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Haven't posted on here in a while, especially since the IS/Altezza track group on facebook has become a thing, but I thought I'd share my little story of rebuilding my car after making a mistake on track. Learned a lot about the car and the availability of parts that are out there.

I overcommitted to a corner at Hallett in southern Oklahoma while having a little battle with an FRS, took a corner flat that I shouldn't have, and ended up putting the car into a tire wall. Damage was limited to alignment being ruined and almost entirely cosmetic and sheet metal, nothing got into subframes, unibody frame rails or pillar structure. Wrecked it in the 2nd session of the day, and managed to only miss one session thanks to a few friends with hub stands to align the car, a large mallet to beat the quarter and fender back out, and a roll of gorilla tape to keep the rear bumper on. I ran the last 2 sessions of the day, and the next day drove to Lincoln, NE to run in SCCA Solo Nationals. On the way there the quarter was touching a tire under full compression so we used a strap and a truck to pull it out so tech wouldnt complain...

Drove the car back to North TX and tore it apart after Solo Nats, and discovered no mechanical damage (aside from a #2 caster bushing that was junk before I left), and no frame rail or structural damage. Bumper covers and the fender I got from the Lexus dealer, and I got a parts car in exchange for a bottle of Tequila, which had a ton of good stuff that I snagged, although the changes from 02 (my car) and 03 (parts car) were odd, various electrical and trim items do not interchange which was quite annoying, but I got more than enough to make it worth it. I picked up doors from craigslist which I would NOT recommend anyone do. The rear door was fine, but I ended up going through 3 front doors before I got a good one (they looked fine, all made of filler after removing paint), and as it turns out Lexus does still sell door shells for about $500, which is about the same as the bumper covers. They do not, however, stock quarter panels or rocker panels anymore, so I had to take the time to pull the quarter and rocker out, which took FOREVER to get right. Tail lights were also a challenge, as Lexus does not stock the original chrome ones anymore, only the metallic ones, and I've finally figured out why. The chrome coating on the light housing is very delicate, and my tails were perfect before the crash, and within HOURS the chrome was peeling off the broken one. If you leave the bulb plugs out of the tails this will happen too, so be very careful with your chrome tails. I did eventually find a pair on ebay that were good.

After hours of pulling, hammering, grinding and sanding I got the quarter and rocker where they needed almost no filler, and got it prepped and painted. The car looks better than it has in years, and I'm super happy with the result. I am also 5 years old and put the JDM wing on it, and I'm working on finishing up the lip kit too. This is the car's last year for competitive events, I'm picking up an older BRZ for a track rat and keeping the IS as a fun car, working on a hot N/A motor to throw in in the future. Love the car and the platform, I've had the car for 10 years, and learned a lot more about the car in the rebuilding process.

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Mr. Roo
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Amazing story and restoration! I would have cut way more corners (I did it on mine lol), especially with the tail lights, so what you did here to fix it is very impressive. Thanks for sharing!

the changes from 02 (my car) and 03 (parts car) were odd, various electrical and trim items do not interchange
Interesting, those two years are supposed to be basically identical
 

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2002 Lexus IS300
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Man! Solo nats! What fun events! I track my S13 in such events and it’s so fun. Love to see an IS out there. Most people just try and make these cars go fast straight. Many don’t realize the potential of the car’s handling. Nice work, forget the BRZ, put the money into making this car faster.
 
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