The Supra is the brash, loud and flashy older sibling that stays out late partying, waking up in the afternoon with a hangover. The Soarer is the quiet, younger one that has a PHD and is a surgeon in the city, constantly rolling their eyes at the Supra’s shenanigans while making their parents proud. Same power plant driving the rear wheels, but with sophisticated features that the Supra never had. This 1988 Toyota Soarer is all original and unmodified sports coupe from the late 80s. It shares its platform with the third generation A70 Supra, but goes far beyond in luxury features.
MZ21s are very handsome cars with the classic coupe body style. Low, long hood and clean angled lines with two doors. Headlights are factory halogen projectors. Original ‘Made in West Germany’ Toyota wheels are wrapped in brand new tires with the original Soarer emblems in the center. Original paint is in excellent shape with only a few minor blemishes. The Soarer’s unique emblem, the winged lion, is in place on the front grill and on the rear decklid and rear mud flaps. Electronic folding side mirrors work correctly, as does the rear wiper.
Inside is where this Soarer really comes into its own. As this was one of the highest end Toyotas you could buy at the time it is packed with everything Toyota had on offer in 1988. Full leather interior including the rear seats. Opening the doors show the compound door hinge system, allowing the doors to open wider for easier entry without having to take up so much room. Full leather interior, complete with flocked surfaces throughout. Fully electronically adjustable driver’s seat and steering column. Complete digital projection instrument cluster with the exception of the mechanical odometer, showing the fantastic 33,000 km (25,000 miles). Leather steering wheel complete with both climate and stereo controls for adjusting both without taking your hands off the wheel. Center stack starts with automatic climate control on top with amazingly cold A/C. Below the tape deck is the ashtray, but installed in its place is an original Toyota ‘No Smokers Box’, a velvet insert inside of the ashtray as the original owner was a non-smoker. Above is an optional sunroof and a push-button electric dimming rearview mirror. Original floor mats are included.
Below this is the greatest technological toy of this Soarer, in the form of a small CRT touch screen monitor. From here you could watch TV (though the over the air broadcasts stopped in Japan years before they stopped here in the USA), adjust a multitude of options in the Technics stereo system, get a readout of various systems in the car, TEMS options and if you have the car raised to its ‘HIGH’ setting or not. Below this by the automatic transmission lever is the TEMS system buttons, including a ‘HIGH’ button. Pressing ‘HIGH’ raises the entire suspension of the car. The ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ buttons determine the damping force of the absorbers. ECT buttons tell the transmission to hold revs for longer depending on the mode. Behind the transmission lever is the electronic lumbar adjustment next to the air purifier controls. As far as I can tell this really just makes the inside of the car smell like lemons and I am unsure how much purifying is actually done. All of these systems are intact as they were from the factory, and all are functioning correctly. The original Toyota branded Panasonic remote is included as well. The original factory stereo in this car sounds quite good as it is an optional Technics system with separate tweeters in the doors and rear speakers. This also includes a 12 disc CD changer in the trunk.
There are minor cosmetic issues on the exterior. The interior is in good shape, but certain parts of the backing that the flock is attached to is turning into a sort of goo that is able to be scraped off. In addition the passenger side door has various bubbles underneath the flocking material as well, these issues are shown in the pictures. This is also happening in the rear passenger section in parts. The sunroof opens and closes just fine, but the mechanism to close it easily is not working correctly, meaning you can overshoot the properly ‘closed’ mode. This means it takes a bit of trial and error to get it properly closed again. It does not leak and is sealed against the elements just fine however. There is staining in the floor carpet and floor mat of the right rear passenger footwell.
This 1988 Toyota Soarer 3.0 GT Limited is the quintessential ideal of every Radwood hashtag, every ‘Remember the 80s?’ post, and is still wonderful to drive. Smooth power delivery with the turbo kicking in and hitting like Thor, few cars do highway pulls like this. Handsome without being flashy, can hustle when needed and eat mile after mile on the interstate as you blast the stereo, watching the digital RPMs climb in the instrument cluster.
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