Project cars are always fun - and as much as I like the dust-off-and-drive-it barn find, I enjoy the clearly neglected basket cases more. Cars like this unloved Toyota Supra Turbo make the art of fixing up a car a joy, if only for the fact that even a turd can shine like diamond with enough elbow grease.

This 1987 Toyota Supra is a car that is exactly as old as I am, and has fared about as well as a car can if it was left outside for the better part of three decades. It’s beaten, bruised, battered, but it’s also a bargain, and here’s why. It has a mostly clean body, other than needing some paint and light body work on replaceable panels. It has the extremely stout 7M-GTE 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine and a manual transmission, known in Supra lore as the R154, or the five speed that can handle a metric shit-ton of power.

With Mark 4 Supras tilting the financial scales at near six figures for a pristine example, these models are likely due to appreciate because while they are more aesthetically dated, it’s a great example of Japanese reliability and overengineering in the ‘80s.


Think about it like this: if you laid off the daily $5 lattes for a year, you’d be able to afford this awesome project car, that you could potentially drift, autocross, drag, or rally if you wanted. This particular car doesn’t currently run, with the seller describing an alleged “MAF problem.” I wouldn’t trust that diagnosis, but barring a complete frame failure, there isn’t anything on this car that couldn’t be taken care of with a set of wrenches and a few good nights parts hunting on Craigslist.

Clearly it’s not clean and it doesn’t pretend to be. However, I like that even in its derelict state, it’s damn honest. It’s a great platform if you’re going to throw away the interior and start fresh with a blank slate and an amazing drivetrain. Hell, you could perform a plug-and-play swap with the amazing JDM 1JZ-GTE engine that’s one of the most underrated powerplants of this, or any other generation for relatively cheap.


I might bid on this because I’m a glutton for punishment and I haven’t had a truly needy project car in a while, but if you want to beat me to it, by all means - go for it.

Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes and makes videos about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. You can also follow him on Twitterand Facebook. He won’t mind.