QotW: Do you have any fond memories of the Lexus GS?

We learned Friday that Lexus has killed off the GS name. It had been rumored for a while, and at the same time models like the ES are getting big enough to step on the GS’s toes. Plus, there’s that whole decline of the sedan and rise of the crossover thing. We can’t help feel a pang of sadness about its demise. It was always the cool middle child of the Lexus lineup; more elegant than the IS, not as ojisan as the LS. We know there will be some who say it makes economic sense for Toyota, but still:

Do you have any fond memories of the Lexus GS?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s a great movie or TV show for background JNC spotting?

It would take us years to watch all the suggestions from last week, but maybe the coronavirus will give us that luxury. Of course TV shows from Asia, like cesariojpn‘s suggestion of Seibu Keisatsu in Japan, Toyotageek‘s suggestion of Ultra-Q, or Angelo‘s suggestion of just about anything spanning 1980-2000 from the Philippines. Retro TV shows like Alvin‘s suggestion of Stranger Things have gone through great lengths to cast nostalgic cars. And, stuff filmed in the western US back when these cars were new, like LTDScott‘s suggestion of the original Gone in 60 Seconds, or Scotty G‘s suggestion of CHiPs have plenty of background J-tin to look at.

However, the winner was thelacerati‘s choice of the original Hawaii Five-0, which featured super rare stuff that sometimes didn’t even make it to the mainland:

The original Hawaii Five-0 is loaded. Shot in Hawaii from 1968-1980, so JNCs are everywhere. Not only Datsun, Honda, Toyota, but less common stuff, too, like Daihatsu and Hino.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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12 Responses to QotW: Do you have any fond memories of the Lexus GS?

  1. fe2cruz says:

    Belly! Wasn’t the GS Method Man’s getaway car? I always assumed the GS was the Lex Bubble (as to me it was most spherically bubbly looking) from all the rap songs of the ’90s, but now I come to find it was the Soarer Coupe they were all singing about. The same car Michael Jordon’s father was shot in. At least the coupe is what urban dictionary says Lex Bubble means.

  2. Lee L says:

    I have a funny memory of the GS that for some reason always stuck in my head.

    In the very early 2000s, maybe 2000 or 2001 I was at a party being held at my Dad’s friend’s house. There seemed to be a lot of really douchey people showing up and as a teenage boy I was pretty bored so I ended up hanging out in the driveway just standing around (no smart phones back then). I remember that later on into the evening a really nice second-gen GS300 pulled up. It was super clean, silver, and had the little spoiler that most of them had.

    I was already into Japanese cars so I checked it out as it pulled up, thinking it was pretty cool but not really my cup of tea. The door opened and the image of the guy that got out will forever be seared into my mind.

    He was probably about 5’6″ (I feel his pain. I’m that height), had huge biceps that were stretching his brightly colored polo (It was either baby blue, or pink), had spiked hair with blonde tips, an obviously fake tan, and some very expensive looking sunglasses and a gigantic watch.

    From that day forward I have always connected the Lexus GS with douchey looking dudes like that, even though I’m sure not all of the drivers are like that.

    I actually saw one yesterday while I was out driving around, trying to relieve some boredom and that was the first thing that popped into my mind.

  3. jayrdee says:

    I never owned a GS, but a good friend of mine has one. Pearl white, black leather interior, thing is a beauty.

    The fond memory I have of that thing is actually the story of when we drove to Chicago to pick it up! This was about 5 years ago when I had just started college.

    There were 3 of us. Me, my buddy Grant (the owner), and our friend Joey who agreed to drive as long as we bought him a big Chicago style pizza while we’re there. Me and Grant decided to have a few drinks waiting for Joey to get off work (2nd shift). Of course by the time he picks us up around 3 am, we’re (mainly me) hammered. As soon as we get on the highway we’re (mainly me) on the side of the road puking our guts out. 5 hours later we make it to the outskirts of Chicago and decide to hangout at Denny’s while we wait for the car lot to open. I swear, that black coffee and grand slamwich never tasted so good.

    The lot opens, we meet the owner, and Grant proceeds to do the deal … until there’s an issue with his loan and the bank. I don’t remember the exact details but he had to wait until their loan office opened up, which was on the west coast so they were 2 hours behind us. We end up sitting there at this little used car lot for 6 hours while Grant is on the phone with his bank. We were running on no sleep, and the denny’s wore off so you can imagine we’re all ready to get out of there. We still had another 5 hour drive home too.

    It was time to leave and Joey was still dead set on getting his pizza; “Bro, We are getting Chicago pizza. That’s why I drove. Because I want Chicago pizza” he kept saying, but me and grant just wanted to head home. Instead of driving to the city, we settled for a random pizza parlor on our way back, and it was disgusting. Like, lukewarm Little Caesars that was left out overnight at your friends house tasted better than this. But we were hungry and didn’t care. The drive back felt like it lasted forever, and you know we all crashed as soon as we got back to town.

    He still drives it to this day, and anytime I see that car, all i can think about is me getting sick on the highway, and that god awful “Chicago Pizza”.

