Do It For The Kids: A VIP Style LS460
Location Hunter

Nat Huynh’s Lexus LS460 is a car that I’ve had my eyes on for a long time.

I came across it nearly a year ago at a local meet and the car has been on the back of my mind ever since. I am usually not huge on VIP-style cars, but this car is a blatant exception to that preference.

Nat’s owned the car for nearly a decade and it’s been put together so nicely each step of the way. My only worry about featuring it here is the war zone that may develop in the comments for uttering the s-word, but we can’t let that stop us.

It’s just too good to ignore and besides being stanced, which is simply a requirement for anything VIP, it also has a supercharger.  That’s an s-word we can surely all get along with, right? And this build is so much more than that.

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We’ll take a good look under the hood later, but before I even got in touch with Nat I put a good bit of thought into where to shoot this car. I tried to avoid the Alameda Naval Air Station as it’s a fairly overused spot, but I finally caved.

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I really wanted that shot with the San Francisco skyline at sunset, and, after all, what better place to shoot a boat than surrounded by other boats?

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Jokes aside, it’s a great place to shoot with almost unlimited locations; there’s the water’s edge and plenty of abandoned industrial areas leftover from World War II to choose from. I hope you’ll forgive me if I end up here again in the near future for another feature. Anyways, I’m getting off topic.

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The VIP-style Lexus is what brought me here in the first place, and one of the first things you notice about the car is the stunning paint. The first thing that Nat wanted to change on the car, which was originally white, was the color.

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Now, you have an amazing candy ‘brandywine’ job that’s very reactive to light. Having seen the car previously only on overcast days or indoors, I didn’t realize just how red it can be.

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After sundown it’s practically a different color, like a nice deep red wine. Likewise, the car as a whole has just been getting better and better as time goes on; Nat has completely transformed the LS460 into his own creation.

Around The Outside
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Of course, when you’re looking at a VIP build the paint is a small part of making the car what it is. Most obviously, you’ll have a kit, wheels, and yes, the stance.

Thanks to Josh White of Priola Bodyshop, fitment of the aggressive Black Pearl kit is perfect and looks amazing in conjunction with the Wald fenders and rear wide-body. You’ll also notice it’s had an F Sport conversion carried out on the front end, which plays very nicely with the other aesthetic choices for the car.

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The Work Wheels W10Ms are a suberb choice for the car, measuring 21×10.5-inches all around. As we know, wheels can really make or break your build, and Nat’s chosen just the right offset front and rear to get the look he wanted. Of course, there’s that little tuck in the back to get the big body sedan almost on the ground.

Air Runner OTG suspension was chosen for the build and with controls tucked away neatly inside, it’s easy for Nat to make quick adjustments. Even at slightly higher and driveable ride heights, I just love how this thing sits.

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It’s all part of the formula for a proper VIP build.

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The look of the Black Pearl bodywork is maintained around the back end as well, along with the molded ducktail, giving the once curvy and slightly swooping LS460 a mean finished look.

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I’ve seen so many stanced cars that are done as a halfway job, sort of always in progress with no destination in sight. This car is anything but that; it’s very driveable (and actually quite fast), polished and complete, something that Nat should take great pride in.

Party Piece
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If a quick look outside the car didn’t make it clear to you, surely once you step inside you’ll recognize you’re sitting somewhere special.

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You’ll find that many of the stock items remain, but only if they fit into the VIP aesthetic. I see so many show cars where the interior is completely overstated and it ends up looking a bit tacky, if I’m honest. Meanwhile, Nat’s gone with a much cleaner and more refined look.

Starting with a 2007 LS460 as the base, you have a lot of high-end trim items from factory, and the owner just worked to improve and complement these features rather then completely tear them out.

Along with the door panels, the seats have been beautifully restitched with matching floor mats. It really didn’t feel appropriate wearing shoes inside the car.

And no, the white balance on my camera hasn’t had a fit here, the inside of the car has a healthy tinge of green thanks to the window tint that Nat selected.

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And it’s the same story in the back of the sedan.

