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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where do most look when looking to acquire their first MK4 Supra? Excluding BAT, typical auto sales apps/sites, and eBay? I’m also in AZ, and just put eyes on a few Supra’s that will be auctioned at Barrett Jackson.

Prices just seem so over inflated with the financial crazy period from 2021 to Q3 2022. But I’m willing to pay fair market value.

Looking for any year really, but sub 80k mile. Don’t care if it’s modified since I would probably do same, as I plan on tracking it 1-3 times a year with my other vehicles.

Been a dream to own one since I was a high school kid in the 90’s. After years of busting my ass, I’m finally in a financial position to make this happen.

Thank you all.
 

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First, welcome to SF and good luck on your hunt. Bring-A-Trailer, Ebay, Cars and Bids, Facebook marketplace, various RHD JDM importers, there's a surprising number of places to find Supras for sale. There's a lot to buying them, though.

Before I get too far into that, though - this thread and your phrasing is dancing very close to a WTB ad, please read the rules about WTB/For Sale/etc. Scammers pillaged this forum and this ruleset was basically the last nuclear option: WANT TO BUY OR SELL A SUPRA, OR SUPRA PARTS? WANT TO USE...

Prices being over-inflated, well, I'd say that depends on who you ask. Personally if you are interested in tracking one I would not seek out a low mile original example.

Some good reading to enjoy first:

Condition trumps mileage--believe it! (This thread is now 12 years old, still INCREDIBLY relevant - please don't post a reply there though!)

Mileage with MK4 Supras is a poor indicator of quality and condition, especially with modified examples. Many highly modified low-mile examples have been converted into 'stock' vehicles again to attract big collector $, including the '98 QS FX that was just at Barrett Jackson, and had been withdrawn from BAT back in September because the seller was lying about that history. He is known to this community from things like that to outright scamming. But I digress.

The #1 factor you should consider is not mileage, but actual condition of the car, and the seller's forthcoming disclosure of all known faults/issues/concerns.
A close #2 is how many actual owners the car has had. I would vastly prefer a 220k mile TT 6-spd Supra that had been owned by 2 people, ever, who'd put 110k+ a piece on the car and could speak to the obvious maintenance and care it received to make it to 220k miles. Meanwhile, I have seen and worked on sub 30k-mile Supras that had 8 owners because the cars themselves were disasters for one reason or another, between concealed collision damage, poor modifications, or other issues.

Beyond that, be ready to wire a deposit and hop on a plane immediately to buy the right car at the right price. Be equally ready to hop on that plane and walk away if it's not a great buy.

But doing some reading and research on these forums will be illuminating. If you have any questions, ask! :)

Good hunting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the info! I just started my search, and have been trying to find different sources.

Well, I’m not scared of tracking a car I’ve spent money on, because it won’t be a track specific car. And it’s a private track. It’s something I enjoy when I have time every once in awhile, but it’s not a time attack where I’m going flat out 9-10/10’s, and definitely not racing lol I want to drive it, not wreck it

I think about mileage a lot. I don’t want a sub-20k mileage because there’s more than likely a lot of work/deferred maintenance needed. I figure a car in the 2500-5000 miles/year range is a good buy as the maintenance will likely be done every year. I don’t want to be afraid to drive the thing for fear of it losing its value. I’m not a collector, I just want cars to drive. And if I can source service records with the vehicle, even better. My cars all have binders with service records, even my daily, so I’d try to find an owner with similar maintenance tastes, if possible. I always say, buy the seller, not the car. Just need to find the sellers……
 

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I found mine last year on craigslist, just checked it everyday (Every city) for a few years to get a good deal which I'm sure you can do too. Prices also started climbing before covid, around 2017 when a low mile supra went very high on BAT and then another at Barrett Jackson IIRC. Calling them over inflated may be the wrong term, that's just the market now. There are plenty for sale on Facebook Supra supra groups as well
 

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Thank you for the info! I just started my search, and have been trying to find different sources.

Well, I’m not scared of tracking a car I’ve spent money on, because it won’t be a track specific car. And it’s a private track. It’s something I enjoy when I have time every once in awhile, but it’s not a time attack where I’m going flat out 9-10/10’s, and definitely not racing lol I want to drive it, not wreck it

I think about mileage a lot. I don’t want a sub-20k mileage because there’s more than likely a lot of work/deferred maintenance needed. I figure a car in the 2500-5000 miles/year range is a good buy as the maintenance will likely be done every year. I don’t want to be afraid to drive the thing for fear of it losing its value. I’m not a collector, I just want cars to drive. And if I can source service records with the vehicle, even better. My cars all have binders with service records, even my daily, so I’d try to find an owner with similar maintenance tastes, if possible. I always say, buy the seller, not the car. Just need to find the sellers……
You're throwing around mileage numbers that are not commensurate with golden-era Toyotas :)

Sub 80k miles is low mileage for these cars. Deferred maintenance really isn't a 'a thing' with MK4's. Unlike many other (cough cough GERMAN) cars there's basically nothing that can be neglected that will be completely hidden until it explosively and expensively fails by surprise. If a Supra you're considering runs well and sounds good and doesn't have any 'stories', really the devils are going to be the following:
-Valve stem seals leaking
-Stock turbocharger failure/stock sequential twin system issues
-Getrag V160 transmission damage/grinding synchros/etc

Valve stem seals - these are easily done with a cyl head refresh and that's often done in tandem with a valvetrain and camshaft upgrade.

