2004 lexus gx 470 hooniverse lifted ironman morimoto motegi

This Lexus GX470 is the replacement for my JDM Land Cruiser Prado

Last summer I sold my Japanese-market 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. I really liked the Prado; it was unique, cool looking, reliable, and functional. You can read about it here (part 1), here (part 2), here (part 3), and here (part 4). But there were also some things about it that put it into my it’s got to go category.

I wasn’t in much of a hurry to buy a replacement vehicle. I have my ’21 Ford Bronco and my mom gave my daughter an old Acura MDX. I decided to get through the winter, take my time, and find an amazing deal on something different. I wanted something smaller, sportier, and more fuel efficient.

You can see how well that plan went.

I had a self-imposed budget and a list of requirements for my next vehicle. I also had an open mind. I was ready to try something different. After looking at a dozen local cars here in New England, I gave up. The bad cars were really bad, and the good cars were either really pricey or already sold. Well, eff that, I’m not the one to play those games.

I reached out to my best bud who lives near Atlanta. We think alike, we talk alike, and we like similar cars. I asked him to help me look. I told him what I was looking for, my budget, and requirements. And then he send me links to cars that were totally opposite of that, because of course.

The Find

One of vehicles he linked me was the Lexus you see in those pictures. A little over a year ago, the vehicle was purchased by the friend’s seller. That dude worked at Morimoto, the lighting company. The vehicle became a promotional truck for new lighting products. But before that, he had to make it look a certain way, so this was done:

After all that, a roof basket was added, to which a bar with six Morimoto 4Banger Pods was added. And then more lights were added on the bottom of the A-pillars. And then more lights were added inside. And then more lights were added outside. And then… you get the idea. And everything was professionally wired to a relay box and a dash controller.

I kept asking questions. Maintenance is key on older vehicles. Specifically on these Toyotas, basic maintenance will keep then running a very long time. Timing belt is good, all fluids were replaced within last year, and the brakes are new as well. Most importantly, my friend Leo knows what to look and he confirmed that everything was professionally installed. No funny noises, everything worked, no crap wiring.

With all that, I bought it. I did not get a killer deal on this Americanized 120-series Prado, but I got a very fair deal. I appreciated the history and the modifications. I know how much time, effort, and cost these can be. When I calculated the cost of all the parts and labor to install everything, it turned into a killer deal.

Is it perfect? Hell no. Despite what it looks like in these pictures, it’s no show car. It’s got a good amount of miles on it. The hood is faded. The leather seats have a few rips. It has a fresh dent in the rear bumper. It’s a twenty year SUV that’s been used.

The Shipping

I did not really think about how to get this Lexus from Atlanta to Boston; I was just going to wing it. I mentioned that on Twitter. That’s when one @The_drivewayC, also known as Mike, founder and owner of The Driveway Concierge, responded. Being a good guy, and one who in the business is helping people buy cars, he often ships cars as well, he introduced me to The Dispatch Dudes, who specialize in car shipping.

The Dispatch Dudes quoted me a price. It was not the lowest price, but they had a lot going for them. First, they came highly recommended by someone who used them many times before. Second, unlike the other shippers, did not require me to remove the roof basket. And lastly, and this is incredible, they picked up the car the same day and scheduled the delivery 1100-miles away, just three days later. This is incredible because the other companies needed almost a week just for pick up and another week for delivery.


The Lexus will be with me tomorrow. There are already things I want to change, some of which make take away from its badass appearance. Anything I do will have a purpose. Stay tuned for more updates, it’s gonna be fun.

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2 responses to “This Lexus GX470 is the replacement for my JDM Land Cruiser Prado”

  1. George G Avatar
    George G

    That thing is freaking cool!

  2. Patrick R Avatar
    Patrick R

    Nice grab, man!