One of the tastiest and quickest Thais around. We’re not talking tom yum soup or red curry, rather a titanium-clad MR2 Turbo…
What is it that causes us to lust after having the only one of its kind in the world? Is it that magic allure of rarity? Knowing we have the only one makes it, and by default, us, more special. Or is it the human instinct that we want to shine or be somewhat different among the crowd? There’s a certain appeal with going against the grain of society from time to time.
In regards to cars, we modify our cars to stand out among the sea of horrid ecoboxes. For us enthusiasts, the way we modify our cars is the perfect way of expressing our individualism. So, to understand why Smicha Momm Thira had such high aspirations for his 1992 Toyota MR2 SW20, all you have to do is spend a couple hours with Momm and hear his story out.
Momm has been expressing himself through cars for well over 20 years and has always sought to have one of the more unique, and powerful, cars to roam the streets of Bangkok. The Thai government is incredibly strict on imports and enforces a severe penalty on cars and parts, to encourage people to buy inside Thailand and stimulate their economy. Due to this, a lot of enthusiasts turn to Hondas and one of Momm’s first cars was a Civic EG6 that was pushing around 400whp to the front tires. Even by today’s standards, that is an absurd amount of power for a FWD car to handle.
Realising this, Momm wanted his next platform to not only handle that kind of power, but be able to take corners for those late-night drives around the highway that loops around Bangkok in a similar way the Shutoku loops around Tokyo. Thus, the MR2’s mid-engine and rear-wheel drive platform made for an excellent candidate. Right away there was one major concern Momm had about his SW20. The weight. “Being around 1,300kgs, the car is pretty heavy,” he says. “So I wanted to make sure everything I add to it is strong, but lightweight as well.”
Heavy usually isn’t the word that comes to mind when you think about the small Japanese car, but Momm was after a crazy power-to weight ratio goal. So there’s more titanium on this SW20 than most of us have ever seen! Almost everything you can think of is titanium. “There’s more titanium on this SW20 than most of us have ever seen!” Momm was after a crazy power-to-weight ratio goal…
Want to know more? Check out the full feature on Smicha Momm Thira’s wide arch MR2 in Fast Car magazine issue 387 on sale now in all good shops, the Fast Car online shop or alternatively download Fast Car magazine 387 now.