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Sleeper Beauty

This MKIV 1994 Toyota Supra looks like it just rolled off the showroom, save for the drag radials. Stock wheels and stock body parts, in the rare chance that you get to roll up to this car at a stop light, two thoughts may come across your mind: 1. You can’t recall what a stock Supra body looks like until just now, and 2. You wonder the serious firepower under the sheet metal begging to be unleashed.

chris_supra_exh

Serious firepower indeed. This Titan Motorsports and Double D tuned Supra packs an estimated 800 HP and 700 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Major mods include a 70mm precision dual ball bearing turbo, a MoTec M600 control module, and a modified fuel system with Zeitronix ethanol sensors, allowing our first Shifting Lanes “Featured Tuner”, Chris, to run 93 octane or e85 or anything in between on the fly, without changing engine maps.

chris_supra_engine

This sleeper is the culmination of childhood dreams, lessons learned the hard way, and some strokes of good luck. Chris grew up in a muscle car environment, listened to his father’s car stories complete with sound effects, like drag racing a ’67 GTO on a newly constructed I-80 without fearing the police or jail time. When it came time for Chris to buy his first car, the muscle car tradition faded when a red hot sports car caught his eye, a 1993 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4. It wasn’t much later that the modding bug bit him.

vr4

He spent every non-beer money on this car. It first started with an intake, then an exhaust. Putting every free minute of his time into researching upgrades for the 3000GT, the list of mods quickly filled the Basic Performance Upgrade checklist: Increased boost, ECU upgrade, full intake and exhaust. At this point the Mitsubishi was estimated at 440 bhp and made for a very dangerous horsepower to age ratio, still this wasn’t enough. He then installed an upgraded MAF and fuel system with twin in-tank pumps himself.

Fast forward a couple more years and he realized that the car was no longer holding up to the insane amount of power. A blown transfer case, axles, and even the motor. After a lot of headaches and lost money, he convinced himself that the car would never be what he wanted all along, a “really fast” street car.

chris_supra_drive

Enter the Toyota Supra, with its legendary engine that can withstand the worst of modding bugs. After missing out on a chance to purchase a 1998 black on tan supra, Chris was not going to pass up another opportunity. The Supra he finally ended up with already had major modifications done. Buying a modified car goes against traditional car buying wisdom, often you don’t get the clear history of the car or understand how the previous owner(s) treated the car. Luckily for Chris this Supra had its upgrades performed by Titan Motorsports and the car also passed his father’s inspections, who luckily just happened to be in the neighborhood of where the car was being sold. This sale ended up saving him a lot of effort and money in the long run.

chris_supra_front

Once he got access to the Supra, he added in the ethanol components and added bigger injectors. He also contacted the original Titan Motorsports employee who worked on the car, Darin Dichiara now with Double D Tuning, to retune the monster.

chris_supra_turboFuture plans for this Supra include a big brake kit and a replacement for the stock Supra wheels, which has been the source for a lot of complaints from onlookers. Chris is in no rush though, he seems to be content with the beastly state of this jelly bean. He doesn’t plan on making any more performance modifications unless something breaks. It sounds like the trials and tribulations he’s gone through has made him all the wiser when it comes to modding responsibly.

With that said he does have a couple pieces of advice for future modders and tuners out there. For the tuning companies out there:

Tuners need to make customers feel comfortable. We’ve all had bad experiences with people touching our cars and it’s what eventually makes us say “f**k that…i’ll do it myself”. Communication is key. you can’t take on a $10000 job and not talk to the customer at all until it’s over. Once a week, at a minimum…Or even a quick email update every few days seems reasonable. Don’t rush customers and give them enough time to ask all the questions they want. it may not necessarily be important to know all the answers, but giving an impression of caring speaks a world about someone you are about to give a lot of your hard-earned money to.

And for existing and future modders out there:

Hindsight is 20/20. I could have saved a lot of money and aggravation if i did more research prior to buying my first car (and really any car). If you’re not sure about which car you want to buy…take the time to understand what you want and why and make sure you are financially secure enough to support it…you know…on top of whatever else life serves you. It should all add up. If you hear the turbo spooling, it’s already too late

chris_supra_frontquarter

What do you guys think of Chris’ Supra? Let us know in the comments.

Would you like to be a Shifting Lanes Featured Tuner? Contact us at contact@shiftinglanes.com

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About Hansen

The engineer amongst the crew, Hansen once built a mini baja car with his bare hands. Hansen had the opportunity to join Honda’s R&D team in Ohio but chose the life of the east coast and the defense industry instead. A die hard auto enthusiast he religiously follows the auto industry and loves long walks in the auto shows.

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5 comments

  1. Very good photography. I’m going to ask Chris for a ride in this car as soon as I click Post.

  2. That’s a sick car. I never knew how much work went into it.

  3. Screw what the “onlookers” think…. I like the stock wheels…sort of factory vintage meets modern performance. I like the idea of keeping at least something that relates to the original identity of the vehicle… besides, they are probably better quality than most aftermarkets….

  4. Love the last picture…beautiful car!

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