Nope not a Supra. But you’ve probably figured that out already unless you’ve literally never seen a Supra in your entire life somehow. We’ll call this the budget Supra. This is the Lexus SC300.
What is the Lexus SC300?
The Lexus SC300 is a RWD Luxury Sports coupe made from 1992-2000. But whats the big deal you might ask? As we all know, Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota. At the time Toyota had produced arguably one of the most legendary cars ever created. That car being the A80 or 4th Gen Supra. Large car manufactures are always reusing and recycling parts between cars to save cost. Or straight up slapping different body panels on a preexisting platform. Rebadging ect. Toyota just so happen to have this little engine laying around called the 2JZ. Maybe you’ve heard of it. An indestructible, iron block, inline 6 cylinder beast made popular by the aforementioned Supra. However, before you click off this article and go scrubbing craigslist for your very own incognito Supra, I must include that this 2JZ in the SC300 was the GE variant…. NOT the GTE. Sorry folks, no turbos here.
No Turbos, No Problem…
Okay hopefully I didn’t discourage you too much about the whole turbo thing. If you’re still reading this, congrats you have an open mind. You’re probably a young college student and in that experimental stage. Maybe you’re a butt guy and are okay with a flat chest as long as the rides nice. Maybe you wanna go fast now but you’re patient. You see the potential (in a long term sense) and you’re willing to put in the time and effort to get that sweet…Sweet…Juicy… BOOOOOOOST. A guy (or girl) like you already knows that the iron block of that i6 can handle all the boost you can throw at it. And since it doesn’t have a twin turbo setup you won’t have to bother doing a single turbo swap if that’s what you’re into. Just put one fat turbo on that sucker and you’re set. Plus the aftermarket has your back with this engine and you’ll be spoolin in no time at a fraction of the cost.
The Price of a Luxury Supra…
This car is CHEAP AS DIRT. To simplify my point, I did a quick google search and decent condition A80 Supras are going for upwards of $30,000!!! The price of a Supra will of course depend on the condition, miles, mods, location, and dead uncle you inherit it from. Either way there is no way in hell you will find a supra for $4,000 which seems to be the average price of the SC300. I feel like I already drove the point home when I mentioned the powerplant earlier but damn $4K for a 2JZ?! AND LEATHER SEATS!!!! Throw another $4K at the engine and you’re still in for a fraction of the cost of a Supra. Granted you may have trouble finding one with under 200,000 miles on the tac but who cares. We already know that this engine is tried and true. Plus in its day, they were owned by upper class citizens and not hooligans like you and I, so if you find one I’m sure it was well taken care of.
But Why Haven’t I Heard of it Before?..
Maybe if there was a whole movie made about it, the SC300 would be a household name. Fortunately for us there wasn’t. Therefore there’s no hype to drive the market value through the roof. Also to be honest this car doesn’t have much else going for it besides the engine. It has an open diff, no turbos, and its a Lexus. “A Grown Up Car” As I already said before you can fit the GE with a turbo kit if you have the cash and the know-how. And if you are a true hoon and don’t give a rip about daily driving it just weld the diff. But if this is going to be your only car put in a LSD (Limited Slip Diff). In all, its not that remarkable stock but I stand by the fact that you can make any car look sick if you’re creative enough.
If you’re concerned about the look of this car just throw a set of lower springs or coilovers paired with a set of gnarly wheels and you’re good. It’s already a low-sweeping two door coupe with respectable lines so it won’t take much to make this car pretty. Wrap it, throw a wing on it, make a body kit, go nuts. After all you only spent $4k on the thing what’s the worst that could happen? Please do me a favor though. Put your money where your mouth is. Beef up the motor before you go making it look like a rice covered trash heap. Have some respect for the car and don’t be that guy.
There are so many hidden gems out there if you look hard enough. If you open your mind and pay close attention to the power plants used in your favorite dream car you may find that it has a detuned cheaper version no one has ever heard of floating around the used market. Do your research and become disolved in your passion for automobiles and you will be surprised of what you’ll find. Or just visit the Korvidae and let us do the work. That’s just as good. If you enjoyed this article or absolutely hated it let me know in the comments below. Have a SC300? Tell us about it. Check out the gallery of SC300’s below that I totally didn’t just copy from Google Images.
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