Toyota Supra owner selling car to pay for his cat’s medical expenses finds there is still good in the world

The pandemic has been a reset for mankind, with shelter-in-place orders last year giving us time to wrench on our projects and spend time with our loved ones. However, one man in Osaka was posed with a very difficult choice between keeping his A70 Toyota Supra and saving his cat, and the resulting story is one that will completely restore your faith in humanity.

The cat, named Silk (potentially after the smooth characteristics of a Toyota straight-six), was recently diagnosed with a potentially fatal gastrointestinal condition, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). The veterinary bills started to stack up for the treatment, reaching ¥2 million ($24,400 USD). At that point Silk’s owner, who goes by Leiz, decided to raise money by reluctantly auctioning off his 1989 Toyota Supra, which he’d owned since 1994.

Curiously, the Supra is a LHD model, which he purchased from a friend of his who had been studying abroad in the United States and brought it back to Japan with him when he returned home. It’s a California car with a custom ASC sunroof rather than the trademark Sport Roof, and features a who’s who of 90s tuning companies: Abflug, HKS, Zeek, OZ, and more.

While a comparable spec Supra in Japan normally runs for ¥1.35 million ($12,400 USD), Leiz posted his Supra for a buy-it-now price of ¥2.7 million ($26,100 USD), the exact amount needed for Silk’s veterinary bills.

“I had no intention of selling the car, but on May 7,  my cat was diagnosed with FIP, with a fatality rate of almost 100 percent,” Leiz explained in the auction listing. A 26-year old named Yuto happened to come across the auction, posted it to his Twitter account, and started a crowdfunding page for Leiz. The information spread like wildfire, with over 32,000 retweets.

When Japanese news site Withnews reported on the story with a link to the auction, comments of encouragement and support flooded the auction page’s “questions to seller” section. An incredibly moved Leiz answered each one individually.

A turning point occurred on May 15, the ending date of the auction. An Osaka resident who goes by Masakoba offered to check out the car, and as long as it was in good condition, offered to purchase it immediately for the listed price. The reason? “I have a cat of my own,” sympathized the buyer, “and it must be so hard for you right now.”

Leiz offered a discount due to small cosmetic imperfections, but Masakoba politely declined and not only paid the asking price, but also threw in an additional ¥100,000 ($920 USD) to help with the veterinary expenses.

Then came the kicker. Masakoba said he would pay for various restoration costs to bring the Supra back to its formal glory. Then Masakoba, who owns a construction company, said he would build a temperature-controlled garage to house the Supra on his office property. The goal, he decided, would be to keep the Supra shielded from the sun and restore the sun-damaged seals of the overseas-made ASC sunroof.

See, not only does he love cats, but Masakoba also loves cars, as evidenced by his fleet, which includes a Nissan Fuga HV, Lexus SC430, AW11 MR2, and Toyota MR-S. He also has a KE10 Corolla Sprinter undergoing restoration.

Masakoba’s generosity kept coming. “I’ll clean your Supra up, and store it like a decoration,” he told Leiz. “Once Silk-chan’s treatments are done, please buy it back from me for the same price you sold it to me.”

Amazingly, Masakoba’s plan all along was an interest-free loan, while improving the Supra while it was under his care. Furthermore, he’d be postponing restoration of his own Corolla Sprinter while caring for Leiz’s Supra. You couldn’t be make up a better story. Both gearheads are coincidentally the same age and both live in Osaka.

At this point, we should just acknowledge that Masakoba must be some kind of saint. “Think of me as a friend who likes the same car that you do,” Masakoba told Leiz. “I’m not far from your home, and when you miss it, come by to visit, and take it out for a spin.”

On his blog, Leiz wrote that he could not adequately express his overwhelming appreciation. And, with the money from the “sale” Leiz was able to start Silk’s medical treatments. Apparently, both Silk and the Supra have some additional lives left, thanks to Masakoba-san. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go see who’s chopping those onions.

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17 Responses to Toyota Supra owner selling car to pay for his cat’s medical expenses finds there is still good in the world

  1. Damian says:

    Great story. I seem to hear more stories about people flipping jdm cars for quick bucks.

