1997 Aristo Vertex Edition
Toyota had a knack for innovation in the late 1990's, fortifying their powerhouse lineup with revisions leaps and bounds better than those prior. The Aristo was one such model that received a noteworthy refresh for its second generation, turning the beloved bug-eyed silhouette into the Japanese Classic sport sedan we know today. Our 1997 example is a fine unit, boasting just 78k verified/documented miles on the clock and a bulletproof 2JZ-GTE fronted drivetrain! The exterior is finished in Black Onyx (202), and sports some in-demand OEM and aftermarket upgrades. A factory front lip and side skirts give this one the street sweeping stance you all know and love, and the styling is further accented by OEM rain guards and LED tail lamps. Save for some age-related dings on some of the body panels and a prior replacement of the trunk lid, there's not much to complain about on the exterior, and with 19" Lxryhanes VIP style alloys in great shape it's clear the previous owner took the extra step to make this one stand out from the crowd. Fresh off a recent service, this twin turbo transporter is ready for a new lease on life stateside, all it needs is an eager new owner!
The interior is spacious, comfortable, and on par with most European luxury offerings of the time. For "Vertex Edition" trims such as this, the nifty "sport cloth" upholstery came standard. The materials on this one are in overall good shape, with no serious wear to note. The dash is clean, resisting any cracks, peeling, or fading over the past 25 years, and dual front and side SRS airbags are tucked away to give you and your passengers some peace of mind. Both driver and passenger benefit from power adjustable seating, and the driver gets a trick tilt and telescoping steering column as well. The center stack is neat, housing an intuitive dual-zone automatic climate control unit with cold A/C and hot heat on the ready. Nestled directly below is a modern Carrozzeria radio, with MP3 functionality. For those looking to daily drive, the power windows, power folding mirrors, and keyless entry are in good working order, and a power moonroof even tilts and slides with ease should you prefer some natural ventilation in the cabin. The rear seats are spacious and plush, and the trunk offers plenty of additional cargo space if errands or a road trip are in the cards. Overall, the interior is above average, although we wanted to note the the carbon look center console is starting to peel. We've even retained the factory carpeted floor mats to further protect this worthy JDM investment!
Under the hood, some enthusiasts may need to do a double-take as the 2JZ-GTE VVT-i is a sight to behold in this chassis. Fresh off a recent service from our trained technicians, this one drives as good as it looks, and cranks over with haste care of a new 12v battery. With any 25-year-old vehicle, protection against leaks and seeps is essential, and we're happy to note we've replaced the cam seals, VVTi seal, and both valve cover gaskets to ensure you'll always stay topped up on necessary lubricant. Even the timing belt and water pump were replaced for good measure. With the maintenance performed and a fresh oil and filter service topping this one off, this 2J is primed and ready for miles and miles of uninterrupted fun! With extra emphasis on the "fun", this one zips up to highway speeds, and prospective owners should certainly proceed with caution while watching the speedometer climb. To increase the auditory response, an HKS intake, front mount intercooler, and aftermarket exhaust work in tandem. The automatic transmission feels plenty refined for its age. and the shifts are smooth, direct, and leave little to be desired. Aftermarket coilovers deliver a stiffer but more predictable ride, and we've replaced both inner and outer rear steering arms, steering rack bushings, and both front lower ball joints to get the drivetrain up to snuff. New pads on the ABS brakes help this one stop rapidly if needed, and we've even wrapped the alloys in brand new 19" rubber and performed a fresh alignment to keep this one gripping and tracking well for the road ahead!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.