The OG Sedanking – Kevin’s Toyota Celsior
It’s 7:00pm and Kevin and I are patiently waiting for the sun to set. It is perfect weather for a photo shoot and golden hour is soon approaching. The park is quiet and peaceful and the sakura trees are a perfect backdrop for his Toyota Celsior. An older couple walk up to us, curious as to what we are up to. They shake their heads
“Now that’s low isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” I replied “It’s what all the cool kids are doing these days.”
They chuckle and move on. It’s amazing how much a little lowering and some negative camber can change the styling of a car but if any guys know it’s the team at SERIALNINE.
Established in 2007, SERIALNINE started out developing parts for the Toyota Cressida. Influenced by VIP Style, Drift cars and Japanese trends and culture Gerrard and Kevin have been able to develop a loyal following and have stepped up to provide the cutting edge styling and racing parts for car builders in North America. Kevin’s Toyota Celsior is a perfect showcase for just some of what they have to offer this size of the Pacific:
Suspension XYZ Racing spec Coilovers 25/20 kg/mm
SERIALNINE Rear lower control arm
SERIALNINE Toe rod
SERIALNINE Traction arm
SERIALNINE Front upper control arm
Front Sparco NS06 Cheetah 18×10.5 + 3 (15mm spacer) 225/40 atr sport
Rear Sparco NS06 Cheetah 18×10.5 +18 225/40 atr sport
Interior 350mm Nardi wood grain black spoke
After our shoot, Kevin was nice enough to answer some questions via email for us:
J: Tell us about your history with cars and how you got involved with SERIALNINE.
K: I’ve always been into cars and have been modifying Toyotas since 2003. When looking for a car I could call my own and modify I looked to Gran Turismo for inspiration, the cars you could purchase right at the beginning of the game were around my budget. So I started looking into the R32, AE86, FC3S and the S13 and one thing kept coming up, drifting. I looked more into drifting and was hooked right away I knew I had to get a car and start trying this as soon as possible. I ended buying an AE86 and modifying it and started drifting, eventually the Corolla became too crazy for everyday use so I needed a daily. I managed to trade a Carbon AE86 hood for an entire MX73 Cressida in pretty good shape. I was in love with my new Cressida almost instantly, it was bigger and faster than my Corolla and cut better donuts, all while being stock. After meeting Gerard a couple of times and seeing his MX83 Cressida I knew he was the one to enlist to help on my corolla. I got him to help me with a couple of things on this new AE I was building, eventually I decided to drop that project and build an X7 Cressida. This is when Gerard and I became good friends, he was finishing up his car so we both worked together almost every day after work and soon had both his X8 and my X7 running and looking champ. This is when my love for the sedan really solidified, my new Cressida was so different from my Corollas, the one thing that I always hated about it was that I never got to really drive the car it was too crazy and pretty much a track only car. The Cressida was perfect, it looked sick, handled amazing and ripped with the 1JZ.
J: What were the early days of SERIALNINE like?
K: Gerard had already been running SERIALNINE since 2007 and had developed several products for the MX83 Cressida including solid subframe and diff bushings, motor mounts, inverted monotube coilovers, adjustable rear arm set and a full aero kit. While building my generation we created solid subframe bushings, coilover and a full 5 lug conversion kit. We started hitting up drift events in the PNW at Evergreen, PGP and Western showcasing the parts. In 2013 we opened up or current facility and both of us started working at SERIALNINE full time. During that time we created a completely original wide fender kit for the 2nd gen Aristo / GS400 as well as a CSL Style fibreglass trunk. Pairing those parts along with our own SERIALNINE front lower control arm / tension rod, steering knuckles, shortened upright, rear lower control arm, toe rod, subframe and diff bushings we helped Alex Lee’s LS powered Formula-D GS300. Although he didn’t have the as good of a year as we would have hoped everyone was still impressed with the appearance of the car and Alex had nothing but positives to say about the handling.
J: What are some things SERIALNINE is currently working on?
K: We are gearing up to release our full line of suspension products for all of the Toyota and Lexus sedans including JZX81, JZX90, JZX100, UCF10, UCF20, UCF30, JZS147, JZS161, SXE10 and soon ZN6. We are planning on having a Grand Opening BBQ and car release party when we finish Gerards 161 and my 20.
J: What are some of your future plans for your car?
K: So I’ve already taken the car off the road since our shoot, I took the wheels off and gave them back to my friend Mikey. My new wheels should be here any time this week, and I’ve got many other things that I wanted to do just never did because I was driving it around. The new wheels are Work XSA 04C in 19×10.5 -18 and 19×11.5 – 26. This will be 21mm more poke in the front and 57mm in the rear than when you shot the car. My main plans are to drop the subframe and make subframe and diff mounts, install my rear upper control arm, shorten my knuckle and make adjustable front lower control arms. Also we are in development of a shifter relocater for the Z33 transmission allowing it to be used with the JZ and UZ engines. So hopefully I will be converting the Celsior to 6 speed soon. Depending on how much clearance/ camber I can get with the combination of my current arm set and the new rear upper I may need to do some fender pulling/radiusing so thats up in the air right now. Once all that is done it’s gonna get a wrap.
I want to thank Kevin for letting us shoot his car. We’re looking forward to seeing the next stage of the build.
Please check out SERIALNINE at www.serialnine.com