The plethora of aftermarket automotive styles and cultures are what keep us going here at Fatlace and I always try to incorporate a wide variety of content to the page. Low cars and tight fitment are what we all cut our teeth on, but this Lexus was too cool not to feature. Enter Josh Backes and his pre-runner style GX470.
While I was searching for the next rad rig to cover I reached out to my good friend Chris Sempek of Kansei Wheels after stumbling across the Lexus seen here on his page. After a brief conversation I found out that the truck actually belongs to Josh Backes and that the current state of the build is a result of a collaboration with Kansei. I began digging deeper and the obligatory Q&A followed suit.
According to Josh he has always taken a liking to 4×4 Toyotas and prior to building the Lexus; owned an FJ Cruiser that was unfortunately totaled. It was back to the drawing board and after a lengthy search he landed on the 2006 model GX seen here.
His name was on the title for merely two days before he started wrenching. The OEM suspension was removed in favor of a long arm kit from Total Chaos, 35″ Maxxis rubber, and Walker Evans beadlocks to keep everything situated. Every single factory suspension component was removed and gone through in order to see what needed to be replaced and or upgraded. At the time this truck was one of two stateside that had a long travel kit and he mentioned a few bugs that needed to be worked out during the early stages. That didn’t stop Josh from diving further into the build process.
The truck was still relatively mild in terms of styling, but the guys at McQueen Prototype fabricated a set of customer fiberglass fenders that looked aggressive yet OE and right at home. As the exterior began taking shape Josh saw the need to beef up the chassis and suspension even more and a set of King coilovers made their way onto the rig along with air lockers, upgraded shafts, and Demello steel bumpers to complete the look.
Performance wise the GX sports stainless steel longtube headers by Doug Throley. He mentioned that the 4.7l V8 was ‘whisper quiet’ at purchase and after the exhaust was installed it turned the 2UZFE into a snarling beast. When the loud pedal was mashed the truck sounded throaty, but while cruising you could carry a conversation with your copilot in the cabin.
With over 75,000 logged miles ranging from two miles above sea level in the Rockies to the inhospitable Death Valley this Lexus has no plans of giving up anytime soon. When I asked what future plans that he had for the truck Josh explained that he frequents SEMA each year in Las Vegas and has always brought out a different iteration of his tried and true trail crusher to the iconic trade show. With so much uncertainty in the world regarding gatherings and automotive shows we are keeping our fingers crossed that Mr. Backes brings keeps on progressing and building one of the baddest GX’s out there.