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Monday 23rd January 2012

PH Fleet: Lexus LS400/ TVR Chimaera 400

MOT time for the Lexus and a reawakening for the TVR



A year is a long time, though it never feels that way when the MOT comes around again. What is it that makes us unable to settle until we get 'the call' from the testing station to tell us the news too? Despite my outward confidence I was worried about the LS400 getting the all important pass as the now departed Merc, and more recently the TVR, had both passed without drama. So would it be third time lucky?

My, haven't we travelled
My, haven't we travelled
I needn't have worried, but I did get a couple of advisories. One was for too much travel in the foot operated parking brake (but still works) and the other was a note that one rear tyre was approaching the legal limit, leaving me wondering if that contributed to the spin I had in December. Tyres aren't cheap for the Dynamic Handling Pack equipped LS due to their odd size, so I'll probably put the spare on for now as that has a decent amount of tread left while I prepare to spend £250 on a new Pirelli.

My, haven't we travelled
As I put the newly issued MOT certificate into my history file I glanced at the 2011 certificate to check the annual mileage. I was expecting in the region of 6,000 and so was very surprised to see I have actually covered over 11,500. I knew I enjoyed driving the big Toyota, but didn't realise we had travelled quite so far together. Wonder how much that has cost me in unleaded? But it does go to show how easy it is to cover distance in the LS without realising and I genuinely wonder what could replace it other than another, more recent, LS.

Silencers ready for reversing into garage
Silencers ready for reversing into garage
In other news, the TVR is back on the streets after being put away for the winter that never came. Two months under a dustsheet in an unheated garage had killed the battery, largely thanks to the foolish owner never getting around to connecting the charger as he intended to before Christmas. For those familiar with TVR entry you will know that access to the cabin is by pressing a button that activates a solenoid to pop the doors. No battery means no access but I was 90 per cent certain I had left the bonnet on the latch when I last parked, so I could at least access the engine bay to jump start it. Fingers were crossed as I took the cover off and sure enough the bonnet was not fully closed ... what a relief!

Keeping the peace
Using one 4.0 V8 to power another, I positioned the LS and as soon as the battery was connected the alarm of the TVR beeped as if to alert me to the fact it was awake again. I was about to start it when my Mrs reminded me to attach the track silencers I have agreed to use at the garage to appease neighbours less enthusiastic for unsilenced V8s than your average PHer. Silencers on, I turned the key and it started first time, quietly rumbling through the additional silencing I left it running as checks were made and the roof lowered. Naturally, it had no fuel in it so I ran back and bought a five-litre can of fuel. This was enough to carry me far enough to charge the battery again but, note to self, next time you leave the car, prepare it for storage.

Time to go away again
Time to go away again
Time to go away again. From time to time my almost Zammo-like addiction to cars (I can handle it, it's just a bad cold) makes me consider swapping what I have, most recently considering a 911 in place of the TVR. After a couple of hours driving the Chimaera I looked at the Mrs and said "I think we'd miss this car if we didn't have it. Would a 911 be as much of a giggle to drive just for the hell of it?" And therein lies the problem with fibreglass cars made in Blackpool, they just get under your skin. Every time I drive it I love it a bit more, and were I to sell it I fear I may instantly regret it.

So, the TVR went back into the garage with a refreshed fondness. This time though, I don't plan to leave it static for so long ... but just in case I attached the solar battery charger and made sure it had some fuel in it.


Fact Sheet:
Car: 1997 Lexus LS400
Run by: Garlick
Bought: Jan 2011
Purchase price: £1,800
Last month at a glance: MOT pass, tyre needed, many miles

Fact Sheet:
Car: 1999 TVR Chimaera 4.0
Run by: Garlick
Bought: December 2009
Purchase price: £12,995
Last month at a glance: Awakening, flat batteries, changed minds


A costly month and goodbyes
Noisy TVR upsets the neighbours
Summer fun with the Garlick fleet

 

Garlick
2
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Author Discussion

Adrian W

Original Poster:

9,224 posts

112 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
When I had an LS400 the cheapest tyre supplier by miles was the Lexus main dealer, you should give one a call

Garlick

40,596 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Really? I'd never have even considered making that call, but I will now.

