As you might have heard, Toyota is coming out with a new Supra. It makes sense that they would use the aftermarket extravaganza that is SEMA to build some excitement for the model’s long-awaited return. What we didn’t expect was a lineup of every generation of Supra in its purest and most proper color.
As the owner of a first-gen, I was personally most thrilled to see an A40 Supra gracing the halls of SEMA. Essentially a Celica with an elongated nose and two extra cylinders, it was the epitome of a Malaise Era boulevardier. With all of 110 horsepower (or 116 in 1981), the Celica Supra wasn’t fast, but it had presence and looked like nothing else on the road.
The example shown somehow managed to survive decades of life as the least loved of all the Supra generations and hordes of AE86 owners trying to plunder it for its disc brake-equipped rear axle. The rear Shadow louvers are period correct and it even has the somewhat rare leather interior.
This was the model that really catapulted the Supra into sports car history. When the ultra-angular A60 generation arrived in 1982, “It looked as if a spaceship had landed,” recalls our editor-at-large Ricky Silverio. It finally had the performance chops to match its sporty looks, with a boost to 145 horsepower from its 5M-GE twin-cam.
We’re thrilled to see Toyota USA chose a flared-fender P-type, as the body style was never offered in Japan. Its wheels also bear one of the best stock spoke designs in all of JNC-dom.
Freed from having to share a design with a four-cylinder Celica counterpart, the third-gen Supra could evolve into a true sports car. A 1JZ-GTE-powered version was once the fastest production car in Japan. We in the US got the a single-turbo 7M-GTE as our top-of-the-ine engine, good for up to 232 horsepower and many a blown head gasket.
The example shown was a Super White kouki with the all-white package that had snow-colored trim, badges, and wheels (though not shown on the car displayed). It wasn’t a special edition or anything; Toyota just wanted to make it as colorless as possible.
The twin-turbo A80 made the Supra name an icon. The 320 horsepower from the legendary 2JZ-GTE motor was merely its stock output. Like most 90s Toyotas, it was overbuilt, and tuners quickly found ways to double and triple that number with relatively light mods. It became a Tuner Era hero and instant collectible. Though it left the US market after 1998, it continued to sell in Japan until 2002.
The car displayed appears to be a 1997 15th Anniversary Edition, which was kind of odd considering 1997 minus 15 is 1982. That’s how unloved the first-gen is. SuperGT champ Juichi Wakisaka recently bought a mint bone stock RZ 6-speed.
This year, Toyota revived the Supra, debuting it at the Geneva Motor Show in March. This appears to be the same car, finished in Gazoo Racing guise making its first North American appearance. Developed with BMW, it will attempt to carry on the revered model name.
In America, it will race in NASCAR. Needless to say, it looked out of place in a lineup of Supras. It was also huge, easily dwarfing the A80 Supra, which was no lightweight to begin with.
It’s not every day that every generation of Supra is gathered under one roof. Even if you don’t count the A90, 20 years of Supras together is still an uncommon sight. If you’re at SEMA this week, swing by the Toyota booth to see them all.