There’s no doubt at all that the untimely death of Paul Walker immortalized The Fast and The Furious franchise like nothing else. The franchise already had the cheesy-popcorn following it needed to keep churning out movies. But when a road accident took the reel Brian O’Conner away, the world turned dark for all those who knew him in real life and his fans who related to his onscreen persona.
As much as Paul Walker turned the movies into cult classics, his Toyota Supra has become perhaps the most significant of all cars of the franchise. Nothing beats this orange wonder that Walker/O’Conner drives to beat down a fancy Ferrari or even a train as he races alongside Vin Diesel in a souped-up Dodge Charger. The Toyota Supra convertible that Walker drives is a convertible and is nitrous-powered for instant acceleration. From that Supra to the final white one that a CGI-created Walker drives off into the sunset as part of the tribute to him in the seventh movie, the emotional quotient of the car has certainly gone up — as did the box office collections of the seventh movie.
Luckily for the fans, they didn’t off him in the movie; they just showed Walker driving off into paradise choosing to be with his family and getting out of the game. And he drives away in a white Toyota Supra, what else? So, here are some facts about the Supra that Paul Walker / Brian O’Conner immortalized…
20 In 2015, This Orange Supra Headed To Auction
Two years after Paul Walker passed, one of the Toyota Supras headed to the auction table. With such a car-heavy movie like this one, it’s not just one car they make to shoot all the scenes in. The orange Supra was one of the many orange Supras used for filming the movie.
We don't know what happened to the rest, but stunt-heavy movies often end up destroying many of the cars shown in them.
This particular one came fitted with a heavy-duty suspension, a full roll cage, a set of competition seats, and a power-enhanced fuel tank along with those Yokohama tires and graphics. The expected price was $150,000 to $200,000.
19 It Finally Sold For $185,000
The auctioneers were pretty accurate about the price range because this 2001-driven “10-second” car sold for a whopping $185,000. The brand-new 2019 Toyota Supra will retail for just $40,000. Walker’s Supra, of course, wasn't bought for its engine or specs; it was purchased for this amount because it played an important role in the Fast and Furious franchise and is one of the most memorable cars ever. Plus, having it driven by Paul Walker increased its price and value. On the flip side, the Dodge Charger driven by Dom / Diesel sold for under $130,000.
18 The Walker Tribute
When Furious 7 ends, there’s a very touching tribute given to Paul Walker at the end. They don’t kill off the character, Brian O’Conner, but show him married with a kid and another child on the way and finally retiring from the game to be with family. O’Conner is being watched frolicking on the beach with his wife and kid, and Dom drives away without saying goodbye.
At an intersection, he's revved at by a CGI-created Brian O’Conner, driving — we know it — a white Toyota Supra.
This was a fitting end to the man and the car that jump-started the franchise. The shot pans out to see the friends drive off on diverging roads, with O’Conner driving off into the great blue beyond, at least figuratively.
17 Another Rumour On The Internet
It's said that the white Supra that O’Conner (the CGI-generated Paul Walker) drives up to Dom’s Custom Charger is a 1995 Targa Top. It may have been Paul Walker’s personal Supra; it's been reported that Walker owned two Supras. One was a 1995 Targa Top and the other, a 1998 model. Both were also white. The touching scene showed the end of an era by paying tribute to the legacy that Walker had managed to create, so it was only fitting that the car be Walker’s own as well. Pair this with Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” song, and there could be grown men sobbing their eyes out…
16 He Was A True Gearhead
According to an interview shared on MTV, Walker said that cars, racing, and speed were perhaps in his blood, considering his grandfather raced factory cars for Ford. The movie didn't make him love cars or speed; that was already there – but it gave him an insight into JDM or the Japanese Design Motors.
He states that he wasn’t into importing any cars; it was the domestic market for him.
But after using the Supra rather extensively for the first movie, Walker realized the true potential of the Supra as well as other Japanese models like the Nissan GT.
15 The Supra Beat Out A Bimmer In '94
The Supra isn’t just a Fast and Furious-generated fad. According to Jalopnik, back in the '90s, Car magazine compared the MKIV Supra to the newly launched BMW E36 M3. The cars had the same curb weight, independent suspension, and rear-wheel drive. That said, the Supra’s iron-block engine packed more power, considering it was twin-turbocharged. So, while the Supra managed 325 horsepower and the same torque, the BMW M3 could produce only 286 horsepower and 236 lb-ft torque. This particular review clearly made out the Supra to be the winner, though it did talk about BMW’s redeeming features as well.
