The orange Fast and Furious Supra is one of the most iconic movie cars in pop culture history. Twenty years and eight films later, the Toyota Supra from the first movie continues to be a favorite among fans and car enthusiasts in general. However, few people actually know the real story behind its creation. In a new video, the former owner of the Supra, Craig Lieberman, talks about how he originally purchased the car and the stages it went through before it was transformed for The Fast and the Furious.
This is how Craig Lieberman got the Fast and Furious Supra
For a car that is so iconic, one might think that there is an epic story behind how Craig Lieberman initially procured the Toyota Supra that would eventually become a legend. The truth is much simpler than that. In his early days, Lieberman custom-built a “Fox body” Ford Mustang equipped with a litany of aesthetic and performance parts. Then one day, in an impromptu contest of speed, he was soundly beaten by a mark 4 (or Mk4) Toyota Supra Turbo. That is when Lieberman decided that turbos were the way to go.
Later on, when driving a company car, Craig happened to pass by a dealership that had a bunch of really nice domestic cars on the lot, but one car stood out from the others. Parked on a riser was a white 1994 Toyota Supra Turbo Targa top. The car was only about five years old at the time, and the dealer was asking $24,995. Craig immediately pulled into the dealership, talked them down to $23k cash, then zipped over to a nearby bank branch to get a cashier’s check. Before he knew it, he was the owner of a new (to him) Supra. Only, he had forgotten that he drove a company car to the dealership and had to call a coworker to help him get the car home.
These are the first modifications Craig did to the Supra
As it appeared on screen, the Fast and Furious Supra featured a grocery list of performance parts. However, when Craig first got the car, he did not throw an entire catalog’s worth of parts at it right away. According to Lieberman, the first performance modification he installed was a nitrous system. Not all that surprising when you think about it. Nitrous is relatively easy to install (if you know what you’re doing), relatively cheap and provides significant power when done right.
Though, after the nitrous system is when Craig started acquiring a steady stream of modifications. The stock twin-turbo setup was replaced in favor of a large single turbo paired with several additional parts from GReddy. Before the Supra dawned the Bomex body kit seen in the film, Craig set his Supra off to Stillen, where a urethane kit body kit was fitted on with filled-in seams so that the aero kit looked like it was factory installed.
How did the Supra end up being chosen for The Fast and the Furious?
By now, you might be wondering how the Fast and Furious Supra ended up with a starring role in the first film? Once again, the story is simple but serendipitous. Craig was with his then bright yellow Supra at a local car show, a common weekend activity. At this show, he was approached by “an old white guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt.” as Lieberman described him.
The man asked him a few questions about the car, and the conversation naturally ended, and he went on his way. A week later, while in his office working for Super Street, Craig gets a phone call. It just so happens it was the same man he met at the car show just a week prior, and that man just happened to be David Marder, the transportation coordinator for the film. David met Craig at his office, saw a photo of Craig’s Supra on the wall, and the two realized they had already met. The two had a lunch meeting, and Marder shared the original script with Craig. After reading the script, Craig came back with some suggestions, and the rest was history.
There are far more details in the video above. If you’re a hardcore fan of Fast films or just enjoy a good car story, we recommend watching it. You can also check out Craig Lieberman’s YouTube channel for more videos of behind-the-scenes stories.