Stock turbo failure - the #2 turbo tends to fail as these get older, because the #2 turbo spools very quickly and harshly by nature with the stock sequential twin turbo system. The solution, obviously, is a single turbo conversion or similar. Same goes for any control woes with the stock sequential turbo setup. There's a bypass often called the 'TTC' or 'True Twin Conversion' that runs both turbos in parallel as virtually every other twin turbo setup functions, with both turbos spooling up at the same time. This adds lag on the low end but brings in max power faster. Or you can do a single turbo conversion.

Getrag V160 woes - The factory Getrag V160 transmission is discontinued and parts are incredibly difficult to find. A handful of rebuilders have some stashes of parts but if a synchro is grinding or a gear is damaged it is a very big deal and an expensive problem to remedy. Most folks honestly just go for a Grannas Racing Tremec T56 Magnum conversion and for the long-term goal of being able to drive the car worry free, that is absolutely the best answer at this point. But if you're considering a V160 car and it has anything resembling transmission problems, that's probably one of the only 'deal breaker' mechanical issues or deferred maintenance problems that are of a 'deal breaker' level if knowledgeable disclosed up front.

Interior parts and some other cosmetic components can also be difficult to source, as many are discontinued. So buy a Supra that presents as best as possible, one that you'd be happy driving right now and not one that 'needs a few things'.

Again, walking away from a car because it has, say, 130k on the odo, when it checks every one of these blocks and all your other criteria and drives very well - that's a huge mistake and a common one made by first-time Supra buyers accustomed to lesser cars.

So if you're serious about buying a driver, I'd honestly completely ignore the odometer and consider it a single data point in assessing the cars' condition overall.
 

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I bought my first one wrecked off of craigslist 10 years ago TT auto 5k hit hard but I was able to fix it, the second car I bought as a wrecked roller from a good friend thru instagram. There are still a few rollers out there for sub 10k but If i were to do it all again with a budget of say 60k i would get a RHD NA auto and aristo swap with a grannas T56 RHD NAs are around 25k-50k ballpark in 2023 prices.
 

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If you are interested in RHD jza80 supra then you can find them all over facebook. There is a facebook group called "I Got Screwed By Shady JDM Importers" and there should be a numerous posts about reputable importers to work with. Assuming you are in the US, these importers often have inventory stateside so definitely take a look. Normal used car shopping techniques applies so always perform your due diligence. Ask for the frame-chassis number and import documents if the car is already here. Make sure the car isn't banned from being registered in the US. There is some sort of list of banned cars that cannot be registered in any U.S. state. Just google it and make sure the frame -chassis is not on that list. For RHD jza80 supra its something like JZA80-XXXXXXX and then grab the carvx for it. CarVx is like the carfax for Japan. Before the car leaves Japan, they will take note of the milelage in the carvx report so just check the mileage makes sense when you see the car. On instagram, there is a person call team free spririt, and you can pay them to do the background check for you and grab the carvx and translate the auction page if there is one. Definitely perform a Pre-purchase inspection if the car is in the state. Better to spend couple hundreds bucks to find out what the seller was hiding. Japan auction reports are not always 100% accurate, so Pre-purchase inspection will reveal the true condition of the car. RHD supras are really interesting since some of them are outfitted with some really awesome dealer options that make them unique from their LHD counterparts.

For LHD, errrr......best of luck. I've seen couple LHD for around $80K with less than 100K miles on facebook, you just got to find them.

In terms of condition, if you find rust in the corner of the rear hatch window...thats normal for all supras both LHD and RHD. I wouldn't walk away from a supra if the only rust was just that.
 

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Mileage is suspect especially on the JDM cars with mechanical odometers. Even U.S. cars mileage can be super suspect. Like Wreckless said, condition is what you are looking for. I bought mine with like 110k almost 20 years ago. It's at 128K now! lol and it's in the best condition of its life! If you want a car that is ready to go and not going to need work, be ready to pay through your teeth. If someone says their car is low mileage pull the upper gauge trim panel off (4 screws) and examine the wiring on the right side harness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for your insights and suggestions, much appreciated!

I've really only owned German cars my adult life, but have always wanted a MK4 Supra. And with little kids, always need back seats, as my son loves going for rides in my back seat added GT3. And, it would help me keep the miles down on my GT3 too lol
 

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I found mine locally on Craigslist back in late 2017 after placing a few bids on BaT and losing out. I'm not sure anyone still uses Craigslist anymore, lol. I am on some Supra FB groups and see cars listed there. I've heard some sketchy horror stories about that, though.
If I were in the market I'd be looking here, eBay or BaT.
 

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I'd contact some of the better reputation tuning shops in the area and ask them if they know of anyone local that might be interested in selling one.
 
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