Re-stitched seats, more of the same on the doors and custom woodwork for those sitting in the back. Nat does have three kids, so I figured they might be the ones occupying the space back here most often. Surprisingly, he said they aren’t all that interested in the car — one of his daughters thinks it’s cool but otherwise it’s just “Dad’s car”.

Like Ryan said in his story, where he went from Birmingham to Tokyo for two car shows, it’s easy to become jaded when you have too much of a good thing. I grew up surrounded by computers in the early ’90s because of my father’s profession, and didn’t realize until years later that some of my friends had never used the internet.

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But I digress, as this car still had a trick (or two) up its sleeve. I’ve seen TVs in cars before of course, but not quite like this. With a full Focal/Arc audio setup, a 32-inch TV, two 10-inch subs and nine-inch screens in the headrests for your backseat passengers, this is just phenomenally done, with perfect fit and finish all around.

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Seriously, how can the kids not get a kick out of this? They’ll appreciate it later, surely.

Under The Skin
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While I feel most cars built to this style seem to stop where I’ve left off above, Nat’s does not. Under the hood the LS460 is just as good as it is everywhere else.

A HKS supercharger sources some extra power for the already torquey 1UR-FSE V8.

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Just look at that engine bay, though. If you know what this car, or nearly any from the 2000s, looked like from the factory with a bunch of plastic covers (read: crap), you begin to understand the amount of work that Nat has put into this thing. It’s all stainless steel and carbon fiber, two of the best materials you could use.

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This Lexus is the full package, with no stone left unturned. While often busy with the family, Nat makes time for at least a few shows a year, where he can roll up, drop the car, and hang out with buddies all day.

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But Nat’s LS460 looks good in motion, too; to help come to a stop a Futura big brake kit is hiding behind the big wheels. With the extra horsepower and stopping power, it doesn’t feel like the two-ton car it is, which is especially surprising considering how low to the ground it rides.

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While I typically see VIP builds as a sort of novelty item for car shows, Nat’s Lexus is worlds past that.

This is exactly how a show car should be put together.

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto
TYRphoto.com

Cutting Room Floor
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32 comments

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1

It's always weird seeing modified cars that are truly complete. They almost register in my mind as something else entirely. This is a very well-rounded build that ticks all the boxes. And why are we still hating on stance? If someone really wants their car to sit just right and is willing to take the risks that come along with that, I say more power to them. Because it looks really, really good when it's done right.

2

I totally agree.

And if you look at the comments around here (or on Instagram) you'll see a lot of heat towards the stance-oriented builds. But such is life.

3

that rear center console looks very tacky as hell. I think it would look a lot better if it was wrapped in the same material as the seats wit minimal wooden trim

4

My lord, this car is something else! I'm more a fan of the older VIP style, without the aggressive bodykits. But on this car it just looks perfect. I say, more VIP on SH!

5

Great work Trevor! Enjoyed the read and car! I hope we see more VIP cars in the future!

6

Thanks mate! Be seeing you soon! ;)

7

That first shot is awesome! Amazing car all round!

8

Thank you! Getting that shot was really the main reason I decided on using this location.

9

Rare time I comment before reading but you nailed that shot man. Great work,

10

Haha at least it was to come say something nice!

11

Man that red is absolutely sick! If only manufacturers made colours like this...

12

I like the high size shots! Really nice done an great feature!

13

One nit-pick that I think the car needs is a matching lower grill to hide the intercooler; the blue couplers seem out of place and cheap compared to the rest of the car. Taking another moment to think about it, it could be done as a hard pipe set up to remove the couplers and show off some superior welds?

14

It’s more of a personal preference. I spent hours deciding if I wanted to put on the matching grille or show the intercooler. But since there’s only 3 Supercharge LS460 is the US, I opted to show it.

15

I think it's a bit more of a statement this way, but for whatever reason it hasn't gotten one in the year or two it's been in this form.

