Please remove duplicate log ins As part of an upgrade to PistonHeads, we need you to go to the Classifieds Preferences page and choose your unique login by 31st of October

Hide Do it now
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:
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:
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


Author: Garlick

Get it off your chest...

29 comments on this story

Last comment was by 900T-R
on 13th April 2012