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Adventures in a 90's Luxury Land Yacht (LS400)

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After many years of pondering of what would make the best buy and a recent failed Audi A8 W12 purchase when the seller pulled out I bought this from a classic car auction and added it our fleet this week

A 1997 Lexus LS400 in a fetching two tone shade of OAP Goldy Silver and Browny Greyish Burgundy with a beige sumptuous leather interior 🤔


Only has 76k miles on it, appears to be in very good condition with only a few minor tiding up jobs to do. Needs a cam belt change, new rear tyres and then should be good for another 75k miles of hopefully trouble free wafting

Compared to my old ISIS spec'd 94 Toyota 4Runner, it's like going from a Travel Lodge to the Ritz. When launched the German's, American's and Jaguar must have had a real wake up call when their engineers bench marked it against their best efforts. 

It's soooooo comfy, extremely quiet, no engine noise, no wind noise, no creaks/rattles or squeaks, can hardly hear cars passing in the other direction. Actually makes me drive so much slower and in such a relaxed manner.

So quiet with the radio off the loudest noise I can hear is the mild tinnitus ringing in my ears or the indicator blinking 😲

Plan is to use it for local wafting in a County Lines type of way, then when travel restrictions lift some epic, family road trips to clear out the COVID cobwebs

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My late father in law, who was a serial 7 series/S class owner (he had three different cars in one memorable week) really rated the Lexus and had several.

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On 08/05/2021 at 20:04, oliverjamesthomas said:

Cracking buy; that looks really nice.  The development budget for them knew no limits.  On my hit list when I sort some more parking out.

Even with the famed Toyota Production System (aka Lean Manufacturing) Toyota reputedly lost a shedload of money on each one sold. This was strategic on their part to get the foothold into the S Class market, particularly in N. America. Toyota knew they only had one opportunity to get it right so it was massively over-engineered. 

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Thanks gents and it does indeed feel like it's well built, $1 billion development budget with no set time for launch, just make it right more important than hitting a date 😎

Some bedtime reading......



A picture in the sun to enjoy while it's raining



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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Thinking of buying a set of new wheels 😍 think they really suit the car

Can someone Photoshop them on, as I'm not 100% sure they're for me 🤔


Edited by World Citizen
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13 minutes ago, strosek34 said:

Go for it Steve,  car will look great cruising round Hook Norton at night.😀

Neons, underfloor, colour changing neons, that's what it needs

Back to reality, it's currently having a luxury spa break at Lexus Cheltenham, for a major service, cambelt change and a few other while your in there jobs

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4 minutes ago, World Citizen said:

Back to reality, it's currently having a luxury spa break at Lexus Cheltenham, for a major service, cambelt change and a few other while your in there jobs

Sounds spendy at £150 an hour or whatever they're charging these days. :twocents:

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You will be needing this 


and this 


if you are going to do it right.




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27 minutes ago, njpcarrera32 said:

Sounds spendy at £150 an hour or whatever they're charging these days. :twocents:

About half that rate, service so far has been exemplary, service guys really rate the LS 400 so we're being very well looked after 🥰 

Cambelt was changed only 15k miles but 10 years ago so was well over due, needed a new water pump and coolant but pulleys and tensioners all ok

Also a major service ie oil flush/change, air, oil and pollen filters and while they were in there £200 worth of platinum spark plugs 😲

Full health check too and from the sounds of it a very thorough inspection which highlighted a leaky power steering pump which if left can drip onto and kill the alternator. Lucky for me the pump is being rebuilt as a new one at £1000 wasn't available. 

