Florida model and TV host Jessica Barton has an ardent following on the swimsuit scene, with a slew of magazine spreads, TV commercials and party appearances to her resume. But she's also known among hot rodders for her hobby -- a custom-built 1994 Toyota Supra that ranked among the most powerful of its kind in the nation. Today, that Supra fell victim to a Florida chop shortly after it was reported stolen. While known more for her bikini work and her role in the strippers vs. the undead movie "Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!," Barton was not just an attractive face in the world of import sports car tuning, often running the Supra at drag strips and even using it as a daily driver. Last year, at the annual TX2K meetup of the country's fastest street-legal rides, Barton's Supra out-tested a fleet of tuned Nissan GT-Rs and Lamborghinis, hitting 1,165 hp on the dynometer, thanks to a combination of turbos and nitrous; on drag strips, the car had covered a quarter mile in 8.64 seconds.
The car wasn't just attractive to racers. According to Barton, thieves managed to swipe the Supra sometime between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. last Wednesday from Waterford, Fla. While auto thefts have been declining in recent years, more industrious thieves have turned to race cars and hot rods, since they're often built with more expensive parts and frequently lack the anti-theft or tracking devices built into newer models.
Barton offered a $5,000 reward for the car, but today posted to Instagram that the offer came too late, sharing a photo of Supra pieces piled in a dirt lot. "That car has been evolving over 8 years and hundreds of thousands probably invested in it," Barton said in a comment. "I could never just build another one. It's imposible to do all this again. It's a devastating loss to me."
The rarity of the go-fast pieces built into the Supra might help authorities find the guilty parties, and Barton's fans have vowed to comb the depths of Craigslist for leads. But fame may not give Barton any more justice than thousands of other chop-shop victims receive every year. Even a 1,200-hp car can't outrun some trouble.
Top photo: CarDomain/Jessica Barton via Instagram