One thing I’ve come to learn, is that there are two types of friend. One’s that will call you for going out for a quiet few beers, that then turn into getting in past 0400 and leaving a wake of embarrassing and heroic stories in a fuzzy recollection of broken memories.
The other type, is your petrolhead buddy who calls you to let you know he has seen a project car with your name stamped all over it and you should just go and check it out. Hours later you have another project car on the drive to go with the others you’ve got in partial ‘build’ phase… Sound familiar? Well that’s exactly how this Supra started it’s South African saga build.
The car hasn’t always been running metal snail under the hood. When Jude and his mate checked out the car, after that infamous phone call, it was a mere stock 5-speed 3.0-litre N/A – but you know how it goes, and soon that N/A engine was swiftly replaced with the mighty 2JZ-GTE motor. However, this wasn’t the plug and play dream. After 1500km the engine let go leaving the car nothing more than an attractive garden ornament.
Devastated and over the whole situation the Supra was up for sale. The phone rings again. This time a stranger asks Jude to bring the car 300km to him – now in my mind, if someone asks me to bring me my Supra over 300km, I’d be putting down the phone and chalking it as a nutty call – however, Jude took the gamble and the next day locked and loaded the Supra onto a trailer and made the road trip into the unknown.
A dark shadowy figure stood on the side of the road, welcome Flippie to this story, the area was sketchy, it was gone 10pm at night, but Jude didn’t flinch in his decision to keep going with the plan with this mystery call stranger. This is playing out like some Jason Bourne style shit to me…
Flippie however turned out to be Jude’s mechanical Supra Fairy Godmother. Working through the night, he had the engine stripped and saw it had run lean. costing up the parts, he told Jude he could get it back on the streets and could save his Supra sized dream and he wouldn’t need to sell it. Like some bizarre trust exercise, Jude left his Supra with the stranger and headed home
Fast forward about four weeks, the call came in again – “Howzit (That’s South African for Hello) You’re cars ready to roll.” The stranger had come through. The car was back up and running and punching a healthy 322Kw (437bhp).
Wow, a total random came through on his word. I’m actually welling up that there are still good people in the car scene. Jude and Flippie had just become life long buddies and the journey had only just started.
After the fresh engine was running the gearbox decided it wanted to check out of the party and then Supra was back in the shop. A 6-speed BMW box and quarter master clutch were added as well as an upgrade to the fuelling system – now the Safari Supra was cooking and able to deliver a solid 472kw (641hp)
Just like Jude taking the chance to meet Flippie, I meet Jude on a random day and asked, via a friend, to shoot his car. He had no idea on who I was, but took time to come past and take a chance on some dude from London who wanted to shoot his car – I love things like this in the car scene and the doors it opens to meet good people. Too often we only hear about the scams and the troubles, so I’ve been really pleased in being a small part of this story and being able to share it on the small peice of the internet that lets me have my say…
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