Car Feature>> Nakama Drift Lexus Gs300

The way I see it, the drift scene is split up into two camps. One camp supports all things grassroots and only desires to keep it that way. The other is a progressive moment which tries to push the drift scene into the future from its humble beginnings. In other words, we're talking about the professional circuits. These two camps have battled their way across the battlefields of the internet for a few years now with each side barely budging.

By now we've become very familiar with both styles of drift cars. There's the ever popular slammed street-style drift cars and the full on race-chassis-that-slide which we're now seeing come into the professional field in full effect. Rarely do we ever see a car that combines the best of both worlds. That is until this car, the Nakama Lexus GS300. It's not a professional drift car, nor is it an ultra slammed street style drift car. It's a daily driver that is taken to local drift events to for some sideways action.

The VERTEX Lexus GS JZS160/1 kit is a striking upgrade from a the stock bodied GS and it's custom satin black paint, with gloss black accents, set it off completely. 

The GS300's engine choice is something that not make those that advocate the grassroots style of drift machines. The original inline six was ripped out for a 5.7L LS1 V8 which produces 320 whp and 340 lb-ft. With that sort of power, its no drift monster, but you don't need a million-billion horse powers to have fun. 

The LS swap was done with the help of DGR Fabrication's LS motor mount kit urethane isolators. DGR also supplied the intake system and the aluminum air box.  The headers were upgraded to Hooker Headers shorty headers which lead to a stainless exhaust from Borla.

A lot of care went into the build of this GS. Each part was chosen because of the quality of product and also because of its performance potential, like the HKS Hipermax-D coil overs. And seeing how this car will be drifting, all the other important suspension components saw upgrades as well. The stock sway bars were upgraded to a set from TRD and the front upper and lower control arms were replaced for a set from Ikeya Formula. VERTEX/SUIVAX JZS160/1 steering knuckles were installed for that extra bit of angle. 

The car has an iconic set of Takata green Volk Racing TE37. The fronts are 19×9.5" +12 and rears are 19×10.5" +12. The tire of choice are Falken FK452 (235/35/19f and 265/30/19r).

GS300s are known as rather large and heavy cars, so with its added power, it also needed to stop. The stock front and rear calipers were upgraded to a set from a JZA80 Supra and the rotors were upgraded to slotted set from Brembo.

Seeing how this car is also a daily driver, what you won't see on the interior of the car is it completely stripped out. It retains a full interior though it has been been upgraded quite a bit starting with the DGR Fabrication custom rollcage, then to the BRIDE GIAS bucket seats with gradation upholstery, and the custom Wilwood hydraulic e-Brake setup.

The stock dash board was ripped out and replaced with one from STACK with a custom carbon fiber enclosure. The steering wheel also saw replacement. What sits in place of the stock steering wheel is the 330mm VERTEX 10-star wheel. 

The BRIDE gradation treatment also spills out to the door panels and rear seats.

This GS300 is a car that probably won't completely please the grassroots or the professional drift scene (especially the grassroots side because of the LS V8 engine swap). The car's build is also not a cheap build, but it's refreshing to see a drift car built with this much care and attention to quality parts. That in itself deserves respect.



Complete Spec List:

'00 Lexus GS300


- GM LS1 5.7-liter V-8('04 Pontiac GTO)

– HP/TQ: 320 whp/340 lb-ft  

Engine Modifications:

- DGR Fabrication LS Motor Mount Kit w/ urethane isolators, intake system, aluminum airbox
- Stainless exhaust system w/ Borla mufflers
- Hooker Headers Shorty headers
- Canton Accusump system


- T56 6-Speed manual transmission
- B&M short shifter
- Clutch Masters FX400 6-Puck clutch and aluminum flywheel
- DGR Fabrication 1-piece driveshaft and machined differential adapter
- KAAZ 2-way LSD


