The Archives: Quick Snippet On The Taillights That Changed The Game…

I can’t put up all these Throwback photos from the late 90s without mentioning a set of taillights that forever changed the industry during that time… the iconic lights of the SXE10 Toyota Altezza/Lexus IS. The moment the car became available in the U.S. market, enthusiasts began to craft these into their builds. The most popular being on CD-Chassis Accords and BB2/4 Preludes, likely due to the general shape of their trunks, which made them look almost as if they belonged their from the factory. These conversions eventually inspired what the world would later understand to be “Euro Lights” or “Altezza-style” lights. Companies of that time like APC and TYC began making these style of lights for EVERYTHING. And I mean EVERYTHING. If you owned a domestic market vehicle in North America, chances are, there was a company that made these style of lights for your car. Talk about a couple of enthusiasts who had an idea that reshaped the aftermarket industry. Some guys still rock these type of lights today, especially drifters, even in Japan. I remember hearing a story about police even pulling people over because there was such a huge growth in people running Altezza-style taillights, due to them not being road-legal. Someone got pulled-over and got a ticket for having taillights like these, but he was actually in an IS300 and had factory taillights, lol. Unfortunately, I don’t have that many photos of the Accord above, which executed the conversation quite well. The build had molded in fender flares and also had wheels that fit the width of the flares, which was rare for its time since no one really understood aggressive wheel fitment at that time. The great thing about this body Accord was that people did virtually everything to them since it was such a good blank canvas to start with and practically every middle-class Asian family had one to hand-down to their kids. As far as the conversions themselves, often times people would even graft-in the inner taillights from a Lexus 2GS or IS onto the trunk lid. Again, another import tuning history moment of the day…


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1 comment

  1. Import Tuner featured an Accord that did the Altezza tail lights and IS300 front end conversion. Was painted in some chameleon color. I wonder how a present day interpretation of these conversion would be like lol.

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