PH FLEET: LEXUS LS400/TVR CHIMAERA 400
TVR lives once more, Lexus carries on regardless
Straight into the studio
Camberley Auto Factors (who just so happen to have a friendly PHer working there) and ordered a new battery which was available for collection the very next day.
Later that week I called upon a friend who provided the most glamorous jump start imaginable by using his glorious V8 Interceptor, as we planned to drive the TVR to PHHQ to fit the new battery once the car was started. Try as we might the Chimaera didn’t want to fire up and I ended up being a passenger in the Jensen as we pondered what to do next, realising that my garage was in too tight a location to consider a low-loader or trailer to move it to the workshop.
Classic Chrome and waste their time by looking at cars I can’t afford. Their premises were close to the garage where the dead TVR lay and so I asked if I could buy some mechanic labour time over at my lock up and thankfully they agreed. A week later and the CC chaps had got the car moving by disconnecting the old battery and attaching the new, this reset the immobiliser and the car started perfectly.
As with most things TVR, changing the battery isn’t easy as it lives in the passenger footwell and access is gained from underneath the car, but the mechanics did all the hard work for me after taking the car to their workshop and returned a running car back to my lock up later in the day for a very reasonable £70 (including the initial diagnosis work). Annoying that such a simple problem caused the car to be static for so long, but you live and learn.
PH studio photo session too. I promise never to leave it standing for so long again, but after three months of inactivity I have all of my limited mileage allowance to play with in the sunshine, an unplanned bonus, which means I can disrupt the silence by doing more of this and yes I know I should have had the roof down...
A new tyre has been fitted as it was approaching the legal limit. I’d heard good things about Camskill on the PH forums and was delighted to find my oddly sized P-Zero available at under £200 delivered, especially when I normally pay £250 a corner. The very next day a huge Pirelli arrived at PHHQ which looked more suited to a Diablo than a Lexus, but in the rush to get it fitted that lunchtime I rushed to the tyre shop forgetting to take a photo of it. Peace of mind is restored as I now have four P-Zeros in great condition and shouldn’t need to shell out for new rubber until next year. I might actually wash it before next year too, but let’s not get too carried away.
So all is well with the fleet once more, but the buying bug is starting to irritate. I have two great cars yet the urge to buy won’t leave me, but what to do?
Do I replace the TVR (I really don’t want to) or perhaps tweak it a little with upgraded suspension? Do I swap the Lexus for a Jaguar XJ, but then I’d be leaving perfect reliability for a more (ahem) characterful running experience.
While I ponder that I might just go and take a look at a cheap Rover SD1 I've heard about, just to relieve the craving you understand…
Car: 1997 Lexus LS400
Run by: Garlick
Bought: Jan 2011
Purchase price: £1,800
Last month at a glance: Rubber, reliability and relaxation
Car: 1999 TVR Chimaera 4.0
Run by: Garlick
Bought: December 2009
Purchase price: £12,995
Last month at a glance: It's working again and I'm very happy indeed.