And Another Old Friend

I see that Toyota has brought back the Supra, and all I can say is, it’s about damn time.

It’s pretty. isn’t it?  The Mail  compares it to a Porsche Boxster, and I think it kicks the Krautcar’s ass in the looks department.

I’ve only ever driven one Supra, back in the early 1980s:

..and what I discovered was that it was a beauty:  nimble, quick and best of all, it started every time  (I’d just come off a Fiat 124 and an Alfa Romeo Giulietta).

Sadly, I’m out of the Supra / sporty car market now — I can’t handle hauling my fat old ass out of these low-slung numbers anymore — but let me tell you…


  1. I owned two different Supras. The first one was the luxury model. It had softer suspension than the sport model (pictured). Didn’t quite handle as well as the sport model, but man, was it comfortable to drive. I traded in the 84 L for an 86 S, the last year for the angular body with dual wings.

    Wow, the difference was fantastic. Even without the twin turbo which came after the 861/2 transition, the Sport model was a blast to drive. It was fast, responded to the lightest touch, the sport suspension gave great road feedback, and it was great on gas (30 plus mpg). I was in the Navy at the time and I drove that car all over the Eastern seaboard. From Florida to as far North as Massachussetts (family get together). It was a great long distance car or you could take it into your favorite curvy stretch of road with equal ease and have a blast. It was probably my favorite car of all the different ones I’ve owned.

  2. Unfortunately, as with everything Toyota has made since around 2002, they ruined it. The new “Supra” is a BMW Z4 with a body kit. Lackluster engine, marginal suspension, no man pedal– basically it lacks everything that made the Supra one of the most legendary cars ever made.

    The Supra, in particular the last one to earn that name, was perhaps the most over-engineered car ever made. It was a world-beater in its market, standing toe to toe with Corvettes and 911s for significantly less sticker shock. It was a technological masterpiece as well– my MkIV Supra has things modern cars STILL don’t have, and they’re better executed than most that do. And most importantly, it had one of the most ridiculously over-designed and over-built engines ever made. Stock, the car made 320 horsepower. I squeezed a reliable 750 out of mine on a completely stock block and head for years and years without issue. No overheating issues, no cracking, no head problems, no nothing. It was THAT good.

    Nope, this thing isn’t a Supra in my eye, and I say that having owned a half dozen of the things since my first MkIII in the middle-90s. It’s hardly a surprising development, either. As soon as Toyota stopped giving a crap about sports cars and racing, most of the exceptional engineering talent they had jumped ship to Nissan and elsewhere. As such, when market forces dictated they needed to play at making the things again, the best they can do is churn out marginal styling with someone else’s driveline in it. Same story with the “new” AE86.

      1. It looks the part, yeah. Though part of the appeal of the Supra for me is that it was always understated, and quite a lot faster than it looked. This one is kind of the opposite. While ~340 hp in a 3,400 lb car isn’t “slow”, it is near the bottom of the ladder in its class, which is a shame.

    1. Too bad. No stick in a re-bodied BMW and it will probably be way too expensive.

      I had a Prelude Si back in the day. If Honda could resurrect it with a revvy engine, manual transmission, and reasonable price-tag, I would certainly buy one.

      1. They’ll be in the low $50k range, which is roughly what the last one sold for. Adjusted for inflation it’s quite well priced– but back in the early 90s there wasn’t really that much competition in the segment unless you wanted to spend a LOT more for something like a 911 Turbo.

        These days there are a lot of cars that offer more zing for less bucks.

  3. I’d be more inclined to go with the BMW Z4, simply because I love convertibles. Got my first in 1985, never looked back. Top-down driving is a delight.

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