AUM SUNG’S LEXUS SC400

AUM AND AM­PER SUNG COM­BINE FORCES TO COM­MAND AND CON­QUER THIS JDM-STYLED SC400

Super Street - - Contents -

If you’re any­where past 30, it’s more than likely that you miss the ever-lovin’ hell out of the ’90s. Think vin­tage ar­cade scenes from the show Stranger Things struck a chord with au­di­ences across Amer­ica? Imag­ine what game night hys­te­ria in the house looked like back in the day, when the Su­per NES got fired up for a lit­tle Mor­tal Kom­bat II or Bat­tle­toads bed­lam. Imag­in­ing this? Good. Now, imag­ine tak­ing that ’90s nos­tal­gia and in­fus­ing it with a rear-wheel-drive Toy­ota coupe from the same era, then widen it and mod­ern­ize it. The 2Jz-pro­pelled SC400 here is what you get when a decade of dy­nam­i­cally bril­liant au­to­mo­biles fos­ters an en­tire gen­er­a­tion of en­thu­si­asts. Su­per clean, swapped, and scream­ing for at­ten­tion, Aum Sung’s Lexus is “all white” in our book, and it isn’t just be­cause it goes fast or looks badass.

Built to be both a show car and a drift ma­chine, this BN Sports wide­body comes equipped with a very func­tional feel, all while em­body­ing an ar­ray of old-school fla­vor. What be­gan with a Vertex kit and Volk wheels has lev­eled up into what you have here to­day. There’s a healthy amount of his­tory sur­round­ing this build that will more than likely bring back mem­o­ries of broth­erly bond­ing over vin­tage video games for some of you.

Lux­ury and race cars have al­ways fas­ci­nated Aum. So, when he chose the SC as his ded­i­cated project car, he didn’t just se­lect it for its per­for­mance po­ten­tial, but be­cause it’s also a rel­a­tively rare lux­ury item. Not only are well-done JDM in­flu­enced re­it­er­a­tions hard to come by, but the ma­jor­ity of qual­ity parts are ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to find in the U.S. mar­ket. Aum ad­mits that in or­der to get the ve­hi­cle to this point, it took a healthy amount of pa­tience, re­search, and hoard­ing. All of those au­then­tic Ja­panese bits weren’t just pulled from some parts cat­a­log over the course of a week­end. It’s kind of like col­lect­ing SNES car­tridges. Some­times you re­ally have to hunt to find gems like Con­tra III or Street Fighter Al­pha 2, mak­ing time spent search­ing all the more worth­while. For Aum, the SC wasn’t just a ran­dom rare “car­tridge” bought one af­ter­noon. A Soarer plat­form had al­ways been his dream car, and with in­spi­ra­tion be­ing drawn di­rectly from the UNO Vertex of Ja­pan build, it was ob­vi­ous that blend­ing the best of both drift and drop worlds was his goal from day one.

With the help of his brother Am­per, the cus­tomiza­tion of the car be­gan, a move that would en­com­pass more than five years of time and toil. It wasn’t al­ways easy, and it sure as hell wasn’t cheap, but like any en­joy­able hobby, the boys turned their chore into a chal­lenge, even build­ing their own work­shop in their home garage. The two re­named their shop “Brother’s Garage,” an ap­pro­pri­ate ti­tle that still sticks to this day.

From that point forth, the SC be­came this long and drawn out de­sign and im­ple­men­ta­tion trial. Swapped and slammed, the Vertex homage per­formed its part, all the way up un­til the need for some­thing more unique arose, send­ing Aum back to the draw­ing board for a fresh ap­proach. The pe­riod-cor­rect combo of 2JZ power and R154 pre­ci­sion was the ob­vi­ous choice, and with just the right blend of bolt-ons and in­ner re­in­force­ment, it turned the pre­vi­ously dull 4.0-liter V8 ve­hi­cle into a venge­ful in­line-six vig­i­lante. Bonus points for level two of the build came into play when Aum came across Ja­panese body kit maker BN Sports. Tak­ing an im­me­di­ate lik­ing to them, he or­dered a Type 2 kit and rocked it for two years. When the op­tion to up­grade to the lat­est “Blis­ter Full Wide­body Kit” sur­faced, out went the mild and in went the wild. Aum and his brother en­listed the as­sis­tance of Fizz Au­tosports for a few ad­di­tional JDM good­ies and se­cured a spot on the shop’s cal­en­dar for the kit in­stal­la­tion and the car’s Supra “Su­per White” paint job.

With ev­ery­thing nearly but­toned up, new Work Meis­ter L1 wheels in­stalled, and the in­te­rior stitched to­gether as a text­book cross be­tween drift and lux­ury, it was time to test things out on the street, dial-in the Air Lift air sus­pen­sion, and make sure the 600+hp tune on pump gas from Freed En­gi­neer­ing was still giv­ing the per­for­mance Aum pined for. This SC400 is the epit­ome of what a well-out­fit­ted Mega Man or Sa­mus Aran would look like in au­to­mo­tive trim. To­gether, the Sung broth­ers have beaten the VIP game into sub­mis­sion.

While the nos­tal­gia as­so­ci­ated with Aum’s car it­self, along with the kick­ass up­grades added to it cer­tainly make it a stun­ningly swift head-turner, there’s more to it than just ma­te­rial mod­i­fi­ca­tions. The team­work and pa­tience ex­uded by the two broth­ers who played this game and ul­ti­mately won are what make this story so spe­cial. All it needs now is Big­gie on the stereo and a can of Surge sit­ting in the cupholder…

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