With SEMA in full swing at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Autoweek dug into their archives with a 1993 story about driving a modified Lexus SC 300 built by some of the trade show vendors:
The SC300 is a damn good car. It’s as close to a sporting machine as Lexus gets, and it’s available with a manual transmission. We like the SC300, but we wanted to love it. We wanted to love driving it as we love driving a 356 or a ZR-l. We wanted an edge, a little more flash. Most importantly, we wanted it our way, and not like that of every pediatrician or hair dresser looking for a “sexy” car.
So SEMA took the SC300 and chopped and stirred, and after a few months called us to come and get it.
At Austin, a mining town carved in mountains in the dead center of Nevada, highway 50 lifts and drops in a parade of wonderfully smooth sweepers and switchbacks, and the SC300 glows. Like its factory- tuned brethren it is incredibly smooth, but this one is not so reluctant to attack. It is finely balanced and it loves to go fast around corners.
The SC300 hits an indicated 133 mph, 300 revs short of the limiter, but there is too much bounce to the two-lane to find more. Here 85 mph is slow. An even 95 is comfortable, and you drive with the knowledge that if anyone closes, it’s more than likely the law.
(The full story is available as a PDF, and it’s a wonderful throwback to the golden days of automotive magazines. Really fun read.)