When you reflect on what the greatest Japanese cars to come out of the 1990s would be; the Toyota Supra, without a doubt, quickly comes to mind. In an era when Japanese manufacturers were devoted to a hell-bent ambition to produce performance cars to rival even the European market (without the price tag); it was commonplace to see some genuinely high performance, good value, and strikingly beautiful cars rolling out of factory production lines. Design teams were often left with little restrictions such as fuel efficiency and modern family outfittings; resulting in some of the greatest production cars ever produced out of Japan. One of the most prominent vehicles of this era was undoubtedly Toyota’s powerhouse; the Supra. Matt’s Supra screams retro, and still maintains its ‘Sex Spec’ livery. We caught up with Matt after the last SlowCase event to hear about his car’s story, because let’s face it, it’d definitely have an interesting one.
The Toyota Supra (Japanese: トヨタ スープラ Toyota Sūpura) was produced between 1978 and 2002; the iconic JZA80 produced from 1993 and 2002. The car was a tremendous success for Toyota, and featured one of the most beloved motors in the JDM world – the twin turbo 2JZ-GTE. Boasting an impressive 206kw from factory; the 2JZ fast became renown for its durability, aftermarket options and all-out power.
The Supra’s popularity soared beyond the import market when it was featured in the Fast and the Furious franchise and numerous games including Need for Speed, Gran Turismo, and Forza. They remain to be one of the most sought-after imports here in Australia; with prices seeming to be gradually rising as demand increases for the Supra on the global market. If you’re on the market for one – perhaps now is the time for a solid investment! The car’s exterior styling, like the modern GT86, borrows some design cues from the 1962 2000GT. Its smooth curves, long bonnet and cockpit-inspired interior screamed Toyota’s devotion to producing a timeless sports car, and 25 years onward, timeless is exactly what it’s become.
The story of Matt’s Supra started twelve years ago. It began its life as a stock, non-turbo Aero-Top in factory silver. Originally; Matt was tempted to sell that particular car in favour of the (more popular) factory turbo alternative. However, years of persistence and commitment to the build saw the car not only experience countless cosmetic changes, but a conversion to the highly sought turbo upgrade, too. The reason Matt retained the original Supra he bought was simply became he loved it. We’ve all been there before and if you’re reading this, you’d probably understand it – he loved his car. As many of us were (and still are today); Matt was a huge fan of the Fast and the Furious franchise, which of course was largely responsible for the Supra’s skyrocket to fame to the commercial market. He was captivated by the car, and purchased his very own in 2006.
When we think back to 2006, it was an era of glamour, glitz, excessive cosmetics, crazy colours, epic stereo installs, neons, and just about everything else seen on ‘Pimp my Ride’ and the F&F franchise. Candy/pearlescent paint jobs, big chrome wheels and lots of ‘shiny bits’ commonly became known as the ‘sex spec’ era. Purchasing his Supra right in the heart of that era; Matt’s choice of cosmetic customisation screams sex-spec, and today retains its original look as an ode to the bygone time of excess and pizazz.
The external cosmetics of Matt’s Supra would have been a dramatic transformation from the factory silver bodywork it once had! The car was fitted with a top secret front bar, Blitz side skirts, and a Trial rear bar prior to undergoing a full candy apple red respray. The aerial, wiper washers and wing were all shaved to further accentuate the car’s curves, and the factory wheels were replaced with 20” Koyos. The cosmetics didn’t end outside the car – the interior also saw the full treatment. Getting in the car even screamed sex-spec; scissor doors were hugely popular in that era, and passengers were greeted with with custom upholstery, dash gauge pods, four Alpine 12” subwoofers (in a custom upholstered enclosure), carbon door sills and an in-car DVD entertainment system.
The Supra wasn’t simply built for show – it boasted numerous performance enhancements alongside its visual customisation. The factory N/A 2JZ was replaced with the twin turbo variant with an aftermarket front-mount intercooler, coilover suspension, and a 3” cat-back exhaust system with blast pipes. The engine bay also saw the candy apple treatment, and the engine transplant was performed alongside the full vehicle respray.
As for the future of Matt’s car? Cosmetically – nothing for now. Matt’s primary focus for now is the engine bay and performance. Converting from the factory twin turbo to a larger single turbo setup is on the cards alongside improving the visuals throughout the bay such as polishing up the factory components. Replacing the majority of the factory suspension components with aftermarket and reducing the ride height is also on the horizon, so we could be seeing Matt’s supra on the street as well as on show!
As for the ‘call me’ plates..? They belonged to a long-time friend of Matt’s, and he bought them off of him for sentimental value. After seeing the Supra for the first time at SlowCase II in January, we couldn’t help but spend some more time with it and tell you its story. The entirety of the car is a symbol of sentiment – the plates, the sex-spec cosmetics, even the car itself. Matt purchased a car and stuck with it – engine swap and all. Twelve years on, and he can look back at a car packed with memories and emotional investment.
You shouldn’t look at a car styled in this way and think that it’s out-dated; you should look at it as a survivor and a reminder of a style that was once the height of the aftermarket modification scene. Regardless of what anybody may think; it’s certainly a tale of love, commitment and investment to a build, and serves as an inspiration to the rest of us with our own ambitions!
- Top Secret Front Bar
- Blitz Side Skirts
- Custom Vent Mounds
- Vented Front Fenders
- Trial Rear Bar
- Shaved Wing/Aerial/Wipers
- Top Secret Vented Bonnet
- 20″ Koyo Wheels
- 3″ Cat-Back Exhaust
- K-Sports Brakes (6 Pot Front // 4 Pot Rear)
- Scissor Doors
- Polished Engine Bay Components
- Full Candy Apple Red Respray
- Alpine Type-R Speakers
- 12″ Alpine Type-R Subwoofers
- Custom Subwoofer Enclosure
- Pioneer In-Car DVD Entertainment System
- Carbon Fiber Door Sills
- Coilover Suspension
- Aftermarket Taillights
- Bride Bucket Seats
- Carbon-Styled Interior/Dash Components
- Dash-Moulded Gauge Pods
ABOUT THE MODEL: CHARLIIE
Charliie Simpson is no stranger to the Slowlife team. In fact; she was our first ever Slowlife feature model exactly a year ago, and posed alongside Ash’s Hakosuka (as seen in the website’s banner)! Since beginning with us over a year ago and gaining her first modelling experience; Charliie has grown to be one of our most beloved, confident and charismatic team members and can now be seen at most of our events looking after the squad of Slowlife girls! She currently works full-time in advertising and works on a variety of different modeling projects for some fun. Make sure you say hi to Charliie at our next event, and contact us if you’re ever interested in a shoot of her with your car!
Follow Charliie: INSTAGRAM
Images by our own Rapture Media. Mention Slowlife when making a booking with Rapture for your shoot for discounted rates!