Saving the 1995 Supra
Updated: May 25, 2019
For as long as I can remember, I had been in the world domestic cars—namely the GM LSx platform—but I figured it was time to try something different. I enjoy cars in general, and the hobby, so it’s a natural fit to get into another enthusiasts’ vehicle. I have been able to create a lot of success over the past couple years in my work which has given me the opportunity to jump into a MKIV, with making no sacrifices in my life, or having to sell the Z06 (despite later choosing to sell—see our blog article on this).
After a couple months of searching across Canada and at the Japanese auctions, a 1995 SZ 5-speed Supra surfaced almost in my back yard. I bought it the next day. The car was far from perfect and had been the victim of countless poor choices from an aesthetic standpoint, however it was a good starting point to jump into the Supra world.
The car how it sat when I purchased it. Clearly, there was some work to be done here.
I brought the car to a local reputable shop: Seamless Auto Care, to go over the car and do some maintenance to it. They were a huge help in making sure the car was mechanically sound. We ended up doing a bunch of general maintenance, and some preventative things as well.
First things first, I had to reverse some questionable decisions. The headlights were painted to give a more aggressive (gaudy?) look. I removed the paint and polished the lights. They'd definitely seen better days.
As an owner of a wheel business, the first natural order of business was to remove the knock-off Fikse FM10 wheels. These were quickly replaced in favor of a set of 19" HRE 893R which set the car off nicely. These got me through until the end of the season, but the fitment was far from ideal. After the car was parked for the winter, they came off to be widened.
Before parking the car for the first winter, I managed to snag a set of clean '96+ ‘S2’ headlights, which update the car significantly, and compliment the black exterior nicely.
With winter came the start of lots of work. After further assessment, the paint on the car was awful with what I can only imagine was years of neglect. As I quickly learned after beginning to cut the car, the black paint (code 202) is a single stage paint with no clear coat. No wonder it looked so awful.
After countless hours of cutting and polishing the car managed to come out nicely and become presentable. It wasn’t perfect, but I was pleased for a 20+ year old (black!) car that's been driven.
The front and rear bumpers were too far gone for a paint correction to save them, so off to paint they went along with a TRD rear spoiler and RMM front lip.
I have always disliked the ’93-’95 JDM front fenders with the integrated sidemarker as it really takes away from the car’s clean lines. I purchased a pair of fenders from a Canadian car for an almost imperceptible, subtle upgrade.
Next on the agenda was the HRE 893R wheels. They were all far too narrow for my liking: F8.5/R9.5. I've moved up to F9.0/R10.5. Still conservative, but much more aggressive than they were.
I had the tires mounted onto the rehooped HRE 843R wheels. They are holding air well, and I am very pleased with how the fronts sit in relation to the fenders! I also ordered the classic ‘RWB’ HRE centre caps to make the wheels pop a bit more. I much prefer them to the dull grey & silver ones.
With the front bumper now mounted, it was time to update the front turn signals to the 1996+ 'S2' (clear) ones. It was a little disconcerting drilling into a freshly painted bumper, but the final look was well worth it.
I mounted the rear bumper and got the time to install the TRD rear wing.
I took the car out of the garage for a final check before heading down to Toronto.
Now for the fun part: drive and enjoy the car. Enjoy the pictures…