Poorform: Jimmy’s Lexus LS430

Part 2 of the PoorForm shoot coming at ya! Finally getting around to doing some more editing and getting them up. To be honest, I’ve been trying to hold off from posting all the shoots one after the other or else I’ll just run out by the end of the week. I still have a bunch left to edit from other shoots so I think it’ll last me at least until the end of the month if I keep it up at this pace LOL.

Anyways – I was particularly excited to shoot Jimmy’s LS430 because of my infatuation with the VIP style when I first started building me LS460. To be honest, at first when I saw his build thread on beyond, I didn’t really get it. I didn’t get why someone would want to build a car like the LS (or any big body sedan for that matter). I thought it was sick that it was on air and it had big wheels, but everything after that didn’t make much sense. Keep in mind that this was before I knew or understood VIP. I was still in my ricer phase of big wings and loud exhausts – but don’t be mistaken, I still love all that shit… I just love the VIP style a little more now. The first two big body sedans I loved was of course the LS430 and the Toyota Crown. After I started loving the styling more, I started to appreciate the direction that Jimmy was going in his build thread.

It wasn’t until earlier this year that we started talking about different air set ups and such and we actually ended up going the same route for air suspension – a combo of coilovers with UAS bags paired with Accuair. The first time that I had seen Jimmy’s LS430 in person was at Driven 2013 with his newly finished air setup and it went home with a well deserved “Best of Show for VIP”. You’ll see why…

Jimmy’s wheels are now different than the old Work Gnosis HS203’s in gold that he had at the show. Now he’s rolling on Work Varianza V5S in a custom shadow black with a black anodized lip.

An up close of the rear wheel. 20×10.5… and that anodized lip is awesome in person.

The rear is a combination of 5Zigen fireball mega mufflers and custom piping all the way to the front. A perfect look for the rear of the 430 and it gives it an awesome sporty-VIP look.

Side shot of the rear wheel and his exhaust.

Shot of the front wheel.

Laying low. Just a bit further down and you’ll see his trunk set up – but his suspension set up is a combination of the popular Youzealand SS pro kit to get the car just a little lower – 30mm I believe, UAS aerosport bags over a set of Tanabe Z40 coilovers.

Rolling low.

And a rear quarter rolling shot.

The creme de la creme of Jimmy’s car is his trunk. Countless hours were put into this and to someone who hasn’t installed air on their ride, it may look as simple as putting the tank in, running some lines, and bolting everything down – how hard could it be? Well it’s actually extremely time consuming – making sure you have enough space for everything, ensuring lines don’t pinch, tucking all the wires and double checking that everything is easily accessible if you need to get to it. VIP styling is far from just having the car sit on the ground with big wheels. For some people, it’s an art and it’s about showing everything off. It is essentially being as flashy as you can be.

Jimmy’s went the extra mile to upgrade the audio system in the LS430. He’s got two Focal 33WX Utopia subs in the trunk, a Steg K201 and K402 amp to power everything, Steg Masterstroke MSK3000, Audison bitOne with DRC, Focal KRX2 front components with Audison Voce rear coax’s and finally a Pioneer deck up front to control it all.

As for his suspension set up – you can see here and the previous picture that his Accuair VU4 is set up quite nicely and the way the air lines run are extremely unique. Jimmy is running the full Accuair management system with Viair compressors.

An upclose of the hardwood that Jimmy used all throughout the trunk. This is one of the biggest eye-catchers and there is an excellent amount of attention to detail here. The edges are lined so there’s no rough edges showing and it’s laid down and cut perfectly to the contours of his trunk.

Last one to end the set! The last one to end this is of course, Jimmy’s monster 2JZ GS…

MDM Visuals: Lexus LS460L

Last night Mike from MDM Visuals finished up the last of the photos from the other night. I just want to give another HUGE thanks to Mike and Jesse for coming out to shoot my car. Like I said before, no one had shot my car before so I was super stoked for this shoot and the pictures turned out amazing. All summer I wanted to get a rolling shot, but there was really nobody that knew how to adjust it just enough for it to not demolish the inside of my wheel wells and be careful enough to raise it back up quick enough if a bump was ahead, all while I would be in another car shooting it. I was finally able to get that shot through Mike because I’d be the one driving the car and frankly, I think I only trust myself to do that haha.

