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1983 Toyota Celica Supra - Solid Ground

Sometimes you drift through life before you settle down.

Text By Big Mike, Photography by Nick Schultz

Many of us spend years searching for what our true calling is. Sometimes we just drift along as the current of life takes us in various directions until the right set of circumstances aligns themselves and the bigger picture comes in to focus.

When Javier Paramo was just 16, his father gave him an ’85 Sentra. Javier drove the car until he somehow managed to damage the cylinder head. Since he had no money to have it fixed by someone else, he did the job himself. So he went out and purchased a Chilton manual and jumped right in. He was able to successfully repair the car, and the rest, as they say, is history. He hasn’t stopped messing with cars since, and he currently has quite a few very intriguing projects/chassis in his possession, ranging from ’30s Fords, to a ’94 MKIV Turbo Supra, a ’97 RHD Kouki S14, and even a ’59 NSU Prinz. Don’t know what that is? Look it up; it’s a damn cool little car. As much as we look forward to seeing what Javier does with those cars, let’s focus on the ’83 Toyota Celica Supra you see before you and how it came to be.

Javier has quite a history with this vehicle; it has been in his family for many years. Javier got the vehicle that you see before you from his uncle, with whom he traded the ’85 Sentra. What were the first mods that you did to your car when you got it? Many of us started out as high school kids looking at what others at school drove, wanting to achieve the same general look. It seems that the two most common mods were a drop and a set of wheels. Javier was anxious to begin playing with his new chassis, and he began in the same place that many of us did. “The very first thing I did to the vehicle was cut the springs to lower it. I then went to the junkyard to look for some mesh wheels,” he says. “At that time mesh wheels were abundant in just about any junkyard.” Before you go judging the guy for cutting the springs to achieve a drop, remember what kind of car we are talking about here and when this was going on. It’s not exactly the most common chassis in the world, consequently aftermarket support was not (and still isn’t) very abundant, so he did what he could.

That was in 1989—24 years ago. That’s how long he has had this car. But he didn’t really focus on seriously modifying it till around 2003. Given all of the other chassis he owns, we can see why. But the car was never pushed too far to the back of his mind; he was simply biding his time. Although he wasn’t doing any actual modifications to this particular vehicle over those years, he was gathering inspiration and ideas from numerous places, formulating his vision for what the car would look like. The world-renowned Option videos and numerous Japanese magazines such as Hyper Rev and Nostalgic Hero proved to be invaluable sources of inspiration. Over the years, Javier developed quite a love for drifting, subsequently he also perused Drift Tengoku magazine. For those of you unfamiliar with that publication, it was the first automobile magazine dedicated to drifting and the art of driving sideways, and a sister publication to the famous Option and Option2 publications. Javier’s love for drifting was so strong that he decided to compete as a drifter using a Hachiroku that he had, but grew tired of that chassis and decided to drift the Celica Supra. Wanting and needing a certain amount of power, Javier turned to his buddy, the one-and-only Michael Urbano (RIP) to help him swap a 2JZ into the old MA60 chassis, unheard of at that time in the States. With Urbano’s help, the car fired up and was good to go; Javier drifted the car to his heart’s content. In Japan, Drift Tengoku caught wind of how serious U.S. drifters were getting, so they decided to come to the United States and sanction an invite-only drift competition. Javier had the privilege of competing against some of the biggest names in drifting today, and this was years ago. “Some of the participants included Alex Pfeiffer, Calvin Wan, Ken Gushi, Andy Yen, Benson Hsu, Taka Aono, Hiro Sumida, and others,” Javier says. “I came in Second Place with the 2JZ-GTE Celica Supra, Andy Yen came in First, and Pfeiffer came in Third.”

With that type of passion and such a prestigious accomplishment under his belt, Javier kept up with drifting but eventually decided to take a break. “My car was not properly setup for high-speed drifts. Suspension was not available—and still isn’t—for the car, making it impossible to control. I had some offers on the table for sponsorships, but I knew drifting wasn’t going to pay the bills. I decided to take a break from drifting and get a career.” Over the following years Javier kind of drifted through life (pun intended). He worked as a graphic designer, welder, mechanic, and salesman—careers as diverse as the chassis he owns. But through it all he found his calling and locked down a career. In 2003 Javier was reunited with his high school sweetheart, who became a deputy sheriff shortly after they became reacquainted. “That’s what motivated me to pursue law enforcement,” he says. Javier has been working as a police officer since 2008.

