How hard is it to find a Mk III?

finaltable

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I used to have a '90 Mk III and would like another MK III. Given the age of these cars its first stop after purchase will be a relative's auto repair shop for a thorough examination and repair/replacement of mechanical parts and interior work as needed. I can do an engine replacement if I find one needing a motor. I can fly/drive to pick it up and can trailer it if needed. My only absolute requirements are a sport roof and left hand drive. I also would prefer to not get one with a bunch of high performance mods; this is a going to be a daily driver for a commute of an hour each way.

This is the first I have gotten serious about starting to look. I am curious how often these show up available in the Classifieds. I am also curious to know if the community has back channels of people who know where one might be available. If anyone cares, I am not looking to race or beat this up. I'm almost 50 and I have a long drive every day to a good job and would like to do it in a car I enjoy driving. I am looking for a GT cruiser, not a race car.

Thanks in advance for input.
 

sinistar_xx

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Your best bet is to be open to a country-wide search, and the best tool when I was looking was AutoTempest. I focused on checking the Craigslist results compiled by AT for every state. The one I bought was located in Wisconsin, and I brought it back to Colorado. For non-local ones, you will of course want to work with a seller that is willing to answer many questions and provide lots of pics and at least a video or two. The first non-local person I contacted had a potentially decent '92, but getting good info and pics was like pulling teeth, so I moved on.
 

Piratetip

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I feel like they aren't that hard to find.
Edit: The Targa roof requirement might make this a lot harder though....

Post up a WTB thread on here or SF, see if you can find one near you through the forums.

Just look around.
Here is a clean one coming up for auction: (Not targa roof though)
 

Abe's 1987

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Glad to see another Houstonian still around here. Yeah it seems they are becoming harder to come by here in houston. I'd look into craigslist, carfax, ebay, autotrader, cargurus and the list goes on. Even look through some of the classic car sales dealers as I'll sometimes see really nice low mileage fully original mk3's on those classic car dealers. It also depends you your budget as well.
 

finaltable

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This one is located in Austin which is a few hour drive for us!

I saw that one, actually. That is a little more than I think is reasonable. Given that it isn't a Mk IV and is an automatic, not a stick, that kind of price should have under 50K miles imho.
 

sinistar_xx

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I saw that one, actually. That is a little more than I think is reasonable. Given that it isn't a Mk IV and is an automatic, not a stick, that kind of price should have under 50K miles imho.
Dealers are definitely milking the MKIV pricing trend with any MK3 they get that they think is good enough to turn over. You might actually get a better deal on ones listed on Bring a Trailer, tbh. While I'd stick to finding one from a private seller, I'd be curious to see how flexible on price the dealer is for that 1991. Wouldn't be surprised if they don't budge because "you won't find another one like this and Supras are hot right now."
 

finaltable

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Your best bet is to be open to a country-wide search, and the best tool when I was looking was AutoTempest. I focused on checking the Craigslist results compiled by AT for every state. The one I bought was located in Wisconsin, and I brought it back to Colorado. For non-local ones, you will of course want to work with a seller that is willing to answer many questions and provide lots of pics and at least a video or two. The first non-local person I contacted had a potentially decent '92, but getting good info and pics was like pulling teeth, so I moved on.
It looks like Autotempest has a few that would be acceptable. Looks like I'll start there when I am ready.
 

finaltable

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Wouldn't be surprised if they don't budge because "you won't find another one like this and Supras are hot right now."
It is amusing when people take this view. My '90 was NA and I would be hard pressed to beat many cars off the line. I think it did 0-60 in about 7 seconds. My Volvo S70 sedan was faster than the Supra.
 

Abe's 1987

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It is amusing when people take this view. My '90 was NA and I would be hard pressed to beat many cars off the line. I think it did 0-60 in about 7 seconds. My Volvo S70 sedan was faster than the Supra.
Back in that time it was a pretty fast car compared to all its competitors. I see these now days as a cruiser more so then a racer. I've loved the MKIV since I can remember and have fallen in love with these MKIII in the past 12 years. I'm on my third one and will probably be looking for a 1990 to 1992 soon. I've had two 87's and a 90. Currently on a 87 as I found it for a steal of a deal. I'm still aiming for a MKIV, but it seems to be rising out of my price range. Maybe after I finish my degree and get my professional job then I'll be able to obtain one. One can dream right? But I will never buy the MKV bmw as I've owned a bmw and will probably never get another one. High maintenance demand from those cars.
 

