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!
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!