  4. Lupus says:

    Well… I’m still before making some good memories with GS, ’cause i’ve just recently bought a 2nd Gen as may daily-driver, and next step-up from Subaru Legacy. What’s interesting with that particular car – i know him for longer than my current Legacy. That speciffic GS was imprted from Germany by my buddy, workshop owner in about april 2014. It had some accident in Germany when it hitted some animal on the road. It came to Poland with replaced hood, left fender, front beam. All was made by Lexus dealership, but for some reason the job wasn’t finished, and the car arrived on a lorry without front lamps, radiators and bumper. All that was tucked inside. Since installing these parts was pretty easy I offered my help with that task. And i did it with only little help from wokrshop’s foreman. I was still learing the art of working around cars, so it was a great lesson form me. What struck me almost imediatley, were the similarities in overall layout, componets locations and ways to access them to my Daihatsu and generally all japanese cars. I’ve used my Applause A101 regulary back then, and since it was (still is) a lightweight car the GS felt faaar to big and heavy for me. Even it’s visual apperance didin’t catch my heart. I’ve preferred the more sleek 1st Gen. But as an old saying says: ” Didin’t Mahomet came to the mountain, so did the mountain came to Mahomet” that silver high-altitude cruiser crossed my life path again. It changer ownership 2 times during these 6 years, but I bought it from a girl witch atenndet to the same class as I in high school. She and her father where very happy that Lex got under my wings, because i’m now known for taking good care of unsusual cars. Because Ya nedd to know that in my neighborhood the GS and LS from that era are damn rare. I don’t know of any other JZS160 in at least 50 km radius. In a city ~50km south-west from my some guy owns an awesome Ariso’ed JZS147, and in other town 40 km north someone uses a UCF10 as daily.

  5. This one time my friend bought his wife a GS sight-unseen and we drove it back from Texas. One of the best road trips ever. Someone should write a story about that.

  6. Matheus Broetto says:

    Easy answer for me!
    It was the first and so far only time I saw one in person. Thus being the fondest memory I have of the Lexus GS.
    It was a sunny day in the late 90’s.
    The place was downtown Uberlandia (Brazil).
    I was barely a decade old and was riding our car in the backseat.

    As a kid from Brazil, who grew up devouring Gran Turismo 2 on PlayStation, by that time I knew tons of ‘unknown exotic’ cars like Mazda or Acura. One could ask me “What in the world is a Legacy SW?” and I would proudly tell them, at the top of my 10 years old of wisdom, what a Legacy SW was.
    You see, most cars and brands from the game are rarely seen ’round here. I knew the cars from the game, but only from the game.

    That said, back in that sunny day in downtown Uberlandia, in the later years of the 90’s, suddenly a young me starts to joyfully shout in the backseat:
    “Aristo! Look an Aristo! What is it doing here? How it ended up here? It’s an Aristo, how did he got one?”
    As we crossed our ways, I could see the Lexus badging, on that beautiful, sleek wine-coloured sedan, but my child’s brain could only remember the Toyota’s nameplate.

    It was a fun 15 seconds or so, of pointing at a car and staring at it from the distance. But I still remember that moment!

  7. Errol says:

    Best story. My 1998 Lexus GS 400 Black w/beige interior that has over 300k on the clock is still the “Quiet Beast Of The Streets” that I drive. This vehicle still drives smooth and powerful as it has from day 1. Many journeys,many races it has won! 1 of the best in my arsenal! Must see it to believe it!
    It’s unfortunate to see it go. I Been a fan of the GS for decades.

  8. Tom Rainey says:

    I bought my 93 gs300 in 94. I was happy to see that same car in Jay Z first commercial video hit. Here it is 2020 and I still have this car in my driveway. Even though the clear coat is now peeling with 127,000 miles it’s still the most reliable car in my fleet of vehicles. I’ve had 3 Range Rovers a Jaguar xk8 2 Acuras and even a few Nissans and nothing is more delightful to drive than my 93 gs300. I just love this car!

  9. Manny says:

    I’m sad to see the GS go. As a GS owner I have a 2017 f-sport 350 and a 2004 Gs 300 Very satisfied with the vehicle never had an issue with either of them looking forward to keeping them my next Lexus will be the GSF in the market to buy one soon always a Lexus customer and will continue to be one !! See yea Gs it’s been real ..

  10. Dee block says:

    I love my GS first gen 175.500 miles on the car for 10 years best car I owen

  11. Tom says:

    I had a 1995 silver pearl white GS300 which I enjoyed for 7 years in 2005 I bought a 2002 silver GS300 which I have today in 20/20 I have a Toyota Tacoma Porsche 911 Toyota Venza but my 2002 GS300 is the best of all sad to see the GS model will be ended

    • P.Marlowe says:

      I bought & still have a 98 lexus gs 400. It has been the biggest piece of shit ever. Dont waste your money on a Lexus. Its kinda like just throwing away your money. I have drove toyota a ford ect. Ect. Never the problems & lots of $ spent on fixing this Lemon Lexis. I wish i could say something dood about it really. Hey i wish someone could have told me b4 buying. P. Marlowe Texas

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