in Overlanding / by Nick Jaynes
As you’ve no doubt already gathered, a sports car is quite a departure from what we typically feature here. After all, this topic is found under the category “Overland”. And while this rig will not see any off-road overland action, it still manages to embody what we care about most: adventure and originality. With those things in mind, the November Rig of the Month belongs to Shay Bisconer’s 1995 Toyota JZA80 Supra Turbo.
A need for speed
When Shay got her Supra in 2009, it was all white with an automatic transmission and no turbo. A sporty option for running errands, but a far cry from a Talladega dream machine. So her first order of business was to convert it to a six-speed manual transmission with a bolted up turbocharger. The Borg Warner S366 turbo charger is matched by many other engine performance upgrades, including FIC 1000-cc fuel injectors, 525lph fuel pump, and a custom four-inch turbo-back exhaust system. For those without detailed knowledge of Toyota performance, let’s just say these components make it fast… really fast. You might even say, Supra fast!
Finishing out the upgrades, Shay bolted up a set of Kansei Roku wheels wrapped in Falken RT660 tires, which given all that turbocharged power, was needed to keep the Supra firmly in touch with the pavement.
Cosmetically, the Supra has had a few makeovers over the years. In fact, it’s been repainted twice, and after the second repaint, Shay added a new body kit. The purple body color you see in the images isn’t paint, however, it’s a wrap. Turns out that Shay loved wrapping her Supra so much, she opened her own body-wrapping business.
At the initial completion of the extensive build, the Supra was nothing shy of a show car; however, Shay quickly grew tired of owning a show-car queen. She wanted to drive it more than park it. This led her to take up track driving.
The regular abuse the Supra sustains from Shay’s right foot is substantial enough to warrant not one but two engine rebuilds — jobs which Shay has done herself. And, yes, before you ask, she removed the Roofnest Condor from the Supra before driving on the track.
Hitting the road in style
Shay is currently on a round-the-country road trip in the Supra. Beginning in Seattle, the trip will make stops in Las Vegas, Nevada; Colorado; Tennessee; Key West, Florida; Texas; California; and back home to Central Washington State.
In advance of the trip, knowing her beloved Supra would be chock full of her belongings, Shay sought out other sleeping arrangements. After all, the Supra isn’t very comfortable to sleep in to begin with.
Knowing she wanted a roof top tent for both aesthetics and aerodynamics, Shay homed in on Roofnest pretty quickly after watching video reviews. Shay also realized that, with Roofnest, she got a lot more features for her money than with other brands.
Not Yer Everyday Camping Rig
Saving on fuel wasn’t Shay’s only motivation for a roof top tent, though. When she was a child, she loved making blanket and pillow forts. Sleeping in her Condor gives her that same sense of comfort and security.
“The kid in me looks at the big picture here; I have a nest on top of my dream car,” Shay said. “I am doing what I love most with what I love most, traveling in my dream car.”
Now on her cross-country trip, most recently in Las Vegas, Shay gets a lot of reactions from her fellow travelers as well as passersby. Some, Shay reports, are dumbfounded by her choice to bolt a roof top tent atop a meticulously built Supra Turbo. Others love it.
On her trip, Shay has camped in KOA campgrounds, scenic turnout at rest stops, and random campsites. When she gets back to Washington, she has planned one last camp in a secluded spot near Mt. Rainer.
“Life is too short to think inside the box … I’m living my best life experiencing what I’ve dreamed about and I won’t let the options of others limit me.”
We couldn’t agree more, Shay.
If you’d like to follow along with Shay’s Supra road trip or just get a closer look at her hand-built dream car, you can find her on Instagram: @2_shay_z.
You might also like
Rig of the Month: Jesse Dehart’s Volvo XC70￼
For this month’s Rig of the Month, we check in with Jesse Dehart. We caught a glimpse of his Roofnest-topped […]
Rig of the Month: David Rees’ 1995 Land Rover Defender 130
We first stumbled upon David Rees’ white 1995 Land Rover Defender 130 at the Overland Skills Area at Overland Expo […]
Rig of the Month: Adventure Family Vans’ Mercedes Sprinter Van
Three years ago, Malcolm Judd received an assignment from his employer, the Utah Office of Tourism, that involved capturing video […]