WILDLIFE: An unmolested Supra Turbo proves unicorns do exist

On holidays, Los Angeles turns from a sprawling grid of congestion into a post-apocalyptic streetscape of empty boulevards. Drives that would take hours during rush hour take minutes as the city’s 6.4 million cars go into hibernation. Perhaps that explains why yesterday, on Independence Day, this 1997 Toyota Supra Turbo came out to play. 

Driving through a deserted Hollywood, we noticed the unmistakable silhouette of a JZA80 Toyota Supra. The king of Bubble Era Aichi steel was stock, gleaming in 040 Super White, and cold parallel parked at a meter like a common Yaris. Rare in stock form already, we quickly pulled over to grab a few snaps before rounding the stern and realizing that it was a turbo (or at least had turbo badging).

Not only that, but it was a 1997 15th Anniversary Edition model. Yes, 1997 minus 15 is 1982, and the Supra actually debuted in 1979, but we have never heard a good explanation as to why Toyota labeled 1997 models as such. Maybe 18th Anniversary Edition just didn’t have the same ring.

It still wore Toyota of Hollywood license plate frames, which is almost poetic considering that the dealership lives at the location of Toyota’s first franchise in the US, established in 1957. That dealership was less than two miles from where we spotted this car.

We’re keeping the license plate number hidden, but a quick lookup revealed that it was likely a one-owner car purchased new on December 19, 1996. The last event reported by the DMV occurred in 2017 and shows it had 182,361 miles on the odometer at that time. Despite the high mileage the car appeared to be in great condition, and nowadays an unmolested Toyota Supra is a rare thing. Likely, it’s even rarer than that other white Toyota we spotted in an earlier edition of Wildlife.

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13 Responses to WILDLIFE: An unmolested Supra Turbo proves unicorns do exist

  1. Speedie says:

    Did you do a search based on the VIN or did you search by the plate number? Does California allow access to plate info without owner personal information? Here is new copy to the above link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver's_Privacy_Protection_Act

    • Ben Hsu says:

      We searched by plate number. It doesn’t tell you personal information like the driver’s name or address, but you can find out information like where it was registered, smogged, and how many miles it had each time.

  2. Mike in Long Beach says:

    These come up from time to time on BaT. Last March, this pristine white (with automatic) targa with a mere 5,700 miles shown sold for $80,500 plus buyer’s fee.


    Sale was noted in a blog on Jalopnik.

  3. MrButler says:

    Although they are becoming increasingly rare, they aren’t quite unicorns. Or at least I haven’t had anyone offer me unicorn like money for my bone stock ’97 Turbo with 58k on it…yet.


  4. pete240z says:

    I have a goal to live in sunny southern California – Chicago cars just rust away……..

  5. LB1 says:

    Why oh why did I sell mine???????

  6. Commander Obvious says:

    C’mon, it’s a courtesy even if it isn’t required. Do you know how many cars get stolen in LOS ANGELES???

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