Joni ”gramps” Nurmi is an old acquaintance of ours, since we wrote about one of his previous projects a few years back. The Soarer he had back then went through a couple of different evolutions, after which it was traded to a BMW. Joni, however, was not a Beemer guy, and finally his road led to this picturesque Lexus GS300.
Joni spent a lifetime, or about two days searching for this Lexus. His main goal was to buy the cheapest available individual, and he finally found his dream car. Why a Lexus GS300, then? Joni had decided, that at the ripe age of 35, he was old as hell, and was in need of a comfy cruiser. And comfy it was, even if he called it ”an old Toyota”. First he had planned to just keep it stock and enjoy his final years in peace, even though his friends did their best at provoking him. He managed a whole month with a stock car this time, after which he'd had enough of that gentleman stuff, and it was time to do some small changes.
First Joni just planned on changing the wheels and maybe lowering the car a little. Ideas have a tendency to create an avalanche, and so he found himself buying a new set of Rial wheels with a teeny ET. This was just the proper excuse to pick up that faitful angle grinder and slice the arches open. Even his friends, who had agitated him to modifying the car in the first place, watched in horror when Joni butchered a perfectly fine car. Well, the arches had to be widened by 4cm in the front and 6cm in the rear, so you do what you have to do.
The wood theme seen in the interior can also be seen in the wheels. A nice little touch that is easily missed. The vinyl used in the wheels was a leftover from the interior wrapping. The arches were rolled thoroughly, and the 11” wide rear wheels sit easily in the deep arches, even when the car is slammed. This was achieved by lifting the inner wheel wells up, a lot, after which Joni rolled the exterior part. The front arches were more of a pain, as they were first rolled too little, after which the car was painted. Only after decently fitting the wheels in their place did Joni notice that the wheels didn't fit, and he had to roll the front arches even more, right before a car show (Mylly Motor Show).
The interior is perfectly comfortable even in stock form, but some Junction Produce decorative stuff always works. Junction Produce curtains cover the rear windows, and the neck pads give your hard working neck a cuddle they need – nay, deserve. The air suspension is controlled with a controller mounted in the center console, and the gauges sit right beside the buttons all nice and tidy. The panels were wrapped with DC Fix vinyl, which can also be seen in the wheels and in the trunk. Speaking of which..
Joni is a plumber by profession, and you can see hints of that in the trunk. He decided that using chrome pipe for air suspension piping is totally last season, and old school copper pipe is what a car of this caliber needs. He also philosophizes that the trunk is like a night club: the upstairs is all nice and clean, and the real party is downstairs. The air tank is wrapped with DC Fix vinyl.
At first the car was slammed with K-Sport's bolt-on air suspension kit with a two-cirquit controller, which lasted about six months as the compressor gave its last breath. The compressor was temporarily filled with air from a tow truck, and with this borrowed life Joni managed to move the car to his garage, where he soon replaced the faulty compressor with a ViAir one. During last winter he decided to ditch the K-Sport controller, and build a better one. Joni describes his own electrical knowledge with words ”electricity is blue and hurts”, so he had to employ his friend, Miikka ”Sörssi” Gröhn. Miikka built everything from scratch, and the end result is a four-cirquit magnet valve controller, which can also be controlled remotely. With these mods it's possible to cruise pretty, pretty, pretty low.
Lexus GS300 1998
Stock 2JZ-GE (3.0 NA six-cylinder)
K-Sport struts, K-Sport bags, ViAir compressor, 8 magnet valves, a sh*tload of copper pipe and pressure hose
Rial Daytona Race 10x19” and 11x19”
Black and round tires, 225/35 in the front and 265/30 in the rear
Remade arches, every bump and hole has been removed before painting the car, TTE front spoiler and smoking spoilers (aka. JDM-style wind deflectors)
INTERIOR AND ICE:
Junction Produce neck pads and curtains, Junction Produce Fusa Kiku Knot, 2DIN headunit, air suspension controller in the center console, air suspension gauges in a DIY panel, pressure line installation in the spare wheel well, a pair of 10” subwoofers and some other speakers
230hp and several units of torque
Something even more deranged
Father, Miikka ”project manager / Sörssi” Gröhn, Mika ”Pekke” Hietaniemi, Riku ”Koukku” Jyläntö,
Niilo ”Niba” Hakala, Ville ”Törri” Törrönen and Michael Rönnblad (lead designer). Plus everyone who has visited the garage during this project, eg. the Skogsbacka Racing dudes.