Buy­ing Guide

Toy­ota Supra MA70

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - WoRDS Chris Ran­dall PHo­Tog­Ra­PHy Magic Car Pics

Toy­ota’s Cel­ica badge has taken on leg­endary sta­tus for fans of Ja­panese sports cars, and it spawned a new de­riv­a­tive in 1982 (on the Euro­pean mar­ket at least) – the Supra. In­tended as a grand tourer, it swapped some of the sport­ing edge for more space, com­fort and equip­ment and its suc­cess led to the car you see here.

Launched in 1986, the MkIII – or MA70 in Toy­otas­peak – de­buted a smoother, more aero­dy­namic look com­pared to its pre­de­ces­sor. A slip­pery 0.32 drag co­ef­fi­cient al­lowed a top speed of nighon 140mph in nor­mally as­pi­rated form, while the 3.0-litre straight-six en­gine got the big coupé to 60mph in less than eight se­conds; the 232bhp Turbo that ar­rived a year af­ter its launch was even quicker. Han­dling was se­cure and pre­dictable rather than scalpel-sharp, and while it wouldn’t see which way a Porsche 944 went on a twisty road, buy­ers could in­stead revel in the com­fort and re­fine­ment on of­fer, not to men­tion the lengthy equip­ment list that put ri­val car mak­ers to shame. Those that forked out the req­ui­site £15,299 – a price that put it on a par with con­tem­po­rary coupés such as the Opel Monza GSE and Nis­san 300ZX – ben­e­fit­ted from plenty of kit, in­clud­ing air-con­di­tion­ing, cruise con­trol, and a whole raft of elec­tri­cal con­ve­niences. Many ex­am­ples also gained ABS brakes and a lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial, and there was the pricey op­tion of the ad­vanced ‘Toy­ota Elec­tronic Mod­u­lated Sus­pen­sion’ (elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled dampers to you and me). The Supra ben­e­fit­ted from nu­mer­ous tweaks in­side and out un­til it was re­placed by the JZA80 model in 1993, but 30 years af­ter its ar­rival it’s now reached a point where it rep­re­sents a lot of car for not much money. And who can re­sist the lure of pop-up head­lights?

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