Not every story is a fairy tale. Some origins start off with a dark beginning, and it can take a number of years and some rough roads ahead to finally get to the happily ever after.

 In 2015, City of Industry, California, resident Chris Quimbo was going through tough patch in life—something we can all relate to—as his long-time girlfriend had just left him, and he was stuck with a pricy engagement ring in his pocket and no finger on which to put it. What to do?


Quimbo had been into Hondas most of his adult life, and the sudden shove into the single life left him longing for a marked change of scenery. Why not try off-roading? He had never done it before, but it was as good a time as any to jump in with both feet.

He hocked the ring for cash and poured the proceeds into the 2007 GX470 you see on these pages. “I spent a few months looking for clean GXs,” Quimbo says. “Thankfully, most of them were never driven off-road. I chose this one, as it was the sought-after Cypress Pearl finish, the paint only available between 2006-2007, and not many were sold compared to the black and white variants.”


Getting Started
When it comes to off-road vehicles, the Lexus GX470 is not typically the first car that comes to mind for people outside the overlanding community. Although the GX is known for its luxurious interior, smooth on-road performance, and exceptional build quality, the GX470 has the potential to be an excellent off-road machine.


With the right modifications, it can be transformed into a vehicle that can take on even the most challenging trails. The example that Quimbo found was in good condition. He explains: “The clearcoat was starting to fail on the hood and roof but everything else was cherry.” 

With the help of a host of shops, such as Miyaki Motorsports, RPM Garage, Jimahajer Garage, and a few others, the build started strong but took a few years to complete. The problem wasn’t in the engineering, the logistics of the build, or the planning of each stage, but Covid. It was “not so much a challenge [building it], but more the supply issues of waiting for parts during the peak of the pandemic,” Quimbo says.


Engine & Drivetrain
The 2007 Lexus GX470 comes from the factory with a powerful 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces 263 horsepower and 323 lb-ft of torque. The GX470’s power unit was left mostly stock as it is a solid engine, but exhaust gases are now pushed out through a Magnaflow Overland Series cat-back.

The engine is coupled with a Dana 60-inch +6 rear-axle assembly with 40-spline axles and ECGS 4.56 gear set, providing a robust drivetrain that can handle challenging terrain. Quimbo’s GX470 also features ARB front and rear air lockers, which improve traction and stability in off-road situations. These features make it a force to be reckoned with on any terrain.


A Long Range America 24-gallon auxiliary fuel tank ensures the vehicle has the fuel and endurance to go on long trips in the backcountry or through harsh desert environments. The Lexus is far from a fuel sipper, though. “It used to be my daily driver,” Quimbo explains. “But with a 10-mpg economy average and killer California gas prices, I bought myself a different daily driver, and the GX goes out maybe three to four times a month to strictly hit the trail or go to events.”


Perhaps the most significant modification made to this GX470 is the suspension system. The front has been upgraded with a Camburg Race-Series +3.5-inch long-travel kit, which includes King 2.5-inch LT coilovers with reservoirs and King 2.5-inch 3-way bypass shocks. These upgrades allow the vehicle to absorb rough terrain with ease and provide a comfortable ride even on the bumpiest trails.


The rear suspension has also been modified with King 2.5-inch extended rear shocks, ICON Overland springs, King 2.0 rear air-bump stops, and Total Chaos chrome-moly adjustable rear links. Since Quimbo classifies this truck as more of a desert racer than an overland crawler, these upgrades provide additional stability and control to improve handling over rough desert roads.

Although, Quimbo adds: “I can’t classify this truck into one specific category, as I consider it to be an all-around vehicle. If anything, it would lean toward high-speed desert running.”

One of Quimbo’s regrets is not upping the Lexus’s suspension game early on. “I would have gone with long-travel suspension right away,” he says, “and new seats immediately.”



Wheels & Tires
The vehicle is fitted with Alpha Equipt Halo Wheels in light gray with a black bead (17x8.5 inches with 0mm offset) that look sleek and aggressive. These are wrapped in Falken Wildpeak AT3W All-Terrain Tires (315/70R17) on all four corners, which provide exceptional off-road grip while still maintaining a comfortable ride.


The GX470 has been outfitted with an impressive array of exterior modifications, making it both functional and stylish. The rear of the vehicle has been fitted with a Dissent Off Road modular rear bumper and spare tire carrier, providing additional storage space and protection for the rear of the vehicle.


