Off the radar, Lexus SC400 targets sporty luxury

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Lexus
The Lexus SC400 is a good-looking GT coupe

Sometimes the car hobby is baffling. There are times when two different models from basically the same manufacturer car vary in value where the less-expensive model of a very similar concept can end up years later costing three or four times that of the cheaper model.

Take the case of the Lexus SC400. These cars were so amazing when new; it was Motor Trends Import Car of the Year in 1992, and on Car and Driver’s 10-best list from 1992 through 1996. Yet the Toyota Supra gets all the attention, and the high bids.

Lexus
The coupe is in original condition

The car is powered by the same V8 as the LS400, which is reported to have had a development budget of $400 million.

The Pick of the Day is a 1995 Lexus SC400 that, according to the Morgantown, Pennsylvania, dealer advertising the coupe on ClassicCars.com, is a one-owner car, always garaged, and with just 85,382 miles.

Finished in its original Teal Mist Metallic paint over tan leather, the Lexus looks nothing short of perfect. The undercarriage of the car is just as clean with no apparent rust .

Lexus
The SC is actually a mid-engine coupe, the V8 set behind the front axle

These Lexus SC cars are the thinking person’s alternative to the Toyota Supra. Unknown to many is that the SC400 is actually a front mid-engine design, with the engine located behind the front axle.

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These are true performance cars of the era, with 4-speed automatic-equipped cars such as this one capable of zero to 60 times as low as 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph. The ultra-smooth 4.0-liter V8 commands 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. 

The fit and finish on these Lexus coupes are also way above the level of Toyota. These were said at the time to be the best-built cars in the world.  Lexus SC series cars hold up quite well even when compared with more-modern Mercedes or BMW coupes.

Lexus
The tan-leather interior is luxuriously appointed

These Lexus SC cars are also a bargain when compared with Supra. While a fourth-generation Supra in this kind of condition would likely be priced somewhere around $75,000, this immaculate SC400 is offered for only $11,900.

It might not have the same kind of performance as the Supra, but it more than makes up for that in its build quality and luxury.

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

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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.

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