Anyone who says that the best things come to those who wait is usually full of crap. It's just some stupid phrase that procrastinators use to cover up the fact that they've been sitting around with their thumbs up their buttocks for the past nine months. There are, however, rare occasions when this stupid phrase does hold true and Emerald Ignacio's '92 Lexus Soarer (SC400) is a prime example. We've been talking to Em about shooting her car for nearly three years now. It's gone to hell and back while we've waited both patiently and anxiously at the same time. It wasn't until our last trip to Seattle that she finally managed to have the car up to her standards so we could shoot it. Now we can mark it off the list of a billion other things we still have to do.
Ride: '92 Lexus Soarer (SC400)
Owner: Emerald Ignacio aka Drift Girl
Hometown: Lynnwood, uh, Seattle, WA
Daily Grind: Owner of Preferred Image Motoring Products [P.I.M.P.] and model
Under The Hood: Custom turbo 1UZFE V8; ported and polished head; Cometic head gaskets; polished intake manifold; SARD fuel injectors and pump; Top Speed fuel pressure regulator; re-ported stock fuel rail; [P.I.M.P] air intake; custom exhaust with titanium tips; NGK spark plugs; custom spark plug wires; Garrett T66 turbo; HKS boost controller and blow-off valve; Junsei Tuner front-mount intercooler; Rtek MAF adapter; TRD radiator cap; dual nitrous setup
Drivetrain: Performance automatic tranny; ATS rear lock-up LSD; Levoc Hybrid shifter; Precision Industries Dragon torque converter; upgraded springs, valve body, and solenoids
Brains: HKS boost controller; custom ECU management by [P.I.M.P.]
Stiff Stuff: Kg/mm coilovers; ARC front and rear sway bars; TRD front strut tower bar; Junsei tuner carbon fiber rear strut tower bar, floor brace, carbon harness bar, and fender brace; Do-Luck ladder bars
Rollers: Axis Milano wheels 19x8.5 and 19x9.5; Falken FK 451 tires 245/35R19 and 275/30R19Stoppers: Plated drilled and slotted brake rotors; TRD brake pads
Outside: Car Make T&E body kit; carbon fiber hood, trunk, front fenders, and underbody panels; widened rear fenders; molded sides; custom rear; shaved high beams; Candy Brandy Wine House of Kolor paint; custom ghosted flame patterns
Inside: Junsei Tuner seats; [P.I.M.P.] carbon fiber dash and panels; Megan gauges; Nardi steering wheel; Levo Hybrid shift knob; 4-point racing harnesses; carbon fiber harness bar; carbon fiber door sills
Ice: Rosen DVD head unit; Alpine V12 amplifiers; Polk speakers; MOMO subs; 40GB media player; 5.6-inch TFT video screens; carbon fiber sub woofer box
Props: Walter for the encouragement, support, and knowledge; Brian at Autosport for the emergency calls; my little brother Marc for the research; Marcus for having faith in me; Preferred Image Motoring Products [P.I.M.P.] staff; www.importtoys.com division crew; www.driftgirl.org members; www.sc400tuner.com; Junsei Tuner; members at www.northwestnissans.com; Robert, Neil, and Jeff at ALSC; everyone at Toyota Imports Forum; Rob the tow guy from Intercounty Towing; Tavis at Jaz wheels; Kelvin and everyone at Falken; Sheila and everyone at Polk Audio
Breaking The Hymen
This is the first "import car" I've ever built. Back when I started putting it together, most of the people in the Lexus community were calling it "rice" and stuff like that. I hadn't planned on doing anything but keep it a stock luxury car, but my passion got the best of me. After the rims, suspension, and everything else I just couldn't stop. The more I learned how to do things, the more I wanted to change it up. I'm not a big fan of trailer queens so I built this car to drive hard. I just try to make sure it looks as good as it performs.
The SC4 isn't well supported in the aftermarket industry so I had to R&D the majority of the stuff myself. It's not done yet, maybe after I get my five-speed conversion, but the car has been in its present state for over a year because I've been busy working on my two Nissan drift cars.
Mo' Mods, Mo' Problems
I've had two accidents that weren't my fault and made one mistake by taking it to the body shop from hell. I've been talking about having the car shot by Super Street since October of '02.
In April of '03 I went out to buy some shoes and some girl backs up in an intersection straight into my car. The body shop experience came next. They had an employee who blew the motor while taking it on a joyride. I got stuck with the bill and they went out of business so I couldn't collect. At least the experience gave me a chance to learn how to paint better. The second accident happened in June of '04 when an uninsured man decides to drive loaded and backs into my car with a Suburban. The damage was an estimated $15,000 because the car needed to be stripped, re-molded, and repainted. As a result of all those problems I am still eating top ramen and drinking Kool Aid. (Oh yeah! - SS Staff)
Don't Imitate, Innovate
I think the most unique feature about my car is the innovation that it went through. I designed and built it myself from the ground up. And I boosted the previously untouchable 1UZFE V8 engine in just a couple months. The idea has been tossed around for several years now with no outcome because there is no room in the engine bay. I found a way with a little relocation of some stock components. As for the body, there were no carbon fiber hoods, trunks, or fenders available so I built my own. Now, of course, they're a dime a dozen. On the inside I replaced the stock seats with racing ones and fabricated my own rails to integrate a motorized system that would allow me to use the seat computer and auto presets.
"I Don't Chase 'Em, I Race 'Em."
That's my motto. This isn't a show car, it's built for the street. Most people assume that since I'm an Asian female and into the car scene that I'd be an "import model." I'm not really into that scene, though. I tried it but by the time the car show rolls around my nails are broke, hands bruised, and I have miscellaneous cuts here and there. Occasionally I'll do some modeling, but mostly it's apart from the car scene. I'd rather be under the hood than on top of it.
I have a 4-ft replica Soarer with candy paint and a carbon fiber hood just like the big car. It has custom remote control functions, a custom interior, a 2-inch TV screen, and an RF receiver linked to the big car. Most importantly, it has a very sensitive alarm. It's a big hit at the show for kids, but not such a big hit with parents who have to quickly chase them down.
"I'm not a big fan of trailer queens so i built this car to drive hard."
"I boosted the previously untouchable 1uzfe v8 engine in just a couple months."