Chapter 198        May/June/July 2012 - Jan/Feb 2013

RESQ !!!!

a 1 of 1 car is rescued to start a new life...

 

The MkIV Supra (don't write it Mk4, purists hate that for some reason...) is a cult car. Previous generations were nice, but the IV was produced in limited quantities, had very good performance that goes to stellar with aftermarket mods, and thus even 15+ years later they still command attention and high prices for good examples. To make the normally rare even moreso, there are some rare combinations of cars that were built with uncommon options (example: factory wing delete, sport targa roof or hardtop, interior options, exterior color, etc) but there isn't much that beats a true 1 of 1 car. My daily-driver Camaro is a 1 of 589 produced ('92 1LE/B4C car) vehicle that seems pretty rare until you think about ResQ. The lowest production number MkIV Supra in private hands. First factory backed MkIV rally car. First MkIV Supra to win a PRO-RALLY. Helped Toyota win the championship in 1997. This is truly a 1 of 1 car.

What ResQ looked like in the beginning...(generic picture from the internet)

In December of 1992, the production line began to (very) slowly churn out MkIV cars for engineering examples. For four long months a total of only 53 cars were produced. Chassis number 0001010 was the first one made that first month along with 19 other cars in December. January of 1993 saw only 2 cars made, February saw 27, and then just 4 more in March to finish this initial run with chassis number 0001062. In April, the line began to work as intended and production cars started to leave the factory with 741 in April, 1,868 in May and 2,071 in June, with a total of 15,868 cars built before the end of the year, not counting those initial 53. These engineering examples are typical 'first run' cars and they are used to calibrate the assembly machines, train workers, taken to test facilities for crash testing to satisfy transportation rules (USA's DOT for example) and used for writing manuals, press fleet cars, etc. These 'pre-production' cars do not leave the manufacturers hands for very long as they are not regular production cars. As you've no doubt read car magazines and how they have to 'give back' the car at the end of the test, this certain car was destined to have a very different life and was spared from being destroyed. A ton of MkIV production data is here: http://mkiv.supras.org.nz/specs.htm

Vinplate in the engine compartment

Chassis number 0001054 rolled off the line in February 1993 and was luckily spared destruction testing. In fact, it got the 'high life' and got sent to the west coast of America to be a press fleet car! The car came off the line wearing black paint and sporting a 'sport roof' which was basically a targa top that could be removed. It arrived in the USA with the naturally aspirated 3.0 inline 6, with a 5 speed transmission and the larger 17" wheels and tires that came standard on the twin turbo version. Sadly, I don't have a lot of details on the early life as a press car (I'm digging!!), but in 1995 this little car's fate was given a huge help from Cal Wells (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cal_Wells). The car was finished being a press car and was due to go back to Japan. It could not be sold as it was a pre-production car, so it was likely headed back to Japan to be crushed. Cal stepped in for NorthWest rally racer Ralph Kosmedes and 0001054 was given a new lease on life. Cal oversaw Ivan 'Ironman' Stewart's off road Toyota truck efforts and this wasn't too far from that. The car was completely stripped to a shell, a new roof was put on (hardtop) and additional factory strut towers were welded over the existing ones to beef up the chassis along with the seam-welding and rally-spec cage installed. The factory brakes were removed and 4-piston Wilwoods were installed front and rear along with a different brake pedal setup that utilized a driver-adjustable balance bar and individual master cylinders. One of the most noticeable changes was to remove the factory 17" wheels and put on Supra MkIII "sawblade" 16" wheels. First off, nobody made 17" rally tires, and most importantly the MkIII wheels are incredibly strong and would survive the rigorous roads and jumps of rallying. Factory interior and door panels were removed, with aluminum skins installed over the doors while retaining power windows! Race seats, engine oil cooler, rally computer, upgraded lighting with a massive removable light pod, fuel cell, belly protection, roof vent, rear hatch vents....all the goodies were added. 

