take enjoyed miles behind the wheel over impressed people on the internet any day of the week!

    Good luck with your build and your family - got any pics of your current MK3?
    Wait, what? I'm confused. If someone does a 2jz swap it's probably because they want to impress the internet? And "enjoyed miles"? You can't enjoy 2jz miles? Your comments are confusing.

  5. Remove Advertisements
    SupraForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    Super Moderator Wreckless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    9,900
    Quote Originally Posted by Nickels View Post
    Wait, what? I'm confused. If someone does a 2jz swap it's probably because they want to impress the internet? And "enjoyed miles"? You can't enjoy 2jz miles? Your comments are confusing.
    Too many people do exotic/different shit in their builds because they want it to 'stand out' from all of the other common builds in a given chassis. Like twin turbos on a 1UZ, or a BMW V12, or a Toyota Century V12 instead of sticking to a proven formula like a 1JZ/2JZ.

    Inevitably, getting weird/different/exotic means a lot more downtime, cost, and headaches vs sticking to the proven formulas.

    Proven formulas like a 2JZ swap instead of building a 1UZ = car is done sooner and for a much more predictable total expense, and you can actually drive and enjoy the fucking thing! And while a 2JZ swap may seem 'common' here on Supraforums or the FB groups, but out on the pavement it's a rather exciting and usual build.

    Not sure how that was confusing, but hopefully that clears up what I meant.

  7. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Philly
    Posts
    31
    yup, I was confused and yes you cleared it up. Sorry about that. Well I guess I should add that the only time I was ever in a MKIII Supra was when my girlfriends mom came to pick us up from a carnival. I was about 13 and this was around 1992. I remember thinking that the car looked so freaking cool and the fact that her mom drove it just made me think that her mom was a badass, haha.

  8. #6
    SupraForums Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    218
    What a great story. I love reading things like this. The MKIII surely is a beauty when done right. Lots of people seem to quickly forget about the III's in the shadow of the MKIV. I had an uncle who owned an '89 N/A in white. Great car that purred like a kitten. Sadly, he ended up getting T-boned in the passenger side (luckily everyone was unharmed - just a bruised elbow), and the car was totaled. Gotta love Florida drivers...

    I'm kind of with Wreckless on this one - I think you outta go with the JZ swap. Easy conversion and there's millions of resources you can use for the job. Plus you've got a reliable proven platform that'll last as long as you want it to.



    -Coby
    <img src=http://resizeimage.net/viewimg/UUh5BiR8Fn5vxpmp/346YY/z.jpg border=0 alt= />

    "Ladies, if your boyfriend can't run a 7018 rod, you have a girlfriend." ~Unknown

  9. #7
    I just came into the MKIII world, I guess by accident, or destiny. I always been a celica guy, and of course dont see myself paying 30K ++ dollars for a used mkiv. Nothing wrong with them. I just dont want one..
    I did however always wanted to have a RHD car. I found one, and bid on it. Won, came with problems, and fixing them one at a time.. Only had it for 2 weeks, only a short period of time, but Ive always admired the MKIII, because i feel the lines are better (thats just me, my opinion, and not gospel). I did get the JZ engine, however, because ive always been afraid of the 7m, purely because of internet rumors....(something about gaskets)

    Your story is better than mine, but i wanted to share.

+ Reply to Thread

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

List your Car(s)

Where you live

Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Your Supra's Vehichle Identification Number (Not visible to the public)

Log-in

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 18
    Last Post: 10-07-2012, 11:23 AM
  2. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 10-04-2012, 03:58 PM
  3. OMG! Funny Supra Story! =) (pics)
    By Interex_87 in forum MKIII (1986.5-1992)
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 09-08-2002, 04:54 PM
  4. Kill story w/ NA Supra
    By Aznplayer911 in forum Naturally Aspirated
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 07-02-2002, 04:33 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •