Forgive me if it doesn't seem to fit in with everything around here too well; but a 1992 pre-production start on one of the most impressively-engineered Toyotas, means that you can rest assured - there's a lot more 80s engineering (and pre-recession money!) in these than you'd think.
As for the reasoning behind a photoset of this car in particular, when I have two of these things (a '93 and late '96 as projects) of my own? Well with a supposed 5,000km on the clock and absolutely untouched (rare for a MUCH loved twin-turbo six-speed car) this one is just a fantastic example of the breed. I had seen it for sale for weeks, I was to have the chance to see it in person, so why not give it a solid look over? Make it the center of a blog post?
Well here we are.
Currently for sale at the Glion Museum in Osaka for an undisclosed amount (think 5million yen plus, unfortunately): a March 1995, 752 Baltic Blue metallic, JZA80 Toyota Supra RZ.
What we have here is a 1993- fourth generation ("MKIV") of Toyota's top-tier sports grand tourer - the Supra. A model that was originally Celica based, and sold in Japan under the Celica XX name, the main changes revolved around a longer schnoz hiding the straight-six that stood in place of the Celica's four-banger.
The Supra came into its own by the third (A70, "MK3", "MKIII") generation of 1986 - continuing on with the older rear-drive Celica's 'A' chassis-code.. leaving the now front-driving Celica to go and sort itself out. Poor Celica..
1993 saw the introduction of the fourth-and-final generation (for now, hopefully) of Supra; smaller, lighter, faster and stronger than the previous. A high price, and emissions changes forcing an early disappearance in the US, kept numbers lower than demand.. while tuning potential and a certain 2001 movie made it an absolute classic. While they continued on in Japan (and were produced in numbers that later flooded markets such as Australia with plenty of cheap examples!), these things have never seemingly not been loved in the US. Coming up 25years for the earliest examples now, we'll have to wait and see if a fresh-ish supply of cheaper examples will be enough to quench that thirst.. and what affect that will have on other poorer markets and the scrappy cars they have left..
Japanese-market upper glovebox (dual-airbags became standard with the late 1996 facelift) and emergency flare in the footwell..
Now for my photos, since I'd fortunately had the chance to have a good look over this gem (as much as you can do with hands-off a locked car!) in person, back in early June. What a beauty..
At this point it's worth mentioning the visual elephant in the room for this Supra - the paint on those damn centrecaps! Argh. Something so cheap and so easily replaceable holding those wheels back..
Otherwise, damn, what a beauty. I know the ol' JZA80's looks are not for everyone, but I just adore these things. Those proportions, the organic shape, the simple lines...
"..RZ-S? I thought you said RZ?!" Well yes I did. It seems (just as I was!) they were initially thrown off by this particular Supra's lack of the large rear spoiler standard on the RZ. From later 1995 Toyota Japan offered what was otherwise a base Supra (SZ) with the twin-turbo (including the venerable V160 Getrag 6spd) driveline, creating the "RZ-S". These are actually much more common on the later cars, and can be found with no spoiler, no airbags, tiny brakes, etc - everything being optional. So since everything on this car could be optioned on the late '95 RZ-S, there really isn't much in the way of telling this one apart (thanks to that lack of RZ standard spoiler here for whatever reason)... except the VIN. A VIN that'd reveal the Japanese top-tier RZ 6spd JZA80-ALFQZ model-code.
#0028673? Yep, that's an RZ. For interests sake, the first otherwise-identical Baltic Blue RZ-S (2JZ-GTE/V160 hardtop) was created only two months later - frame # 0029869!
Hopefully somebody out there enjoyed this little ramble on one of the greatest Japanese sportscars to come out of 1990s Japan; and to whoever has the money to actually pony up for this thing - I'm envious! Please, for everyone, keep 'er nice!