Piratetip

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I'd stick with the MKIII platform IMO.
The raw driving experience is unmatched with anything out there.(I have driven) That to me is the most fun, driver pushing limits of the car.
When the vehicle is in control and driver is just along for the ride its not the same anymore. It's no longer a fun ear to ear grinfest.

Something about older platforms...

I've driven crazy fast vehicles lately, they are very cool but get boring very fast.
Tesla Model S P100D, repetitive launches gave me a serious headache it's so rediculously fast.
After about an hour of driving all the fun factor wears off and you start noticing the car is basically in control, not you.
New cars just don't have a soul anymore, they feel like appliances to me.
 

Abe's 1987

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I'd stick with the MKIII platform IMO.
The raw driving experience is unmatched with anything out there.(I have driven) That to me is the most fun, driver pushing limits of the car.
When the vehicle is in control and driver is just along for the ride its not the same anymore. It's no longer a fun ear to ear grinfest.

Something about older platforms...

I've driven crazy fast vehicles lately, they are very cool but get boring very fast.
Tesla Model S P100D, repetitive launches gave me a serious headache it's so rediculously fast.
After about an hour of driving all the fun factor wears off and you start noticing the car is basically in control, not you.
New cars just don't have a soul anymore, they feel like appliances to me.
I was about to say tesla is the main car I'd say is fully in control. It may not be as fast as a 89 1jz with 1500 hp I drove ahwile back. It was crazy fast and yes I felt in control. I still love the dedign of the MKIV.
 

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I drove a friend's newer STI. Objectively, it was better in most every regard. Faster, sharper, etc... But I was bored after a few minutes.

The mk3 (and I'm sure mk4 and many other similar era turbo cars) are just a blast to drive. Kinda like Nirvana, in my mind. Not perfect enough to feel over-produced, but good enough to be enjoyable.

OP: AutoTempest is good. I'd just be sure you're going into this with realistic expectations. It might cost $15-20k to buy a nice example and even then, be prepared for some level of restoration/repair required. Many parts are very difficult to find so buy the most complete and cared for example you can find.
 
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Piratetip

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Yeah agreed.
If you have specific requests the vehicle must have, expect to pay the coin to get it.
Or wait with a keen eye out for some time to pick one up for less....

Daily driving one to work is going to require $$$ on maintenance as YotaMD mentioned.
 

finaltable

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Daily driving one to work is going to require $$$ on maintenance as YotaMD mentioned.
How is this going to be expensive? It is a 1990's era Toyota. If I get a NA with a standard there is no reason it isn't good for 200K miles with regular maintenance.
 
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Piratetip

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Seriously?
It's a 30 year old car.
Would you like me to compile a list of non-engine maintenance related parts I have replaced on my Supra in the last 15 years?

Of course it's good for over 200k.
 
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Piratetip

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OP missed out on this vehicle.
 

sinistar_xx

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At first I was wondering if that was the $14K one in Texas (red interior vs blue in the Supra from your link) and starting to feel bad with all the things wrong with it. But nah, that's a pretty good score for only $4,000.
 

finaltable

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It's okay. These appear to show up often enough that another will come along soon. I would have taken that one though.
 

finaltable

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point him back to my list of engine repair costs
This is one of the reasons I am open to a car with no engine. If a good mechanic is told "put a 1JZ or 1UZ in this" and can start with a rebuilt engine from the beginning I don't have to worry about constantly fixing stuff.

The way I look at this is I can buy a newer used car that is not what I want or I can spend some money on a Supra platform and put several thousand into it and make it "fresh" mechanically. I put 500 miles a week on my car so I am going to kill the value of whatever I buy. Things don't break because a design is old, they break because they are worn out. I do know, however, that a newer car is going to have a whole lot of modern car problems with all the gadgets that can fail. A Mark III Supra is simple in comparison to anything made in 2015.
 
