NICK STONAWSKI’S ’94 TOYOTA SUPRA
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.”