23 December 2019

More than an old car #127: Toyota Supra A70

Walking around private estates can be rewarding even though there may be a lot of area to cover: I had no idea what this was previously, but after some checking, it turned out to be a very rare 1989 Toyota Supra A70!

The Supra is a sports car and grand tourer made by Toyota starting from 1978, where it was based off the Celica liftback: as such, the first 2 generations were known as the Celica Supra. Its name is Latin for 'supreme', which incidentally was the idea that Toyota wanted to promote to buyers. Interestingly, the Supra name was resurrected recently since 2002, with the current J29/DB model based off the BMW Z4. While it is still a far cry from its predecessors, the J29 Supra has received much positive reviews and I understand that there are at least 5 on the road now.

In 1986, the Celica and Supra became 2 different models: the A70 Supra maintained its rear-wheel drive layout while the Celica was now a front-wheel drive car. Notable features included an electrically-controlled suspension system known as TEMS and an anti-lock braking system (ABS). Export markets were given the larger 3 litre engine, while the Japanese market had smaller capacities in order to qualify for tax exemptions. The engines were also available in turbocharged form, and features such as an integrated spoiler were unique to these cars.

It underwent a facelift in 1989, with numerous changes made to the interior. This unit was powered by a 2954 cc 7M-GTE turbo inline-6 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 224 km/h with an acceleration of 7.7 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It was 4630 mm long and weighed 1583 kg.

Production of the A70 Supra ended in 1993 with about 241,471 units made. This unit is the last one remaining in Singapore, and it was also rare even back in 1987 when it was first released by Borneo Motors. It has been recently given a new lease of life with the extension of its COE, although it does not come out very often. While its successor (the A80 Supra) is more desirable due to its appearance in the Fast and Furious movies, this unicorn also deserves recognition for being able to survive for so long.

It is natural for people to gravitate towards a favorite car, though I feel some regular-looking models are equally desirable as well. The body style is certainly unique among cars of today, and the BBS wheels give it a nice classic touch. And who doesn't love some pop-up headlights? It would be better if you could see it for yourself and marvel at this timeless classic some day!

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