NICK STONAWSKI’S ’94 TOY­OTA SUPRA

Super Street - - Contents - WORDS & PHO­TOS Jofel Tolosa

What truly makes a car spe­cial? Sure, top-shelf parts on a ’90s JDM hero car will check off boxes for many, but some­times a car is just spe­cial on its own, re­gard­less of the sum of its parts. For Nick Stonawski and his ’94 Toy­ota Supra, it’s much deeper and sen­ti­men­tal.

From the out­side, it may look like a sim­pler Supra than what you’re used to see­ing in Su­per Street—free from any sort of ag­gres­sive body kit, wild wheels, and some kind of GT wing. In fact, the only thing you’ll find on the out­side is a front lip and a set of clas­sic Volk Rac­ing Chal­lenge wheels. When it’s parked, you’d never know its low-mileage 2JZ-GTE is fit­ted with a mas­sive HKS T51R Kai turbo. Go ahead, search for video clips on Youtube. It’s so pop­u­lar, there are com­pa­nies out there repli­cat­ing the in­take hous­ing on other tur­bos to achieve the same sound as the T51R, but Nick tells us all have failed. “It’s a sig­na­ture sound that only few own­ers get the chance to call their own. The HKS T51R se­ries has been dis­con­tin­ued for quite some time and are like find­ing a nee­dle in a haystack th­ese days,” he laid out.

Nick was in the Supra scene long be­fore you’d ever seen one on the big screen with or­ange paint and a Bomex body kit. Un­der Nick’s ré­sumé are three other per­fectly ex­e­cuted Supras: a third­gen­er­a­tion ’87 Turbo, an ’89 MKIII with a 2JZ swap that was fea­tured in Im­port Tuner, and a mint ’95 Turbo. It begged the ques­tion, “Why build an­other one?” The an­swer was easy when we found out the his­tory of his cur­rent Supra.

The orig­i­nal owner was Kevin Tao, who was one of the first Supra en­thu­si­asts Nick ever met. Dur­ing that time, this Supra served as the Bomex USA demo car. But for Nick, what made this Supra spe­cial was the work he did on the car along­side his late friend Mike Ur­bano. Nick helped Mike, an HKS em­ployee, change out the orig­i­nal twin-turbo setup for the big­ger sin­gle turbo. Sadly, Mike passed away in a mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent be­fore the in­stall was ever fin­ished. Kevin didn’t want any­body else work­ing on the car, and for 12 years it re­mained stored away in a garage. “The car just sat since then. It was kind of my uni­corn car and I al­ways wanted it, but never could af­ford it,” Nick ex­plains. It was only in ’16 when Kevin de­cided to let it go. Need­less to say, Nick quickly parted ways with his ’95 Turbo to make room for the re­tired Bomex car.

As you can imag­ine, the Supra’s flu­ids, hoses, belts, and other com­po­nents needed to be re­placed. Nick headed to L-spec in Tor­rance, Cal­i­for­nia, to get ev­ery­thing re­freshed with brand-new parts. Af­ter more than a decade pass­ing, tech­nol­ogy and devel­op­ment mod­ern­ized sig­nif­i­cantly and the log­i­cal thing to do was im­prove on what Nick and Mike started. FSR Mo­tor­sports used an AEM In­fin­ity to re­place the out­dated HKS com­put­ers and push the car to its full po­ten­tial run­ning E85. “My goal is to max out the HKS T51R turbo at around 800 hp,” Nick says. To trans­fer all that power, he went with a South Bend stage 3 clutch, which he tells us is fa­vored in the Supra com­mu­nity as the best bang-for-the-buck clutch that can hold 1,000 hp with a stock-like pedal feel. Look closer into Nick’s bay and you’ll see a good amount of other rare HKS good­ies. “The hard­est part to source was the pur­ple HKS turbo ve­loc­ity stack. For over a year, I was search­ing daily on­line and had mul­ti­ple friends and shops on the hunt. I even had a buddy in Japan search­ing Up Garages,” Nick says. Then fel­low gear­head Nick Ho­gan had a tip on some­body who had one. A few days later, he was able to cop the cherry on top of his mo­tor.

Nick con­cludes, “There is hon­estly no part of me that will ever want to sell this car. It’s sen­ti­men­tal value.”

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