This Highly Modified JDM Toyota Supra Was Built With Military Precision
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This Highly Modified JDM Toyota Supra Was Built With Military Precision

Sep 03, 2023

"Must be nice." You've heard or read this phrase, often served up with a heaping scoop of sarcasm, when a well-built car is spotted and assumptions are made. If the owner is young, onlookers will usually chalk it up to a lavish family income that resulted in a quick and painless build, while older enthusiasts are usually hit with the "rich guy" label.

As some are forced to budget and can only build a car as quickly as funds allow, their assumptions about the next guy having it easy can be way off the mark. Take Sgt. Erik Uribe, Sr. and his 1995 Supra RZ, for instance. This build represents not only his passion for high-powered import performance cars but also the immeasurable sacrifices he made to put himself into a position to foster his automotive obsession.

To get here, Uribe's journey took him all the way to the Middle East. He adds, "This car is funded by my VA compensation which I acquired while serving active-duty Army Engineer (Sapper) for ten years." The initial investment didn't require forking over a bundle of cash but instead, letting go of the keys to his 2010 BMW S1000 RR bike to make a direct trade.

Just a few years after taking ownership, Uribe got serious and called on help from Gorilla Garage. You know the name, as we've highlighted Supras in the past that wear the signage, and owner Joe Recinos' Midnight Purple II MkIV was featured in 2017. His style, which focuses mainly on performance—albeit with an unpolluted look that's as much show ready as it is functional—was right in line with Uribe's vision for his RZ. The result of the collaboration is nothing less than stellar.

The muscular haunches and slick Toyota body lines remain untouched, with the only changes to the car's exterior Carbonetics' front lip and drag wing, and Supra LED Rears' version of the iconic taillights. Clues to the car's actual performance ability are based on a headlight duct and a not-so-subtle wheel and tire package. 18-inch Weld RTS wheels up front are matched to 15-inch rear versions, the latter of which spin massive MT drag radials that even out both ends. Stopping power is increased with R1 Concepts' big brake kit up front and Brembos out back. It's a look that Gorilla Garage, as well as other serious Supras, have become synonymous with.

The tall meats in the rear are much more than a scare tactic, given that this project currently belts out 800 lb-ft. of torque. That sort of grunt is produced by a Precision 7675 that shouts its battle cry via dual 44mm Turbosmart 'gates and a TiAL blow-off valve, while Hypertune's sleek intake manifold and Grand Canyon-sized 105mm throttle body take residence on the passenger side of the bay.

Scan the engine compartment and note how each component serves a purpose, and any signs of ancillary lines or bracketry have been routed and positioned as to avoid any interferences or clutter. Flex fuel and Pro EFI's 128 ECU help bring the power output to over 830 whp, still on the factory longblock, while up top Engine Supply performed some head work magic and GSC S2 cams were installed. An uncomplicated formula and one that delivers big, especially with a stock block.

There's no fancy double din radio or iPad integration, as the in-car entertainment is provided by the 2J symphony. A custom painted Titan roll bar fills half the cabin and the seats were replaced with a carbon fiber cover in the back and set of Kirkey aluminum buckets in the front. When nestled into the driver's seat, the Sarge eyes his TRD gauges while gripping the Toyota performance extension's steering wheel with his right hand, his left hand slamming gears with a GReddy shift knob.

For those that don't know his story, sighs of "must be nice" have probably been lobbed toward Uribe as his Supra whistles by. Little do they know that he's put in the sort of work and dedication that few can truly grasp, and this Supra serves as an extension of himself. "This car isn't just a car, but a way to vent and let loose. To leave my old memories back in Iraq," he says. "My sacrifices made in the past now fund my passion for racing."

Car 1994 Toyota Supra RZ

Owner Sgt. Erik M. Uribe Sr.

Instagram @smurfin_supra

Engine Supply head work; GSC S2 cams; shimless buckets; 4-in. downpipe; SP exhaust cut-out; HKS 4-in. titanium exhaust; TSR turbo manifold ported by NFA Racing; dual 44mm Turbo Smart wastegates; Precision 7675 turbo; GReddy 5-in. intercooler; JDM Tubing piping; TiAL blow-off valve; Hypertune 6 injector intake manifold, 105mm throttle body; Radium Engineering triple pump hanger; Dual 450lph fuel pumps; ID2000 injectors; Power House Racing flex fuel; Pro EFI 128 ECU

Power 835hp, 800tq

Drivetrain ACT triple disk, flywheel; Driveshaft Shop 9-in. rear, LSD locker, 3.25 gears

Suspension KW coil overs; Bucks Performance rear suspension kit, traction arms, upper/lower control arms; TRD rear sway bar

Braking R1 6-piston calipers, drilled/slotted rotors; Evo 8 dual piston rears

Wheels & Tires Weld RTS Racing 15x10 rears, 18x9.5 front; MT Drag Radial 295/60 rear; Toyo Proxes R888 245/40 front

Exterior Don Keller Auto Body RSP paint; Carbonetics front lip, drag wing; supraledrears

Interior Kirkey Racing seats; Braum 5-pt. harnesses; TRD steering wheel; GReddy shift knob; Titan chromoly roll bar; AEM boost gauge; BTI 3.5 gauge

Thank You First to my wife, Wendy Uribe - wife of 28 years - for supporting my hobby and passion for rasing. My builders Jose Recinos and Tho Nguyen of Gorilla Garage for tuning my vision in reality, they helped put the car together from front to rear. My tuner CW Boosted for making sure it all came together and runs amazing. Shouout to my sponsors Eddie of City Tire, South Gate, Ca.; Chemical Guys, Los Angeles; Amsoil and Purol USA.

Car Owner Instagram Engine Power Drivetrain Suspension Braking Wheels & Tires Exterior Interior Thank You