In 2002 Toyota introduced a medium-sized SUV to their North American product line — but they sold in through their Lexus dealers and called it the GX470. Internationally you would call the big ladder-frame 2-speed transfer box equipped 4X4 a Land Cruiser Prado, but here it was called the GX470. So upper class housewives from wealthy neighborhoods purchased them in bland colors and drove the kids to soccer camp. What they didn’t expect was to get 14 mpg driving around the city or that they’d need to plan for stopping/turning maneuvers. I seriously doubt that many of the original owners of these things ever took them off road, but now that they are approached the value of a cheap used car…it’s time to go mudding with your GX. Find this 2005 Lexus GX470 offered for $15,900 in Los Angeles, CA via craigslist.
Don’t think of this next car as a big white Camry…because while it might share the same basic bland styling direction as a contemporary Toyota, it is superbly well refined example of the horseless carriage. And for all the people who ridicule the meh…zzz styling, the other side of the coin is the new Predator face grill LS500 or the similarly old Bangled butt on a 7-series…which is a great shopping comparison vehicle. Except the Lexus is quieter on the inside, more reliable, cheaper to maintain, and just as executive in execution. This next example is low in miles and high in class — it just needs a few JDM finishing points like a bumper pole and a Crown Athlete grill. Find this 2008 Lexus LS460 offered for $18995 buy-it-now or make-offer located in Stafford, TX via ebay.
There are a few things I don’t like about this next car. First, it is white…which is a great color for a commercial delivery van or a lawn company truck, but not so good on a sports-coupe. Next, this thing has an aftermarket set of aero-ish parts that might look okay when new, but a few curb dings and they look like crap…so I’m wary of that. And, lastly, I don’t like the wheels. But other than those few complaints, I love the interior, the manual gearbox, and even the de-badged look. Find this 1998 Lexus SC300 offered for $4,950 in New York City via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
I don’t know about you guys, but I subscribe to the Jeremy Clarkson school of thought about convertibles which can be summed up by his quote; “You may think, as you cruise about in your convertible, that you look good. But unless you are Angelina Jolie, or Pierce Brosnan, which you are not, I can assure you that actually you look like a tool.” But I’ve never owned a convertible, so maybe I’d look like Angelina Jolie…but that doesn’t matter, what matters is that this is a rare example of a rear drive Lexus convertible that is way better looking than an SC430 and offered for peanuts. Find this 2012 Lexus IS250 Convertible offered for $11,950 in Hoquiam, WA via craigslist.
This next car comes from tipper Cory who writes: impossible to find IS300 wagon. I had high hopes it might be a manual gearbox equipped IS300 Sportcross, but alas, the wagon version of the IS300 was only available with a fun-sapping 5-speed slushomatic transmission. I’m sure there are a few versions that have been swapped, because the regular 2JZ-GE equipped IS300 sedan was available with a W55 manual gearbox for the entire production run, in fact, we featured a swapped 5-speed last year. Find this 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross Wagon offered for $5,500 in Boston, MA via craigslist.
The XF20 generation Lexus LS was sold from 1994 through 1997 and gives you all the speed and comfort you’d expect in a German executive cruiser (S-Class…or BMW 7-series), but with Japanese sensibility and reliability. There was no option for a 5-speed manual gearbox, but it wouldn’t raid your savings in expensive parts repairs or goad you into thinking your car was sporty. Find this 1995 Lexus LS400 bidding for $2500 in Gadsden, AL via Hemmings auctions with 5 days to go. Tip from BarbPaddles.
This next car epitomizes the expression “punching above one’s weight class.” It has no business being being fast as it is…but don’t let the shabby paint fool you. This wagon is running a 1UZFE V8 from a Lexus LS400, Mercedes-Benz bumpers and a funky multi-link rear suspension that looks tight. If you’ve got the time and know-how to swap in the included W58 5-speed, this thing will be perfect. Find this 1985 Toyota Cressida Wagon offered for $9000 in Simi Valley, CA via craigslist. Tip from MikeD.
This next car comes as a tip from Jeff who writes: If it drives as good as it looks, this will dish out many more miles. Only driven about 9,000 a year to date… Yes indeed, this is the case of a seller who has taken some nice photos of a car that is clean. You […]
This next car comes from tipper John who writes: Just stumbled across this, which seems spot on for DT. Maybe these manual swaps are common, but I haven’t seen one before even though everyone says they wish Lexus had put a manual in the Sportcross. Find this 2005 Lexus IS300 SportCross offered for $10500 in Brea, CA […]
This next car is a seller submission from Mason who writes: Unfortunately it is time to sell my car. My wife got a job in another country to I’m trying to get rid of stuff as we prepare to move. I’m a daily lurker on your site and wondered if this was something that fits. Would […]