- HKS Hipermax-D coilovers
- Ikeya Formula front upper control arms, front lower control arms
- RCA pillow tension rods, rear member spacers, rear upper camber arms, traction rods, and toe rods
- VERTEX/SUIVAX JZS160/1 steering knuckles, TRD anti-sway bars (f/r)

Wheels, Tires & Brakes:

- Gloss Black Volk Racing TE37 19×9.5 +12mm (f) and 19×10.5 +12mm (r)
- Falken FK452 235/35-19 (f) and 265/30-19 (r)
- Toyota JZA80 Supra TT calipers (f/r)
- DGR Fabrication JZA80 Supra TT rear caliper brackets
- Endless CCA brake pads (f/r)
- Brembo slotted rotors, SS braided brake lines (f/r)
- Custom Wilwood Hydraulic E-Brake setup.


-VERTEX Lexus GS JZS160/1 bodykit and rear spoiler
-Veilside Gandor sideview mirrors, ABFlug front grille
-custom Satin Black paint w/ Gloss Black accents
-Black Zipties


- DGR Fabrication custom rollcage
- STACK ST8130 dash display w/ custom carbon enclosure
- BRIDE GIAS seats, MO seat rails and gradation upholstery
- BRIDE gradation treated door panels and rear seats
- Willans harnesses
- VERTEX 10-Star 330mm steering wheel
- VERTEX Monochrome shift knob
- Works Bell Rapfix II QR hub and short hub adapter



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he looks uncomfortable in his seat while driving lol...struggle?


i don't think jay pizarro even owns it anymore..


Great feature and awesome shots

One thing ... are y'all sure those are 19" Te37s?

I own 19x10.5+12 te37 and they don't look nothing like that.

I think those are 18" because of the way the face concaves on them.

either way keep up the good work!


looks likes it should be called the 'Bride Black Edition or something like that.. i like the Stack dash.. seems to be ticking all the right boxes. top notch!


You know what, it's kinda sad that we build cars to satisfy any camp but our own tastes and flavors. Is there a camp where it tickles my pants? Cause that's the camp this car unfortunately catered to.


man, is this in nor cal cuz i swear i saw this car at the C.R.E.A.M sonoma drift at infinion


this feature should've been done years ago


i don't think jay pizarro even owns it anymore..


Jay drove me around the track a bunch of times and this car is IT!!! I must say I was going to go flat black on my car till I saw Jay working on his build.. Glad I did cause what I would of done, could not compare to the outstanding work, time, heart and soul that was put into this build. Love the Car.. Nice work Jay.


Whats the point of the V8 swap? The JZ engine is more than capable of matching those HP figures; if you are gonna do a swap, may as well make it a big one.


I love this car. So so much. On another note, I'm definitely on the grassroots side. Down with FD!


Awesome car, those were known to be amazingly nimble cars right off the showroom floor, comparable to same year Vettes for their performance thru the slalom. Cool build, great swap and well done! Nice feature!


While I don't have much issue with V8 swaps (although JZ's have a MUCH better sound), wouldn't it have made a bit more sense to run a 1UZ or 3UZ from the same-generation GS400/430 for the possibility of less fab work?


kid bought that car built. WACK

props goes to jay pizzario.. not this poser


btw this car isnt slammed. by gs standards, its actually a sky scraper..




Gooly said:

Whats the point of the V8 swap? The JZ engine is more than capable of matching those HP figures; if you are gonna do a swap, may as well make it a big one.


Not without a turbo, intercooler, extra piping, more fluids, more heat... Also, the LS1 weighs 375 lbs. dry compared to the 2JZ-GTE's 400 lb. dry weight and produces waaaaayyyy more low-end torque. So there's the reason for that.


Add to it the fact that LS1's are far more common/easier to work on/easier to get parts for (and you don't have to pay shipping from Japan, depending on where you live) and you have your answer to the whole equation.


