For $9,000, This 1997 Lexus SC300 Could Be Your Stick Shift Unicorn

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

They used to say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I guess they don’t so much any more. That’s a plus for the seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe SC300 since he’s no longer limited to just his neighbors. Let’s see if they, or anyone else, should care.

How much would you pay for a hamburger (sorry, vegans)? Two bucks? Five bucks? Okay, now how much would you pay for a really good burger—a hipster, hand crafted, fancy ingredient hot sammy that’s probably the best burger you’ll ever have? ten bucks? Twenty?


Let’s focus on that twenty shall we? Multiply that by one thousand and you get the price of yesterday’s 1986 Saab 900 Turbo Convertible, and it was in fact a very tasty burger. Unfortunately for the seller, that price left a bad taste in the mouth for many of you, culminating in an overwhelming 94% Crack Pipe vote for it and the car.

Now, let’s consider something cheaper, and perhaps even more rare than a fully restored classic Saab. That’s right, let’s look at a Lexus!

Yes, your grandma drives a Lexus, as seemingly do all those people crawling just under the limit in the left lane on the freeway—or maybe that’s just my experience. The company also has made some pretty hot rides, stuff like the little IS, and the LFA of which I’ve seen about five in the wild.


You know something that seems even more rare a sight than that? A Lexus with a stick, that’s what. If you were to creep on all the Lexus’ in any given parking lot I bet you’d not find a single one, resulting in the opinion that the brand makes nothing at all but girls. Well, we found one.


This 1997 SC300 sports that model’s smaller, six cylinder engine, and a five speed row-your-own. That mill is a 225-bhp 2JZGE 3-litre DOHC, VVT-i-equipped straight six, which, according to tests back in the day could move the 3,485-pound coupe from zero to sixty in a tic under seven seconds. Not bad.

Also not bad is this Nevada-located SC’s appearance. Yes, the headlights are beginning their inexorable march toward foggy bottom, but that’s a pretty simple fix. The body itself looks to be in fine shape, with no major boogers or missing bits, while the wood and leather interior seems still to be a lovely place to hang out too.


There’s 153,000 miles on the clock and the ad makes the claim that the car has been well maintained and presently offers a smooth driving experience. If there is any issue with it mechanically, it is not disclosed in the ad.


What you can tell from the ad is that the car rocks both gold badging and chrome wheels. I’m just going to point that out and then leave it at that.


What will it take to take on this rare manual-equipped SC? Before you answer, have another look at this one from a while back.

The asking price here is $9,000, which will buy you a lot of late-nineties rides with similar mileage, and probably a few that also let you do all the shifting. We’re not interested in them however, we want to know: what’s your take on this car, as presented in the ad, and that nine-grand price? Does that seem like a fair-dinkum deal? Or, for that much is this Vegas-based SC just too big a gamble?


You decide!


Las Vegas Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Vic-ch for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.