90s Japanese Luxury Car Purchase Dilemma Solved: Going VIP!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
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90s japanese luxury car purchase dilemma solved going vip

Back in September, I wrote about my search for a 1990s Japanese luxury car as a daily driver, with the Infiniti Q45, Lexus LS400, and Acura RL as the main contenders. Five months later, I’ve made my choice. It’s a 1997 Coach Edition Lexus LS400 in nice shape, 120,000 miles. Man, this car has class.. The reason I’m getting this LS is to allow me to immobilize my ’92 Civic long enough to swap the Integra GS-R engine into it, which means I won’t be doing any customizing that takes it out of commission for long periods. That doesn’t mean I’ll be leaving it dead stock, of course…

I’ve become fascinated by the Japanese VIP Style fashion for car customization, spending a lot of time looking at the Junction Produce site and various Japanese VIP car publications. I won’t be doing anything particularly radical to my Lexus in terms of ride height or suspension mods (I want it to ride the way Toyota intended), but I will need some better wheels, and Celsior grille and badges… and a fusa.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.

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4 of 71 comments
  • Murilee Martin Murilee Martin on Feb 17, 2012

    I think what I really need is four 'bos, wrapped in four Vogues.

    • See 1 previous
    • Cheapthrills Cheapthrills on Feb 17, 2012

      @redmondjp I believe he means fo-fos, wrapped in fo-Vogues. Mike Jones demonstrated their superiority in the video for Still Tippin'.

  • Hgrunt Hgrunt on Jul 19, 2012

    My parents bought a '91 LS400, second hand, in the late 90s. The powertrain was incredibly smooth. It was also the one thing in the car that didn't break, as it turned out to be the least reliable car our family had ever owned. It was no fault of the car itself, just a general lack of every type of maintenance from previous owners.

  • FreedMike I suppose that in some crowded city like Rome or Tokyo, there's a market for a luxurious pint-size car. I don't think they'll be able to give them away here in the U.S.
  • TMA1 How much did exchange rates affect this decision? The Renegade is imported from Italy. I'm wondering if that's what caused the price to reach within a few hundred of the much bigger Compass. Kind of a no-brainer to pick the larger, more modern vehicle.
  • CEastwood Everytime I see one of these I think there's a dummie who could have bought a real car , but has to say look at me driving this cool thing I can't drive in the rain like an actual motorcycle that I should have bought in the first place ! It's not Batman I see driving these - it's middle age Fatman .
  • SilverCoupe I should be the potential audience for this (current A5 owner, considering an S5 in the future), but I can't say it excites me. I have never liked the vertical bars in the grilles of sporting Mercedes models, for one thing. The interior doesn't speak to me either.I would be more likely to consider a BMW 4 Series, though not the current version with the double Edsel grille. Still, I suppose it would be worth a look when the time comes to replace my current vehicle.
  • Verbal Can we expect this model to help M-B improve on finishing 29th out of 30 brands in CR's recent reliability survey?