The shots ended up turning out super rad! Mike and Jesse were super chill the whole time which was great and it felt good not to be the one directing the positioning and taking shots. I actually liked just sitting back and relaxing while someone else did the work.

Check out Mike’s photostream on Flickr as well as his website if you’re interested!

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikejoe

MDM Visuals: http://mdmvisuals.ca/

While I’m at it, I might as well do a little write up of my own car too… Technically I’ll be writing my own feature! haha

On to the plethora of pictures!

A perfect side profile shot. This was exactly how I pictured it to be way back before I ordered the air and wheels. I probably spent a good 5-8 hours a day for about a month trying to decide on which wheels to get. As you all know – wheels can make or break the car and it doesn’t matter how much your wheels cost, if they don’t suit the car then your car’s look is essentially ruined. When I was shopping for wheels, I wanted two things: 1) something not many people had and 2) a wheel to compliment the LS body. That’s it.

The biggest problem I would run into was that I either found a wheel that not many people rocked, but it didn’t suit the LS at all… Or the wheels were so perfect on the LS, but everybody and their dog had it. A VIP build is very meticulous – things like fitment has to be spot on, wheels have to suit the style, and accessories give the VIP feel. All of these things are aspects of the car that I still wish I could make better on my own car and I’m far from perfect

The 07 front end/fascia was the first facelift after the LS430. Sharper-looking headlights, more refined grill, a sportier take on the lower grills, and much smoother hood and fender lines. Dual projectors – DRL halogens and HID low beams with AFS (adaptive front-lighting system) – the projectors turn in the direction that you turn to help light up the road better. I was fortunate to stumble across this particular model because it has all the bells and whistles of the 600hL, minus the executive seating package. This means that multiple upgrades were put into this model that would normally be rare to see.

The front Lexus badge is embossed in plastic – this is the first sign of one of the (costly) upgrades to the LS. Radar cruise control – to help keep your distance between the car in front of you while using cruise control on the highway. You can adjust the distance between the two cars using a button on the steering wheel. It’s not necessary, nor have I ever used it… but it’s something that’s nice to have.

An awesome roller from Mike with the car sitting nice and low. As long as I didn’t turn, all was well lol.

The wheels are SSR Vienna Merisia’s in 21×10.5 in the rear and 21×9.5 in the front, finished in Titan Silver and finally, paired with red center caps. The unique thing about these wheels are that they are still one of the only sets in North America in the 21″ size and step-lipped. There are others with 19″ and 20″ but none are step-lipped.

The funny story behind it all is that I was debating between these SSR’s and Aimgain GIIM’s. Both are very unique wheels, and both looked awesome on the LS460. I was going back and forth between forums, multiple websites like WEDS, Volk, WORK, SSR, K-Break, etc and eventually I came across the Japanese SSR website where they had the SSR Merisia’s in 21″. On the North American website, they only had it available for up to 20″. While I could have settled for 20″, the LS460 is just so big that it dwarfs any wheel smaller than 21″. The majority of the LS460/600 community are running 22″ but 21″ was a safe bet too.

Nick Chow – the person responsible for helping me source and get these wheels assured me at the time that he could get 21″ even though the website didn’t have it up. When I finally took the leap, weeks later – SSR North America updated their website to finally have the 21″ sizing. The only other car that I know of with my specs is actually the Lexus LS600hL of SSR Japan.

Here is a good shot of the fitment. The rear is on point, but the fronts leave a little more to desire. I wish I would have gone a little bit of a lower offset to have them sit closer to the fender, but I am totally happy with how it turned out given that the VIP community and their wheel sizing is very secretive, especially when it comes to aggressive fitments. Rightfully so, as it isn’t an easy task nor is it cheap to buy wheels and hope they fit. Not to mention that a 5×120 bolt pattern is rare to find.

