A UK market, manual A80 Supra that's made it to 100k without being modified? One does exist!
By Matt Bird / Monday, September 28, 2020
For the first time in High Mile Club, this week's car is not notable for the distance it's covered – despite having racked up 110,000 miles. That's because it's an A80 Supra, so not only does that mean the mileage has been fairly gently accrued over almost 25 years, it's also a Toyota. The firm's reputation is there for a reason, and even when it came to super GTs Toyota wasn't suddenly going to abandon its principles. You only need look at the power created by various modified Supras to know how overengineered and durable the car was.
Maybe 200,000 miles would be noteworthy, then, but having just ticked over 100k isn't much of a surprise. This Supra is interesting for other reasons. The first being that it's a UK car, rather than one of the multitude of imports residing in the UK – and they're getting rarer and rarer. It was believed that only 1,000 were sold during the 1990s (blame the badge's lack of prestige, and the £38k price) and given the earliest cars are approaching 30 years old now, it's easy to understand why so few come up. This Supra is a manual one, too, which is an especially rare find; lots of them, presumably for customers more used to the golf club than the drag strip, were configured with the automatic.
But more remarkably than all of that, even more so than this Supra apparently being the only Storm Blue manual ordered in 1996, is the fact that it's unmodified. Well, very nearly unmodified – because what's an exhaust and intercooler between friends? Given the fact this car has been through four owners, more than 100,000 miles and almost 25 years of use, that seems incredible for a Supra. Because beyond all the Fast & Furious silliness is the knowledge that the big Toyota was almost built for modifying; even during the 1990s, years before the first F&F film, bigger turbos were being affixed to the straight-six and enormous power produced. While originality is more prized today, that's an awfully long time for such a prime example (don't forget the manual) to have evaded the attention of tuners.
As such the Supra is quite the discovery in 2020; a genuine classic car and a reminder of how things once were in an automotive world now a long way in the past – i.e. the one where the Japanese car makers would stop at nothing to surpass both their domestic rivals and the European adversaries. This particular Supra is also intriguing for its history, which includes Martin Brundle among potential previous owners. (Which surely every UK Supra owner claims, given the Brundles' Toyota dealership in Norfolk, though this time it is given some additional credence with three services at said garage.)
Whether that's correct or not, this Supra remains significant: there really can't be many manual, UK cars from the very last year of production around at all, leave alone in this condition. It's said to come with stacks of history, as you'd expect, although that mileage does at least mean the next owner could enjoy some of the Supra magic without adversely affecting condition or value. This combination of attributes means the asking price now is about what it would have been back in the mid-1990s – £38,995 – and also not a long way off what a new Supra would set you back. Worth it? To the faithful, and in this condition, it's easy to imagine so. Especially with this car's 25th anniversary looming, and the Supra's stock as high as it's ever been. Still more affordable than a Skyline, too…
See the original advert here.
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