Photo Retouch by Ryan Lugo
Car builders, far too often these days, come and go. If you've been able to maintain a name for yourself for at least 10 years (and counting), consider yourself far more than being lucky—you're a privileged few whose work clearly stands as a testament to quality and reputation that is unsurpassable. My longtime friends Eric and Marc Kozuleh fit this description perfectly. They're twin brothers by way of New York City who typically steer clear of the spotlight, yet they work tirelessly (and continuously) to execute some of the finest project cars to take on paved surfaces. Eric, aka GRIM, is the more vocal of the pair, while Marc, aka KOZ, often lurks in the shadows. To give you a quick rundown of their professional highlight reel: earned their stripes early on with Vinny Ten at the Performance Factory and one of the East Coast's most infamous drag Supras; joined World Racing with Chris Rado to build one of the fastest drag Integras; and finally moved West to form Twins Turbo Motorsport, where they've picked up several high-end builds, which most recently include Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR-X Mustang. Every once in a while, they get to do lower profile (if you can call it that) stuff like this Supra.
This Supra is the breathtaking end result of a very long-term plan, one that almost didn't make it past the planning stage. The owner, Enrique Munoz, sought the help of the twins after owning the car for several years and doing the local SoCal show circuit and the occasional track event. He had followed the dynamic duo for years, admiring their work and finally had his chance to have them work on his car once they moved out west. At first it wasn't supposed to be anything crazy; certainly not what you see here, but still with high-quality parts and high attention to detail nonetheless. "We sat down with Enrique and mapped out the entire build," Grim says. "Then he disappeared for over a year. One day he calls me out of the blue and says, 'I have all the parts you need to complete the build now; let's get started.' I was like, damn, that's dedication; we can work with this guy." I'm sure you don't need to be told that the twins don't just build customized cars; you're basically contracting artists, and true art never comes cheap. If you've seen their work before (ahem, "Rad Dan" Burkett's all-black '98 Supra, which graced the cover of the June '11 issue), you know that every car they touch is one-off; there are no repeats. Except this time, with Enrique's Supra, the brothers knew they had to put in double the effort to pull off their finest Supra masterpiece yet.
Pop the hood of any turbo model JZA80 Supra and chances are the factory twin turbos have been replaced with a larger single turbo, and that's indeed the case here. But look at that engine bay, that attention to detail! Naturally, Enrique saw the last Supra the twins built on our June '11 cover and decided he'd rather go all-in instead; "He wanted something very special," Eric explains. "He's always wanted this but didn't know what that 'special' thing was until he understood that making bespoke parts is the shit!" After setting up the stock 2JZ-GTE motor with a massive Precision turbo, along with all the good appropriate fixins (like a Full Race header and downpipe, HKS cams, HypterTune intake and throttle body, and a custom V-mounted intercooler system which, by the way, took painstaking hours to complete, mostly because Marc fabbed up wood blocks to hand-form the end tanks on the intercooler). Next, the twins brought in the same fabricator who did the sheetmetal work on the RTR-X 'Stang, Mark DeLong, to work his magic—and, of course, he nailed it, again. Though the engine still retains stock internals, the twins outfitted the car with a MoTeC M820 engine management system, tuning the car to 744 hp with 610 lb-ft. Enrique, an artist in his own right, designed his own engine bay scheme, Photoshopping several different color and texture variants until settling on the current design.
With a picture-perfect engine bay finished, the body of the Supra was next in line, and Enrique certainly went balls-out, sourcing a very rare Ridox body kit from Japan. Ridox, for those wondering, is part of Manabu "Max" Orido's (one of Japan's best racers and drifters) line of special aero components for Varis, one that Orido personally oversees in terms of materials selection, fitment, and overall design. Enrique tracked these parts down from Orido personally during a visit to the 2002 Tokyo Auto Salon and had all of the parts shipped in overnight from Japan. Most of the pieces on this Supra are full carbon fiber, except for the wider front fenders (they're fiberglass); the front bumper was also modified by Buddha Concept Designs and Mark DeLong to have air ducting lead up into the engine bay where the V-mount intercooler is positioned. Other exterior upgrades include Top Secret's carbon hood and rear diffuser, Ganador side mirrors, and respraying the car with a brilliant coat of Ferrari Rosso Corsa paint.
Meant to be more of a stunner, Enrique's Supra still manages to employ the best, even if we're talking the basic necessities. The suspension has been upgraded with HKS Hipermax coilovers and TRD sway bars, matched to classic Volk Racing SF Challenge wheels and a Brembo big brake system. Inside, the look might feel minimal, but maybe that's done purposely; the instrument cluster has been fitted with custom LEDs and a TRD tachometer, the Recaros custom leather-wrapped and accented with red stitching. The twins had long wanted to do something crazy to a project, which literally involved a full breakdown and detailing of the undercarriage of a car. "We hand-finished every arm and deburred them," Eric continues. "Then we added new bearings, painted or cleared them. Detailed the rubber boots, removed every nut/bolt and cleaned them before having them cadium plated. It looks silly under the car."
Yes, these are the extremes the twins will go for their customers. But remember, they're not just "building a car" for you. They're delivering a masterpiece. And you'd better believe it's worth every penny.