The “Lexus” name carries a lot of weight in the world of luxury cars. Everything simply works, and works well, which has helped the brand consistently earn top marks for quality, reliability, and performance, year in and year out.
What the Japanese automaker isn’t exactly known for is throwing caution to the wind and building something truly bent on destruction, barring the unobtainium LFA supercars, of course. This is close though.
While not a genuine Lexus by name, there’s certainly a lot of Lexus DNA beneath. This is a custom 1968 Toyota Corona hot rod, created by Southern California builder Mitch Allread. It’s powered by a Lexus V8, shuttled along with a Lexus transmission, and if urged it’ll do some very smoky Lexus burnouts. “Unique” is the word you’re looking for; either that or “awesome.”
According to Auctions America, the very ‘twisted’ Corona was built in 2004 and intended to be a race car, capable of competing in Nevada’s all-out road racing blitz, the Silver State Classic. It never campaigned however, and has instead become a bit of an odd ball hot rodding celebrity, featuring in Hot Rod magazine shortly after its completion.
There’s certainly not much Toyota Corona to speak of anymore though, apart from the body, which has been sliced and diced to fit over a tubular steel space frame chassis. What there is however is plenty of Lexus. A Lexus SC400 gave up its heart (a 4.0-liter 32-valve V8) for the build along with its four-speed automatic gearbox. Though the V8 is unmodified from stock (these made 250 horsepower when new) it bellows through a custom exhaust system and the end result is said to be quite the howl.
Putting that power to the ground are a pair upper and lower control arms at the front, complemented by 8.5 inch wide tires, while at the back, the V8 shuttles its oomph to a Speedway Engineering solid axle and larger 10 inch wide tires. Getting up to speed shouldn’t be an issue.
If you’re trying to put your thumb on just what inspires such a creation, the answer is a little bit of everything—the custom Corona has been styled with hot rod, sports car, and even dirt track racing inspiration. The paint? That’s Gulf Racing Blue, popularized by the famous Gulf Ford GT40s and Porsche 917Ks. The taillights? Those are reproduction 1959 Cadillac units. Don’t like them? The Frankenstein Lexus-Corona hot rod begs to differ.
Step inside and it’s almost “racer chic.” Your bottom is held in place by sleek Jaz racing seats, a roll cage and window nets shield both entryways, and a dash full of racing derived switchgear and gauges opens up before you. It’s far from Lexus levels of refinement, but it is quite remarkably well put together.
All in all, it’s a truly grin-worthy piece of engineering, from the racy single windscreen wiper to the aerodynamic fins that run the length of the car. You aren’t apt to find anything quite like this the world over. You can own this one however. The wild-styled Corona is heading to Auctions America’s Santa Monica event in June, where it’s expected to fetch between $25,000 to $35,000.
Photo Credit: Auctions America