Am I alone in thinking that the first generation IS300 is the best IS300? Probably not. It was a great looking rear wheel drive sedan when it was released and it has gracefully transitioned into a modern classic today.
Reasonably sized in comparison to today ‘IS’ models, aggressive yet refined, and with an available wagon option its hard to argue that the IS300 didn’t start of on the right foot.
Sure the five speed auto trans in most of them tempers the cars awesomeness to some degree, but the fact that the came with 2JZ in Japan means that swapping the motor and transmission isn’t an unreasonable lift.
Like so many luxury cars, as they’ve aged, they’ve fallen into the price range of those who want to modify them quite heavily. The result of the IS300 becoming more attainable is a healthy community of modified models.