These are great cars if you can find one with a factory 5-speed manual (or perform a manual swap). I had read about SC300's years before buying one and knew of their extremely close lineage to the fourth generation Toyota Supra sports cars and especially the much better equipped Toyota Soarers (same exact car except for the engine). I got my chance a year ago when I found a higher mileage 5-speed model. It only had one prior owner and had no accident history. Save some expected cosmetic wear (replaced/fixed easily through parts channels/forums) and the need to do routine maintenance to a used car it has been an excellent drive and totally reliable.
I bought a 1993 SC300 with 135k miles from its original owner for $5000. It's black with a tan interior and a 4 speed Automatic. The overall build quality shows after 20 years. It's solid, everything works, and the materials withheld form and finish throughout the years. The paint is shinny and the engine is very, very strong. We plan on keeping it for at least 2, 3 years and then pass it on.
I purchased my 1993 Lexus SC300 5 years ago. It has 5 speed, sun roof, a/c, CD player, phone mounted in console, leather and i love it. I would trade my husband before I traded my Lexus. It's been reliable, fun to drive, and I've not had any maintenance issues with it (so far). The only problem is the rear wheel drive and living in Pennsylvania, I'm not on the road much in the winter!!
Please realize that I purchased my SC300 with automatic just two weeks ago, so my review is only initial. My car has been very well maintained, largely by a Lexus dealership, throughout its life. 115K miles. I believe the previous owners never abused it. This car should be bought by a mature person who appreciates what he's driving. This auto trans SC300 is intended as a cruiser, not a racer, but it IS capable of being quite sporty. When pushed, it corners flat, has quick steering and excellent pickup. It has a quite firm suspension, more so than its image indicates. Everything in this car works smoothly. Superb for being 12 years old. I was not a Lexus fan, but my car is special.
I will begin with the negative so I'll have enough room for the positive. The only problem was with the starter and it was replaced at the dealer($580). In addition the dashboard gauges are going out. Too expensive at the dealer, I saw them on ebay for a great price. I suggest you get repair work at a regular Toyota/Lexus mechanic. They are out there, just make sure you look. I do enjoy this machine, it is a pleasure to drive. Shorter and longer distances should fear this vehicle. I enjoy larger sport coupes and the handling is luxurious and a pleasure.