Mark Furlonge is 28, lives in Coconut Creek, Florida, and works for Alamo Rental Car as a travel coordinator. That means that he’s used to putting his customers into the right car. When it came time to choose his own transportation, he used his talents to choose the perfect car for himself. Toyota’s radical new 2000 Celica GTS had all of the performance and custom possibilities that he was looking for. Mark especially liked it because the car’s lines were so well suited to the Euro look, his favorite style of customizing. This is only Mark’s second car and his first custom, but you’d never know it.
His unique Celica has all of the right stuff and has been a consistent winner since he started showing it. Taking First in his class at the Lowrider show in Miami, Florida, and a second in Tampa, Florida, the blue Euro is as quick as it is good looking. He guaranteed the right mix of performance and style when he brought the factory option list into play, including many of the Rod Millen upgrade items that were designed exclusively for the Celica.
Beginning with the 18-inch Giovanna Kyoto wheels, Mark liked the look of the wheels and knew that the chrome would bring out the silver in the bright new graphics, soon to be applied. For a sleeker profile and better handling, the car was lowered 1.5 inches with Eibach springs. The combination of new springs, larger diameter rims and the Yokohama Prada tires made a considerable improvement in the Celica. Mark has plans to improve it even more with a set of coil-overs scheduled for the future.
Graphics by Mary was the next step, changing the look of the spectra mica blue car dramatically. The radical designs are part of the many accessories offered by his favorite accessory shop, Speed and Truck World in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The initial design took some time to come up with, beginning with the car’s name, “The Intruder,” worked into the design on the hood. Windswept silver graphics adorn the sides and trunk for a unique exterior view. There are even a few stray bullet holes in keeping with the Intruder theme! Dave was in charge of the artistry. Future plans call for the decals to be replaced with candy paint graphics.
VVTLI technology went into the new Lexus 2.5-liter, 195-hp engine under the hood making it a very hot performer, while the six-speed transmission added even more fun. The engine got even quicker thanks to the new Rod Millen intake (with a K&N filter) and the new Rod Millen catback exhaust, a combination that bumps the horsepower to approximately 205. The polished intake, header, valve cover and strut bar contrast nicely with the factory painted components as well as the neon accents that add to the nighttime fun.
The body kit, also from Millen, uses specially designed fiberglass side skirts and a urethane front spoiler. TRD was responsible for the unusual headlight covers that create the distinctive front end. Mark chose the aggressive GT2 rear wing from APR to continue the competition look. The body pieces were installed by his friends at Mulinux Autobody in Fort Lauderdale.
Choosing the right options from the factory means that a lot of the customizing work can be done for you and Mark used the same approach with the interior. He chose the special leather option seats from Toyota and got the custom racing pedals as part of the package. And, although factory equipment is quite good, there are still some areas where aftermarket accessories are still the best choice. The TRD carbon fiber kit, used throughout the interior, maintains the competition theme.
The stereo improvements began with a new Pioneer FHP8800 full-tilt head unit, playing CDs, tapes and AM/FM stereo. The 600-watt Crossfire amplifier, installed in the custom enclosure in the trunk, puts out enough power to produce clean, loud concert hall sounds. Factory door and dash speakers were used for the mids and highs while three 8-inch Bazooka tubes in the trunk create some awesome bass. Neon in the trunk adds to the fun. Finally, a Python 1500 ESP alarm system keeps the car and it options everything secure.
The completed Celica is great fun to drive and it is both active and successful on the show scene. Special thanks to Solo Creations, Speed and Truck World, and Mulinux Autobody for their help in making the Intruder the show winner that it has become. Mark is a proud new member of Solo Creations C.C. and enjoys showing his car with his friends.
Owner: Mark Furlonge
Vehicle: 2000 Toyota Celica GT
City/State: Coconut Creek, Florida
Club Creations C.C.
Engine: 3.2-liter 4-cylinder
Setup: Eibach 1.5-inch lowering springs
Tires: P225/40-ZR18 Yokohama Prada
Wheels: 18-inch Giovanna Kyoto