Your typical VIP build usually isn't much more than a few things, like being completely slammed, stuffed with big wheels, subtle aero and maybe a system. Then, you cruise—look good, feel good. And then there are those who absolutely must take things up a couple levels, because quite frankly, when it's time to floss, you may as well go beyond the distance—look great, feel better. Thomas Pinai's GS is a prime example of turning the proverbial dial past 11, way past it. Why bag a car when you can also boost it for nearly 400hp?
Spotted at Wekfest's final stop in Texas last year, we not only loved the looks, but were surprised to see just how much more the car had underneath its hood. Using a RMM supercharger kit that's been upgraded with a Vortech V2 blower and an 11psi pulley, the 1UZ can call upon all of its extra power without an ounce of lag. Though it's not swapped with a 2J, the chassis is identical to its JDM counterpart, the Aristo, and so a few Supra parts were added in, like a Fluidyne radiator and Mishimoto fan shroud. The automatic transmission was upgraded with a JPI torque converter and outfitted with a Supra limited-slip differential. To fine tune the engine, a Haltech Platinum 2000 Sport stand-alone ECU was added.
Getting the drop to go that low is obviously done with air—here, an Air Runner kit does the task of raising and lowering the frame at will. But to also improve the handling further, Thomas replaced a good portion of the car's bushings with Daizen polyurethane pieces; he also bolted in TRD sway bars and various Tom's suspension components. At each corner are custom-barreled, 20-inch SSR GT3 wheels, 9" wide up front and 10" on the rear. Needless to say, having big brakes to stop those wheels would be a smart move, and so Thomas did with Futura's 8-pot fronts and 6-pot rears.
For the expected VIP touches, there's plenty of Mode Parfume aero mixed in with Ugo, Junction Produce and JDM Aristo parts. Its headlights have been retrofitted with HIDs while the back end now has custom LEDs made with '01 GS taillights and Mode Parfume HID projector foglights. Inside is a boomin' system that would make Uncle L proud—but there are performance related accessories like a GReddy boost gauge and AEM wideband gauge.
As it stands, Thomas reigns proudly as a back-to-back winner of the Best of Show from Wekfest's Texas showdowns. And for good reason— it doesn't just look pretty, it has all the power it needs to keep the shit-talking to a minimum.
1998 Lexus GS 400
Hometown Austin, TX
Occupation Account service manager
power 394whp, 348-lb-ft
Engine 1UZ-FE; RMM supercharger kit with custom 11psi cogged pulley; Vortech V2 S trim blower; JPI stainless header; RC Engineering 440cc injectors; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator; Snow Performance water/meth injection kit; A'PEXi grounding kit; Mode Parfume exhaust; Tanabe mid pipe; Carson Tuned brake reservoir cover; Mishimoto Toyota Supra fan shroud; Fluidyne Toyota Supra radiator; Weapon*R overflow tank and power steering reservoir; C-one oil cap; custom engine wire tuck; Dressupbolts.com titanium dress-up kit
Drivetrain Toyota Supra automatic 3.76 LSD; JPI torque converter; polished transmission cooler
Engine Management Haltech Platinum 2000 Sport ECU with Boost Logic harness
Footwork & Chassis Air Runner suspension; Ride Tech Air Pod compressor/valves; Daizen polyurethane bushings and steering rack bushings; TRD front/rear sway bars; Tom's H bar, rear 6-link bars and rear control arm braces; Carbing/Carson Tuned front strut bar
Brakes Futura 8-pot 380mm (front)/6-pot 355mm (rear) brakes
Wheels & Tires 20x9", 20x10" custom barreled SSR GT3 wheels; 215/30R20 (front), 245/30R20 (rear) Nitto Neo Gen tires
Exterior Mode Parfume Phantom Gamu kit, LED rear reflector lights, lip spoiler and rear emblem; Ugo roof spoiler; Junction Produce shark fin antenna and grille; LED turn signal mirrors; Original Garage custom '01 LED taillights, retrofitted low/high beam HID projector headlights; custom Mode Parfume HID projector fog lights; Toyota Aristo chrome door handles, visors and C-pillars
Interior Grazio steering wheel; Sherwood dash kit; Toyota Aristo rear privacy curtain; GReddy boost gauge; AEM wideband gauge; Futura floor mats; custom leather stitched seats; Eclipse AVN 5445 nav unit; Toyota Aristo double DIN kit; Boston Acoustic Pro series 6.5"components; JL Audio amps/subs; Saav monitors; Kinetik battery; Infinite LED lighting; Hydrographic wood trim
Thank YOU Vengeance Customs, Custom Sounds, Original Garage, Boost Logic, Tim Pereira, Futura Brakes, Refined Elegance, Texas Auto Tops