– Words: Ryan Lewis. Photos: Justin Sung.
Car mates are the best kind of mates. Without those ‘car guy’ friendships we wouldn’t have our scene or culture or whatever you choose to call it. If you’re really into cars it’s likely that the friends you’ve made through events or forums have become the guys you hang out with most. When you have a bunch of blokes who really ‘get’ what each other is about, groups like House of Stance are born. These dudes push each other to go all out with new mods and Chook Tran is at the coalface, representing what they stand for with his Lexus GS300.
Most of us know a guy like Chook. He’s passionate and opinionated, he’ll tell you why something sucks and he knows when something is cool. He spent months searching for the right GS, lurking classified ads for a clean gloss black over black leather example. Long before he held the keys he had a clear picture of what the car would be, and once it was under his ownership it didn’t take long to complete the transformation.
Japanese VIP style is slowly infiltrating Aussie shores, but few manage to get it right. Lexus’ GS platform is a typical base for ‘bippu’ builds in Japan and Chook was determined to do it justice. “I had big plans for this car, I planned to build a proper VIP JZS160 and not just purchase some Junction Produce pillows and hang a Fusa off my rear view mirror,” said Chook.
Long-standing fans of T-LD may remember Chook’s old MX-5 featured here over two years ago. One look at that and you’ll realise Chook isn’t afraid to drive slammed. Suspension for the GS was one of the first things he tackled. “After owning it for about 2-3 weeks I couldn’t resist purchasing my first major mod,” Chook teased on the JDM Style Tuning forums. At the next meet he let the cat out of the bag by airing out his brand new setup for the curious onlookers.
Chook has done his time rolling hard in static cars, the luxurious ride of the Lexus needed a different treatment. “When driving a luxury saloon you still want to be comfortable. I didn’t want to sacrifice that by running slammed on coilovers. I could get away with a cracked Garage Vary front lip on my MX-5, but a cracked front lip on my GS doesn’t look very ‘BO55’!”
With plates like these Chook’s intentions are made clear. Accept no imitations! BO55GS needed the right wheels to seal the deal so he went straight to the top with a custom-made set of Super Polish Finish VSX210s from VIP Modular. Sizes are 19×10″ up front and 19×11″ cambered in at the back.
Selecting the right shoes is half the battle, but fitment had to be totally on point to really make a mark. Hours were spent negotiating alignment settings to nail the look Chook had planned from the start – sitting the rear arches down between the tyre and wheel lip. “It’s a lot harder to get lip on guard than people think,” explains Chook.
Dialling in the fine balance of tyre size, wheel offset and camber/toe angle delivered big results. Debuting the final setup at our very first Showcased event was a milestone for Chook. Hard work paid off when he took out the Perfect Fitment award. The car’s wheel/suspension/fitment combo by far the most talked about of the day.
Of course there are many other details making up the finished product. The boot lid has been shaved and cleaned up, new polished mufflers fitted, the front grille has been colour-coded and other small touches around the car that are more than the sum of their parts. It’s a car that stands out without being outrageous, it has genuine presence.
Believe it or not, Chook daily drove the Lexus for two years. The only reason he’s stopped is because it’s now owned by someone else. Once Chook’s vision became reality there wasn’t much left to do. Like all red-blooded car guys his mind started to wander to other possibilities, and selling the GS was the only way to make room for a new project.
Given the splash that this car made only a short time ago, there’s bound to be more to come from Chook. His new ride is a 350Z, another respected platform for big stance builds. Once those House of Stance boys get in Chook’s ear, you can bet dollars to donuts that it’ll push the envelope all over again.
“I’d like to thank all my family, friends, photographers and online blogs for all their love and support, Built to Order, G1Autopro, PhillB Enterprises, Concord Customs, Plus Six One Clothing, Trigger Productions, DJ Moto and the Black Label Crew and last but not least my House of Stance comrades for the good laughs, helping me with my build and loyal friendship.”
– 1998 Lexus GS300
– 3.0L 2JZ-GE straight-six
– 5-speed automatic
– Custom air suspension
– D2 airbag struts
– Accuair e-Level management system
– 2x Viair 400C compressors
– 5 gallon tank
– FIGS adjustable toe links
– Kmac adjustable camber bushes/bolts
WHEELS & TYRES:
– VIP Modular VXS210 wheels
– SPF (Super Polish Finish) face, high polished lips and Presidential hardware
– F: 19×10” R: 19×11”, F: 225/35 tyres, R: 235/35
– Standard black leather
– Factory 7-speaker stereo system with 10-inch subwoofer
– Gloss Black
– TTE-style front lip spoiler
– Colour coded grille
– Pulled and rolled guards
– Rear wing spoiler and badges deleted