14 Digging Into The Supra’s Past
Toyota didn’t always market the Supra as a standalone vehicle. The terminology “Supra” came into play when they launched a better version of the Celica coupe in the '70s and called it the "Celica Supra." The Celica Supra had a longer wheelbase and more powerful six-cylinder engines. At the time, it was just a better version of an already existing car, so no one knew the Supra – they only knew that the Celica Supra was a slightly better version of the existing Celica. Plus, it didn’t hold as much power with its name as it does today.
13 The Birth Of The Real Supra
In 1986, The Supra became a standalone offering from Toyota, breaking out of the Celica’s shadow. But it was just another Japanese car until the fourth generation.
It's then that they revamped not just the look of the car (to turn it sportier) but also the engine.
The MKIV Supra came in two options: a naturally aspirated 2JZ-GE engine that churned out 220 horsepower and 210 ft-lb torque and the twin-charged 2JZ-GTE that cranked out an even higher 276 horsepower and 318 ft-lb torque. From then on, the Supra began to be considered more of a Japanese supercar. The engine remains popular till date, especially to engine swappers.
12 What Made The MKIV So Popular
The one thing that most Japanese cars are known for is their sheer reliability. Literally, nothing happens to them ever, at least till they cross the literal 100,000th milestone. The engine remains rock solid, and even the paint of the car refuses to fade or flake unless physically damaged. The MKIV also came loaded with unheard-of features back in the day like a front cross member, an aluminum hood, as well as plenty other engine bits and bobs that gave it superpowers. The rear spoiler was hollow to reduce the curb weight, and even the carpet fibers use in the interiors were kept hollow to keep a few extra grams off for better power. This from a car more than a decade ago.
11 The Jay Leno Garage Special
Some five years have passed since Walker passed away. What's left is the legacy of the Fast and Furious enterprise and of the Supra. To pay homage to him, Jay Leno did a special episode in Jay Leno’s Garage. He invited Cody Walker (Paul’s brother) to the show. There, both Leno and Cody were filmed talking about a right-hand-drive version of a 1993 Supra shipped from Japan. So yes, this wasn’t the car that Paul drove. But to remember him and how he single-handedly helped JDM cars establish their footing a little more firmly in the domestic market, Leno and Cody decided to talk about how fantastic the Supra actually was.
10 Supra’s Racing Past... And Future
By now, all Supra fans must be rejoicing, for the news is out – the all-new 2019 Toyota Supra will be taking part in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, including the very first race in Daytona, Florida on February 16, 2019. The Supra wasn’t big on the formal racing circuit, considering it went out of production before Toyota began racing in 2007.
The new Supra, which looks sobbingly good, has been developed by Toyota in collaboration with BMW.
So yes, expect it to be very, very fast. But the Supra isn’t new to all racing. In fact, it basked in the glory of wins in drag racing, rallying, drifting, and all kinds of motorsports imaginable, including series like LeMans and JGTC.
9 The Best Thing About The Supra
The cast-iron engine with an almost-indestructible short-block makes it the sturdiest car around. You'd need to do something formidable to be able to destroy this. A well-tuned and correctly modded Supra is capable of a literally unheard-of 2000 horsepower – and yes, that's akin to having your car pulled with single-minded determination by 2,000 horses going the same way. In any case, it's factory turbo-charged, so increasing the power is all the easier. The very study in-line six layout gives you a lot of balance while driving and even while you work on the engine itself. It’s basically a marvel of technical soundness.
8 Not Exactly Perfect
Firstly, Supras don't come cheap because they're not your run-of-the-mill car. So, if you buy a pricey second, you better know all about it before you start tinkering with the engine and its specs. While the new Supra is something we could sit and stare at all day, and the MKIV was a beauty, too, Dom’s Dodge Charger looked a lot more capable than the orange Supra. The twin-turbo system was prone to a few hiccups every now and then, and many said that it had a poor-flowing cylinder head, though this was often modded right with air intake valves.
