The term street car can be defined in a myriad of ways. From modified cars that are truly daily transportation to hell-bent bruisers that can be driven on the street but, in actuality, see the road as often as Santa Claus comes to town. Where do you draw the line for a street car? What can you sacrifice and still have a streetable vehicle? What is streetable? There's plenty of gray area. While the definition of a street car is a personal observation, Powerhouse Racing's latest creation pushes the limits of how one defines a street car. The Supra on these pages is two-faced. While it's engineered to be converted from strip to street in short order, it's also on a mission to become the first 8-second street Supra.
Powerhouse Racing (PHR) opened its doors in 1996 as a tuner focusing exclusively on the Toyota Supra and, according to owner Jarrett Humphreys, that's the way it is today. The company has taken the "do one thing and do it well" axiom to the extreme by tweaking the potent Supra to the brink of possibilities with the laws of physics. The car on these pages was built in conjunction with MVP Motorsports of Bridgeport, Texas. MVP wanted to build a brutally fast race Supra that, above all, retained its street nature so it contacted PHR in June 2000. The plan was to construct this car to compete during the 2001 season, so PHR moved quickly to plan and execute the project from the ground up.
Framed in aluminum tinwork,...
Framed in aluminum tinwork, the hardcore, high-output 2JZ-GTE looks like a work of art. The short block has been built to the hilt and tuned to a razor's edge by Powerhouse Racing.
The project started with an almost bone-stock 1994 Toyota Supra supplied by Dusty Womack, owner of MVP Motorsports. The car was originally a targa roof-equipped Supra, and PHR knew that would not be practical in a street/race car. The targa roof could never be removed once the 12-point roll cage was installed, and it would only reduce chassis rigidity. Therefore, PHR cut the roof completely off the car and installed a non-targa roof from a wrecked Supra. After that, work began on the chassis to strengthen and lighten certain areas. The fenderwells were massaged to accommodate larger wheels and tires in the rear and a set of custom PHR adjustable rear control arms were installed. After this, PHR and Todd Bevis of Bevis Built Race Cars began work on the custom 12-point chrome-moly roll cage to make the car NHRA legal for the anticipated 9.99 and quicker timeslips.
All areas of the stock frame were tied together, and the rear of the car was braced for installation of a parachute. The rear sheetmetal in the trunk was removed to install dual 10-gallon fuel cells and Weldon fuel pumps, along with the necessary Optima batteries and electronics. Once installed, the fuel cells were enclosed in a custom tinwork enclosure, complete with Toyota emblem, to keep a neat appearance and increase safety. A sheetmetal firewall was constructed behind the factory rear seat to further enhance driver protection. The rear bumper incorporates a set of charging terminals to make charging the battery a simple affair. Also at the rear of the car is the battery master cut-off switch.
The interior of the Supra retains the factory headliner and interior leather panels, along with the factory dashboard. The power windows are still operational, along with anything required for street use. The air conditioning and heater were removed, since the car would never see a very hot or very cold day on the street, not to mention the 80-lb weight savings.