A beautiful shot of the rear. The rear of the LS460 is one of the finer aspects of the car. The tail lights, exhaust finishers and rear trunk all line up nicely. Many people in the VIP community actually take the exhaust finishers and retrofit them onto their vehicle. The rear is probably my favourite part of the car.

As you go through these pics, you can start to see or imagine how long this car really is. The long wheelbase version (hence the “L” at the end) is 4.8″ longer in length than the regular LS460. While it doesn’t sound like much, the extra 4.8″ means you also get a bunch of other goodies in the package. Which part of the car is 4.8″ longer, you ask? Only the rear. The whole front of the car and the trunk remain the same size – Lexus put that space all in the rear. With that simple amount of room, now a 6 ft tall man can easily cross his legs with no issue. The addition of rear reclining seats is now possible.

The long wheelbase upgrade also includes the addition of a navigation unit, front and rear heated and cooled seats, power trunk open/close, power rear sunshade, headlamp washers, wood and leather trimmed heated steering wheel. In addition to all of this, the previous owner also decided to add the rear side shades, a rear seat fridge to keep your water nice and cold on those hot summer days and to end it all off – the ultimate Mark Levinson audio entertainment package – 19 speakers in total around the LS460. This allows for DVD playback and a sound surround experience for the music and movies you listen and watch.

An awesome “James Bond” inspired shot.

The long wheelbase LS460 also comes with the option of air suspension – which mine also had. The stock air suspension was designed for a couple reasons: to allows a comfier and less bouncy ride. It’s like riding on a fluffy cloud – it had the ability to make you sleep while driving. It also had sensors that would lower the nose of the car when you reached highway speeds to increase aerodynamics and fuel economy. There is a “height high” button on the interior center console that allows you to raise the car when trying to get over speedbumps or clear high objects on the road. All of this and I opted for aftermarket air simply because it wasn’t enough for my needs. The downside to stock air was that it took ages to raise and lower – 3-5 minutes both ways. It also never went as low as you see it in pictures now.

The interior is very basic – not much has been touched and not much needs to be touched either. The simple addition of a white Junction Produce Tsuna and a black Junction Produce Fusa makes the interior feel a *little* more JDM. Also always supporting our friends to the East – level ONE – a group of friends that have really grown over the past year and I’m happy to be a part of that. Each one with cars that are done up with only the best and really done up with a fine tooth comb.

Ending it here with a roller into the sunset. The LS460L is definitely quite the car – it plays the part and it looks the part. The interior is a totally different world compared to my Civic and STI and it damn well should be. Am I done building it? Not really – I’m actually far from done but I think I’ll take my time with this one. Would I build another VIP car again? Perhaps… but it’s so hard to find a good chassis to build upon that fits the criteria. I’m quite happy to say that my LS in particular was like finding a needle in a haystack. We’ll see what the mod gods bring me next…

Moving onto a few shots of JC’s car and then some dual shots that Mike hit out of the park.

loved this roller.

Dual shot. I wish Punit was there to be able to get in on this. It would have been perfect.

The new front fascia of Lexus is amazing. I love all of them and I’m not sure why people hate the spindle grill either. haha

And to end it off – a nice shot with JC’s car staring out into the sunset.

Again – HUGE props to Mike for the shots!

Montreal 2013 – Part 2 of 2 *The Cars*

Well I’m super excited to post this because I was super excited when I saw it going down. I was wanting to go to Gibeau Orange Julep for a long time because a few years ago when I came down, I didn’t get the chance to go since it’s kind of far from where we are. I made sure that we would make the trip this time, and we went sometime in the evening after dinner.

Just a side note – where we are is very inner city and it’s an older part of Montreal, so there are rarely any nice cars driving around unless you go into the Downtown area and it’s all apartments and not one single house to be seen.