The actual SCCA PRO RALLY logbook pictures from the first rally in 1995

On the 11th of November (our anniversary date!) in 1995 a gleaming white and red rally car was presented for technical inspection for the first time in Shelton Washington at the "Tour de Forest" divisional PRO rally. They finished (the fact that it even FINISHED it's first rally is good news!) the race in 10th overall, 2nd in class! The second rally was the next day and the team stepped it up to 5th overall and FIRST IN CLASS! Later that same month the car was in Paris Texas to close out the 'partial season' of shakedown. At Paris, the little Supra was seeded high, but tricky course instructions cost them valuable time. They finished 12th overall, and 5th in a class of 11.

Found this picture on the net...no clue who took it, but it is a rockin pic! #badpun

Original Write-Up on ResQ From the March 1997 SportCompactCar link HERE <--GREAT READ!!!

For 1996, chassis 0001054 saw a full season of SCCA RALLY, bouncing between CLUB and PRO events. The season opened in Washington state in February with the DooWop I and II rallies that brought another first in class (4th overall) the first day, followed by a slip to 5th on day 2. The next month was the PRO-RALLY opener and the Supra won its class (Group 5)!!! In all, a total of 10 rally events were attended in 1996 and while the driving team of Kosmedes and Noyes finished second in the G5 championship, they provided vital points for Toyota to win the manufacturers championship that year! The car was rallied until mid 1997 when Kosmedes debuted his next rally car, which was another Supra that was powered by the factory twin turbo motor for added power. The paint schemes were similar white/red, but the initial car had the red 'bump' in the door to mimic the Ruby's Diner logo (which sponsored the car), and the second turbo car had the red 'slant' on the side. While visually close, once you know what to look for you can spot the specific car quite easily. The car sat for a few years and then the initial co-driver Noyes bought the car and did some CLUB rallying with it in 2000 and 2001. In June of 2001 at the 25th rally for the car, a low stump was hit and the car did not finish that event. It was taken home, taken apart and went to a frame specialist who fixed the panels under the passenger's seat and footwell. New fenders and a hood (complete with ugly hood scoop!) were found to put the car back together. The rest of the season was missed and after September 11th, the economics of fielding the car just didn't work out as life got busy for Noyes. The car sat. 

ResQ on the left (in Paris, Texas 1995), and the second MkIV rally car "slant" on the right. Similar, but easy to distinguish 

The car stayed with him for 11 more years when it became apparent he wasn't going to do anything with the car. He had been hesitant to sell it for fear of it going to someone who would cut it up or trash it, it kept sitting. Finally he posted it on one of the obscure rally websites and that is where I found it on a lark. I used to rally ages ago and still check the websites every now and then. Pure luck! The main picture was just an interior shot of the shifter with the heading 'rally supra'. I'm sure most folks figured it was a MkIII car...I know I did. But I went ahead and clicked on the link and saw pictures of a mostly-there MkIV car that looked like it needed to get rescued. A 30 second chat with Anna and then a quick email, a phone call to the seller and the deal was done and we began to figure a way to get the car from Washington state to Texas. It was May 2012. It took a while, but finally we settled on a transport company after several failed attempts at us or friends massaging our schedules to make a personal pickup. Late on the night of August 6th, ResQ (already named by Anna) slid into our garage. To say the car "came with some spares" would be on the same level as the Titanic "had a little flooding problem". The car did not have seats and the entire interior was packed with parts all the way up to the window sills. A friend happened to be in Washington state the following month and brought back a pickup truck bed full of more parts. An HUGE bonus is that it was never registered, used sparingly on the west coast and then trailered to rallys. When it arrived in our garage the odometer sat at 19,486 miles! (Still has less than 21,000 now!!)

