Are you feeling a little sleepy to start your work week? Nothing says sleepy like an old Lexus LS400, but this gray silver multi-colored old sedan is sleepy in a very different way. Aside from a set of cruddy five-spoke wheels and white-letter tires, one might say this poor 1990s-era Lexus was ready for a quiet retirement. The 750-horsepower (559-kilowatt) turbocharged V8 under the hood, however, says otherwise.
Richard and Leon Blackburn are the builders of this bonkers sleeper sedan, which prowls the streets in the UK looking for unsuspecting drifters to humiliate. This full-size luxury sedan isn’t just a power monster – it rides on a modified Coilover suspension originally designed for a Toyota Supra, and the front brakes are Supra-spec as well. The rear brakes are stock, but a full-on hydraulic handbrake setup in the cockpit allows the rear hides to lock at will. Yes, this Lexus is actually a purpose-built drift car.
Of course, getting the rear wheels of a two-ton sedan to spin requires a bit of power. To that end, the original Toyota 1UZ 32-valve V8 is still under the hood, and it’s actually far more stock than you might realize. The cruz of the 750 hp comes from the largest turbo the Blackburn duo could fit in the engine bay, and it’s supported by an upgraded fuel system as well as extra cooling. The stock bottom end is still there, though the pistons are machined to lower the compression ratio for boost applications. A custom electronics suite runs it all.
Gallery: Lexus LS400 Drift Car
Doling out the power isn’t a standard-issue LS400 automatic. A proper manual swap was done using the six-speed gearbox from a Nissan 370Z, sending power rearward to the stock differential that’s been welded so both tires spin with ferocity. And since it’s a race car, the interior is gutted with leather and wood being swapped for a roll cage and racing seats. There is a bit of leather and wood still on the door panels – it is a Lexus after all.
Officially Gassed - OG on YouTube gives us a thorough video tour of this bonkers drift sedan as well as driving impressions, and it looks positively off-the-hook awesome. The Blackburns built this car from the ground up on a budget, and they have a very addicting YouTube channel of their own that documents the build through dozens of videos. It’s the kind of homemade project that tells us car culture around the world isn’t remotely in danger of disappearing, and for that, we love it even more.