Lexus SC430 – Ahead Of Its Time?

Lexus SC430

The Lexus SC430 was sold here in the States from 2001-2010 and I straight-up hated it that entire time.  It was the replacement for SC300 and SC400 which people, including myself,  loved.  Those first-gen cars were sporty grand tourers and generally seen as aspirational vehicles.  I lived in Boston during their reign and the Red Sox player parking lot was littered with them.  In short, they were cool.

Then came the follow-up: the SC430…

One of the leading car magazines at the time put it best when they said the Lexus SC430’s design shared more than a passing resemblance to a partially-used bar of soap.  It seemed Lexus had, for some unknown and seemingly illogical reason, re-aimed the SC squarely at the elderly as it was a car you were far more likely to see at the country club than the club club.  

But as I’ve gotten older my opinion of the SC430 has pretty much pulled a 180: I actually think it looks cool now.  I have no idea how this happened, but I genuinely think it looks well proportioned and attractive.  Hell, I’m at the point now where I’m considering getting one…and yeah, I can’t believe I’m saying this either.

Is it possible that the Lexus SC430 was so far ahead of its time design-wise that it was us that had to come around to it?  It certainly seems so, at least for me.  Where I once saw a bloated, ugly blob of who-gives-a-crap, I now see a sophisticated grand tourer waiting for a leisurely road trip.  

Look at the above interior.  Its classy, well thought-out and could even carry 2 people in the back…assuming of course they had no legs.  Add in the practicality of a power-retractable hardtop, the decent performance of a 288hp V8 and I’m seriously looking for space to store one.  It’s an all-weather  grand tourer that rides nice, feels nice and as far as I’m concerned, looks nice. 

Lower the suspension an inch or so, slap on some more substantial wheels and tires and the Lexus SC430 is a full-on looker that won’t break the bank.   Best of all: finding a good example should prove easy as they were primarily owned by geriatrics. 

…off to Craigslist…

Images: Wikipedia, TopSpeed

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