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h20dies

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This is one of the reasons I am open to a car with no engine. If a good mechanic is told "put a 1JZ or 1UZ in this" and can start with a rebuilt engine from the beginning I don't have to worry about constantly fixing stuff.

The way I look at this is I can buy a newer used car that is not what I want or I can spend some money on a Supra platform and put several thousand into it and make it "fresh" mechanically. I put 1000 miles a week on my car so I am going to kill the value of whatever I buy. Things don't break because a design is old, they break because they are worn out. I do know, however, that a newer car is going to have a whole lot of modern car problems with all the gadgets that can fail. A Mark III Supra is simple in comparison to anything made in 2015.

Sounds like a good plan, find a clean shell or either way a cheap supra and do an engine swap. If you're not already apart of all the mk3 supra groups on facebook I would search them out, there are ALOT and they are 100x busier than these forums. They sell cars/parts there all the time.
 

Abe's 1987

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Sounds like a good plan, find a clean shell or either way a cheap supra and do an engine swap. If you're not already apart of all the mk3 supra groups on facebook I would search them out, there are ALOT and they are 100x busier than these forums. They sell cars/parts there all the time.
Ive always thought about joining the Facebook to intermingle with other supra brothers or sisters but told myself I'll never join Facebook. It's more of a personal thing for me. I know I know I must get with the times but find it hard to bring myself to joining facebook.
 
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suprarx7nut

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How is this going to be expensive? It is a 1990's era Toyota. If I get a NA with a standard there is no reason it isn't good for 200K miles with regular maintenance.
It is not a Camry. The 7M is a high performance engine. As is a 1JZ or 2JZ. The 7M is very likely to need a proper head gasket repair job, NA or Turbo. Expect to pay a shop $2-5k for that work with a looooong wait time.

For it's performance and age, it's reliable, sure, but it's a lot more work than a Camry (in most cases).

I advise going into ownership in 2020 with the assumption that you will need to do a full rebuild on the engine. Budget $3k for that. Transmissions often have a looming failure (bearing or clutch packs). Budget another $2k for that. Wire harnesses are often bad. $1500 for that.

This is one of the reasons I am open to a car with no engine. If a good mechanic is told "put a 1JZ or 1UZ in this" and can start with a rebuilt engine from the beginning I don't have to worry about constantly fixing stuff.

The way I look at this is I can buy a newer used car that is not what I want or I can spend some money on a Supra platform and put several thousand into it and make it "fresh" mechanically. I put 1000 miles a week on my car so I am going to kill the value of whatever I buy. Things don't break because a design is old, they break because they are worn out. I do know, however, that a newer car is going to have a whole lot of modern car problems with all the gadgets that can fail. A Mark III Supra is simple in comparison to anything made in 2015.
I think the number of engine swaps that end up being as reliable as the OEM engine and components is relatively small. If trouble-free driving is your goal and you're not going to be the one wrenching, I would reconsider that approach. An OEM-level swap is probably going to run $10k+

Ive always thought about joining the Facebook to intermingle with other supra brothers or sisters but told myself I'll never join Facebook. It's more of a personal thing for me. I know I know I must get with the times but find it hard to bring myself to joining facebook.
I've become more active lately, but it's still just sooooo fleeting. 95% of the content is a 15 second read on a post and then a few dozen unhelpful 3 word comment replies. The quality of written content is a small fraction of the forums. It's good for staying "up to speed" on the market and product rarity and launches, but for research and knowledge sharing it's pretty much worthless. You're not missing much.
 

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They aren't a Ferrari motor either.
He mentioned NA with std transmission.
A *good*, *stock* rebuild should see him 100k easy enough if he isn't chasing big power.
I would keep it bone stock with as many genuine bits as I could get my hands on. Maybe add MHG, ARPs & rod bolts if inspired but not really necessary for an NA that isn't being thrashed.
Rebuild the w58 too, all new hoses, rad, starter, alt, etc. You could make it pretty reliable but I would probably still want to have access to another car just in case it's off the road temporarily.

