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2002 Lexus SC 430 - Puttin' It Down

James OTA Lays Out His Lexus

Charles Trieu
Mar 1, 2009
Photographer: Sean Klingelhoefer
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I can safely say James Ota agrees with my motto of "there's no such thing as being too low." If it doesn't scrape, you're not low enough. And if it doesn't rub, they're not wide enough.

A few years ago, James was getting tired of driving his modified '92 Lexus SC300. After owning several older Japanese cars, he wanted to keep with a progression into newer cars. As much as he liked the older SC, it was time to give it up. At the same time Job Design from Japan approached James and the guys at PG Motoring, looking for some US distribution channels. One of the cars that Job Design had parts for was the Toyota Soarer UZZ40 (basically a Lexus SC430). James immediately jumped at the idea of ditching his older SC for the newer one.

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The Lexus SC430 is not your typical tuner car. "I built this vehicle for comfort and style. It was a natural side step from the tuner world," James says. Before he even found the right SC430 to buy, he had the full Job Design kit already ordered from Japan. "Few companies make parts for the SC430, and the ones who do usually just have lip kits. I wanted a full bumper replacement, so when I saw the Job Design kit, I knew I had to have it." Half kits or lip kits, simply isn't baller enough. When it comes to VIP or bippu style, you need a full kit, preferably a bumper replacement with its own specific fog lights.

After getting the kit and finding the car, James dropped the car off at Universal Air themselves where the car was fitted with airbags. No VIP is truly VIP until it's been bagged. With Universal Air's Aero Sport bags, the car retained factory style struts. But in addition, James had them changed out to stiffer Bilstein units.

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When it comes to wheels, VIP is not all about the largest diameter wheels you can fit. You don't need 22s or 24s; it's all about how wide your rim is. Stretch the tires, pull, flare, or shave the fenders, do whatever you have to, to fit the widest rims you can. James was fortunate that his SC only required minor work to the fenders and underneath to fit his Work Schwert 20x9.5" in the front.

Like any car project, a VIP car is never done. James will soon be upgrading the sound system, as well as getting more interior accessories. Being one of the very few coupes that qualify as VIP status, he wouldn't be able to install the infamous curtains that every sedan gets to. But what he can't do is made up for with the very pimp motorized retractable hardtop. As far as performance upgrades, he'll be adding PG Motoring brake calipers to the monstrous wheels in the near future. How does one get to ball like James? "With a luxury car, nothing's cheap or easy. You get what you pay for. The best things come to those who wait... 2-3 months per part."

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Fast Facts
2002 Lexus SC4 30

Owner James Ota
Hometown City of angeles, CA

Daily Grind CFO of PG Motoring USA

Previous Cars '86 Corolla GTS, '90 240SX, '91 RX-7, '92 Lexus SC300

Power 288 hp and 317 lb ft. of torque

Under The Hood 4.3L 3UZ-FE V8

Suspension Bilstein Sport struts; Universal Air Aero Sport airbags; Viair compressors;

Rollers Work Varianza Schwert SC2 black machine finish 20x9.5, 20x10.5

Outside Job Design Completion body kit, optional fog lights; puddle LED light kit; '06 rear taillights front head light conversion, all red side markers; limo tint

Inside Garson Luxury Crystal type Glitter shift knob; Bellezza neckpads

Ice Nav Tool video integration; VAIS Tech audio integration;

PROPS Thanks to Work Wheels; Job Design; Hiro & Mizushima-san @ PG Motoring Japan; Oishi-san, Zack & Staff @ Universal Air Suspension; Koji & Barnard @ Car Studio USA; Sixteen Customs; Peter @ AutoWerks; Kelvin Tohar; Brian Lee; Wilson Tien; Tsutomu, Marina Ota & Family; Robyn Kanemoto & Family; Charles & Sean @ Super Street.

WWW bellezza-cs.com, bilstein.com, garson.co.jp, jobdesigncojp, pgmotoringusa.com, universalairsuspension.com, viaircorp.com, workwheelsusa.com

By Charles Trieu
161 Articles

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