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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In this build I will try and give as much back story to the many aspects of this build. I hope you all find it amusing and interesting. This build goes back, way back. Pre-digital cameras for the early pics. So please excuse the first couple pics.

A friend of mine, Israel (aka EZ), his family owns a tire shop and one afternoon after high school I went over to chill with him and on the wall in the shop was 2 JGTC Supras going at it. So like a lot of us on here, the first time I saw a JGTC Supra, it was magical. I fell in love at first sight (I so wish I would have told him to give me that poster, he sadly threw it away one day). Since that magic moment I vowed to own a Supra one day. This was circa 1994-1995. Here is a pic similar to the poster,



Life went on and its ~1995-1996 I finally saw a RSP in action at the street races in Long Beach. Seeing it race solidified my WANT and still kept me dreaming. Its early 2001 and I had finally saved up enough for the down payment. The search was on! I had a daily routine of checking autotrader and other similar sites of that era. I found supraforums and suprastore at this time. Somehow I stumbled upon, "ToyotaCertified.com". They had a 4 year limit on certification so if I was just lucky enough, I could maybe find the unicorn I was looking for, a 1997 Limited Edition Twin Turbo 6speed with Targa Top, in Renaissance Red. I didn't even know the name of the color, just red. Foolishly (hindsight), I also believed the Targa was the better model!

Early October 2001 I remember it was a Friday, I start my workday and go thru my ritual. To my surprise, I see said unicorn on ToyotaCertified.com! I immediately call, ask if its still available, they say yes! I told them to charge whatever amount they needed to on my credit card to hold it for me and that I was flying out that night. Dealer Salesman picked me up from Cleveland and drove me back to dealership in Mars, PA (with such short notice, that was the only flight I could find last minute on a Friday night) and we made the deal! Here she is in front of dealership,



I take position about a week later. I vowed to keep the exterior stock looking and do the motor work first. Previous cars, I had body kit them as my first mod, did it full on ricer style.... *facepalm* :) Here are pics of my car bone stock after its first wash,







5 months after buying the car I learn thru Supraforums about theTX2K2 Event. I do the cross country trek from LA to Houston with a cousin (Kenny) of mine. Here is one representative pic of the trip. In the pic you see the guy with the white Supra and the guy on the right with the black Supra, who I believe his name is Thomas (maybe? Sorry I forgot the other gentlemans name). Very cool guys who helped make me feel at home. I actually ran into the black supra owner at TX2K13 at the road race event.



After playing with modded Supras and being walked on like I was at a stand still, I started the build that would take me onto this crazy journey. First mod, HID lights and APEX air intake!





Downpipes comparison pic. Stock vs RMM (not clone)pipe.



The new downpipe gave the car such a bump in power (to me at the time), I was so happy. It was good for me for awhile....

Next mod was the TRD 10K Tach and TRD Steering wheel.



I started doing track days here and there where I could (money & time). So clueless, I actually used to run with that cutoff sleeve shirt, and a Simpson helmet as my only means of protection! Pics,











Learning how to drive the car on the track really taught me where the limits of my driving with the car were. With that, I had some tough lessons along the way and had a spin out on the track. Luckily it was a chain link fence and not the brick one, so the damage was purely cosmetic. The vow to keep the exterior stock was in jeopardy! Since I was going to have to paint some parts of the car why not body kit... This would lead me to the land of the rising sun...
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Its 2002 and I discover Manabu Orido's gangsta ass RSP Supra and his Ridox kit. This is pre Varis owning them. I found 2 pics online of the pics I saw at the time (there was a 3rd but I can't seem to find it).





With no way to buy these parts stateside I decided to take part in Turbo Magazine's Tokyo Auto Salon tour. I knew Ridox/Manabu Orido would be there so I went with a good friend of mine, Ivan (little brother to the friend whos family owns the tire shop from post #1). This tour was so much fun. The show is like no other. Here are some poverty pics, (some are poverty, luckily Ivan's mom had let him borrow her digital camera).







At the show there were a bunch of the real JGTC Supra in the flesh! Here is one of them. The dream was real! I tried finding someone to talk to about getting this kit instead, headlights, mirrors, the works. To no avail. Ridox was an awesome second for the effort of this long trip.



Here I met Orido-san and his Supra. I was dubbed "Yankee" by him from here on forward.







Here I am stalking him and found him on day 2 of the show.