Air con leak checked, drained and re-gassed as it was as Siberia cold as I thought it should be 🤔

All work has a 10k mile or 1 year warranty, got some big trips planned so hoping it's money well spent 

Have 3 new tyres to fit, rears were a bit hard from being over 10 years old and I wanted a matching spare 😗 

Things could get very spendy as I was very taken by the Yaris GR so when I collect the Lexus I'll put a deposit down so I can have a test drive. 6 UK dealer test cars have been written off to date so it's a no deposit no accompanied test drive policy

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally got my Lexus back today after a few delays and interruption

Power steering pump couldn't be rebuilt in time for our long needed holiday up to Edinburgh while a new pump was ordered from Japan. We were lent a new NX300h for the trip and all agreed the LS400 would have been a much more relaxing place to spend hours on a long trip.

Spent all last week feeling healthy self isolating thanks to the NHS app 

Bill came to 3 pages but oh so worth it, service guys at Cheltenham have a lot of love and genuinely enjoy looking after the older cars and the service/experience has been exceptional


Aircon now ice cold, had to turn it down as I was getting too chilly 🥶 Front heated seats now work too so we're all set for an adventure as soon as travel opens up

Mini adventure today was adventure taking this Circuit Pack Yaris GR out for an unaccompanied test drive, should have been 30mins but was so much fun I was gone an hour 😁


As I'm a tight wad with unrealistic expectations (I blame the McLaren F1 for that self inflicted delusion) there are very few affordable new cars over the last 10 years or so I've ever considered buying and none I wanted badly enough to take time out for a test drive

My list has been tiny eg BMW 1M, Cayman GT4. Jimny, Alpine A110 and Toyota Hilux 2.8 and most recently the Yaris GR

1st impressions before driving, it's not that big, looks purposeful but not shouty like the Civic Type R, seat position/comfort was fine, visibility better than I was expecting, rear head/leg room big enough for a teenager, boot space is long weekend size, rear arches make for are a very WRC pleasing side view mirror view

Driving impressions after driving some great roads NE of Cheltenham, B4632 through Winchcombe then right on the B4077 to Ford. Last climb up to Ford reminds me of mini version of sections of the Wurrsen Pass from Austria into Slovenia we did on the Slovenia Tour

Gearshift feel is precise and just the right amount of clakty clack feel, suspension/tyres really soak up our bumpy roads well without being overly harsh, brakes are great too. Goes up the rev band with easy, not peaky, just smooth and linear. Noise is ASBO and Alpine cyclist friendly, with enough turbo whoosh to keep you smiling, windows down was about the same as windows up so any piped exhaust music must be quite subtle. Hit the rev limiter once in 2nd, defo not a smooth cut

Handling, this was the surprising bit for me in a very pleasant way, it really reminded me of my 964 C2 but in a slightly more fronted weight biased way. My son reminded me it has a similar power to weight and performance as my 964. It also has a rock sold build feel to it from what must be a very stiff shell and feels every bit as light to drive as you would expect from what is a very lightweight car  by todays standards (bravo Gazoo, bravo!) 80kgs lighter than a Lancia Delta Evo 2 which is amazing considering all the safety improvements between then and now

Was slightly apprehensive it would be too fast, too good making it only fun at stupid speeds but it was fantastic fun at sensible speeds just like an IB era Porsche. Found the performance spot on for A and B road fun without driving like an idiot, perfect car for cross country progress where over taking is required. Switched between sport and track modes but couldn't feel any difference as the dry grip was well beyond the speeds I was doing. 

In summary, for me it 100% lived up to all the hype and a perfect example of motorsport makes the breed stronger. As a practical one fun car does all I can't think of anything that would do a better job on sale today. As a rally inspired homologation special and I'm sure will be one of the last great cars before the EV revolution takes over it will be a car enthusiasts lust after for a long time








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Next time you're in Cheltenham drop by for a coffee!

Was looking at a Yaris GR at WoW on Sunday - it's certainly a compact thing. A typically plastic fantastic inside. Carbon roof is cool.

More expensive that a Type R and smaller, but as you say less shouty.

Enjoying your Lexus Love!

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  • johndglynn changed the title to Adventures in a 90's Luxury Land Yacht (LS400)

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