PH FLEET: 1997 LEXUS 4.0 V8
A bargain barge isn't always what it seems (But didn't we know that already..?)
It was on such an evening that I spotted the Lexus you see here. I was happy with the W124 estate and wasn't thinking of another car, but this looked cheap enough at under £2,000, especially with a full and comprehensive service history. I told the Mrs we should take a look, and she knew that meant I was going to buy it. You, dear PHer, probably knew that too...
It was being sold by a nice chap not too far from my home and we struck a favourable deal. The MOT had just expired so he put a fresh ticket on it and I collected it a week later. So how is life with a 1997 Lexus powered by a 4.0 V8? Costly is one way to describe it, enlightening is another. Overall I'd describe it as 'pleasingly expensive'.
The audio is better than the set up at home and the performance is there - although it feels uncouth to exploit it. Fuel consumption is quite alarming, but what did I expect? It's a large, automatic limo with over 110,000 miles, pushed along by a 4.0 V8 designed before efficiency was the buzz word. In town (where it mostly lives) I'm seeing late teens to early twenties, but on a run this can go up to late twenties or even early thirties. This makes me so excited you'd think I'd managed 60mpg, but when you own two V8s 30mpg is welcome indeed.
So, that's the end of the story - a successful purchase made, and all going well? Of course not, I'm never that lucky...
The car was despatched to friends in the trade with Lexus connections for an honest appraisal. A few days later and the verdict was in, the rear suspension was pretty well shot but they agreed that at town speed it wasn't that noticeable. I requested a list of parts needed to fix it, and needed a sit down when it arrived:
2 x rear dampers
2 x hub carriers
2 x anti-roll bar links
2 x rear wheel bearings
4 x oil seals
2 x deflectors
1 x OSR upper wishbone
2 x front control arm bushes
The lack of alignment had caused some uneven wear to the front tyres, and as my car has Dynamic Handling Pack wheels it meant tyre choice was limited due to their unusual size. Two Pirelli P-Zero tyres were ordered and fitted, lightening the wallet by another £500.
I could have done more, but finances and common sense (Cough... splutter! Ed) stopped me from ploughing any more into it. The LS now rides as it should do, but to get that true magic carpet ride I am considering a swap to the smaller, standard alloys. Only after I have got some wear from the costly rubber just fitted, though.
In other news, the TVR is away at car hospital but will return for Le Mans with a newly de-catted exhaust. But that's another story.
PS. Thanks to S&J Motors in Teddington for their assistance with my LS, it certainly made them work for my money