This Supra 2JZ-Swapped 1973 Chevrolet Impala Donk Is a Cultural Crossover
And the award for most unexpected engine swap of 2019 goes to...
It's been over five years since Fast and Furious star Paul Walker tragically passed away, but his spirit has never left us. It lives on in a billion-dollar movie franchise he helped create. It lives on in the numerous charity foundations he founded. And it lives on in outlandish Toyota Supra-based projects he inspired like this 2JZ-swapped 1973 Chevrolet Impala donk.
The fourth-generation Toyota Supra had already been discontinued North America when the car's star turn in 2001's The Fast and the Furious helped launch it into the wider public consciousness. Walker himself owned one, a white 1993 turbo coupe, so it's no surprise people associate him with the Supra. What is a surprise is seeing its storied 3.0-liter inline-six 2JZ-GTE turbo engine under the hood of a good ol' fashioned donk.
Traditionally, the term "donk" applies strictly to a Chevrolet Impala or Caprice from 1971 to 1976 with a raised suspension, gigantic rims, and a custom paint job. There's nothing traditional about this build, though. YouTube channel KandyonChrome tracked down this unholy creation, owned by a gentleman named Craig—but as he says in the video, you can call him the black Paul Walker.
Along with hi-risers, slabs, boxes, and every other play on lifting an old-school American sedan, donks are about the show, not the go. These cars are designed first and foremost for low-speed cruising. Engine swaps, if they happen at all, usually take the form of a modern V8 like a GM LSX, which is why seeing a sparkling 2JZ tuned to 760 horsepower under the hood of Craig's 1973 Chevrolet Impala is so striking.
"I like to do things different... I'm just hoping to surprise the streets with something new and something crazy, and influence others to do the same," he tells the interviewer.
If seeing the engine is a shock, then to hear it is to experience true cognitive dissonance. The video shows several full-power launches, with the brown Impala hard top squatting back on its haunches, the turbos spooling up, and that inline-six screaming to the redline. It almost sounds like someone dubbed the engine audio from a drag-built Toyota Supra over the clip. But fear not—the 2JZ donk is real, and it looks quick.
Craig hints that he anticipates blowback from fans of Supras and old-school donks alike, who have never had common cause to unite over anything. But the draw of "easy, cheap power" from the overbuilt 2JZ engine was too much to resist. The engine is mostly stock, running 28 pounds of boost on pump gas to hit that 760 hp figure. In terms of obstacles, wiring was apparently a nightmare, making navigating this particular cross-cultural rubicon look downright easy.
"So, a donk and a Supra are about 800 pounds [apart], so I was like f**k it, man, I'm gonna do what I like, and I'm not gonna do what everybody else tells me to do," he says.
There's no denying that donks have a mixed reputation in the car world. But a donk with the heart of Paul Walker inside? Now that's something we can all get behind.