7 The Engine Was Deliberately Over-Engineered
The primary difference between a Supra in Japan and a Supra in the domestic market was the speed. The Supras in the Japanese market had been capped at a maximum horsepower of 276.
This was because the Japanese automakers didn't want to start off expensive and time-consuming horsepower battles among themselves.
So, they capped their Supras but left the engine “open” to child-easy mods that could take the horsepower to a powerful 500, minus any major effort. If you knew what you were doing and put in the right effort and money, the horsepower could be raised all the way to 2,000!
6 Tough To Buy The F&F MKIV Supra
If you're eager to get your hands on an MKIV Supra in the domestic market, a '93-'98 Supra in decent condition (mind you, not mint) will set you back $30,000-$40,000, easy. Waiting won't make the price drop since the stable popularity of the Fast and Furious franchise, as well as an ever-increasing hype about Walker’s car, has turned these classics rather coveted. With the 2019 model all set to enter NASCAR, the price may go even higher. After all, the Supra is now in the class of the racing Camaro and the dashing Mustang.
5 Walker Really, Really Liked The Supra
In an interview with AskMen, Walker quoted that he really liked the Toyota Supra from the first Fast & The Furious film. He wasn’t into the import car scene till he realized what Japanese cars were capable of. So he, too, bought a Toyota Supra, a '95 model, which was white and had a hard top. Are regular gearhead, Walker went on to say to AskMen, “I feel like I owe it to them. But in terms of performance and what you get — bang for the buck — nobody does it better than the Japanese. Because everything’s so modular, everything’s just plug and play. It’s like they’re big-kid, mechanical Legos. Consistently, things are overbuilt in terms of their stoutness, so it allows you the flexibility to put on bigger turbos and crank up the boost without having to worry about blowing everything up.”
4 The Supra Built The Fast And Furious Franchise
We’ve moved on from the first Fast and Furious movie well into the eighth, and apparently, a ninth and tenth are in the making as well. But the scene that literally kick-started that first movie into becoming a full-fledged franchise and made stars out of both Walker and Diesel has to be the final car chase. Brian O’Conner (Walker) is driving his Toyota Supra while Dom (Vin Diesel) is in a Dodge Charger, racing towards railroad tracks and managing to jump the tracks in the nick of time. The final jump the cars make as they clear the railroad tracks with the train barreling on behind them froze the cars into immortality.
3 The True Story Of The “Top-Secret” MKIV
There’s another super-charged Supra around, and this one belongs to Kazuhiko ‘Smokey’ Nagata, the founder of Top Secret. Smokey loves his nickname so much that he ends up smoking the highways a lot, which most countries don't appreciate. The Top Secret MKIV stole the V12 engine off the Toyota Century and added in a pair of HKS GT 2835 turbochargers, taking the horsepower to 1,000.
Nagata brought it to the UK in 1999 and headed for a spin on the A1M motorway at four in the morning, touching 197 mph.
The cops didn’t appreciate his need for speed and arrested and deported both him and the car back to Japan. It later went on to touch 222.6 mph and was auctioned off.
2 The Supra In The Fast & The Furious
Let’s revisit the entire Supra storyline in the movie. O’Conner is an undercover cop joining the shady worlds of chop shops and street racing. When his cover car is destroyed by a rival gang, he starts to refurbish an old Toyota Supra with Dom (Diesel). When the car is done, it’s gorgeous with an orange paint job and custom graphics along with 19” rims. Obviously, it had to sound great and be race ready as well, so everything about the car was jacked up in reel and real life, including a racing clutch, a coilover suspension, and a 110-pound billet flywheel. And Walker looked perfectly at home behind the wheel.
1 When The Supra Smokes The Ferrari
There are many memorable moments with Walker and the Supra – the one where he and Dom in his Dodge Charger jump railroad tracks in the nick of time is one. An SUV rams into the Charger a second after and destroys it. So, O’Conner hands the keys of his Supra to a shaken-up Dom, telling Dom that he owes him a 10-second car. And Dom drives off on an orange road, and the movie pans to credits. But perhaps another unmistakable scene is when Dom and O’Conner decide to teach an arrogant Ferrari driver a lesson – and smoke him – showing off just how capable the Supra actually is.