Fantasy-Spec: Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300

Fantasy-Spec: Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300

Photos by Ray Flores


Everyone goes through a fantasy-spec period for their build. Before you even pick the car up, you already have a rough idea of where you’re going to go with it and how you’ll go about doing that. Many times, the end product delivers slightly below your expectations, but that gives something to build towards. When Chris Garbacz finally got his hands on the SC300 he’d been holding out for, he proved to be the exception.

PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300 Ray Flores DSC 9732

The SC300 houses a 2JZ-GE inline-six, which, if you didn’t know already, is a potent tuning platform. Garbacz says that his original goal for the SC was a conservative 400 horsepower. That quickly changed.

PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300 Ray Flores Dyno

“The first time it went on the dyno, it made 502 horsepower at 20 psi,” Garbacz recalls. “After that we said, ‘Screw it, let’s see what she can really do!’”

PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300 Ray Flores DSC 9735

With some help from his buddies at Sound Performance, new life was breathed into the NA motor with some custom fabricated goodies, boosting by Precision Turbo, and a little support from a few choice Supra Turbo components. When the smoke cleared and the shop doors opened, the SC was throwing down 660 horsepower and 515 lb-ft of torque.

PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300 Ray Flores DSC 9734

“I love the engine bay,” says Garbacz. “Every time I open the hood, I can’t believe that it’s my car.”

PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300 Ray Flores DSC 9760

This SC isn’t all function with no form though. Garbacz has made some simple changes that really bring the out the showstopper in his Lexus. A Shine Auto front bumper and custom headlights round out the front end. A custom midnight purple paint looks almost black, but is a treat to the eyes once it hits some light. Toyota Soarer sidemarkers were also sourced, because everyone needs a little JDM.

PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300 Ray Flores DSC 9850

Lowered tastefully on CX Racing coilovers, the SC squats over a set of 18-inch SSR SP1 wheels and Toyo tires all around. Past the gloss black wheel faces, Wilwood four-piston calipers peek out up front.

PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300 Ray Flores DSC 9729

Garbacz set out to make a tastefully quick build, which soon became a road rocket. He had his doubters, but never strayed from his goal. Garbacz actually has some choice words, for one of his doubters in specific.

PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300 Ray Flores DSC 9739

“The day I bought the car, the first place I went was Sound Performance to show my good friend Reid Dawson,” laughs Garbacz. “He came out, took one walk around it, looked at me and said, ‘You’re never going to do anything with that.’ I laughed and said, ‘One day, you will eat those words.’ After four years it’s finally ready and I hope you’re hungry, Reid, because I win!”

PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300 Ray Flores DSC 9748PASMAG Tuner Battlegrounds Chris Garbacz 1997 Lexus SC300 Ray Flores DSC 9742

ESSENTIALS

Tuner Battlegrounds Live Event: TIC Car Show - Skokie, IL - June 29, 2014
Vehicle: 1997 Lexus SC300
Owner: Chris Garbacz
Location: Grayslake, IL, USA
Engine: Toyota 2JZ-GE 3.0L Inline-6
Horsepower: 661 hp

Torque: 515 lb-ft

Chris Garbacz's 1997 Lexus SC300 is featured in PAS Dec/Jan 2015 issue
PASMAG December January 2015 Cover LR

ENGINE MODIFICATIONS

  • Precision Turbo (6265 turbocharger, 1,200 cc injectors)
  • GReddy three row intercooler
  • TiAL (blow-off valve, wastegate)
  • K&N air filter
  • Sound Performance (race intake manifold, fuel rail)
  • Walbro 400 LPH fuel pump
  • Titan Motorsports camshafts
  • ProEFI engine management
  • NGK-R spark plugs
  • Toyota Supra twin-turbo head gasket
  • ARP head studs

EXHAUST SYSTEM

  • Sound Performance (header, 4-inch down-pipe)

DRIVETRAIN

  • Clutch Masters (twin-disc race clutch, flywheel)
  • Driveshaft Shop driveshaft

CHASSIS / SUSPENSION

  • CX Racing coilovers

WHEELS / TIRES / BRAKES

  • SSR SP1 wheels – 18x9 (f), 18x10.5 (r)
  • Toyo tires – T1 245/35 R18 (f), TQ 315/35 R18 (r))
  • Wilwood 4-piston front calipers
  • 12-inch drilled front rotors
  • 10-inch drilled rear rotors
  • Stainless steel braided lines

EXTERIOR

  • Shine Auto front bumper
  • Custom headlights
  • Toyota Soarer JDM side markers
  • Custom purple paint
  • Bodywork by Mike Sorek at Dark Alley Designs

INTERIOR

  • Toyota (TRD shift knob, IS300 steering wheel)
  • ProEFI CAN display gauge
  • Carbon fiber vinyl wrapped dash pieces

SPONSORS

  • Sound Performance 

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