PH Fleet Update: Chimaera 4.0 And Others

It’s been a while since I last discussed my garage on PH, and since that time a few things have changed. Some have left, some remain and one is soon to arrive, so here’s a brief overview of the current fleet with more details on some to follow later this year.

Sadly departed
Sadly departed
Porsche 944S2: Finally I have realised that three cars is too many for me and one always ends up being left largely unused. The 944 was suffering after the TVR and Mercedes arrived as sunny days were spent in the Chimaera and the commute was dealt with admirably by the Benz.

As a result, the S2 was cleaned and advertised on PistonHeads for £4000 and, as I looked at the immaculate Porsche outside my house every day, I must admit that I felt a twinge of regret. It had been a great car to drive, utterly reliable and still fast enough to cope with current sports cars. As an added bonus it was even finished in ‘back in fashion’ white. I sold the car for the asking price (after fitting new front discs to cure a judder under braking for the buyer) and waved it off into sunset with a heavy heart.

Estates do come in handy
Estates do come in handy
Mercedes-Benz E220 estate: The Mercedes continues to be an absolute joy to use and seems to get better with age; it’s not without fault but it could well be the best car I have ever owned. A few months ago I was surprised to find it wouldn’t start outside my house, but fortunately it was a weekend and I wasn’t in a rush so the RAC was called to take a look. A dirty crank sensor was the problem and after a clean (of the sensor, not the car) the W124 started first time and it’s been fine ever since.

At MOT time I entrusted the car to a local Merc specialist and paced around the office waiting for news, with thoughts of big bills at the back of my mind. When the call came in about 1 hour after leaving it with them to say it has passed needing only a headlight adjustment, I was ecstatic to say the least. This good news meant that my total outlay for the 124 since owning was under £100 and that’s a new record for a car owned by me. This may change soon as I need to fit a new heater valve as the old one has become stuck in position. That aside, this car looks and almost drives like new, I'm finding it useful to have an estate car and the best news is that used values seem to be going up too. 

Ah, British winters....
Ah, British winters....
TVR Chimaera 4.0: The noisy Chim has spent a large part of the past few months undercover, hiding from the elements and salty roads. Just before the bad weather set in I took it to Fernhurst for the annual service and MOT ritual and left it with them for a few days, ‘enjoying’ their courtesy Fiesta 1.2 while they fettled. Another MOT pass was good news, and despite having to pay for the service and a few bits and pieces too I was pleased with a bill of well under £600. I also treated the car to a full GTechniq coating as recommended by PetrolTed a few years ago. I must say that they managed to get the car looking like new both inside and out and I also had my wheels repainted at the same time helping to make it look even better. So far the coating is holding up well and seems to repel water with ease, but as I haven’t done many miles since application I’ll have to keep you posted throughout the year.

Bring the noise
Bring the noise
Maintenance aside, the TVR is fantastic. I never tire of driving it, it has been rudely reliable and the noise of it still makes me smile every time it fires up. OK, so it needed a jump start after a lengthy period of inactivity but I can hardly blame the car for that.

In fact it's a sheer pleasure to own a TVR: the fact that you can burble along with the Mrs in the car, attack your favourite B-Road, commute in traffic or make ears bleed through tunnels only goes to show how universally capable these cars are. I would question whether any other car can offer this mix...

Saying that, I keep looking at Corvettes in the classifieds and consider changing the Chimaera for one later this year, the trouble is that as soon as I go anywhere in the Chim that thought seems truly ridiculous.

Lexus LS400: Finally I need to welcome a new arrival, so new in fact that I haven’t collected it yet. In a moment of Christmas break madness I enquired after a 1997 LS400 that was advertised in our classifieds and bought it. I have this rather foolish idea that using a 4.0 V8 as a daily drive is a good idea, despite the current fuel prices, but if I’m honest the only reason I bought it was to scratch an itch I’ve had for the Japanese Merc for a long time. Let’s hope the reality is as good as the dream……..

Comments (64) Join the discussion on the forum

  • johnpeat 07 Jan 2011

    Will be v.interested to hear about your LS... Mate of mine ran one about 5 years ago and it bankrupted him in fuel costs (overall about 16mpg despite trying hard) but needed nothing broke and EVERY gadget still worked despite having done 250K miles over 15 years (when he got rid).

    It was a trippy experience to ride in - easily quieter and smoother than a contemporary Rolls but driving it was a very strange experience - it wasn't designed for the driver - in fact it was also pretty much contemporary Rolls - MB had nothing on it at the time.

  • Shaw Tarse 07 Jan 2011

    I saw on twitter that you'd bought the Lexus, has it replaced one of the fleet? Or is it an addition?

  • Garlick 07 Jan 2011

    15 mpg you say? Hmmm.....

    At the moment the LS is an addition, but I'll keep you posted. Once I've lived with it for a while I'll do a proper report too.

  • shouldbworking 07 Jan 2011

    Garlick said:
    Finally I have realised that three cars is too many for me
    Garlick said:
    Finally I need to welcome a new arrival
    That went well :P

  • aww999 07 Jan 2011

    Is yours a MkIV LS400? The five speed auto box and VVTi on the later ones seem to give a useful increase in pace and economy (depending on how you drive it!). I get 30mpg on a steady motorway cruise, and 18ish on short town runs.

    Enjoy it, they are great cars!

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