However if I were doing 1000 miles a week I'd probably choose something more modern myself....
 
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finaltable

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Okay, so I have basically two situations.

1. Project car need an engine. The only real choices are 7M-GE or 1JZ-GTE because the A70 came with both from the factory so the 1JZ isn't a Frankensupra like a 2JZ or 1UZ from an SC400 would be.

2. Running car but has 150K+ miles on it. Now the question is whether to rebuild the existing engine or put a low mileage 7M-GE JDM in it.

If my goal is most reliable daily driver Mk III and I can put a minimum of $10-12K into this, what route would y'all take? Do I get a $7-8K running car and have a lot of work done on the equivalent of a 100K service or do I just plan on doing a drive train replacement?

Remember, a trusted relative whose clients have everything from Honda & Ford to Porsche & Mercedes is going to be doing the work on this. I am going to get conscientious work at a reasonable price on the labor. Most of my money will be spent on parts.
 
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sinistar_xx

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How does each compare as far as body and interior condition? If one is significantly better than the other, that would favor heavily for me, especially since body and interior parts are a challenge to replace or restore.

For option two, does it have an extensive service history available, i.e., head gasket repair already done? And can you do a PPI on it? Because if it shows a healthy compression test on all cylinders, I personally wouldn't bother with a rebuild or JDM engine until totally necessary. My '89 had 124K miles when I bought it, but was super clean inside and out, had a stack of service records, and had a healthy compression test, so all I've been doing is replacing all the worn out bits you'd expect on a car that old.
 
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h20dies

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10-12k you could find a jz swapped supra that would be very reliable and more fun to drive. That's what I would do personally.
 

suprarx7nut

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Okay, so I have basically two situations.

1. Project car need an engine. The only real choices are 7M-GE or 1JZ-GTE because the A70 came with both from the factory so the 1JZ isn't a Frankensupra like a 2JZ or 1UZ from an SC400 would be.

2. Running car but has 150K+ miles on it. Now the question is whether to rebuild the existing engine or put a low mileage 7M-GE JDM in it.

If my goal is most reliable daily driver Mk III and I can put a minimum of $10-12K into this, what route would y'all take? Do I get a $7-8K running car and have a lot of work done on the equivalent of a 100K service or do I just plan on doing a drive train replacement?

Remember, a trusted relative whose clients have everything from Honda & Ford to Porsche & Mercedes is going to be doing the work on this. I am going to get conscientious work at a reasonable price on the labor. Most of my money will be spent on parts.
Chose the car based on chassis, body and interior. Drivetrain is easy to fix. The rest, not so much. An interior re-upholstery could cost you more than a fully refreshed motor and trans. A good paint job is $10k+. A corner cutting paint job is $5k.

If you end up rebuilding the motor, I say go 7MGTE. The GE is perhaps a tiny fraction more reliable (strictly for the lack of turbo and plumbing), but also far less enjoyable. If you're rebuilding it and going for a stock rebuild, the GTE is near as makes no difference as reliable and about twice as good. It'll also hold more value in a well-kept car than the 7MGE so it might actually be the wiser financial move.

Really clean turbo mk3's will continue to climb in value. The GEs will just be tagging along for the ride a few steps behind.
 

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Impressive! However, I don't believe it has an LSD, which was for the "Sport Package" in 1988, which I have. It doesn't have the tell-tale headlight nozzles. This one probably also does not have ABS.

And, the head gasket is just waiting to go.
 

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Impressive! However, I don't believe it has an LSD, which was for the "Sport Package" in 1988, which I have. It doesn't have the tell-tale headlight nozzles. This one probably also does not have ABS.

And, the head gasket is just waiting to go.
Is the sport package have ABS? "Hum" I didn't know that,..no headlight nozzle,I didn't notice learned something today.
 

Asterix

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(from my failing memory) Sport Package = non-turbo, headlight squirters, ABS, 4.3 LSD, TEMS. Mine has a manual transmission. I don't know if you could get the Sport Package with an auto trans, but I suspect not.

ABS was still an option in 1988.