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Thursday 12th April 2012

PH Fleet: Lexus LS400/TVR Chimaera 400

Why reading up on your car's history is most definitely a good thing



No news is definitely good news when it comes to my cars. Both of the Garlick fleet are running well and the TVR has attended both the Silverstone and Mercedes-Benz World Sunday Services as well as managing the occasional commute too. The LS copes admirably with anything I throw of it as per usual, but as I enjoy the silent ambience so much I still haven't bothered to fix that broken aerial yet. Sorry to Radio 2 for the lost listener in the meantime.

A car's life in paperwork - fascinating reading!
A car's life in paperwork - fascinating reading!
I had a few bills and receipts to file from recent purchases for both cars and while I was doing so decided to leaf through the ream of papers that came with the TVR when I bought it. Spreading it all out over the floor I took great delight in wincing at some bills, being surprised at the cheapness of others and taking particular note of the cars geographical movements around the country too. If you don't keep receipts for your car you should; everything from a major service to a new wiper-blade is interesting reading and it's never too late to start your own file.

Reading through I learned that V505 DHR (the original reg) was ordered on July 17 1999 from David Hendry Cars in Wiltshire. I even have the original showroom brochure that opens with the words "There are few cars with the capability of the Chimaera. There are even fewer that embody this with such devastating style and exclusivity." Blimey, no wonder the new owner was won over.

Handy tips direct from Wheeler himself
Handy tips direct from Wheeler himself
I won't divulge the owner's name but I will tell you that he paid £33,930 for the car and left a £1,696 deposit on the day. On July 21 the dealer wrote to him to advise that his car should be built during the first week of September and would be ready for delivery mid-September 1999. They weren't wrong as the delivery was made (I have the handover letter) on September 16.

It must have been an exciting day for the Wiltshire-based owner, and a glance at the welcome note from Peter Wheeler contained within the leather Filofax-style service book/handbook warns the new owner "when the tyres do lose adhesion the cornering speeds will be very high requiring unusually quick reactions and skill", before ending with "in summary we suggest that you observe the old racing adage slow in, quick out." You don't get that with a Ford Fiesta.

Original sales docket for the TVR
Original sales docket for the TVR
There are many other interesting views into the car's past from a bill for £400 for rear hood fix in 2008 to a failed MOT later the same year thanks to a problem with the nearside front suspension. It would take hours to read the lot, and each time I do I find something new.

Meanwhile, over in Lexus world
The Lexus, on the other hand, is a leather wallet of efficiency. No surprises, just some surprisingly cheap bills (£284 for a Lexus service) and detail that tells me it started life in Doncaster in 1997 before moving to Kent a year later, Sussex in 2009 and London in 2010. Amusingly Lexus invited the new owner to a 'Ceremony of Keys' on handover day, before adding, "Welcome to the growing group of value-conscious people who drive Lexus vehicles." Value-conscious? I'm not sure the chap who bought an LS over an S-Class wanted to be known as value-conscious...

Enough reading - time for a drive!
Enough reading - time for a drive!
If you don't read your history files, you should. It tells you more than you'll ever know about your car and it's your duty to maintain that file for the next owner ... in fact we insist that you do!

Enough reading, I'm off for a drive, remembering vividly that I need to drive with a slow in, quick out mentality. If you owned V505 DHR in the past, I'd love to hear from you so please drop me a line here at the office.

 



Fact Sheet:
Car:
1997 Lexus LS400
Run by: Garlick
Bought: Jan 2011
Purchase price: £1,800
Last month at a glance: Aerial still not replaced, silence is golden

Fact Sheet:
Car:
1999 TVR Chimaera 4.0
Run by: Garlick
Bought: December 2009
Purchase price: £12,995
Last month at a glance: Paper trail reveals interesting historical titbits

Previous reports:
TVR lives once more, Lexus carries on regardless
MOT time for the Lexus and a reawakening for the TVR
A costly months and goodbyes
Noise upsets neighbours

 

Garlick
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Author Discussion

gavzdc5445

66 posts

64 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
Great read...I know what you mean regarding keeping receipts, mine even has fuel receipts from almost new and it's a 2000 model, where I've kept up the trend.

Should add an extra £10,000 to value surely smile

Shade

Original Poster:

91 posts

54 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
Shame not a lot of owners of lesser value vehicles care about history. Since September 2010 I've owned a Puma and a Fiesta z-s and neither had any history apart from MOT certificates when I bought them. In 4 months the Puma had filled a small binder, and the Fiesta now has a library. Hope more people start doing it.

900T-R

19,449 posts

143 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
I have a file bursting at the seams with receipts, invoices, MOTs etc. of my '93 Chimaera from 1999 onwards - sadly no owner's handbook, though... Thanks for sharing PW's opening notes, I have read (about) them before but never the complete page. Shame that for some owners, the red mist must have taken over before taking them in. frown

Only £210 for heated seats? Golly - sometimes I wish the first owner of my car had ticked that box (although it's debatable whether you'd want more electrics and potentially burning stuff than strictly necessary in a TVR hehe)...

