August 2004 Featured Car

By -

 Screen Name: DaveGS4
 Age: 38
 Profession: Partner in management consulting firm
 Car model: Lexus GS 400
 Car year: 1998
 Engine size: 245 CID Four Cam V8 1UZ-FE
 Color: Black Onyx


1. Engine

  1. Rod Millen Motorsports Vortech Supercharger
  2. Custom 3" pulley @ ~ 8 psi
  3. HKS SSQ Blow-off Valve
  4. Custom aluminum piping
  5. RMM / UPRD Intercooler
  6. RC Engineering 370cc Fuel Injectors
  7. Walbro high volume fuel pump
  8. Swift Racing Technology Custom Air-fuel ECU
  9. Swift Racing Technology Valve Body Transmission Upgrade
  10. Precision Industries 2600 Stall Dragon Torque Converter
  11. TRD Limited Slip Differential (clutch type)
  12. PermaCool Transmission Cooler
  13. TRD 71 degree Thermostat
  14. Denso Iridium Sparkplugs
  15. Rod Millen Carbon Engine Cover
  16. TRD Radiator cap
  17. TRD Oil Filler cap
  18. Fluids: Mobile One Oil, Amsoil Synthetic ATF, Redline LSD

2. Exhaust

  1. Borla Stainless Steel Exhaust
  2. Borla (new style) Stainless Steel Tips

3. Suspension

  1. Bilstein PSS Adjustable Coilovers
  2. TRD Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)
  3. TRD Front and Rear Race Sway Bars (blue)
  4. TRD Lower Chassis Brace (LCB)
  5. Tom’s Rear Lower Chassis Brace (Type B)
  6. Tom’s 6-Piece Suspension Brace Kit
  7. Tom’s Rear Strut Tower Bar
  8. L-Tuned Steering ECU

 4. Brakes

  1. Brembo GT 355mm (14”) Big Brakes (red)
  2. Brembo 2-Piece Drilled Vented Rotors
  3. Brembo Stainless Steel Brake Lines


  1. OEM Calipers
  2. Brembo Cross Drilled Rotors with black painted hats – Rear
  3. G2 Caliper Paint rear (black)
  4. Goodrich Stainless Steel Brake Lines
  5. Axxis Ceramic Pads

ATE Super Blue Brake Fluid
5. Wheels

  1. HRE 840R with hidden hardware and straight lip design
  2. 19 x 8.5 front and 19 x 10 rear, 35 offset front, 42 offset rear
  3. Pirelli PZero Nero 275/30-19 & 245/35-19

6. Exterior

  1. L-Tuned Aero Skirts
  2. L-Tuned Grill
  3. L-Sportline rear bumper / valence
  4. TTE Front Lip Spoiler – molded
  5. UGO Katayama Rear Window Spoiler
  6. Junction Produce rear brake lights
  7. Lexus OEM Spoiler
  8. Platinum Series Emblems (black pearl)
  9. Polarg M6 wedge inner running lights
  10. PIAA Super White high beam & fogs
  11. Titanium Chrome reverse bulbs
  12. TRD Gas Filler cap
  13. 32% 3M tint
  14. Toyota Aristo Door Sills
  15. Smoked front marker lights

7. Interior

  1. Eclipse AVN-2454 DVD Navigation Head Unit with touchscreen & MP3
  2. Eclipse BEC103 Backup Camera in trunk keyhole
  3. Eclipse CH3083 CD 8 disk Changer
  4. Dynaudio 240 MKII Speakers Front, MW160 Rear
  5. JL 10” W3 Sub mounted to deck w/ sealed enclosure
  6. JL Audio 500/5 channel amplifier with custom trunk mount
  7. JL Audio remote bass boost control
  8. Custom RCA connectors in glove box for PS2
  9. Monster Cable Speaker wire
  10. Monster Slimline Battery Terminals (pos and neg)
  11. Streetwires 4 gauge red kit
  12. Dynamat – trunk and rear deck
  13. Viper Alarm with various sensors
  14. Optima Yellow Top Battery with custom plexi bracket
  15. Hardwired Valentine One Radar Detector
  16. Stealth Install K40 Radar Detector w/ custom blue LED
  17. Auto Meter Cobalt Boost Gauge
  18. GS430 Gauge Cluster
  19. GS430 Chrome Shift Bezel
  20. Junction Produce small Fusa (white)
  21. Replaced rear deck with OEM spoiler deck (no third brakelight)