Ta.

SpecB

831 posts

32 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Having just bought my Chimaera two weeks ago, I cannot imagine life without it any more! cloud9

gforceg

1,544 posts

63 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Not trying to be funny but, does a solar powered charger work in your garage? I use a trickle charger that gently "massages" the battery between 95% and 100% charge. Works a treat (if you've got a mains supply).

McSam

5,421 posts

59 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
I'm trying to surpress my incredulity that you had no idea about the state of the tyres on your very heavy V8-powered winter hack.. hehe
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Garlick

40,596 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
gforceg said:
Not trying to be funny but, does a solar powered charger work in your garage? I use a trickle charger that gently "massages" the battery between 95% and 100% charge. Works a treat (if you've got a mains supply).
It does, but only for short periods. I place the solar charger on the roof of the garage in a waterproof cover and seems to be OK.

No mains in the garage, well there is but only in the form of a light socket and as I only rent the garage I can't really start messing with electrics.

Jonny TVR

1,074 posts

165 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
There is a secret way in if the bonnet hadnt been open .. but its secret!

Garlick

40,596 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
McSam said:
I'm trying to surpress my incredulity that you had no idea about the state of the tyres on your very heavy V8-powered winter hack.. hehe
I replaced two not so long ago, but yes that's a fair comment. I keep my eye on them and they aren't too bad. Honest.

Garlick

40,596 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Jonny TVR said:
There is a secret way in if the bonnet hadnt been open .. but its secret!
Shhh, that's why I didn't mention it! The tools were there if needed....

central

16,408 posts

101 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Garlick said:
I glanced at the 2010 certificate
wink

Johnboy Mac

2,666 posts

62 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Garlick, 250 for a tyre on an old machine! Camskill do them for £195. Also you could fit 235/55/17's (less than 2% bigger diameter), those can be had from £100 - buy two at a time. Make sure you get a 4x4 done too, easy to knock out the aligment on LS400's.

Garlick

40,596 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Ta for that. Went with Pirelli last time to keep the tyres matching, but will bear that in mind.

....oh, and less of the 'old machine' please! That's my love right there wink

Johnboy Mac

2,666 posts

62 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Garlick said:
....oh, and less of the 'old machine' please! That's my love right there wink
Sorry, beg forgiveness.

Garlick

40,596 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
hehe

I will actually look into the tyres as you suggest, might save a few ££, but I do want to keep the sizes as close to factory as possible....I'm funny like that.

Johnboy Mac

2,666 posts

62 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Garlick said:
hehe

I will actually look into the tyres as you suggest, might save a few ££, but I do want to keep the sizes as close to factory as possible....I'm funny like that.
Understand, but trust me I'd doubt you'll ever notice the difference bar a possible saving of anything upto £600 for a set of four, unless of course you're doing a few track days!!!biggrin No, joking aside each to their own.

mr_fibuli

667 posts

79 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Are you looking for a broom handle to keep the bonnet up there on the LS? Or was that just mine? biggrin

jellison

12,725 posts

161 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
The joy of late 90's TVR Alarms!

One thing I don't miss.

Garlick

40,596 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
mr_fibuli said:
Are you looking for a broom handle to keep the bonnet up there on the LS? Or was that just mine? biggrin
No, look the struts still have the capability to hold it up, not all the way but most of it.

Happens to us all as we get older......


Sushi

800 posts

84 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
Garlick said:
Jonny TVR said:
There is a secret way in if the bonnet hadnt been open .. but its secret!
Shhh, that's why I didn't mention it! The tools were there if needed....
idea

chris333

723 posts

123 months

[news] 
Monday 23rd January 2012 quote quote all
"the Dynamic Handling Pack equipped LS"

fabulous!


thanks for making me smile! smile
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