Future classic 2005 Lexus SC430

The Lexus basks in its Indigo Ink Pearl paint job
The Lexus basks in its Indigo Ink Pearl paint job

Calling a late-model vehicle a future classic always involves a risk. No one out there has a crystal ball that works very well, and as a classic car journalist, calling out a specific newer car model as a hot up-and-coming collectible puts you in the position of being publicly mocked by all your friends if you are wrong.

I tend to do this despite the risks. Adding to the risk, the Pick of the Day that I dub a serious future collectible is made by none other than Lexus. The car is a 2005 Lexus SC430 hardtop convertible advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Delray Beach, Florida.

I know you already think I’m crazy for calling this a future collectible, but bear with me.

The convertible turns into a refined coupe with the hardtop up
The convertible turns into a refined coupe with the hardtop up

First off, the build quality of the SC430, like just about every Lexus car, is exemplary. The paintwork is best in class, the engineering excellent, and the SC430 is more upscale than other Lexus products of the time.

The SC was the first Lexus model to get the Mark Levinson audio system, which sounds fantastic even 13 years later. The leather interior of the SC430 is by Coach, maker of expensive handbags and such.

The luxury interior also featured choices for wood – yes, actual wood veneer, not plastic – and the SC430 is impressively quiet and civilized with the aluminum top up or down.

The SC430 is attractively styled

The SC 430 is like a grown-up Mercedes 450SL that was built in Japan, with similar build quality and created to serve the same purpose.

In performance, the V8-powered SC430 is no slouch, capable of 0-60 in 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph. These are excellent numbers for the time and more than adequate for any convertible grand tourer, which this Lexus certainly qualifies as.

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The driving experience is that of a traditional GT with handling that is stable and with quite-high cornering numbers. When it was new, the SC430 was rated as a poor handling car on the race track, but taking any GT car to the track is an idiotic exercise and of no value in rating a grand touring car.

The interior is fitted with luxury features

But before I dismiss the SC430 for the track, I have to mention that in Japan, this model was raced quite successfully, and won championships in the GT500 series.

The car here is in stunning Indigo Ink Pearl paint with tan Coach leather and piano black wood. The car has covered 73,000 miles and looks to be in immaculate condition.

I love that this example still has its first-generation wheels, and the color combination is not one you see very often. When you factor that this car had a price when new of $70,000, the asking price of $15,200 seems more than fair.

Lexus built around 80,000 of these cars during the entire production run from 2001-2010, ensuring its rarity. This is a car to buy and enjoy and likely own for free as I don’t see the SC430 depreciating much more. And possibly ticking up as a collector car of the future.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. Just bought my first SC430 and looking forward to driving her around town and beyond. With only 50,000 miles and $18,000 price tag, I feel like she will be worth that much 20 years from now. As a 2003 bronze with white interior, she has only been driven a little under 3,000 yearly and garaged.
    I’ve read over 300 reviews and only a handful with any factually based complaints!
    Must be a beast to weather all the storms and stay out of the repair shops.


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