Above: Original pictures from the for sale listing

ResQ came off the transport looking pretty rough, but we could easily see the beauty that we would bring her back to

 

Above: The passenger area had a new-in-box rear end, a trans, custom struts, springs, swaybars, control arms (much more in the hatch area!). Right: Dual remote res for the MCs 

ResQ and some of the spares on the left, and getting a new windshield on the right after a weekend of deep cleaning/tinkering

Since we were in the midst of moving, Dusty at MVP agreed to store the car for us while we got houses in order. Prior to taking it to his shop we took some time to unpack things and put the car up in the air and give it a good lookover. We began a parts inventory and a 'to do' list and had a windshield installed as well. It then sat at Dusty's (thank you Dusty!) for a few months while we got moved and mostly settled. On the 3rd of February we went and picked up ResQ and brought her home. We had five and a half weeks till Tx2k13 which had became our goal as 'roll-out' date. There was a mountain of work to be done, as well as prepping Scratcher and Anna's silver supra for the event as well. However, a deadline is a nice motivator and our lives began to shift a bit to focus on getting ResQ up and going...and presentable. A huge dry erase board soon filled with a punchlist for all three cars and the UPS and FedEx drivers became very familiar with our house.

   

For ResQ, the first thing we needed to do was take it back apart from temporarily putting it together to go to Dusty's. The front fenders, nose, hood and tail were all removed and taken to a body shop to get a 'decent' spray job done to match the original race scheme. The rest of the exterior was cleaned up and looked surprisingly good when all the sticker-goo and funk was taken off. While the body parts were gone, we took the time to get it in the air and start swapping fluids and giving it a thorough once-over. 

 

Time was pretty much a blur in the weeks leading up to Tx2K13. We got the newly-painted fenders, nose, hood and rear bumper cover re-installed along with corner and license plate lamps. We used factory hardware for most of it, but in some cases it was just stupid expensive and I'd make carbon-fiber brackets, filler panels or lamp holders out of weight/time/cost savings. Rally tires were de-mounted, rally wheels were sandblasted and re-painted (bright rally white!) then had tires put back on, we got some fresh tires for the factory 17" wheels which would become the 'street' setup. The factory 17" wheels still had the ORIGINAL FACTORY Bridgestone tires datecoded in 1992! They came off the wheels, but put up a good fight after having been on there for over 20 years! Even the SMELL of the air that was in those tires had that archeology-antique-old library scent. LOTS of elbow grease cleaning the car up and lots of tracing wires figuring out what unlabelled switches did. We still have a few we're not sure about! We needed seats, but we'd not decided on a type yet, so we pulled the Sparco seat out of our crap-can racing car and put it in as the driver's seat for ResQ. We took the passenger seat out of Anna's silver Supra (since it comes out to drag race anyway) and put it in the passenger spot of ResQ.

Bridgestones made the 48th week of 1992. BridgeSTONES.... heh    Right: We were always cleaning....

Below: Fuel cell, jack, cage on left. Right: Small parts were fabricated from scrap CF we had lying around

 

Above: Scrap CF to the rescue for the LP lamp holder!

Finally, the week before Tx2K I trailered the car to an exhaust shop to have a muffler and tailpipe installed. We had taken off the original one-piece-rally-pipe with a flowmaster (that had a hole in it facing the fuel cell!), and re-installed the factory y-pipe with the factory cats (part of the spares package) in order to be emissions legal. After the muffler was installed it went to the inspection shop and I crossed my fingers but ResQ passed with flying colors. All the re-wiring of lamp sockets, fixing grounds, cleaning switches, etc, paid off when the very next morning Anna drove the car back and forth to work with no problems, completely legal. (Minor Victory Dance)

ResQ's first real test drive....and of course we took a chase car along as well!

Below: ResQ taped off to complete the red accent going forward. While Anna painted, I wired...and wired......and wired

The last few days prior to Tx2K  had us simply wrapping up minor things and putting on the new graphics. It looked good with just the red and white, but the number boards and stickers REALLY made the car look great. Anna took the time to re-stripe the small black line between the red and the white and a front lip from MVP was also installed. Lastly, flush hood pins were added since all the factory latch hardware was long gone.

 

Above: Final picture before graphics on left, and then on right, with graphics and note inspection and registration stickers!!!

 

Below: Second day of Tx2K and we put the RallyWheels on the car and raised up the suspension for the ProRally look!!

The first chapter of ResQ now draws to a close. We got her and put her back together, cleaned her up and she made a big splash at Tx2K13, which is the second chapter for ResQ. The third chapter....well....just stay tuned!