The Mk4 Toyota Supra is a bit of a legend, helped along by its appearance in the first of many (many, many) Fast and Furious films, but someone in Tasmania has paid a rather strange homage to the legend. This is the story of the Suprakar.
Now, clearly, it’s not a Supra. It’s a Holden VX Commodore, but within the world of ‘Suprakar’ it’s expected you play along with the game. On the Facebook page dedicated to this car, it’s ‘the real one from The Fast and the Furious.’
The owner, a Tasmanian man named Mohamad, told MOTOR how he ended up building the Suprakar.
“I've always loved cars thanks to my older car-obsessed mechanic brother, Ali,” he says.
“My brother, like most older brothers do, brainwashed me at an early stage in my life. So basically my whole life has been based around cars, cars, and some more cars with a sprinkle of more cars on top of that.
“I'm currently having 3 cars restored and, to be honest, it's been a very slow process as funds are limited since it's a hobby for me. I've been getting a bit bored in the meantime.
“I needed to feel the joy of building a car, the feeling of completion, standing back and admiring what you've built. It's such a great feeling that many of us have felt before. So, I thought: ‘why don't I build a car with my mates for shits and gigs?’
“Something cheap and quick, something affordable for a laugh. So, with the help of my brother and mates, that's exactly what we did.”
But before there was Suprakar, Mohamad’s first build idea was actually something relevant to the fact he was looking to buy a Commodore. He was going to replicate the HRT Commodore V8 Supercar of the same era. Sort of.
“My first job was to find a ‘rare’ Holden Commodore sedan. Luckily one of my mates was selling one at the time so it wasn't a lengthy process at all to find one.”
“After many rolls of masking tape, newspaper, professionally made vinyl stickers, and a heap of red spray cans… all different brands, of course, the HRT Superkar was born!
“We deliberately spray painted the lion and helmet logo on the side of the car (with spray cans) to look like a bad attempt and to make people laugh, and that's exactly what it did.
“My mates and I drove the HRT Superkar through the streets of Hobart and boy did we turn some heads!! For all the wrong reasons, of course.”
Mohamad says the build didn’t end with the paint, as he wanted it to make an audible impression as well as a visual one. But his idea wasn’t to make the car sound like a V8, he wanted it to have a contrasting Ferrari V12 soundtrack.
“But then I came up with an even better idea! I had one of my mates install a speaker above the rear muffler so people would think that was the real sound of the car. And it sounded that bad that it was hilarious.
“For extra exposure (that we didn't really need), a mate of mine took the HRT Superkar to a burnout competition for a laugh. I gave him strict orders: ‘don't wreck the car and don't do a burnout, just go out there and screech the tyres for a laugh.’ This video had to be funny or there was no point.
“The video was posted online and it was hilarious, my mate did a great job and made everyone in the crowd and who viewed it online laugh… mission accomplished.”
“As we built this car the more things that went wrong the funnier it was. This was the complete opposite to restoring a car you love.”
Mohamad soon became fond of the idea of turning the car from just a laugh into something that could do a little bit of good in the world too.
“My idea was to raffle the car and donate all of the profits raised to help a charity and not only let this be a one off project, but to continue with it and aim to help different charities each time by building more cars and doing a raffle each time.”
But before that could happen to the HRT Superkar, it was time for an evolution. The idea was put into the public forum (the car’s Facebook page) and the votes decided that the Commodore was to become the Suprakar.
“More spray cans, masking tape, newspapers, mates, and some hand cut vinyl stickers later the Suprakar was born.
“We swapped the V12 external engine sound speaker for under-car neons and a monster tacho drilled into the dashboard, as this time we went JDM style.
“I ended up taking the Suprakar along to the Baskerville 1000, a 6 hour endurance race for cars that cost less than $1000, as a display car in the pit area to help promote the raffle.
“Just before the race started one of my mates came over to where we were spectating and told us his race car had broken down and his team couldn't compete. He was gutted and I really felt bad for him and his team, as there’s a lot of preparation for these events.
“Without thinking twice, I reached into my pocket for the Suprakar keys and looked at him very seriously and said, ‘take it, just take it, who cares? What’s the worst that could happen?’”
“It was a Fast and Furious moment just like when Brian handed his Supra keys to Dominic Toretto at the end of the first movie.
“Not only did the Suprakar complete the 6-hour endurance race, they had a great time and finished pretty well for a car that wasn't set up to race.
“I've had a lot of local businesses come forward and donate prizes towards the raffle so they could also help raise money for a great cause.”
Ripper Car Movies: The Fast & The Furious (2001)
Mohamad says the charity he aims to help by raffling the Suprakar is a Tasmanian group called Speak Up, Stay Chatty. Stylised as ‘SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY’.
“We want to help contribute to the ongoing awareness that the team at Stay ChatTY continue to spread across Tasmania.
“Stay ChatTY educates people on mental health issues through their school, sports and community programs.
“I think this is a great start and I’m looking forward to working with different charities for the next build.
“I really hope this gets people doing the same thing – groups of mates building cars and helping people in need.
“You can guarantee there will be a lot of laughs and memories made along the way.”
If you want to see more, head over to the Suprakar Facebook page… and remember to take your sense of humour with you!