So as we came up from the Metro at the stop near Gibeau Orange Julep, there were highways, tons of cars, traffic – it was like a whole different city. As we were walking there, I saw an RX7 with an APR GT wing, I saw a bunch of dumped BMW 325XI’s, S2000’s, an M3 and I thought to myself “DAMN, Montreal DOES have people that do up cars!” and I was excited to see it. Once we started getting close and finally took a seat, the parking lot had some modified cars there too. I remember even saying to Diana “It looks like this is where all the ricers hang out”. A blacked out silver Cobalt SS was there pumping his music… Other oldschool VW’s with checkered pinstriping and steelies a few stalls over…

As we were waiting for our food, the parking lot started filling up very quickly. One after the other – Audi A4 on BBS, A white Lambo, Some more VW’s ranging from matte paint to oldschool and aired out, a 2JZ Soarer… Wait a second. Is this… like Montreal’s version of the “Beyond Meet” that we have here at Chinook mall on the upper parkade? Diana and I sat there for a while and watched the cars roll in one by one and people got out of their cars and started chillin’. You’ll notice there are rarely any Japanese cars here… It’s almost Euro across the board.

Yup – this WAS Montreal’s version of the Beyond Meet and I wasn’t going to sit around drinking Orange Juice without taking some pics. So off we went! I was a little hesitant at first cause I had no car, but once I got in the crowd – who would know? People love when other people take pictures of their shit. I’m that guy.

A shot of the place with some oldschool VW’s parked on the side. It gets crowded here cause it’s super popular. It’s like Peter’s Drive-in… but better.

First up was the oldschool, minty red BMW.

Super clean and fresh VW on air. The paint was immaculate.

The white lambo that pulled in. Crazy. Montreal has a ton of ballers. I think on St. Catherine St I saw R8’s, a Bugatti Veyron, an oldschool Lotus, a bunch of A7’s and S8’s… incredible.

A MK6 GTI on BBS. Clean, but to be honest – I’ve never been a fan of those BBS wheels. They just don’t flow right and I haven’t seen a car that looks great on them. But still clean.

Another MK6 GTI aired out with what looks to be CCW LM5T’s but not sure. Loved his stance though.

Tried to get a shot of his trunk set up, which was super legit. Hardwood all the way on to the backs of the rear seats.

Front shot of it.

Another super clean MK5 GTI on air.

Oldschool love.

This MK5 GTI was probably my favourite one there – unique matte cream colour scheme on MB wheels. Simple, but it stood out like a sore thumb. In a good way.

This BMW was pretty clean. Saw the red/pink wheel bolts and thought it was cool. Up close it was kind of a shoddy job though – looked like it was painted on with a brush. Some areas were missed, some even got onto the wheel. Nice try though.

Another one on bags. Audi TT on MB wheels. God I love the look of that.

And another MK5 GTI on bags. CAN’T GET ENOUGH

This guys car also had fresh paint and on BBS’s. Couldn’t tell if he was on bags though, but at this point – I’m going to put my money on it that he was too.

I think the three most unique and popular cars there that night were the three from Royal Flush Canada. I was surprised to see a following like that over here, even though only three of them showed up. All done up exceptionally well with good all-around modifications. This 3-Series was bagged on oldschool Ferrari wheels. His rear was insane.

Another was the FG Civic on a static drop I believe. Also very clean. Not sure what wheels those are.

And the crowd pleaser of the night was this 2JZ Soarer on SSR Sp1’s. I have a super soft spot for Meisters/SP1’s so when I saw this, I couldn’t get enough. His fitment and everything was perfect. Kudos to you.

Better shot of his stance.

Shot of the rear wheel.

Rear decal.

A shot of the trunk set up of that green VW earlier. So legitttttttt

Was surprised to see a Volvo C30 there. Pretty good fitment, but I wish it was bagged too lol

Matte black VW on matte bronze wheels. The body was nice, but the wheels and fitment needed some work.

One of the confused ones there.

Tried to get a big shot but the girls glared at me as soon as I had my camera up.

Another shot of the matte cream GTI.

Some betters shots of the 3-Series and his rear fitment.

