It's a grueling world out there. If you want to make it big, you gotta work hard. And when you finally make it to the top, you absolutely have to flaunt it. It's the harsh reality of life: The higher your status, the more money you make, and the flashier your lifestyle becomes. Think about when you were mopping floors at the local burger joint. You were happy with your hand-me-down Accord lowered on cut springs and rocking a welded-on muffler-shop exhaust. You could wear shoes from Payless and not care. You didn't try to go to clubs that much and if you didn't get in, it wasn't a big surprise.
Well, our boy Kelvin Tohar didn't have to scrub any toilets, but he did work his way to the top. He started off as a scrub like all of us, rolling in his EF Civic and CRX. When the ends starting coming in, he busted out with the ketchup-and-mustard-colored Del Sol that was featured on our Dec '98 cover way back when. Now that he's making more coin, he lost his color blindness and gave the two-seater a full makeover-new paint job and all. Then he started rocking $150 Jordans and getting crazier with his car, and we're plenty glad he did.
Kelvin is the Event Specialist for Falken Tire Corporation and he's definitely big pimpin'. He doesn't sit around reading Super Street to see what the next trend is; he sits at the new Falken corporate office setting them. And right now he's telling us that VIP (Falken calls it AutoLuxury) is what's dope. Ten years ago people were fixing up Integras and Civics. Now that these people are older, they want more practical, blingy cars to roll around in-if you can consider Kelvin's VIP '00 Lexus GS 300 even close to being practical.
So what exactly is the appeal of Kelvin's GS? After all, he's left the drivetrain untouched and the motor pretty much stock except for an exhaust. As for the paint, it's just been re-sprayed factory black. Maybe it's because the car is armored in a 13-piece Junction Produce body kit that demands the attention of onlookers. Or the fact that when we saw it at Chinatown Showoff, the GS frame sat on the ground with the 19-inch Scara rims and Falken tires buried deep into the fender wells. Kelvin even left the Garson Executive curtains (yes. Curtains.) open to reveal the luxurious interior. And we're not just talking about some stick-on fake carbon fiber dash trim. He went for the works, which included a full Alpine system and a woodgrain dash. That's definitely pimp status. Kelvin's only comment: "When the car is slammed, you won't see any rockin' but if the curtains are shut, don't come knockin'."
More amazing than the parts on this GS costing more than most people's cars, is the fact that it's Kelvin's daily driver. He rolls it to work, drive-thrus, Hot Import Nights, DUB shows and Clippers home games. Not to mention the clubs he hits up where the valets leave it parked up front so the Green Peace wannabe-celebrities can drool over it when they pull up in their Prius.
The velvet ropes part and champagne falls from the heavens when the K-man is rolling his GS. He doesn't have to stand in line to convince the meathead bouncer that he's on the "list." He pays no cover and requires no bottle service to get in. No reservations at a swanky restaurant? Pssh, please. People get booted from their tables mid-meal when Kelvin pulls up in his GS. Best of all, when the ladies flock, the sedan seats five so he can definitely squeeze a dozen hunnies in there comfortably.
The VIP style is quite tempting, but Kelvin warns that it isn't cheap. Even though you can pick up a used GS 300 for around $15,000, the right parts will cost you nearly double that. We hope you have a fat checkbook or high limit on your credit card. If not, you can just slap some big rims on your Focus, send it to Carter for Readers' Rides and call it a day. Right now, Kelvin has more pimpin' to do.
Owner Kelvin "Clippers" Tohar
Hometown Monterey Park, CA
Daily Grind Event Specialist for Falken Tire Corporation
Under The Hood Stock, except for an exhaust
Drivetrain Stock again, suckaz. This is VIP
Stiff Stuff Air Runner full air suspension
Rollers 19x9.5 (front) and 19x10.5 (rear) Scara rims with 235/35R19 (front) and 245/35R19 (rear) Falken FK-452 tires
Outside Junction Produce body kit, three-piece rear wing, badging and LED taillights; repainted stock black; shaved inner fenders; Blitz i-Burner spark lights; Graphtech decals; Garson Executive license plate emblem; Star Shield Armor invisible bra; chrome Lexus grille
Inside Woodgrain dash from Sherwood Dash; Luxis shift knob and pedals; Garson Executive curtains; Junction Produce pillows; Indeed side tables and woodgrain cigarette lighter
ICE Alpine IVA-X200 head unit, V-Power amplifiers, Type R speakers, Blackbird and separates; Tsunami wiring