With the stability of an established career, Javier was able to focus on building the MKII. “I now had the money to restore the Celica Supra. The 2JZ that was in the car had experienced some crank walk, so Javier put in a 1JZ motor that he had purchased years ago. When it came time to wire the swap up, Javier called on Aaron from Driftmotion in Upland, CA, and he expertly took care of it. With the heart situated, Javier focused on the exterior of the vehicle. In Japan, there is no Celica Supra, it is known as the “Celica XX.” So Javier purchased the XX badges and then designed and made the decals that you see on the side of the doors to tie in the old-school look and the white paint, accenting beautifully against the rare Hayashi Racing Epsilon mesh wheels that the vehicle rests on.

“I am now a father of three and still own every one of those projects and hope to one day complete them all,” he says. With his rich automotive background and long-lasting love for all things automotive, we look forward to seeing what Javier is able to create with those projects as well.

Behind The Build

Javier Paramo


Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Law Enforcement

Build Time.
9 years


Shifter carts, car building, playing sports, car collecting

“This car and I have been through too much together. We’ve been together since 1989.”

1983 Toyota Celica Supra

Engine ’91 Supra 1JZ-GTE; Driftmotion motor mounts, intercooler; ARC blow-off valve; Gates timing belt; homemade intake, intercooler piping; Bosch fuel pump from a Mercedes-Benz; A’pexi Dunk exhaust; NGK Platinum spark plugs; MKIII Supra aluminum radiator; silicone radiator hoses

Drivetrain W58 LSD transmission from ’95 Supra; 6-puck clutch

Suspension Homemade front coilovers with 10kg springs and TRD SW20 struts; 8kg ST springs with 8-way adjustable TRD rear struts; Cusco front camber plate, front strut bar, rear strut bar; Energy Suspension endlinks

Wheels/Tires Hayashi Racing Epsilon (16x10 front, 16x11 rear); Falken Ziex tires (205/45-16 front, 205/55-16 rear)

Brakes Brembo slotted/drilled front and rear rotors; PBR ceramic front and rear brake pads

Exterior Erebuni Shogun body kit; homemade graphics; front over-fenders custom fit to rear quarter-panel

Interior Recaro front seats; homemade seat brackets, interior rewrapping; white indiglo gauge cluster; Tom’s steering wheel; AE86 hub; Dos Equis beer tap shift knob

Audio Eclipse AVN5500 head unit; Pioneer front and rear speakers; Sony Xplod subwoofers; Lanzar Optidrive amplifiers; Alpine 3331 EQ

Gratitude “Aaron and staff at Driftmotion for all of the parts, time, and help.”

By Big Mike
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Travis Zabicki
Travis Zabicki

Because its not a 89-90 I own the celica gt and gts version but cant remember but think it ended at 1985 or 86 or something close

Jared Fylystyn
Jared Fylystyn

why didn't you ust call it a 89-90 supra the celica looked the same but had a much smaller engine package first was a Mitsubishi conquest tsi see if you can even find 1 of those around anymore came with a widebody kit and twin turbo setup straight from the factory back then .if I could find one now i'd buy it again they had bad or no intercoolers so ev1 who owned one and didn't add oil each time you drove it pretty much just ended up cracking the engine block or seizing the pistons in it lol mine blew the fk up at 120mph at 5am in the freezing cold winter on my way to new jersey going to work while driving on the highway lol

Jose Ortiz
Jose Ortiz

Never seen it..was it a celica body with a supra engine???!!!

Nikk Yaj
Nikk Yaj

I miss mine, metalic blue with some deep dish triple gold roadsters on it

Christian Ilagan
Christian Ilagan

My first car was an 82 p type traded a pit bike for it and drove it from Sacramento ca to Oregon should have never traded it.... -_-

Justin Hyatali
Justin Hyatali

Remembers? I have an 82 in my garage and on the other side is my 89!

Javier Corbins
Javier Corbins

Yea Howard..I almost shared this earlier. .that kit turned it up a notch.

Donovan Kyun Shin
Donovan Kyun Shin

God I miss my old 85. Hopefully my 75 Celica coupe trade falls through so I can have my second mkii and this time will be a 5m turbo instead of a hi comp na

Jason Connors
Jason Connors

I own an 85 Celica Supra P type. JDM 6MGE with a new turbo manifold from a 7MGTE and an R154 Transmission. The rear is stock but not much longer. Will have it rebuilt by Wier. Far from completed but these cars are underestimated.

Kurtis Garner
Kurtis Garner

Have a mk4 96 but I do like these. Respect for the 1jz.

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