How it started
Back in 2004 I was working in Adelaide at the now closed IT Warehouse city store. I was living with my dad in his business fronted house in the city and life was generally good. It was early in 2004 when my Nissan gazelle decided that 320,000 kms was enough and siezed up. I was in the market for a new car, but, unlike all the cars before – I had money to spend.
I went looking. I’ve never been a fan of the local stuff, 4 doors arent my thing, I like sports cars – which is probably my dads fault since he bought my first car for me and that was a 1972 Ford Capri 4 speed, bugger all power and loads of handling. When the search began it quickly became a 1 car search.
I dont know why but the Supra has always been a car I liked. Maybe I saw John at Bathurst and the memory stuck, or maybe I had a matchbox toy, I dont know. The lines, understated, slick, agressive. Local searches proved to be futile. All the Japanese cars (much like today) were less power, features and over priced compared to the Japanese versions. This took me on my importing adventure. PrestigeMotorsport was the company I ended up going with, mainly due to the fact they were the only place with a decent webpage (remember this was 2004).
Upon searching the Japanese car auctions you start to see what models we Australians miss out on. Pretty much every Japanese car manufacurer makes better cars that dont get sold outside of Japan, in my case it was the TurboA and JZA70R. I was added the mailing list and from that point on I got every Japanese car going to auction. A few tempting cars came through before I found 1 I put a bid on. I didnt get it. A few more months went by and the turboA stock seemed to dry up, then after 6 months finaly a turboA came into my email. It was very second hand, but, being as they were getting harder to get I was tempted again to bid, but, told myself I wouldnt be happy with this car and passed it up.
Then, finally I got an email which contained this;
This is a factory Turbo A — Special Edition which was a limited factory run of 500 cars
The Turbo A package included:
TRD twin plate HD clutch
Higher boost level with an upgraded compressor wheel on the turbo
TRD limited slip diff (with longer legs than the standard Supra)
TRD / Bilstein suspension
Leather interior (optional)
Power output: Claimed to be 412ps, although the current wastegate fitted can only handle just over 400ps so replacing the wastegate should provide more power.
1988 Toyota Supra 3 litre MA70 TURBO A Special Edition with T78-33D turbo 5 speed
95,500 kms (260 km/h speedo fitted but condition reflects kms showing)
Black Grey leather seats
TRUST front mount intercooler
GTR fuel pump
OS Giken triple plate clutch
Gold ADVAN RG 17″ alloys
HIRO rear spoiler
Strut tower brace
Aftermarket shift knob
Aftermarket steering wheel
All power options and airconditioning
Condition notes: Accident history. Oil cooler hose, power steering hose and clutch master cylinder have all just been replaced. Oil pan is new. Condition of the body is good apart from some minor scratches on the rear bumper (pictured). Interior is in very good condition but the starter motor may soon need to be replaced. Otherwise mechanically sound and runs well.
I bid on the car, I think it was around 1,100,000 Yen, which at the time was a ~101 Yen to $1 Aus, so the car worked out to $10,500, give or take.
I won it.
Turbo-A.net was born. On 27th of April 2004 this site went live (for the first time anyhow). Thanks to my brother who made the original site for me. I started the site due to the lack information I could find about the turboA, and even less that was accurate.
There were a lot of delays with getting the car to Australia. The guy selling the car had been really nice and loaded up the car with parts for me, unfortunately they dont like this at the shipping and had to throw it out (or take it home, which I suspect is what happened). Once is Australia the dept of enviroment took ages to clear the cars air-con which had to be de-gassed before getting here due to the age of the car and the aircon gasses used back then.
On August 2nd 2004 my brother and I visited the dock and saw the car in person for the first time. This is when the video ‘first look’ was made. After a long and anoying import process it was very reassuring to see the car on Australian soil.
After several months, ~$4,000 and many phone calls to my customs agent the car was released from the Port Adelaide dock.
The car was entered into the Extreme horsepower show in November with ClubPsi, where it dyno’d at ~270BHP a little down on power. Several theories exist as to the limiting factor, from fuel to ECU, wastegate and turbo (T78-33D)
I had the checked out by a local high powered car ‘expert’ and the car shortly there after died. The bottom end broke and it had a bad knock.
It took many years for me to save the money to repair the engine, and the engine rebuild is complete!
Unfortunately it did require a new block, so the car no longer has the turboA heart. (Due to the forged pistons being max size at 55mm)