This show had some celebrities you all know! I ended up running into Hulk Hogan. I stopped him and he really didn't want to chat with me until I mentioned the Supra. His eyes lit up and I was telling him about the Ridox Kit. We talked for a good 10 minutes, Supra talk. I finally got the nerve to ask for a pic and my buddy Ivan creeped up on the pic and moment as well. I pointed him out as to where to find Orido's Supra (this show is huge, took multiple halls) and we parted ways. This being early 2003, what you don't see in this pic is pre-puberty Nick Hogan just outside the camera field of view. It would be so funny to be able to show it.



When I first meet Orido he wasn't really believing I came all the way out there to buy his kit. Me not knowing Japanese and him not knowing English, I had to give the universal sign of putting my wallet on his counter/table and pointing at his car, more specifically the kit. He understood and nabbed a translator from somewhere. We worked out the deal but then informed me the GT wing was one of a kind and not for sale. Not taking no for an answer, and asked the translator to tell him to sell me his, the one on the car. Seeing that I was serious, he got on his cell phone then and there and called who he needed to, and made it happen and got me "#2" GT wing. :) I was ecstatic. I got the relevant info and all I had to do was the wire transfer as soon as I got back stateside.

My Japanese travels weren't over yet. Next was a trip to Signal Auto. These guys were the nicest people. There I got a tour of the facilities and bought even more gear for the Supra. I bought the Takata Harnesses, Top Secret Hood and Top Secret Diffuser.



I did get to bring one thing home with me. The ARC titanium IC plate. The rest would be shipped over. I ended up needing to hire a lawyer to deal with all the customs paperwork and had the parts air shipped over from Japan via Japan Airlines (boat freight to my amazement was actually more expensive). I literally had parts over nighted from Japan!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'm back from Japan and sorting out the whole wire transfer stuff (I was young and dumb and had to get over "giving" someone money with nothing in return and take the leap of faith that the transaction would be legit). I ordered even more parts from MVP, Carbon Fiber Ganador mirrors and Veilside Ti exhaust. I still feel like this exhaust is one of the best sounding exhausts on the market today.

Here I am installing (also known as breaking sockets trying to get rusted old bolts/nuts off) it with my cousin Kenny



Comparison of the Stock exhaust vs. Veilside Ti. I believe the the Veilside weighs like 4.5 pounds. I could hold the whole thing with 2 fingers!



Here it is installed



At this point I was feeling very comfortable with online transactions and ended buying Ryan Woon's HKS Type R FMIC. This was when he was switching to a Greddy unit and building the beast you all know and love. Sadly I have no pics of the install or the part itself. I will update post if I do find something on this.

Also, this was when the AEM v1 was first introduced. Me trying to be diligent and only trying to do things once, thinking, "ok, Im BPU, I might as well get ecu and get the most out of my setup and be ready to go single", I took the stand alone dive. What a mistake that was. I didn't know I would be such a guinea pig. Now before anyone says, "but you need a good tuner", I got the best. I hired Jason Siebels of AEM to tune it. I had horrible cold starts and the car would literally turn off sometimes in the middle of me driving it and have me stuck in the middle of the road blocking traffic. Dangerous much?! Luckily I discovered Justin Nenni of Tuning Concepts and he was able to get it way more tolerable but those same problems never fully went away. I digress...

Before the car went into the body shop I had a cro-moly roll cage put in by Matt of Performance Solutions in Signal Hill. I had made it policy, the only people to touch my car were people who had already worked on Supras. Matt already had done RSA Supra's and Ryan & Lisa Uchida of now defunct Creative Audio's white Supra so I knew my car was in good hands. This cage design I believe is one of the more stealthier designs. If you see the car from side profile, the cage is non existent. Car felt so much more rigid. Flex with the targa top off was gone. NOT less, totally gone. Car was almost too rigid now, but I actually like it like this now. Matt also made me a metal battery tray that sits center of the interior on the tranny tunnel.

Pic of roll cage



My memory is fuzzy but at some point I put a stereo system in the car (~2002-2003). Ryan Uchida of Creative Audio and Supraforums member Nick Stonawski did this work. Ryan's car is so immaculate it was a no-brainer to take it to them. Audio isn't really a big thing to me and only did to to "complete" the build. This is a pic from 2010 but I really don't have any other pics of the killer work they did. It soon will be getting an upgrade but for now this is where the stereo stands, even since then:



Looking for the best of the best to work on my car I came across 20/20 Auto Body in City of Industry. Another clue to give you how far back this build goes, my car was actually painted at the same place and time as Ken Henderson' Blackie. Guilly's old silver TRD Supra which went to an owner in Hawaii and now resides in Houston was also there at the same time (I have a partial view of that car in one of my pics). I wish I had pics of Blackie and my car together but David of 20/20 was very adamant about keeping client privacy.

