Lexus Celebrates 20th Anniversary

lexus_ls400 On September 1, 1989 sales of the Lexus LS400 began. It’s hard to believe but it’s been 20 years since the first luxury branded Toyota was offered to the American public.

Thirty years after Toyota first arrived stateside, the idea of a premium Japanese luxury car was still inconceivable to most Americans. The car was certainly worth $40,000, but no one in America was willing to shell out that kind of coin for a lowly Toyota. So the Big T conjured up a separate brand altogether and Lexus was born.

Two decades later, the idea of a Japanese luxury car doesn’t seem so odd to us any more. Toyota has consistently proven it can build flagship sedans as good as any European automaker’s. But there’s still one last hurdle to jump: the notion of a Japanese classic. If a ’59 Chevy Impala can be considered a classic, then why not a ’79 Toyota Cressida? Hopefully we won’t have to wait until 2029.

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7 Responses to Lexus Celebrates 20th Anniversary

  1. Nigel says:

    Education is the key, I think Toyota did it right.
    (Still want that LS 400 w/ airbag controllers)

  2. Mr.L.J. Nordvik says:

    That exact photo was the first I ever saw of a Lexus.I fell instantly in love an the romance has only gotten stronger.Now excuse me while I fill in the numbers on my Lotto ticket. 😉

  3. bert says:

    I have a friend who bought her 97 LS400 brand new in 96 and she wouldn’t trade it in for anything! 13 years 150,000+ miles and still like brand new, Toyota obviously did something very right! I thought she was going to cry when I told her I’d seen a couple of them in CFC trades!

  4. kingtoy says:

    I have always thought Lexus was the top of the pile. I still want a 1st gen LS400.

  5. My company owns a mint 40k mile early ls400. it was from the old owners collection. he had a huge collection of cars and this Lexas was the only japanese car in the bunch. this man had everything from 57 chevys to vintage alfa’s. even owns an original bandit that Burt Reynolds autographed for him. but somehow a toyota snuck in the back door, under the guise of a high end luxury car!

  6. Mr.L.J. Nordvik says:

    I’m quite excited about the new model series to be launched at the Frankfurt Auto Show:–world-premiere-in-frankfurt

  7. tkmedia says:

    I even remember that some of the original LS400 did not have leather seats! Those are much more uncommon.

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