PH Fleet: Lexus LS400/TVR Chimaera 400
Why reading up on your car's history is most definitely a good thing
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.
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.
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, 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.
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
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
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 )...
Note to self - check the reg and vin on the receipts BEFORE buying the car...
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