Even unpacked their flag. l need one of those.

So goooooood. check the alternating bolts too.

Where do VW guys get these ideas?!

Tried to get a group shot of the Royal Flush group but everyone kept crowding the Soarer lol. Guy with the long hair is the owner.

I’ll just end it with this one.

The caliber of cars there is pretty much the same here. There is always going to be a handful of cars that stand out and do it right, and there is going to be a bunch that are halfway there, got lost along the way, or are just confused altogether. Either way – it was nice to see a car meet and I’m lucky to have been there while it was happening to take some pics.

I don’t think I have anything lined up until the weekend for illmotion’s Sunday School Show & Shine… but stay tuned. Maybe something will come up!

Favourites: Ricky’s Volkswagen GTI

It just dawned on me that I hadn’t posted these shots of Ricky’s GTI from last summer since they were waiting to be published elsewhere. I think a year is long enough to showcase his beautifully bagged GTI.

I’ve followed along with Ricky and his build, put a fair share of sweat and tears, and discussed hours upon hours of his build from the very beginning. The one thing you don’t usually get is the feeling of accomplishment that the owner gets when the car finally reaches this stage. Often times, readers just see the final outcome but they can’t appreciate the amount of work has gone into something. The little things like what needed to be done to fit a certain part, or the sacrifices that had to be made to actually make it to the product you see in photos. Luckily for me, Ricky’s GTI was one of those cars where I can say (I think he’d agree) that I know the process. I think he could say the same thing about all of my builds as well. For those of you that don’t know, Ricky is my cousin – so that’s part of the reason why we’re able to share that pain we all love when building cars.

The unique thing about Ricky’s build – and I use the term “unique” loosely – is because ever since the beginning, Ricky’s GTI has been semi-inspired by a lot of JDM builds. Most of the guys we all hang out with started out with the JDM-phase – building Honda’s, Toyota’s, etc. You’ll see very quickly that there are aspects of his GTI that make you think that Ricky should’ve built a Honda instead. From his SSR Professor SP1’s to the Bride carbon kevlar Gias seats. The mixture of Euro flavour and JDM inspiration comes together extremely well, and while there is some distaste among his fellow VW owners, there’s no denying that this is one of the best GTI builds out there.

The first thing you notice about his GTI is the beautiful set of SSR professor SP1’s in the awesome spectrum silver finish. He was one of the first to finally slap them on and at the time, it was rare to even find pictures of them on the internet. His Oettinger bumper is aggressive and flows well with the lines of the car.

His fitment in the rear.

Comparison shot.

Ricky was also early to the game of bagging his car in the city. There are a few that have done it, but it’s costly and most people prefer just to do static. Thanks to Concept-1, they got his GTI sitting nice and low and looking awesome with Accuair components.

His OSIR carbon fiber duckbill spoiler. This was one of the pieces that we had discussed for a long time about how the paint scheme should be. We talked about painting the whole thing, painting it slightly to show the weave through… Eventually we came up with keeping the bottom unpainted to show the carbon weave and then the top to match with his roof. It turned out awesome and the install took us a while, but the final outcome was worth it. Dave at Screamin’ Paintworks did a great job with the paintwork all around for Ricky’s car.

OSIR carbon insert side skirts as well.

The look of spectrum silver when it’s not in the sun. Simple gunmetal.

A look at the back of his carbon kevlar Bride Gias seats. Again, something that was a little odd to think about adding to the GTI initially, but once they were in – perfection.

Again with the JDM flavour – TI license plate bolts paired with a JDM EGO frame. Perfect!

A side profile shot showing his stance.

The rear with the sun shining right down on the spectrum silver.

Awesome monotone.

His dual chamber Forge carbon fiber intake.

Final shot of the beautiful SSR SP1.

While these shots are somewhat dated, his car still remains the same for the most part. You may remember seeing my post about it a few months back with his car on BBS RS’s as well. You can see it here

https://lifewithjson.com/2013/03/21/enter-rickys-gti/