When dealing with 20/20 they gave me a quote and it being higher than what I could afford at the time. We came with a compromise. I'm sure you all have heard the phrase, "you either have time, or you have money". Not having money I made time. The compromise was to lessen the labor part of quote I would deliver car with as few possible pieces on it as possible. So out came the fenders, headlights, front bumper, and the whole interior sans dash area.

Here I am crawling around the now bare interior



Before giving delivery to 20/20 of the car and parts to be installed I needed to do a comparison and quick mockup for myself





Parts at 20/20 getting ready to be prepped



Silver TRD hood (Guilly's old car) in background and is that maybe Blackie's front bumper below my parts on the ground???



roll cage getting painted and other body shaving going on







 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I like to call this version of the car v0.9







As you can see I was using the stock hood (I really was trying to go for a subdued clean look) and no mirrors! The parts from Signal Auto hadn't arrived (those were coming by boat) and D1 was having its very first D1 Drift event at Irwindale which would soon be dubbed, "The House of Drift". I wanted to be a part of such an epic event with my car so I took the car, no mirrors and all and huge 20/20 banner on the windshield to the event. Here I am sporting a Ridox shirt with my cousin as co-pilot.



Pics of the event



One with the D1 judge and legend Keiichi Tsuchiya



I cant find all the pics of this event as I know I have another pic with Orido. I took pics of the car in the parking lot with my new digital camera (I was bummed by the dark pictures from Japan) and when I met up with Orido he recognized me and shouted out, "Yankee!" while pointing at me. :) I showed him the progress on my car and he really liked how the kit looked in red. He was so impressed I like to think that he repainted his car from RSP to red because of seeing my car. I'm not saying he copied me, but he copied me... ;-)

Parts finally came in from Japan and back the car went to 20/20. I was disappointed to find out the "carbon fiber" version of the Ganador mirrors was nothing more than a painted carbon fiber pattern on the plastic (not sure what material they are made of). I was so disappointed I had 20/20 just paint over the whole thing. As you will see with my build. Its all quality parts or nothing. Nothing fake, no replicas, etc.





Here we start getting close to Version 1.0



Now with mirrors and hood I still wasn't quite happy with the look. I still wanted it to look more menacing. What to do?! Eyelids! This pic also shows The Volk SF-Challenge rims I went with. When I originally got the Supra I always told myself if the car had HID's and the older Challenge model rims I would be a happy man. So when Volk/Rays came out with this updated model, the SF series, I was over the moon. My good friend with the tire shop is tight with Mackin Industries and was able to get me the first set of this rim in the US. I'm very into forging the road less traveled and not trying to copy anyone. Maybe be inspired but try and stay original.



The above pic is also from a Norcal / Central Cali / Socal meet up in Santa Barbara. We soooooooo need to have another one of these again. It was very cool meeting up with Supra people I had only known online and cars you hardly ever see in person (haven't seen since).

I was very happy with the exterior at this point and refocused back on the interior. When I was in Japan I had seen a 350z (the model had just be reintroduced) and Recaro had done a special Recaro Sport seat for them named "350limited". I wanted that exact seat but with it just saying "Recaro" in black leather and red stitching, logo included. I went back and forth with them for months. Recaro Germany was the actual manufacturer of that specific model and they wouldn't budge on making me the seats how I wanted. Finally I got thru to someone in Recaro USA and the only holdup was the Recaro logo had to be in white. I kept bugging them and ultimately one of the engineers felt for me and agreed to have the car done up how I wanted, Black leather with red stitching and red stitched logo. I was so happy until the Evo VI was introduced with a similar seat and everyone just started nabbing Evo seats for their Supra. I raged! :)

I can't find proper pics of the seats. I'm just gonna move on for now. These 2 pics are really current pics and don't show the seats well. Think of them as place holders for now.





You'll notice there are other mods here I haven't mentioned but I will go over those as they chronologically happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The coolest thing happened in late 2004. JGTC All-Star GT Live USA!!!! JGTC was coming to my back yard, and I knew I couldn't miss this. I was sly and actually found out Speedventures was having a trackday event the Friday before the JGTC event. I knew there would be some setup time involved and just maybe I could share the track with the cars I could only dream about.

So I prepped and packed up and went to California Speedway (not called "Autoclub Speedway"). Believe it or not this is how I would do my track days. I couldn't afford or had the nerve to trailer my car to and from the track. I had no regard for safety and would pack the car up to the gills, with my track setup (wheels & tires), my tools and extra oil/spark plugs/etc.







