Supras Invade Las Vegas - Event

Go To The Land Of Glitz

In the import vs. domestic wars, the Supra has taken its deserved place as Big Brother, stepping up to brawl with the cantankerous cubic inch crews. Despite the Supra's rise as a major force with the Mk IV, the Supra legacy goes back to the first Supra Celica in the early 1980s. Each year, the brethren of the Supra gather for various debaucherous rituals, and some car stuff too, in Las Vegas.

The car show portion takes place in front of the Luxor pyramid, where a year's worth of buffing, waxing, greasing, wiring and chroming yielded trophies for the deserving and sunburns for everyone. Classes included best in-car entertainment, interior and engine bay, with both stock and modified categories. While Mk IVs show up in the largest numbers, there are always a strong contingent of Mk IIIs, a number of Mk IIs, and the occasional smattering of Mk Is. In the hotly contested Mk IV category, where the cost of entry mimics an Ivy League education, Bill Robards won Best of Show in his 1997 turbo.

The massive dyno displays for which Supras are famous and some were specifically built, are an integral part of the convention experience. Got a joke for you: "How does every Supra street racing story start?" Answer: "So I was on my way to the dyno"

Despite several new records set by 2JZs throughout the year, the biggest run this year, 841 wheel hp made by Dana Westover in his 1993 Mk IV, was short of last year's best of more than 1,100 hp. Don't laugh at the '80s Mk II-John Nguyen laid down 323.8 hp in his turbo'd Supra.

Lots of smack gets laid to rest during the much anticipated drag contest, held at the impressive Las Vegas Motor Speedway strip.If the dyno didn't particularly impress this year, the dragstrip certainly did, with a number of cars deep into the 9s. Titan Motorsports lopped off a 10th of last year's winning time with a 9.089 at 161 mph in its racecar, although there was a street car, several hundred pounds heavier, breathing heavily down its neck. While all other 9-second cars that night had heavily modified automatics (some even using the good ol' GM T400E as modified by Sound Performance), Ryan Woon ran 9.7s in his factory six-speed car.

As the cult-like Supra following grows in both numbers and aftermarket support (not bad for a car that's been out of production for five years and was very limited in production), these beasts will only get more impressive. Eights, gentlemen?

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