DR10

483 posts

60 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
Strange, I always read all the past information as soon as I get the car. I found that one car I bought was sold back to the dealer from which she bought it, four years later. I think she lost about £12,000 in 26,000 miles (on a £16,000 car). Nasty.

Garlick

40,600 posts

126 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
DR10 said:
Strange, I always read all the past information as soon as I get the car.
I definitely had a leaf through in the showroom and on the day, but this was the first time I put it all in date order and took the time to note a few interesting facts. A great way to waste time isn't it?

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slipstream 1985

4,675 posts

65 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
i dont know if i should keep a folder for the noble for when i come to sell it. so far each year there is at least a 3.5k bill to add to the growing pile. A cheap one to me would be anything then only has 3 digits in it.....

sanctum

181 posts

61 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
I went through my old receipts recently, and was more than a little surprised to find that the old documents that had come with the car (and which I had quickly looked over with the seller) were a mixed bag from two other cars.

Note to self - check the reg and vin on the receipts BEFORE buying the car...

Garlick

40,600 posts

126 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
slipstream 1985 said:
i dont know if i should keep a folder for the noble for when i come to sell it. so far each year there is at least a 3.5k bill to add to the growing pile. A cheap one to me would be anything then only has 3 digits in it.....
That's true. Look at an adverts in the classifieds and some exclaim things like 'spent £10k in last 18 months'. Now is that good or bad for me as a prospective purchaser? hehe

200bhp

5,134 posts

105 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
Garlick - Does your Lexus include the original "Welcome to the Lexus Experience" audio CD?

Garlick

40,600 posts

126 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
200bhp said:
Garlick - Does your Lexus include the original "Welcome to the Lexus Experience" audio CD?
Sadly not. Is it a music collection to enhance your drive?

johnpeat

4,263 posts

151 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
Garlick said:
Sadly not. Is it a music collection to enhance your drive?
I hear it now includes the sound of Kylies arse squirming around on the seat of the otherwise 'silent revolution' Lexus.

I understand it's also more valuable than the car...

900T-R

19,449 posts

143 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
Garlick said:
That's true. Look at an adverts in the classifieds and some exclaim things like 'spent £10k in last 18 months'. Now is that good or bad for me as a prospective purchaser? hehe
Depends on who did the work, and whether the bills don't consist of the same, or related work being performed over & over again. Most of times, the two have a high correlation. wink

200bhp

5,134 posts

105 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
Garlick said:
Sadly not. Is it a music collection to enhance your drive?
To be honest I've never listened to it! From memory it includes a narrative on the Lexus experience followed by some classical music.

900T-R

19,449 posts

143 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
I think I would have preferred the TVR counterpart if they had one - although I think the standard fit cd-unit and speakers probably wouldn't have coped with the sort of music that underscores the TVR experience. wink

Cotty

27,693 posts

170 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
Its great to keep history. I have every MOT certificate, service receipt, replacement parts invoices etc for my 1992 BMW. I need a bigger folder or a box to put it all in.

CampDavid

8,679 posts

84 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
I bought a Fiesta once at auction and the bills helpfully provided a guide to when and how much it had been clocked by. When it died, in Mongolia, it would have ticked over 250k miles. It Was Lunched

B'stard Child

7,234 posts

132 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
My Monza trackcar has the 1985 original bill of sale (BFO Germany) plus full Opel History till it came back to the UK when it was specialist maintained till I got it in 2000 - subsequently and every bill/reciept for parts etc that I have put on it - it was nice being the second owner even if I haven't exactly gone down the concours route hehe

My Lotus Carlton has sod all history before 22K miles (bought direct from Lotus (when they were having a clear out - cash crisis - rings a bell) and I got a 10 min warrenty (time it took the delivery driver to have a cup of tea - I made a real thermonuclear cuppa and went for a blast) I've kept everything however since that point inc a maintenance/mpg spreadsheet since 2000

The 2 previous owner 7 has FBMW SH up to 90K - (stamps in the book supplemented by some direct enquiries to dealers leading to copies of the original invoices) I've suplemented that with any parts bills or reciepts and a maintenance/mpg spreadsheet since 2006

The SLK came with all invoices, stamped history till 90K and I've suplemented that with any parts bills or reciepts and a maintenance/mpg spreadsheet since last year

My other Monza came with no history and a very chequered past that it's been great fun finding out about

I like cars with history

PS would have added pics but Photobucket is being a see you next tuesday

Shade

Original Poster:

91 posts

54 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
CampDavid said:
I bought a Fiesta once at auction and the bills helpfully provided a guide to when and how much it had been clocked by
Quality, I really laughed at that, thanks.

B'stard Child

7,234 posts

132 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
Shade said:
CampDavid said:
I bought a Fiesta once at auction and the bills helpfully provided a guide to when and how much it had been clocked by
Quality, I really laughed at that, thanks.
Indeed - very funny when written in that way hehe

gmw9666

1,356 posts

86 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th April 2012 quote quote all
Just bought my 3rd TVR, a 5.0 Chimaera.......reading the volumes of paper work I added up all the bills........£11.5k in invoices along with the original invoice of £43k from back in 1999.

I picked the old girl up for £7800 which i am mighty happy with


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