  2. Ian G. says:

    It’s an awesome story. But we didn’t talk about Silk age (the car, not the Supra engine) and how long Leiz had him. I love animals and I have an awesome Bulloxer pup who I adore and have mentioned here several times but if my pup were closer to the end of her life expectancy and suffering from something terminal, then the humane thing would be to let her go. There are so many awesome animals out there and $24K USD in vet bills would have also make me think of letting go of my faithful companion. Besides, that JNC will be around much longer than most animals.
    On that note, that buyer has great taste in cars having an AW11 and an MR-S in his stable(of cars, not just pets).

    • Bill says:

      Ditto. The funny thing is, he probably got the cat for free or close to it. It’s amazing how our society worships pets.

      • Cry says:

        Be quiet. Some people worship kids some people worships pets. Don’t pass judgment… please don’t ever get a cat

        • Bill says:

          Completely agree with you. Us humans have the capability to worship anything. You bring up a great observation as kids are frequently worshipped as well.

          I have no quarrel with any pets and in fact love them, having had dogs, rabbits, birds AND CATS all my life. But there is a time to let them go, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s part of the world we live in.

          We’ve been given animals to enjoy in our short stay here on Earth. However, there is a big difference between a human and a cat.

      • RainMeister says:

        That’s a messed up way of looking at things. The cost of child birth today is slightly under $8k. Does that represent the value of a human life for you?

        A dog or a cat is for many a member of the family. In their short life with us, they give us as much pleasure and joy as our children. I have no regrets about having spent $28k to save Kuma, our 8 year old Samoyed.

        • Bill says:

          You don’t pay for a child (we call that slavery). We pay for the process to birth the child. Completely different than purchasing an animal outright.

          A human life is priceless and shouldn’t be compared to an animal.

          Can animals FEEL like a child? Sure they can, but it reality we know they are not. Samoyeds are really cool dogs, but if you get as much pleasure out of one as you do your own child than one should reconsider how one looks at a human life. I love my chickens, but I would never trade my daughter for them.

          Anyways, cool Supra and I hope it went to a good home!

  3. Tim Mings says:

    I’ll allow it.

  4. Lee L says:

    Great story. I hope he’s able to get it back one day.

  5. MIKE says:

    One thing some people don’t understand, pets are not just pets, To make a long story short take for example “HACHIKO”. If pets are as such, there would be no extraordinary ones expressing such as “HACHIKO” and proving they are very much like humans. I know this for a fact, as I was building a car for a customer, the customer had a female German Shepard running around as I worked on the car. The dog would greet me like Dino does to Fred, every so often out of no where she would come by when I’m working under the car and Nudge me in affectionate way…to further that< i have a friends shop down from the owners house, every time they walk her, she, from across the street, would be jumping excitedly when she notices me and pulls her owner out of control to get to me or my attention. So, I believe there are more to pets, as they are more human then they are credited for. Hence why this owner of the cat will go to any extreme to save it's life just as such a family member. Inanimate objects such as our cars, to some love them as dependents, but given the choice to have to choose, ultimately the living creature wins out, as the inanimate could be some how replaced at a later time.

  6. Interesting that it isn’t a yellow Supra. I’m told that cats are quite attracted to those.

  7. Ken Graham says:

    Both cars and pets are a luxury of western society, we need to appreciate our place in this world?

  8. 570 Supra Mk4 says:

    What is all done to the car ?

  9. Jake says:

    It’s not jdm car in the pic that’s a left hand drive jdm cares are right hand.

  10. Yuri says:

    That ASC sunroof is pretty significant. They were an extremely rare option that was factory-authorized by Toyota (much like how they were authorized to do convertible conversions for many manufacturers.) The cars were sent to ASC before delivery to the dealership to be converted. It’s nearly impossible to get exact numbers on how many were built, but it’s believed to be around 112 from what I’ve heard, with no more than 36 built per year. The switch was a bespoke piece (that’s impossible to find, I need one for my own ASC glassroof Supra) mounted above the rearview mirror, and the sunroof could tilt, as well as open, with the glass sitting above the roof when opened.
    This is only the fourth one I’ve ever seen, and it’s great that both the new owner and old owner knew what they have/had, and are attempting to restore it rather than welding in a metal roof.

    • Yuri says:

      Edit, There were also dealer installed ASC roofs in zenki and some chuki Supras from what I’ve heard, so there’s the possibility that this one could either be ASC installed or dealer installed since it’s a chuki. Information on these things is really scarce, and much of it has been lost over time.

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