My first foray into sports cars began with the Toyota Altezza in Feb 2014. It was a 2002 RS200 5AT model, imported from Japan in 2006. The experience has been exhilarating.
Previously I had been making do with engines under 1000cc, and my last car before Altezza was a 660cc Suzuki Alto. Imagine going to 2000cc VVTi after that!
The car was pretty roughed up when I got it - had been repaired after an accident, and have to admit that a minuscule element of pity went into the purchase as well. But now I've got it, and have got to work on it!
- - Completely replaced the rear suspension apparatus with another one from a Toyota Mark 2 Grande.
- Installed a TORSEN LSD.
- Replaced the original BEAMS 3S-GE with another one with lesser KMs on it.
- Put in fresh 215/50/17 tyres. (previous owner had a 235 and 215 on the same axle ).
- Replaced the center bearing for vibration control on the Prop-Shaft, though haven't completely eliminated the vibration yet.
- Repaired fuses and broken wires on the fog-lights and power-windows.
- Replaced a pressure-switch on the Aircon line to get the A/C working. Installed working actuators to get the heating system working. The car had no cabin air-filter as well, so got one from a Toyota Crown to fit that.
- Put in premium fluids as per manufacturer's specs (which really improved the performance).
- Last but not least, paid a hefty amount for complete interior and exterior clean-up and polish.
I remain confused whether I should sell this one and save up for a finer Altezza, or retain this one and rebuild it to my custom specifications. On the bright side, whatever I've replaced, has worked fine ever-since. But there remain several trade-offs in play...
In case I decide to retain it, I intend to make the following modifications to the car over the course of the next 12-16 months:
- - Replace the power-steering and steering apparatus from a Toyota Crown/Grande/Aristo.
- Completely replace the front suspension apparatus from a Toyota Mark 2 Grande.
- Aftermarket coil-overs with adjustable settings.
- Aftermarket exhaust system with custom settings.
- Aftermarket brakes - including calipers, pads and disc-rotors.
- Aftermarket body-kit.
- Fabricate/modify/purchase the ECU cover as it is currently missing (though i don't know where i can source one from).
- Maybe, replace the car's body panels with fresh ones either in metallic or carbon-fiber (with no idea where to source them from).
- Re-badge the car as a Toyota Altezza and not a Lexus IS200
- Fabricate new rubber-linings for doors, windows, windscreens, hood, trunk and what not. Fabricate new engine and wheel shields.
- (LONG RUN) - swap in a 3S-GTE or 1J-GTE or 2J-GTE.
That's not me driving btw
Here's to a prayer that this car sticks it out with me till the nether...