One of the most iconic tuner cars of all time is the Mark IV Toyota Supra. If you don’t agree, just think about where we would be if the Supra had never existed. With its robust inline-6 and practically limitless tuning potential, it didn’t take long for a strong community of enthusiasts to embrace the Supra for everything it had to offer. These days, however, it seems like the most common thing to do with a Supra is to slap on some wheels and a lip, convert to single turbo, and call it a day — not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, it doesn’t take much to make this timeless body look good, and everyone knows how fast these cars can go in a straight line down the dragstrip with the right mods. But what happened to the more well-rounded cars? What happened to the people who take it a step further, but still shy away from the outlandish “Fast and Furious” styling cues that plagued the community for a few years in the early ’00s? Michael Sueto is one of those guys, a “one-percenter” who wanted more from his Supra than what seems to be the status quo in the current tuning climate.
Michael is no stranger to the world of modified cars; he first got his feet wet years ago in college. “I’ve always been into cars as a kid, but was exposed on a national level when I interned with Auto Meter Products in college,” Michael tells us. “I toured with the NHRA Drag Racing circuit, Import Drag Racing sanctioning bodies, Formula DRIFT and Hot Import Nights as a product support specialist. Being able to work firsthand with some of the top motorsport professionals and world-class race teams in the world gave me a whole different perspective (and passion) for the automotive industry.” With a unique inside perspective like this, Michael owned several interesting tuner cars over the years. “I’ve had a ’93 Ford Taurus SHO 5-speed, a ’05 Subaru STI, a ’01 Lexus IS300 and a ’09 C63 AMG,” Michael says.
“I’ve always had my eye on the MKIV 6-speed Supra Turbo,” he remembers. “When I finally found a mint-condition, low-mileage and bone-stock Supra, I flew 1,000 miles to snatch it up. I knew before I even bought the car that it was going to be heavily modified; enthusiasts don’t buy these cars to leave alone. Before I took delivery of the car, I already had wheels, full exhaust, and intake and coilovers ready to put on. Next, I focused on the vehicle’s cosmetics by modifying the exterior and interior. Finally, I tackled the additional performance phase by installing a single turbo, AEM ECU, Sound Performance fuel system, RPS Carbon clutch and other supporting modifications. Within a month of owning the car, I was making over 450 whp with simple bolt-ons! A few months later, I picked up a Subaru STI and the Supra sat for a year without any additional modifications. Once I sold the STI, I had more time to dedicate to the Supra — I spent the next year and a half to take the car to the next level.”
The way Michael’s Supra sits now is a very clean and tasteful finished product. The vehicle’s exterior has been re-sprayed in a fresh coating of OEM Jewel Green paint, a less common metallic jade green color that suits the Mark IV beautifully. You won’t find any over-the-top body kits or vinyl graphics on Michael’s car, he has stuck to the subtle modifications that accent the already excellent body shape of the Supra. A Modellista Designs front bumper and vented hood give just enough of an aggressive edge to the front of the car, and both items flow seamlessly to the Do-Luck side skirts (a piece that looks so clean they could easily be mistaken for factory equipment by the untrained eye). A pair of Ganador mirrors look perfect — again, these are a subtle but much appreciated change from the awkward door-mounted factory mirrors. On the back end, a Rod Millen Motorsports carbon-fiber wing provides the finishing touch on the clean exterior package.