The LFA not withstanding, Lexus has never been known for ball-flapping performance, and that rep goes for the SC300 as well. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe SC isn't exactly stock however, and you're going to need to decide at what price this cool car's ball flapping should begin.
Just because you can, doesn't necessarily mean you should. That was the message that rang through loud and clear when it came to yesterday's cheap seats 1988 BMW 750iL. Birther hips, and what looked like an Earl of Scheib paint job outweighed the car's low-low price, and it went down in a 60% Crack Pipe loss.
Today's contender has also seen some customization since leaving the factory. All that however is hidden under the hood, while visually, it assures that no one will know its turbocharged secrets.
The Lexus SC300 and its V8 brother, the SC400, were derivations of the Toyota Supra platform, imbuing the Rowdy Roddy Piper Toyota with unheard of levels of class and fancy pants-ness. Sold as the Soarer in Japan, the first-gen SCs were designed in California specifically for the U.S. market, and were sold here under the upscale Lexus brand.
This 1999 SC300 looks totally unassuming from the outside. It also looks a damn-sight better than most of the SCs I see rolling around these days. The paint looks great in the pics, and the headlights don't seem to possess the miasma of age that invariably afflicts most of these, and which can make the car look like the Mohel you DON'T choose.
Even the alloys and tires look appropriately sized and well-matched in appearance for this classy coupe. If I had to dun the SC300's styling in any way, I'd bring up the fact that the added grille on the later models like this made the car look a little too much like a Celica.
On to the interior and in there everything reinforces Lexus' rep for building a quality product. The only issue in here is that the wood on the steering wheel doesn't match the wood on the dash. You might not even notice that as you'll likely be staring at the 5-speed stick sprouting from the console.
That stick is hooked up to a W58 box, and that is mated to the SC300's 2JZGE 3-litre DOHC, VVT-i-equipped straight six. That engine was good for 225-bhp from the factory, however this one is turbocharged, with a honkin' big Precision Turbo 6266.
That addition - which looks to have been cleanly installed - seems to be putting out just shy of 400 horsepower at the wheels if the dyno sheet provided in the ad is to be believed.
There are a lot of mods noted in the ad to bring the GE to GTE specs, and the seller seems to be pretty honest in the quality of most of the major bits, noting that the street clutch is having trouble managing all the engine's extra ponies, and that the custom 3" exhaust is too loud and proud for him.
That noise, and perhaps the canus farticus from which it emanates are about the only signs that this is not your grandma's Lexus. In case you think people need additional visual clues, the car apparently comes with some aftermarket phat phenders that while not permanently applied yet, can be quickly mounted with tape. After the reaction to yesterday's Bimmer, I'd bet you'd probably accidentally on purpose leave those behind.
But at its $14,000 price, would you leave the rest of the car behind as well? This sort of car - turbo 2JZ, 5-speed, big coupe - can be had in Supra form seven ways 'til Tuesday at around the same asking. This however is a whole lot classier-looking than the Supra, and it's pretty unique.
What do you say about this Clark Kent of an SC300 and its $14,000 price? Is that a deal for a can-do engine in a cool set of clothes? Or, is this Lexus' price just boosted too high?
H/T to Eric P. for the hookup!
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