 What led you to buy a Lexus?
Quality, dependability and performance. Although I admire autos from many manufacturers, I’ve personally only owned Toyota products since 1988. In college, my old domestic rides kept leaving me stranded on the side of the highway, so I did a bit of research and bought a little Corolla FX-16. Later I upgraded to a new 1992 Toyota Camry SE V6 5-speed (rare). Both of those served me flawlessly and as my Camry approach 100K in 1999, I decided to get a replacement. I looked at a number of competing German and Japanese cars, but the GS400 had the exact blend of performance and luxury I wanted, plus it had the advantage of familiarity with the Lexus design. Two of the other manufacturer’s cars I drove had something significant break while I was testing them and that further reinforced my decision to stick with Lexus.

I’m a bona fide car nut and although I spend the bulk of my time here on ClubLexus, I lurk at many of the major car forums (both import and domestic) at some point each month. Restored musclecars from the late 60’s and early 70’s are a passion and a future goal of mine is to restore a GTO Judge Convertible.

Unfortunately (for my bank account), I’ve got other hobbies besides cars, all supported by my girlfriend Krista who shares the same interests. During the summer, we go boating on our Sea Ray 240 Sundeck pretty much every weekend. Being on the water with our friends is very relaxing and we usually take lunch out and eat on the water or an island. Just floating around, kneeboarding, tubing or wakeboarding are typical activities.

We’re also into movies and have a dedicated home theater in the basement with an ISF-tuned high definition projector and two rows of theater recliners. Throughout the house you’ll find three other full-fledged HT setups (two with high def) often built out of components leftover from upgrading the main HT in the basement or special deals I’ve come across I just couldn’t pass up. At last count we had a DVD collection of about 650 movies. We listen to a lot of music (most any genre) and we both game primarily on Xbox and PC.

I’m very blessed that my girlfriend shares all the same passions that I do and we support each other in our mutual interests (or at least we help each other rationalize our spending decisions).

I’ve tried to make my GS as well rounded a vehicle as possible. Nice enough to enter a car show and have people not laugh at it, yet still able to take the twisty roads during a spirited mountain drive or have fun at a quarter mile track. I’ve got a very nice audio SQ and video setup, but car audio contests have never been my goal, so I fall a bit short in the ‘bling and bump in the trunk’ area.

Why you chose to modify your Lexus?
Except for upgrading the stereo and tires, I didn’t modify my last three cars at all. My first car just out of high school was a 1973 Ram Air Firebird that I built up with lots of performance parts including a GTO engine swap. I think that when I bought my GS, I was subconsciously reaching out a bit for those good old days (less the roadside breakdowns, of course).

When I first started modifying my GS400, I had no idea of the potential aftermarket for this car or the heritage that the Japanese Aristo provided. My GS was a one year old CPO with a premium package, 16 inch OEM wheels, no spoiler and a tan pinstripe – nice, but very plain. I started by adding a spoiler to the car right away, then OEM 17-inch wheels and removed the pinstripe. I found the old EZBoard version of ClubLexus and started reading about some new products that were out for the GS that sounded promising. Soon enough (late 1999) I found myself in Maryland in Mo from SRT’s driveway getting exhaust, SRT intake & ECU, a high stall torque converter and aftermarket springs / shocks done over one long weekend. I had a very nervous drive back to North Carolina after all the changes, but I soon realized my GS wasn’t going to break… and then I started looking for my next mod.

My preference for customization is that the difference be stylish and noticeable, but very subtle. I liked hearing “there is something slightly different about your GS…” from people on the street or valets. As more and more stuff was changed on my GS it isn’t quite as subtle anymore but I think it’s still sophisticated in an evil sort of way.

I have a few more recent pictures I took of my GS that didn’t make “the final cut” click here.

I’d like to thank the following folks who’ve helped me build my Lexus:

  1. My girlfriend Krista for all her support
  2. All the members of for their advise and knowledge
  3. All the members of for their fellowship
  4. Ethan Kay (Static911) for providing ClubLexus to all of us
  5. Steve Ganz and Carson Toyota for great sales and service for Lexus aftermarket parts
  6. Rob Moore and the team at Hendrick Lexus
  7. Mo at SRT for many of my performance goodies and tuning
  8. Many individuals I’ve forgotten in my haste to write this article… thanks to you as well

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