The modern Supra 3.0 might out-accelerate and out-handle it, but the Toyota Supra Mk4 is still one of the most iconic ‘90s sports cars. So, it should come as no surprise that clean examples are commanding high prices at auctions and private sales. However, it’s one thing to read about six-figure Supras—it’s another to see one live in the metal. But that’s exactly what happened at the 2021 Chicago Mecum auction, where I witnessed a JDM 1994 Toyota Supra cross the block for over $100,00.
The modified 1994 Toyota Supra Mk4 was the JDM import highlight of the 2021 Mecum Chicago auction
There were 920 lots at the 2021 Mecum auction in Chicago, including several pieces of automotive memorabilia. However, while there were plenty of modern and classic American and European cars, Japanese models were thin on the ground. Only six examples—seven, if you count the Geo Tracker—crossed the block over the three-day event:
- 1985 and 1986 Nissan 300ZX
- 1994 Toyota Supra Mk4
- 2003 Nissan 350Z Touring
- 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
- 2007 Subaru Impreza
Of these six, the 2007 Impreza sold for the smallest amount: $7150. The 300ZXs were the next-cheapest cars, with the 1985 example commanding $15,400 and the 1986 one $16,500. Interestingly, despite 2004 being one of the most desirable years for the Impreza WRX, the STi went for slightly less than the 350Z. The former sold for $23,100 while the latter went for $26,000.
However, the 1994 Toyota Supra Mk4 left them all behind. It crossed the block with a final bid of $102,300.
Why did this JDM 1994 Toyota Supra Mk4 sell for $102,300?
As noted earlier, classic Toyota Supras, especially Mk4s, have gone up in value significantly in recent years. That’s partially due to Fast and Furious’s influence and partially due to its 2JZ inline-six engine’s legendary durability.
Hagerty describes it as “one of the most durable and potent cannons to ever crawl out of the human brain’s primordial creative ooze.” These engines can handle four-digit horsepower figures and massive amounts of boost, hence why many have been tuned to do just that. As a result, stock examples are particularly valuable. As are first-gen Lexus IS300s, because they, too, have 2JZs.
The 1994 Toyota Supra Mk4 at the 2021 Mecum Chicago auction wasn’t stock, though. Instead of the stock twin turbochargers, it rocks a single FSR Street Fighter single turbo kit with a Precision 6766 billet Journal turbo and a 46mm wastegate. The Mecum auctioneer didn’t say how much horsepower the engine made, but it’s likely far more than the original 320 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque. Yet even with the power increase, this car still has its OE six-speed manual.
Plus, the engine hardware isn’t the only modified thing about this 1994 Toyota Supra Mk4. It has a Defi controller, Kenwood touchscreen head unit, custom red leather upholstery, carbon-fiber TRD engine cover, carbon-fiber interior trim, and what appeared to be aftermarket speakers. It also has an aftermarket boost gauge, turbo timer, and powder-coated brake calipers. And this Toyota Supra Mk4 rides on an ISC adjustable coil-over setup with staggered 19” wheels and tires.
But these mods aren’t the only things that contributed to this Supra’s final price. Its rarity also likely had something to do with it.
For one thing, the NHTSA banned sales of the 1994 Supra—and only the 1994 model. So, if you want one, you have to import it. And by dint of being a JDM car with a clean title, this Mk4’s curb appeal is significantly higher. Also, while most Toyota Supra Mk4s sold in the US have Targa roofs, this one has a ‘Slicktop’ hardtop roof. In other words, there aren’t many Mk4s out there in this spec.
It’s by no means the most expensive Mk4 sold at auction
However, while $102,300 for a Supra might seem ridiculously high, the market says otherwise. An excellent-condition 1994 Slicktop model usually goes for $103K, Hagerty says, though fair-to-good ones are more like $40,000-$70,000. So, this 1994 car at the Mecum auction was actually par for the course, price-wise.
Plus, while this was the highest-selling JDM car at the Mecum auction, other Mk4s have sold for higher amounts. Earlier this year, for example, a 7000-mile 1995 Supra Mk4 sold for $200,000 on Bring a Trailer. And Paul Walker’s modified Supra recently went for $550,000. Also, as of this writing, JDM importer Toprank Importers has a 1993 JDM Mk4 listed for $115,000.
So, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised at how much the Mecum Supra Mk4 sold for. Maybe I should’ve been surprised that it sold for so little.
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