The vehicle’s front has been upgraded with a Pelfreybilt hybrid front bumper, which not only adds to the Lexus’ aggressive appearance but also provides additional protection. The RCI Off-Road complete skid plate package provides additional protection for the undercarriage.

Remember that sought-after Cypress Pearl finish Chris tried so hard to find? Well, since the paint was beginning to fail, he decided to give the GX a vinyl wrap, initially in white to preserve the original color, but in 2021 he got its current iteration in a color called Hidden Forest.


Insides & Comms
The GX’s interior is equally impressive. The cabin is fitted with Recaro Cross Sportster CS seats that provide both comfort and support. The Goose Gear rear plate system, Side x Side drawer module, and fitted top plate, along with the KAON standalone rear roof shelf, provide ample storage space for all of Quimbo’s adventure gear.

The extra storage came from a lesson he learned in 2017: “I drove 650-plus miles to the FJ Summit in Ouray, Colorado. I was pretty foolish at the time, as I went with no tools, no proper spare, and no recovery equipment.”



The GX470 is also equipped with a range of electronics and lighting features that ensure safety and convenience during its owner’s many off-road adventures. The Midland MXT575 Micro-Mobile two-way radio allows for easy communication between two parties or other rigs in a caravan.

The Technique Vehicle Outfitters upgraded alternator wiring ensures that the vehicle’s electrical system is reliable and efficient, and the Switch-Pros SP9100 switch panel power system provides easy control over all of the vehicle’s electronics.


The Baja Designs S8 20-inch lightbar, Squadron Pro light pods, S1 light pods, and S2 Sport chase light provide ample illumination to help navigate through the pitch blackness of the nighttime desert. The Ronin metal ditch light bracket ensures that the lighting system is both sturdy and functional.


Wrapping It Up
Even though the impetus of this build came during a dark time in Quimbo’s life, the journey, not without its own heartbreaks, was an uplifting experience. “It definitely opened up a few new chapters in my life,” he admits. “It pushed me out of my comfort zone.”

In the meantime, he’s discovered the open country of Oregon on a recent trip, making it one of his new favorite destinations. “I’ve had some of the best times and met some great people that have helped me along the way,” he says.


As for the future of his Lexus, Chris puts it plainly: “I hope to explore the rest of the U.S. with it and eventually other countries as well.”

 Base Vehicle 2007 Lexus GX470
Engine Lexus 4.7-liter V8, Magnaflow Overland Series cat-back exhaust, Long Range America 24-gallon auxiliary fuel tank
Drivetrain  Dana 60” +6 rear-axle assembly with 40-spline axles, ECGS 4.56 gear set, ARB Front & Rear Air Lockers
Suspension Front—Camburg Race-Series +3.5” Long-Travel Kit, King 2.5” LT Coilovers with reservoirs, King 2.5” 3-way bypass shocks / Rear—King 2.5” extended rear shocks, ICON Overland springs, King 2.0 rear air-bump stops, Total Chaos chrome-moly adjustable rear links
Wheels & Tires Alpha Equipt Halo, light gray w/black bead (17x8.5” at 0mm Offset); Falken Wildpeak AT3W all-terrain (315/70R17)
Armor & Racks Dissent Off Road modular rear bumper and rear tire carrier, Pelfreybilt hybrid front bumper, RCI Off-Road complete skid plate package, MetalTech Off Road sliders
Body Avery Dennision Hidden Forest vinyl wrap
Storage Goose Gear rear plate system, Goose Gear Side x Side drawer module, Goose Gear fitted top plate, KAON standalone rear roof shelf
Lighting Baja Designs S8 20” light bar, Baja Designs Squadron Pro light pods, Baja Designs S1 light pods, Baja Designs S2 Sport chase light, Ronin metal ditch light bracket
Upgrades & Accessories Mean Mother 9500 winch, Factor 55 UltraHook, Recaro Cross Sportster CS seats, Powertank 10-lb CO2 power tank, Expedition Essentials GX470 powered accessory mount, Midland MXT575 Micro-Mobile two-way radio, Technique Vehicle Outfitters upgraded alternator wiring, Switch-Pros SP9100 switch panel power system

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This article originally appeared in OVR Issue 03. For more informative articles like this, consider subscribing to OVR Magazine in print or digital versions here. You can also find the print edition of OVR at your local newsstand by using our Magazine Finder.