Yep this was my car - I actually still owned it when Linhbergh shot it. The person that bought is actually not a poser - he's a good friend of mine that actually helped build the car. He was one of the few people that actually spent the long days/nights at DGR Fab with Dan and me getting the car together. He only purchased it because he didn't want it to go to a "poser".

Everyone has a an opinion on swaps/mods/stylilng etc - and I actually respect them all... even the negative ones - not your cup of tea? I get it. I just don't see the need for negativity especially if there was no reference made to the point that is being made. Plus nothing is perfect... there is always room for improvement.

Unless you know me personally and would say anything negative about me or the car to my face - please keep your comments to yourself.

Absolution - I did in fact build this car for myself, to my taste and the way I wanted within my plan/budget.

brandon - I'm not a fan of slammed, tastefully lowered for function, standing nice is my style... every once in a while I'll dump the car just to be dumb. It was in fact artificially high that day as the new coils were just installed and the car was out for a shakedown... know the situation probably wouldn't have said the same thing? All good it was skyscrapin' that day!

Enough - thanks to Linhberg & Speedhunters for the feature, all of the people that gave props and my friends and supporters that helped make the car possible.



how the fuck is this not a fully preped drift car? it has seriously every upgrade done too it lol shy of stripping and stitch welding


Death and taxes are a certainty, as much as it is certain Jay P. Knows how to build high quality cars. Glad to see the new owner is putting it to good use.


I own the car now. Purchased it about 5 months ago from my good friend Jay. I actually put some blood and sweat into building this car with Jay, so I know the ins and outs of the car.

For those of you hating on the engine swap. You need to sit/drive the car to appreciate how well the swap works with the car. We dropped about a 100Lbs off the front of the car (thats past the shock towers). And has a greater front to rear weight ratio. The swap is really cost effective, don't get me wrong, my favorite motor is actually a 2jz. Just costs to much to modify. But in the end it's all about the builders preferences and Jay just chose to do what was the most economical and different.


Love it!


@JPIZO: And that's exactly the kind of build I love to see, just not giving a fhuk about anyone but yourself. Good job on a great past build.


Nice write up, pretty cool that Jay popped in here to set the record straight. Love the car for what it is, great build!


LOFL at the video.....just a tad unsure of yourself huh?.......another car ruined by an LS swap......WTF is wrong with a JZ or UZ these days?


leave it to an american to build something as typical as this... stupid LS pos.


If you can't comprehend it, then chances are you never will. An LSx is lighter, more responsive, more reliable, and easier/cheaper to work on. What ISN'T there to like? UZ motors heads suck for airflow, and JZ's a are cool, but suck when you compare a JZ to a LSx once you compare what I just mentioned.


I think this car is awesome, Jay is a legit dude and anything he has built is an inspiration to me and many others. It's easy to be an armchair racer and state what you don't like about something. Whatever makes you feel better at the end of the day.


That car is boss! Biggup Jay, good purchae Jeff, and mad love to Dan @ DGR for being too legit!


The LSx engine is the engine we all love to hate and hate to love. If america has done something good, is this engine. It is lighter than most (if not ALL) V8's under 3K and makes enough TORQUE to bring big smiles. I have plenty of seat time as a rider and some as a driver on various platforms with this engine swap. I am considering this engine VERY MUCH on my GS300 1st gen build, even though I hate it, but it just makes perfect sense: light weight, easy to work on, easy to get parts without paying a premium, amazing power as an n/a right dropped in... if only 2/3UZ's would do that... sigh...


beautiful. excellent car, i have one of these but with a 2jz turbo. good effort


Sick car Jay!!!

Ignore the haters, still badass.


Everyone using the shitty LS1's. There's nothing special about them. They are the typical underpowered V8's that GM produces to put in their overweight cars and trucks. There's no fixing them anymore.


Spavers and lancers play an important role in bike or car, The car is just awesome, a great information, you showed the spacers in car and explained it beautifully, that's what we were looking for.