You read that right: The first 2020 Toyota Supra sports coupe to roll off the assembly line sold for a whopping $2.1 million last weekend at Barrett-Jackson's annual charity auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, making it the priciest Japanese car ever to run across the block.
If you’re wondering why someone would pay so much for a Supra, you’re not alone. “I’ve never seen anyone pay a couple million for a car just because they believe in a charity,” says McKeel Hagerty, whose namesake firm in Traverse City, Michigan, sells vintage-auto insurance, tracks classic car values and conducts driver-owner surveys.
Before Saturday, the highest price captured by a Supra was $199,000 for the stunt car from the blockbuster film “Fast and Furious.”
You have to put the purchase in context, says Hagerty: “First, Japanese sports cars across the board—different makes and model years—are very much in favor right now.” However, more importantly, “there can only be one Serial Number 1,” he says, making the Supra even more desirable.
The rebirth of the Toyota Supra has been a long time coming. The original disappeared from the U.S. market in the late 1990s after gaining a cult following as a high-performance hatchback coupe. Toyota President Akio Toyoda made it his pet project to bring the swift two-door back into the fold.
“Driving enthusiasts can look forward to an exhilarating blend of power, precision, and agility thanks to a rear-wheel drive design that honors Toyota sports car heritage with its low center of gravity and optimal weight balance,” according to the Supra press release distributed at the car’s unveiling last week at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The 2020 Supra shares a lot with the latest BMW Z4 roadster. The chassis, 3.0-liter turbo straight-six engine, and the eight-speed automatic gearbox are all sourced from the Bavarian automaker. However, each has been performance-tuned by the Japanese automaker. Toyota reports zero-to-60 mph acceleration in 4.1 seconds.
The winning bid at Barrett-Jackson was submitted by Jeanette and John Staluppi, owners of the Car of Dreams museum in Palm Beach, Florida, and the third largest private dealership group in the U.S.
The car will have a unique VIN ending in 20201 and dash plaque to indicate its first-to-roll-off-the-assembly-line status. It will be finished in matte gray with matte black wheels and, to make it stand out gloss red wing mirrors and red leather interior with carbon fiber inserts.
The Staluppi’s will also receive the racing suit, gloves, and helmet used to by Toyoda’s to test the car, a VIP track day that includes a personalized racing suit, passes to the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR race, and a chance to drive the pace car with Michael Waltrip.
Proceeds from the sale were split between the American Heart Association and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, a charity for post-911 impacted veterans and their families.
The Supra wasn't the only charity car to fetch seven-figures at the Barrett-Jackson auction. In total, 16 charity vehicles raised $9.6 million. Highlights include the first 2019 Ford GT Heritage brought in 2.5 million for the United Way, the first 2020 Ford Mustang GT 500 captured $1.1 million for JDRF, and a 1981 Jeep CJ7 Custom SUV went for $1,310,000 benefiting the Gary Sinise Foundation.