At the test drive of the first 2020 Supras this week at Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia, Toyota also brought along several examples of classic Supras to go along with the new kid on the block. Sadly, though we were allowed to flog the A90 all we wanted, they didn’t let us drive (or even touch) these gems. A Toyota spokesperson even told that the A80 was CEO Akio Toyoda’s personal car, and of course we would never dream of risking the big man’s own car, but we feel like we’ve seen this car before.
Toyota owns a massive, 75-acre plot of land in Argyle, Texas near the company’s new headquarters in Plano. The ranch consists of horse stables, a 12,000-square foot Tudor mansion, several guest houses, and the pièce de résistance, a private test track. What the representative told us was that this A80 is the personal car of Akio Toyoda, and that the CEO/race driver uses it when he stays in Texas.
However, we are almost certain that this example, a rare 1993 in Anthracite Metallic, one of the most sought-after colors in the A80 palette. With a tan interior and chrome wheels, it’s a dead ringer for the example that used to live at the Toyota USA Museum in Torrance, California. If you look in the window, it even has the red and white placard that all cars from the museum have in common.
From 1993-96, Supras came with silver-finished wheels, but sometimes dealers would chrome them to gouge buyers with an extra cost. They weren’t factory, and while it’s possible that two Anthracite Metallic examples with dealer-chromed wheels would have ended up in different parts of the Toyota collection, we’re almost certain this the same car. Regardless of its origins, though, a stock A80 Supra is still a beautiful — and now expensive — sight to behold.
A gleaming black A60 Celica Supra represented the second generation. According to Toyota this particular example is from a private collection, and that reads as accurate as the example in the Toyota USA Museum is finished in Terra Cotta.
An earlier, likely 1982, model with a 145-horsepower 5M twin-cam inline-six, the A60 looked like a concept car for the road when it debuted. We stood there for a while admiring it with Kevin Hunter, head of design at Toyota’s Calty studio in Newport Beach and man who led the FT-1 Concept. He paid it perhaps the highest complement: “I want to get one.”
The earliest car in the display was a white A40 Celica Supra. We’re pretty sure we’ve never seen one in the Toyota USA Museum, and this one was said to be from a private collection. It was an incredibly preserved example, complete with period louvers.
The humble beginnings of the Supra came with a 110-horsepower 4M straight-six in 1979. Later versions of this generation were upgraded with a twin-came 5M with 117 horses, but the car was still in its infancy more a boulevardier than a sports car. Its sportiness would come with the A60.
You may remember that Toyota displayed a white A40 at SEMA last year, along with every generation of Supra together. This is not that car, but another white A40. Telltale signs include the red pinstripe, color-matched mudflaps, and an original dealer sticker still affixed to the trunk.
For the third-gen fans, we are sorry to report that there was no A70 present. Toyota says it couldn’t find a clean one in time for the event, and sadly there are clearly some gaps in the official collection. And if the boss man can pull an A80 out of the museum collection for his personal use, perhaps the gaps will grow even more.
privately owned cars, a model almost for personal use, what is happening in that museum? missing popular models to present one of the “worst kept secrets in the industry” I admit a missing in a very dark version of the Toyota Tercel but in this? someone owes some explanations.
The A80 93 Supra is the same one that was at the Toyota Museam in Torrance. I have a whole album on that car from my trips to the museam. Chrome rims and all.
Although many thought at the time that was a wing at the top of the hatch on an MA60, it was actually a sunshade.
And the first time I saw the MA40 grille back in the 70s, it gave me chills as it evoked the T grille of the 2000GT. Sadly, Toyota didn’t continue that on following generations.
We think now the mid-100hp engines are weak, but remember, most cars including a lot of Detroit V-8s barely made 150hp, and most Japanese cars were around 80-90 hp…
Heh, note the stanchions to keep the rabble away from the classics…
Oh good God that A60 looks so good. They really nailed the lines and proportions on that car. I had a neighbour growing up who had a red and black one, and sadly, as a kid, although I thought it looked good, I never appreciated it enough. Now though, I would kill for one of those.
You can buy my red/black Celica XX if you like!
HI Dankan, just reading your comments, yes, they were very much under rated at the time, now there are very few left, and very desirable, especially good ones, which brings me to my reason for responding, I live in the UK and have a stunning MA61 in black and a manual, it is a regular show winner and possibly the best left in the UK, records show about 20 left here on the road. I have had ownership of this beautiful car for 22 years, but now, reluctantly, need to let it go, but has to go to a good home, or even a collection. I have no idea where to market it, but think perhaps the US market would better appreciate it. I’d love to send some photos of it to you if you’d like, but not sure how on this forum. Best regards, Paul.
Please, please, please stop calling this an A90. Toyota doesn’t anymore. The term ‘A90’ (like the fan-originated ‘Mk I, II, III, IV’ designations) denotes a lineage to the previous four A chassis cars that simply does not exist. In the A40, A60 and A70, this designation was a part of their VIN (i.e., JT2MA71xxxxxxxxxx). In the A80, it was stamped on the firewall (i.e., JZA80-100204). A90 is nowhere to be found on this car and it shares no heritage with previous Celica Supras and Supras beyond the badging. It is the GR Supra, period. Calling it an A90 or a Mk V is an insult to the Supra legacy.
Congratulations to Toyota for marketing a RWD turbocharged 2-seater in this day and age of reserved parking for green cars only. I hope it succeeds, but contrary to their statements, this car was not developed to satisfy the cries of Supra enthusiasts worldwide for a new platform. It was clearly designed for an entirely new market and not the OG Supra owners of the last 40 years.
Too bad they didn’t look a little harder for a clean example of an A70. My 92 from the showroom floor is only a few miles down the interstate from Summit Point.
Wow, the A70 gets no love? Ahh well, I love mine…
Man, I still cry inside and kick myself everytime I see an A80. In 1999, i had a chance to buy a BRAND NEW, “leftover”, white with black leather, non-turbo, 6-speed, solid roof Supra for $30k plus T+L. Thought I couldn’t qualify for a loan so I walked past it. But a week later I received in the mail, a letter from my credit union that said I was pre-qualified for $50k. But, of course, the car was gone. Ended up buying a 1999 Miata 10th Anniversary ($28k OTD)…
Didn’t they also move the museum, and therefore the cars, as well? Or did it remain in Torrance? If the museum moved, then it’s probably the same car.
Museum moved to Texas supposedly, but I have not seen a website or even if they are open. I heard they were restoring a special pace car from the early 80’s, that I am waiting to see!
Even when the museum was in Torrance, Toyota didn’t advertise or make it publicly known. They only opened it to groups upon request. My credit union even used to hold their annual meeting there. They treat it more like a physical archive than a museum…
Pretty embarrassing to be missing the a70.
If this was Nissan or Mazda there would have been pride with every model shown. As usual Toyota is embarrassed to be Toyota.
They are like an NBA rookie that is better than the veterans but still thinks they are unworthy.
My dad had a silver A40 when I was a kid. They may not have been that powerful, but they were a wonderful car. We all cried when he sold it (mind you, I was 10) after be bought a white 88 Camry V6 LE. I ended up getting the Camry back from the lady who bought it in 93, but I would love to have a Supra. Growing up, the A70 was my favorite, but as I’ve aged, I find myself loving the more angular A60 and really loving the less common colors they came in, like the Terra Cotta. Maybe someday…