As for the couplers, when you have something hard mounted to the frame like the intercooler and pipe it to something vibrating and twisting a bit (the motor), you're going to want something in there to absorb this. That isn't to say there aren't other ways around it, though.

16

You can't hate on a stanced VIP car. VIP IS STANCE.

This is flawless. There's not a single thing I can think of that irks me. This is VIP.

17

I swear i've seen this car on another site, either it was StanceNation or Super Street, can't remember which one exactly. It seemed familiar.

Also it almost looks like a big brother GS350 F Sport with the bumper. Almost took a double take when you said 2007 LS460, bc that looks like a 2013+ front end. Melded quite well if I say so

18

The car is fully functional due to air suspension set up so why anyone will hate it.
Usually i'm not a fan of just "stanced" but this car is perfect, it has the look for static use and the power when traveling. As personal taste i didn't like the brown leather inside (as a color only).

19

Nicely put together. It doesn't quite have the wow factor of the VIP cars you see in Thailand and Japan I think mainly because of the toned-down interior, but that engine bay really makes this whole car!

20

Wonderful piece Trevor. My first time ever commenting on SH though i've been following the site for years. This car feature and the photos are that good and resonate with me that I just have to say kudos, job well done.

The car itself, simply wow.. That colour..

But yea I agree with the comment about the exposed intercooler. It probably could do with some cover. And the back bumper/diffuser combo seems a little too busy. Something from aimgain perhaps and this would be perfect! http://www.aimgain.net/english/bodykit/ls/jun_vip/ls460_600h_mc.html

I just mean well (as constructive comments). Hell, its his car so he can do whatever he wants to it.

That engine bay.. Totally caught me off guard. Just amazing.

This to me is as close to a perfect car in my eyes.

That first photo as well. Good job!

21

Thanks mate! Yeah the Aimgain kit is a bit more subtle, so it just comes down to preference like you said.

Personally, I'm all for the more aggressive look that Nat has gone with.

22

Love the car but that HKS SC Kit is expensive as all hell. $20K for the whole set up. It would seem better to do a 2JZ swap and you might come out cheaper. I am so glad they are getting cheaper in Japan especially the 2006-2008 years.

23

2jz swap wouldn’t be easy with all the electrical components on this car. I hear people claiming they can do it or Turbo it but have yet to see one. HKS provides 2 FCon ECU so the car doesn’t throw any error codes and drives like a champ.

24

But thats no fun! This is something different!

25

For me: one of the best cars on SH so far this year. Not into Lexus myself but thing is absolutely stunning. That color, yummy!!

26

I'm usually not into 'stanced' cars, but hot damn, this car is incredible. It rides on air, so it won't break his back when he's driving. The wheels tuck and they don't have ridiculous stretch or camber. Jayzus, this thing is seriously amazing.

27

I'm not into VIP cars at all but that's how you fucking do it. You can tell the owner took pride in the work and parts put into it good job.

28

I want to know more about the engine build! I know those engines are very picky and would very much like to know more. Also,whats up with the HKS cone filter in front of the carbon fiber filter box?

29

The HKS GT Supercharger is perfect and made for the LS460. HKS only made 20 of these and there’s only 3 in the US. It comes with two FCon ECU so it’s straight plug and play. The cone filter was an option since I decided not to run the carbon fiber box filter. It’s more aesthetic because without the cone filter, that area is empty.

30
Mahesh Sukhram ZA

I"m not one for automobile photography, I rarely even take note of how photos look( i just like to read about the modifications), but with some of these shots i just couldn't help but notice how good they where especially the opening photo of the article (it is just too good). Suppose its the color of the car too. A job well done.

Congrats to owner on building a genuine showstopper too.

31

Thank you Mahesh! Always a huge help to be pointing your camera at a quality build, that is for sure.

32

I'm normally not a huge fan of the "VIP" scene, however, if they were all built to this standard, I could easily see myself paying more attention. This car is leaps and bounds ahead of almost every other one I have come across. Fantastic ride and I LOVE the engine bay. Too many people overlook this part when building a VIP car and I feel it is equally as important.

Great shots of a great car!

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