A Lexus LS430 like this would be right at home in any wicked gang-banger, gun-toting computer game, but for lucky owner Jun Lu this car's sultry good looks is actually his reality up and down his local Texan streets.
Bad ass! That's the only way to describe it, really. Up close with eyes closed, the burbling 4.3-litre V8 under the bonnet goes some way to allude to the intoxicating villany that stands before you, which then makes itself apparent as you slowly raise your eyebrows to visually absorb this Black automotive delight.
Purists may eventually work out the bodywork ruse that has befallen this Lexus – whose front and rear ends have received a deftly executed upgrade from 01/03 spec to 04/06 – but long after they work out what's happened there will be many an admiring onlooker still mesmerised by just how awesome this daily-driven, 2001-model LS430 Custom Luxury looks.
“I chose to go with Lexus because I felt like I got the speed out of my system, but also wanted to go 'luxury' and just cruise,”said 27-year-old photographer, basketball lover and computer gamer Jun Lu.”A friend of mine was into the VIP-style cars first. He showed me, and that is where it all began,” added Jun.
Key to this project's success is, of course, the execution of a superlative wheel choice matched with sublime suspension stance – Jun achieving the latter via tweaking the factory air-ride system with ASC Data Controller. It works well to hunker down the gorgeous Black Lexus body over stunning, arousingly deep-dished I-Forged Variants all around, measuring 20×9.5-inch in Nitto NT555 225/35/20 tyres front and 20×10.5-inch Nitto NT555 245/35/20s rear.
“Yes there were a lot of [wheel] options and I had a few in mind, but when I saw this wheel on another car I just fell in love. I just knew this would look right on my car!” said Jun emphatically. “My favourite part of the car are my wheels, and them being 'flush' with the lowered stance – because wheels make the car! And, of course, with the right lowering suspension.”
Outside, the remaining mods help this Lexus steal the show. In addition to that front and rear end conversion, there's a complete custom front bumper, Vlene rear and side skirts, JDM window visors, Junction Produce roof spoiler, Porsche exhaust tips, factory BBK brakecalipers painted gold, custom debadged front grille and HID foglights.
Inside, though, only minor mods did Jun see fit to employ, given the sumptuous cabin that aleady comes in the LS430 anyway. That said, Jun tastefully added some Junction Produce pillows and Junction Produce Gold rope throughout, while Eclipse sunshades block out annoying light when his Rayban sunglassess are just out of reach.
And when he's crusing his local Texan streets, Jun likes nothing better than pumping out some wicked, bassy tunes thanks to a premium factory head unit commanding a Sony 12-inch Xplod sub via a Sony Xplod amp.
Overall, a brilliantly done Lexus that uses insightful stance and wheel choice to imbue the ride with a sexy 'gangsta' look without needlessly giving the '5-O' reason to give chase. And if they did then, well … let's just say that V8 should do pretty damned well in living up to what this LS430's look seems to be all about.
Photos: J.Lu photography
Text: Fabian Cotter