October 2003 Featured Car
Screen Name: RMMGS4
Car model: GS400 Rod Millen Signature Edition
Car year: 1998
Engine size: 4 liter V8
Color: Alpine Silver
- G-Tech Pro Performance Measurement Meter (Best 0 to 60mph = 5.2 sec)
- Torque Master Plugs
- RMM Intake
- RMM Hi Stall Torque converter
- RMM Transmission Valve Body
- RMM Carbon Fiber Engine Cover
- RMM Limited Slip Rear End w/ 3.71 gears
- TRD Oil Cap
- Optima Yellow Top Battery
- Tsunami Power Distribution Block
- RMM Polished Stainless Steel Exhaust
- AP Racing 6 Piston Front Brakes with 13.56” drilled /slotted rotors
- Cad Plated Drilled / Slotted Rear Brake Rotors
- EBC Green Brake Pads
- Tein RA Adjustable Coil over Shocks/springs
- Tein EDFC Electronic Damping Force Controller
- Intrax Front & Rear Adjustable Sway Bars
- RMM Front Strut Tower Bar
- RVM Rear Strut Tower Bar
- Toms Front Lower Control Brace
- Toms Rear Lower Control Brace
- Toms 6 Link Braces
- Motul Brake Fluid
- RMM 4 Piece Polyurethane Body Kit
- RMM Rear Spoiler
- RMM Front Grill
- Xpel Headlight Protection
- Xpel Clear Bra
- Pioneer Remote & Voice Activated Audio Video Controller
- Pioneer SDV – P7 DVD Player
- Pioneer AVIC 90 Navigation Unit
- Pioneer XM Satellite Radio
- Nakamichi Music Vault 7 Disc CD Changer
- Nintendo 64
- Accele Color Rear view Camera
- Pioneer AVD – W 6100 Widescreen Front Monitor
- Accele 7’’ Widescreen Headrest Monitors (2)
- Zapco Competition Z100 Amplifiers (3*)
- Zapco SX SL II Preamp controller*
- Zapco DAII Outboard D/A Converter*
- DEI 3 Channel Wireless Headphones
- Monster Cable Speaker and Video Cable
- Stinger Power Cables
- Monster Cable Distribution Blocks
- Audio Concepts 12” DVC Sub
- Focal 5K013L Kevlar Mids (4)*
- Eton Air Motion Ribbon Tweeters*
- Valentine 1 Radar Detector
- Valentine 1 Remote mount display
* Install in Progress
- Enkei Phalenx Wheels: 19 x 8 Front & 19 x 10 Rear
- Tires – Michelin Pilot Sport: 245/35 – 19 Front & 285/30 – 19 Rear
What led you to buy a Lexus?
The first time I saw a 98 Lexus GS was when I attended a race at California Speedway in 1998. It was the Official Pace Car used in the CART race that day. It was Spectra Blue Metallic and from the Grandstands it just stood out like crazy. The car is now retired in the Toyota Museum in LA and it is nice to know I can visit an old friend any time I want. Over the next 2 years I looked at magazines and gathered all the issues I could find on the GS. I often looked at the Rod Millen Motorsport adds of their GS and managed to find 2 articles on that car in “Automobile” and “Turbo & High Tech Performance” Magazines. Long story short, I liked the car so much I bought the car directly from Rod Millen. It was beyond my wildest imagination, that the car I drooled over in car in magazines would be mine one day.
I can honestly say that I have been a car nut since I was 5 years old, when I started drawing cars. I installed car audio and modded cars before I was old enough to drive. I begged my parents to get me a subscription to Hot Rod Magazine when I was 7 years old and my birthday present for many years was a trip to the Drag races at the old Fremont Strip. I love all kinds of motorsports and anything to do with speed, from Superbikes to the Reno Air Races.
Audio is probably my second most favorite hobby. I studied music for 12 years and had a hobby of building high-end home speakers for just as long. I’ve built just about every type of enclosure design, played with tons of raw speaker components and hand built just as many passive crossovers. The audio hobby has of course spread over to Home Theater of which a Lexicon 7.1 channel processor drives my current system with over 3000 Watts of power. In the middle of all this I also did car audio, where I had my share of winning sound off competitions and eventually became an IASCA sound judge as well.
My third favorite hobby is interior design and building a High Tech Home. Every room in the house has custom mods that I’ve done. The garage gets special attention, with full heating and Air conditioning plus satellite TV, with access to a front door video camera.
The key goal with my car is to modify it to suit my personal and family needs and to find every opportunity to enjoy driving it. I turned in the family van and now use this car on all long trips and family vacations. I used to hate climbing up the grapevine to LA in the van, cause it was such a dog and was such a poor handling vehicle. With the GS, I very much enjoy passing those road hogging SUVs, zig zagging effortlessly through the traffic and driving through twisty roads with one hand on the wheel and the other hand covering my mouth as I yawn (ho humm), while the vehicles around me drive their cars with white knuckles trying to keep up.
The EDFC is one of my favorite toys. I have three programmed suspension settings that I call, Cruise, Sport and Race. I keep the car in “Cruise” 99% of the time, which keeps the ride comfort about the same as a stock BMW. I switch to “Sport” mode when I am going through winding roads. The other great thing is when I see a nice turn coming up, I can just push the “Race” mode and within seconds I am ready to hang.
My daughter and wife enjoy the trip as passengers too, because of my 4 zone A/V system. I’ve got 3 channel headphones that allow 4 occupants to listen to different sources. On a recent long trip, my wife was sleeping, while listening to the CD, my daughter was playing Nintendo, my sister was watching a DVD and I was using Navigation while listening to Satellite radio through the car speakers, with everyone else listening through their headphones.
I’m sure I will come up with a few more creature comforts, as well as performance mods over this coming winter. The next major project will be to install a larger 8 inch monitor in the front dash and to complete stages 2 & 3 of my A/V system which consists of adding competition level amps (2) and speakers (3). The parts are already bought; I just need to find the time.
Why you chose to modify your Lexus?
The car has a lot of great aftermarket part available for it. As you can tell, I take great personal enjoyment in modifying and customizing cars. I wanted a high performance luxury car and the GS fit the bill. Sorry, but I honestly don’t like the looks of BMW’s, however a Mercedes may be in my future. Those that know me understand that I have the ability and skills to do almost all mods myself, but I chose to buy from Rod Millen because it saved me time from doing the “simple” mods, which subsequently allowed me to spend my time doing custom work, in other words, the fun stuff. This love of cars, speed and audio is a perfect match for my hobby of modding cars. I take great pride in saying I did it myself.
Custom Modifications Performed by me:
- Flush Mount Dash Monitor
- EDFC Installed in Dash. Side View mirrors control re-located
- Radar Detector Display mounted in factory clock location (Time is now displayed on the monitor)
- Lower Front Skid Plate – protects front air dam
- Flush Mount Headrest Monitors (No visible wires)
- Lexus Logo Custom Made Wheel Center Caps
- Wheels Painted to Match Factory Paint
- Xpel Custom cut to protect RMM bumper
Additional custom work to install the Audio/Video System: Nintendo, Subwoofer, Amps, CD Changer, DVD, Navigation. (Stay tuned for articles on these mods in the future)