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A Look Back at When Lexus Created a IS430 Project Car

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A Look Back at When Lexus Created a IS430 Project Car

 
Old 07-11-19, 12:51 PM
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Default A Look Back at When Lexus Created a IS430 Project Car

A Look Back at When Lexus Created a IS430 Project Car
By Lance Branquinho

Many regard IS-F as the original Lexus sports sedan.

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Old 07-12-19, 08:32 AM
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A couple of corrections about the IS430. I was the father of this project as I was the Lexus powered 32 Ford roadster (now in my garage), the Retro Cruiser, the Ultimate Celica and a few other projects over my 37 year career at Toyota. First, it wasn't built by Rhys, but by his father Rod. Second, it wasn't built for SEMA, although I seem to remember it may have been displayed there. No, it was built to sent a message to TMC. As both the head of product planning and later as the general manager of Lexus in the US. I was in favor of a more emotional and performance oriented positioning for Lexus. Can't tell you the huge battle I faced to get TMC to put a manual in the original IS300. A V-8 was out of the question. Of course we knew that if the IS 430 were built and done right (which Rod certainly did) that the media and enthusiasts would love it and ask when Toyota was going to build it. In terms of TMC, it was the classic case of asking for forgiveness, not permission. TMC was not happy we built this car and if we would have asked for permission it would have never happened. We did this car on a relatively tight budget. One aspect of that is the paint treatment. We wanted to add some visual interest, but didn't want to repaint the entire car. The donor car was red so we simply added the two tone black on top, came out OK and made it visually more distinctive. Never could prevail on the manual issue though, the global installation rates were so low. In my first stint running product panning in the early 80's I actually convinced TMC to offer a manual in the Cressida, not one of my better decisions. I drove one for a year to demonstrate that someone would actually want one.

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Old 07-12-19, 11:01 AM
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Hi Bryan,

Thank you for reaching out. I just updated the slideshow with the information. Thank you so much and also from all of the enthusiasts out there thank you for getting that manual into the IS300. I remember dreaming about buying one of those when they first came out but I was just a broke college student lol.

Thanks,
CCE Thomas
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Old 07-12-19, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 550bryan View Post
A couple of corrections about the IS430. I was the father of this project as I was the Lexus powered 32 Ford roadster (now in my garage), the Retro Cruiser, the Ultimate Celica and a few other projects over my 37 year career at Toyota. First, it wasn't built by Rhys, but by his father Rod. Second, it wasn't built for SEMA, although I seem to remember it may have been displayed there. No, it was built to sent a message to TMC. As both the head of product planning and later as the general manager of Lexus in the US. I was in favor of a more emotional and performance oriented positioning for Lexus. Can't tell you the huge battle I faced to get TMC to put a manual in the original IS300. A V-8 was out of the question. Of course we knew that if the IS 430 were built and done right (which Rod certainly did) that the media and enthusiasts would love it and ask when Toyota was going to build it. In terms of TMC, it was the classic case of asking for forgiveness, not permission. TMC was not happy we built this car and if we would have asked for permission it would have never happened. We did this car on a relatively tight budget. One aspect of that is the paint treatment. We wanted to add some visual interest, but didn't want to repaint the entire car. The donor car was red so we simply added the two tone black on top, came out OK and made it visually more distinctive. Never could prevail on the manual issue though, the global installation rates were so low. In my first stint running product panning in the early 80's I actually convinced TMC to offer a manual in the Cressida, not one of my better decisions. I drove one for a year to demonstrate that someone would actually want one.
Wow! This is great info! Thanks for posting!
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