6 cylinders, twin OHC, rear wheel drive, what's not to like!
As you'll read on his pages, our Foreign Correspondent likes a good Toyota Supra. A Celica Supra MA61 to be precise,
FC's in warmer Supra hunting grounds at present, so here's one he's left at home for me to look after.
Here's our man making a start on stripping our MA61 project,
ready for it's beautification.
These are John's fantastic style ideas for his Supra.
The MA61 is a handsome car, our lad has taken the best features and made them better! We did a fair job of actually building the car on a limited budget, but there's work to do yet.
This silver MA61 was another unwanted orphan, left outside to rust. We rescued it, and decided to make a retro racer. Our lad had done some excellent visuals of how the car should look, so we were able to imagine how the finished car would be.
First, to reduce the weight, we removed all the interior trim and seats, carpets and sunroof, ready for replacing the rear windows with perspex items, and fitting a glass fibre hood and light racing seats.
Our good friend Guy Bland, who is a glass fibre wizard, remodelled the front end, and made a new hood with a big scoop. A feature of the MA61 is the great wheel arch extensions, these are required to enclose the Lotus developed wider track on the revised Celica Supras. We wanted to go wider, so Guy fabricated a handsome set of really wide arches, next we needed some wheels to fill them.
Guy did some fantastic fabrication, and careful remodelling, making the old Supra look much faster than it actually is.
We cut a coil out of the rear springs, and when Guy had finished we towed the car up to Geronimo cages, who built a custom cage to fit the car. This stiffened the old girl up a treat, so now stiffer and lighter it handled much better.
From a skinny space saver spare to a kick ass wide boy steel wheel, magic!
The wheels on an MA61 are 4 bolt items, with stud centres of 114.3mm, or 4inch. This is the old Japanese standard
stud pattern, finding a set of wide wheels, at a decent
price for this stud pattern is difficult.
So we bought 4 Volvo spacesaver 4 stud spare wheels, these old Volvo V40 wheels also have a 4inch stud spacing, but are a better 15inch rim than the Supra's 14in. We had these steel wheels banded to 8inch wide at the front and 9inch wide at the back.
These wheels look awesome! They are well worth the effort to make, and finding the tyres to fit them, we bought Proxies, which were tricky to get seated on the rim, but a young, drift expert tyre fitter
did the job well.
I welded a plate over the sunroof hole, John removed much of the dashboard, then I painted the car silver. This did need a lot of preparation! The car has plenty of paint on it now, inside and out, it looks quite good
from a distance!
We then fitted the perspex windows into the original rubbers, the big back window features a cut out hole with a LeMans style fuel filler in the centre. This is piped over to the fuel tank filler neck, it was required because the extended wheel arch covered the fuel filler flap.
After Guy's front end improvements and subtle bumper remodelling,
I fitted a quad projector headlamp set up, the pop up lights were removed and a cone air filter mounted in the driver's side empty space, then the
one piece composite hood could be fitted.
The light alignment will need attention one day, they point in all directions!
Not popular with other motorists!
A pair of used sports seats were fitted, and a deep dish steering wheel.
Full harness seat belts were installed on the Geronimo cage mounts,
with some foam padding wrapped around the roll cage contact areas.
The car is very comfortable to drive, better than the original! The power steering is light and direct, the wheel and pedals all in a good position, and with the stiffened shell and no trim, smooth and rattle free.
You may have noticed no mention of engine tuning
in this feature, well there wasn't any!
The Toyota 5M-GE fitted to these cars is a fine unit, a strong, well balanced and low stressed engine.
It has 6 cylinders, 2.8 litres, twin overhead cams and 2 valves per cylinder. There is no turbo, it sucks in what it needs, and it uses a single point fuel injection sysytem.
This all produces 170bhp, and with the smooth 5 speed Toyota manual gearbox the car will reach 112mph.
The engine is easy to maintain, and there are no head gasket problems later Supra engines suffered from.
We simply changed the cam belt and oil on our car, and fitted a new set of plugs. The value for money fun factor in these old Supras can't be beaten, they look good, and sound good too. Everyone should have one!
So the old Supra is a lot of show, with a bit of go!
Our first outing was to a TVR sprint day on Blackpool promenade, where anyone could join in.
The Supra looked great, me and FC both drove the car, competing against much faster cars, and each other. Your correspondent beat me to win our class,
and win a small, handsome trophy. I'm not quite sure what the class actually was, but a win's a win!
We were racing with the great Guy Bland, who has done so much work on this Supra project. Guy was running his screaming, supercharged, lime green mk1 Escort. A whole website would be needed to relate Guy's motoring adventures, this Escort is part of a very mixed fleet!
The old Supra drove to Blackpool, double headed up and down the prom all day, then drove home again, fighting off challenges on the way, never missing a beat. Respect due!!
Ready to roll, new bonnet not yet fitted
We hammered the Toyota up and down the prom, it didn't miss a beat. Guy had his Escort screaming too,
it was also very reliable.
The sun shone, and we had a great day out.
It's all about style, frameless doors make for smooth exits.
And style again, this is Barry Sheene racing his
number 7 Celica Supra
I did try my best, but the young fella pipped me to the post at Blackpool!
We had a great day out, our next trip was a race day at the Anglesey track in
North Wales, some pics of that trip soon.