Like Abdulla Makki
Launched in 1991, the Lexus GS was designed as a performance sedan competing in the mid-luxury class, the GS sloted between the entry-level/compact luxury IS and large/flagship LS, and shares its chassis with one of Toyota's longest-running platforms: the S-series which has been used under multiple generations of the Toyota Crown premium sedans. In 2000, a facelift was introduced for the 2001 model year. New clear tail lights with turn signal indicators were added to the trunk area, as well as a slightly revised grille and very subtly tinted headlights on the front end. Inside, more wood trim was added, and steering wheel shift buttons were now also featured on the GS 300. However, this was not good enough for local Bahraini Abdulla Makki, who felt the need to take matters into his own hands. With help from friends and family Abdulla took a brave DIY approach to modifying his Lexus GS300 and the results are show stopping. We spoke to the man himself to find out exactly what he did and how he did it.
Car Make and Model:
Lexus GS 300
What cars have you previously owned?
A 2009 Lexus GS300 and a 2001 Lexus LS, I’m a big Lexus fan, but I’ve also owned a 2004 Mini Cooper and a lot of racing motorbikes.
Have you modified any previous cars, or is this your first?
Yes, I’ve modified cars before but only minor things. This is my first big modification project.
Did you buy this car with the intention of modifying it?
Honestly, I just bought it because it's a good reliable car, and I wanted something I could drive daily and be proud of. Over time I started making small adjustments and modifications, and the next thing I knew, I was displaying it at car shows, and entering competitions in the modification category.
How long have you had the car, and how long before you decided and started the modification process?
I bought the car at the beginning of 2015, and it took me around two months before I decided to start the modification journey.
Why did you decide to modify it?
The car originally got my attention because its a luxury brand and there are a lot of spare part’s available. From those I decided to build my own special edition modified Lexus GS catering to the Bahrain market.
Talk us through how you have modified the car in terms of speed, power and appearance?
Performance: I prepared the engine of the car (a 2JZ-GE) for turbocharging by transferring parts from an actual Supra 2JZ-GTE engine (make the engine bulletproof). I changed the pistons, connecting rods, crank shaft along with upgraded engine mapping and also threw in a TRD cat-back exhaust. Next step would be to install the turbo charger.
Appearance: A full custom paint for the engine covers, I changed some of the engine parts to add a bit of colour. Inside the hood I added in some art work from the horror movie Chucky.
Exterior: I fitted a custom body kit, hand worked and modified by me. To get creative I took on a modified Camry 2013 front bumper and added in two side-vents from the Subaru WRX, STI for a totally unique look. I also added on a front lower splitter with custom built two hood extractors, custom ventilated fenders along with Toyota Aurion side skirts. The rear has an OEM bumper but I also put in a rear diffuser for a more sporty look while the head lights were painted the same colours as the car. To slam the car down I ordered Tein adjustable racing coil-overs and slapped on the 18 inch Luftbahn wheels.
Interior: The two colour combination of Ivory leather and dark brown suede, and dark brown floor mats were done by Super Leather shop, and I was very pleased with the result. I did the rest of the mods starting with full VIP drinking tables in the back and front, a full entertainment audio system containing three screens inside, a 19 inch HD TV in the trunk and 12 speaker's distributed throughout the car. I also fitted a healthy mini bar in the trunk.
Where have you got the majority of the parts from?
Well quite a lot of them came from another engine. As explained most of the heavy work revolved around the engine, since it's a non turbo car and I am keen on installing one and prepping up safely for it. Should be ready by next show season.
What modification’s did you do at a garage and at what garage? Did you do any yourself?
I modified the engine at my brother’s garage Ali Makki Auto Services. The leather dressing and interior I got done at Super Leather Shop and all the remaining mods I did it myself.
Have you encountered any problems whist modifying the car? If so what? and how did you overcome them?
Thanks to Allah, but I am not the kind of guy who knows how to give up. So any problems I faced I just persisted with until they were rectified.
What is the before and after affects of the modification?
I’ve participated in a lot of car shows over the past two years and managed to win a lot of trophies and attract the attention of a lot of people.
What’s the max speed this car is capable of now?
At the moment it can reach 260 kph (160mph) as it is limited... but as I said I am planning to make future modifications to improve on this.
If you don’t mind saying roughly how much have you spent doing this car up?
I didn't spend much at all, as almost all the work has been done by me at my shop and my brother’s garage، so this cut out the middle man and kept the cost low. I also had a lot of help from my team and friend's support (A.M1custom). I would say if anyone else was to do these mods professionally through a garage they would have easily spent around BHD2000 at least.
How much time have you spent on this car? And has it been an enjoyable project?
Honestly I worked continuously on this car without stopping. I am still always looking for ways to make upgrades or changes. I love getting creative and having new ideas and this rate I have a feeling I will just keep going on as long as I can.
How is the car to drive now compared to how it was before? Is it comfortable to drive?
It's a little bit stiffer with racing coil-overs but it has still got the feeling of luxury and comfort too. Also because of the extra power it's a lot more fun to drive.
Do you plan to make future modifications to this car, if so what?
Yes, most probably I will change the colour, just to mix it up a bit and as mentioned earlier i'd like to add a turbocharger soon.
Do you ever race this car? Or is it more of a show piece? How often do you drive it?
I don't do street racing but from time to time I do enjoy doing some road pulls. But this is my daily driver. The majority of the times I have my wife and friends in the car, so it's sensible driving all around!!
Would you do this again? with another car and modify it? If so, what car? and what mods?
Yes, for sure, I’d love to modify the last generation Lexus GS350. Something similar to what I have done with this Lexus. They are really fun cars to play around with because you’re already starting out with a good and reliable platform. Everything else is just fun improvements.
If money was no object what would be your dream modification project?
As I said before it would have to be the new model GS. I’m working on it right now and it's still in the process of getting modified. I want to keep it as a surprise.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about modifying their car?
Yes, don't rush the work... stay patient so you don't waste your money. And always make sure to listen to the advice from others, and be open to accepting other people's ideas.
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