Throwback Thursday: The 1998 Lexus Street Rod Concept

Lexus Street Rod

Here’s a throwback for the ages — in 1998, Lexus revealed the Street Rod concept, modeled after a 1932 Ford roadster. Amazingly, the Autoweek website has the full story:

“The concept was, Lexus was known for all those quality, dependability, reliability and comfort things but not for performance, so let’s make a performance car,” Bergsteinsson said.

The official reason for doing it was that the hot rod would serve as a promotional vehicle for the new Lexus VVTi V8, something that could be justified as a legitimate business/promotional deal. That was their only motivation, right?

Writer Mark Vaughn even got to drive the thing:

All well and good, you say, but how does it work? Anyone that has driven any other hot rod would be amazed at this Rod Millen-TRD-Lexus version. Most such cars are aimed more at show than go, and those that give any consideration to suspension tuning do so only so far as it affects straight- line performance at the drag strip. This thing, on the other hand, is amazing.

Our first drive came with Rod Millen in the passenger seat. That was understandable. No one at Lexus has been able to put a price tag on this car (“Value?” asked a PR person. “We haven’t a clue”) but it was enough that Lexus executives didn’t want just any knucklehead taking it around the block.

Pretty impressed that someone put together a video slideshow of the Lexus deuce coupe: