Throwback Thursday: Martin Kraft’s Lexus GS
Back in the day when navigation was done by Thomas Guide maps and the preferred method of communicating was AIM, the 2nd Generation Lexus GS came about. The GS quickly became the Japanese luxury sport sedan Gen X and young Gen Y’ers sought after. One enthusiastic man and his GS eventually became the inspiration for a majority on Club Lexus, his name is Martin Kraft.
So who’s Martin Kraft? He is a NorCal individual that helped shaped the Lexus enthusiast community by being the first to transform his 1998 Lexus GS into a passionate project. Mr. Kraft’s GS was first featured on the famous Overboost.com where the world had a glimpse of how a bad boy GS 400 could be transformed into a European luxury killer.
It’s been written that Mr. Kraft was a humble man and did not want to own a car associated with “snooty” owners. He purposely debadged his GS and replaced them with authentic JDM Toyota Aristo and TRD Japan gear. All of the chrome on the exterior was blacked out. The factory Lexus steering wheel was swapped for of the a very rare TRD Japan air bag steering wheel. He was the first to add a full body kit with a custom hood, carbon fiber interior trim, a full audio setup with a Kenwood headunit and a set of 19″ Volk Racing AV3. Since no one had developed an intake for the GS, a custom ram air intake box by Nomura Tuning was built for his car.
Because there were no such thing as Lexus tuning shops at the time, all the fabrication and craftwork commissioned to Toyota tuning legend Bruce Nomura. We are unaware of Mr. Kraft’s whereabouts or if his GS is still in tact, but we will always remember that juicy Overboost.com feature that had everyone drooling. Because of the inspiration of one man and his Lexus, we salute Martin Kraft on this Throwback Thursday.