Earlier today, we were discussing the difference the past twenty years have made in terms of the world’s quickest sedan via a deliciously unfair drag race between the E39 M5 and the Tesla Model S Plaid. But what if we move from the factory to the tuner realm, talking about one of the most iconic modern machines of the sort, the Mk IV Toyota Supra? These days, some of the most popular four-digit Supras come with a stock appearance, honoring the car’s modern classic look. But things were quite many years ago, when this example was built.
The A80 Supra built between 1993 and 2002 is arguably the most popular iteration to date, not least thanks to the stellar reliability and tuning-friendly nature of its 2JZ 3.0L straight-six. The ex-gen sports car also makes for one of the pillars of the modern JDM car culture in America and Europe, with the original Fast and Furious movie of 2001 playing an important part in this.
And the main example we have here was recently brought back to the road by Freed Engineering, a Maryland-based shop that specializes in A80 Supra and 2JZ engine swaps.
The car reached the specialist after it spent no less than eight years inside a garage. The vehicle has been customized “many years ago” by owner Charlie, who is now ready to bring the machine back to the road.
And, among the efforts the shop made to revive the Japanese toy, we find an ECU swap (a new Haltech unit now handles the business), as well as installing a front wheel speed sensor for traction control.
The numbers are generous, even by today’s standards
After having received the TLC, the Supra put its 325-section tires on the dyno, where it managed to show 1,014 wheel horsepower and 801 lb-ft (1,086 Nm) of torque at the wheels. Given its six-speed manual, with a Tilton four-plate carbon clutch, we can talk of a crank output of more than 1,100 ponies, with this being achieved on pump E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline).
For the record, that kind of power comes from a built 3.4-liter stroker 2JZ working with plenty of upgrades, such as a Hyper Tune intake manifold.
And, thanks to the images below, you’ll be able to check out the kind of comparo mentioned in the intro-the 2000s-style custom Supra is placed next to one of the said stock-appearing examples that terrorize drag strips these days.
For one, this allows us to sample one of the most standout visual features of the car,. And we’ll quickly gloss over the custom paintjob and the gauge-loaded custom cabin to discuss the Top Secret widebody package. We’re dealing with the Japanese developer’s complete GT300 kit.
Japan’s Top Secret tuner is the stuff of legends
Top Secret is a name that rose to fame in the early 90s, thanks to eccentric builds such as a V8-swapped Nissan Skyline GT-R or a twin-turbo V12 Supra.
Company founder Kazuhiko “Smokey” Nagata had a notorious habit for pulling a burnout—hence the nickname—before attempting top speed runs on public roads. He even came to the UK along with a Top Secret Supra in 1998, hitting 197 mph (317 km/h) on the A1(M)—the damp weather prevented the infamous golden-livery Toyota from breaking the 200 mph barrier, not that it made a difference.
The stunt, which took place while a Max Power magazine crew was filming, didn’t go unnoticed by the police, who caught up with Kazuhiko and arrested him. After spending one night in jail, he returned to Japan.
And while the adventure cost him a decade-long ban from driving in the UK, along with an average fine, the video, which the said crew managed to preserve, went viral back in the days of VHS tapes. Naturally, this only pushed Top Speed’s reputation higher among enthusiasts. And you can find that video at the bottom of the story.