Track day was awesome other than the car overheating by the time I would come out of the infield and going down the oval section. It sucked but no way to fix it, so I made the most of it. Next mod would be replacing the OEM radiator. But first some pics of the Track day with special guests, JGTC cars.





My car with Tarzan himself



This pic is VERY cool as the black Supra on the right is Steve A's Supra that Twins Turbo also worked on! You all know it as the Silver Road Race Supra.


Protein everywhere when I saw this right in front of me!











Mr. Amemiya himself!



To say this day was special for me was an understatement!

Sadly, this the last time my car ever saw the track again. I bought a house and was home poor for the next couple years. No more buying toys, so radiator and brakes,etc. the project as a whole got put on the back burner. I tried making the most of it and luckily the SoCal crew was very cool with meet attendance. I did shows like ToyoFest, SuprasInvadeLasVegas, and Hot Import Nights. These are some of my best memories with the car. All the friends I have made along the way make the journey so much sweeter.

I tried getting the car as much exposure as possible and even got the car into The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. I was even paid for it! The car also starred in "America's 52 favorite cars" with Tyrese as host and used for sound source in the game "Midnight Club".

This is the only poverty pic/scene I could find (it was on Spike TV) for the car in the movie (so under utilized, could care less though, got paid and great rebuttal when someone is a smart ass and says my car should be in F&F. "Already was... ;-) " ).



This all was from 2005-2010. Other than these events the project was stagnant and didn't progress at all. It started getting me down as I would rarely drive the car (the car still only has 65K miles) but with nagging little issues (AEM and AC compressor making a noise) that wouldn't help the situation. Knowing what I had in my head of what the car could be but couldn't afford or commit the time needed to get the car done I actually contemplated selling the car. I figured if I couldn't give it the love it deserved someone else could take the helm and complete it. I asked everyone who I held near & dear on their opinion. EVERY ONE said NO. My own momma was not having me selling my car. She told me, "even if the car sits, it sits. But you love that car and I can't see you with out it". I had to do some soul searching and ultimately knew I would regret the car if I ever sold it. (I attribute the SoCal crew and the great comradery we had at this point as a big help in keeping the car; mad <3)

A pic of the Supra homies



I stayed the course and pressed on....
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It is now Thanksgiving 2010. With new vigor and the strength of all my loved ones encouraging to keep going I take the dive and partake in MVP's Black Friday sale (I have always boguht from MVP, in the early days Dusty would even take my orders).

Xmas comes early!

6 piston Monobloc Brembos with 4 piston rears (color matched to my car, painted by Brembo), Fluidyne radiator and metal upper rad. pipe.






(PS3 controller added in there for scale)


Uncle & cousin helping with the install of the new toys





Before & after





The wheel / brake combo was destined! The fitment doesn't get any tighter than this!



The new rad., upper pipe and ARC goodies.


Full pic of the car with new Brakes installed



I can't honestly say the brakes actually made the car stop any sooner (I don't have any data to back up claim and the stock brakes are really good already) but what the steel braided lines did was give better flow of the brake fluid to the brakes and they gave WAY BETTER pedal feel. I really didn't care, I think it set the whole car and I have always been "aesthetics over everything (within reason)". This would be the great debate with Twins in the future.

***continues on Post #40***
 

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Awasome .. in for more !
 

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Wow, what a trip down your memory lane Enrique! You are fortunate to have those old school pictures to share with us, it make your Supra story that much more enjoyable to read. From talking with you and reading past posts, I new a bit of history on your build. Now we are getting to see the whole story! You have one of the finest examples of a well built Supra, and you could have left it at v1.0. The Twins Turbo era though took it over the top and I look forward to reading that story :)

And I spy a DSM in the 5th picture!
 

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Wow, what a trip down your memory lane Enrique! You are fortunate to have those old school pictures to share with us, it make your Supra story that much more enjoyable to read. From talking with you and reading past posts, I new a bit of history on your build. Now we are getting to see the whole story! You have one of the finest examples of a well built Supra, and you could have left it at v1.0. The Twins Turbo era though took it over the top and I look forward to reading that story :)

And I spy a DSM in the 5th picture!
totally agree with dave this jump started my morning this is the kind of story I enjoy reading!


man a real trip down memory lane!! and this car has a lot of history. The car has come along way and you met so many folks! I hope to see your car soon brotha!
 

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Awesome. I love reading stuff like this. In for updates
 

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Great story and background!
 
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