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A love of cars drives Peaches Jordan at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, to spend thousands of dollars on modifications to keep her 1991 Toyota Aristo looking sharp

A love of cars drives Peaches Jordan at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, to spend thousands of dollars on modifications to keep her 1991 Toyota Aristo looking sharp (Carlos Bongioanni / S&S)

A love of cars drives Peaches Jordan at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, to spend thousands of dollars on modifications to keep her 1991 Toyota Aristo looking sharp

A love of cars drives Peaches Jordan at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, to spend thousands of dollars on modifications to keep her 1991 Toyota Aristo looking sharp (Carlos Bongioanni / S&S)

A $200 gleaming mahogany steering wheel is the first of many interior modifications Peaches Jordan has planned for her 1991 Toyota Aristo.

A $200 gleaming mahogany steering wheel is the first of many interior modifications Peaches Jordan has planned for her 1991 Toyota Aristo. (Carlos Bongioanni / S&S)

KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — The airman standing guard at Kadena’s Gate 1 watched spellbound as a 1991 Toyota Aristo rolled to a stop.

With its V-8 engine purring in idle, the sleek black vehicle sat low to the ground like a panther.

The driver’s tinted black window lowered. A hand protruded, revealing long, multicolored striped fingernails encasing an identification card. As the hand returned to grip a lustrous solid mahogany steering wheel, the engine revved with a low rumble, propelling four immaculate chrome-rimmed tires.

The gate guard turned and watched until the sporty coupe faded into the distance with its four chrome tailpipes imitating the sound of a turbosupercharger.

Peaches Jordan, the Aristo’s owner, has a fetish for stylish cars that compels her to spend thousands of dollars to make modifications that turn heads. But it’s not an ego thing, she said.

Why do you do this to your car?

“Because I love vehicles,” Jordan said. “Working on them is my hobby. If you’ve got the money … you might as well do it right and make them nice.”

What are some of the things you do to your car?

Since acquiring the Aristo in January, Jordan lowered it two inches by cutting the shock absorber springs. She attached a wing-shaped fiberglass spoiler to the trunk, added a CD/cassette stereo system and put in a solid mahogany steering wheel. She changed her headlights to blue and put a chain-designed chrome frame around her license plate. She also installed two additional chrome tail pipes to give her vehicle a turbo-charged sound.

Where do you get the materials you use on your car?

“I go to Starks or Auto Box. I’ve been here three years … My Japanese friends told me where to go.”

Where do you go to show off your car?

Jordan said she doesn’t make the modifications to show off or to compete with others. When she sees somebody else with a nice car, she’ll roll down her window and give them a good word. “I have an appreciation for what others do to their cars. I don’t hate on somebody because they might have something I don’t have.”

How much have you paid in total for the car?

Jordan said she lucked out and bought the Aristo for only $4,000 from a person who was transferring off the island and had to sell before the car’s Japanese compulsory insurance ran out. The car already had some major modifications done to it, including a $3,500 custom-made aerodynamic side-skirts kit.

What is the next upgrade you plan to make?

Before leaving Okinawa next year, Jordan said she expects to spend as much as $12,000 for further upgrades and modifications to meet stateside safety specifications. She plans to install 19-inch “phat” tires and “deep-dish” chrome rims for about $3,000. She also plans to install a wood dashboard and paneling for $2,000, as well as a mini television and DVD player for $700. To meet U.S. safety specifications, she’ll have to make other modifications that will cost up to $4,500.

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