No microwave ovens as yet, oddly, but surely it's only a matter of time until some bright spark at Maccy D's or Burger King proposes a global joint venture agreement with car manufacturers. That will change the nature of used car ads. "Never raced, rallied, smoked in or burgered."
Toyota had been pushing out luxury motors long before that, though. Cars like the Soarer, otherwise known as the Lexus SC400 Coupe, aimed to show the world that Toyota could do anything the Germans could do, only better.
We didn't get Soarers here in the UK because of punitive import taxes at the time. If we had, they would have been on the wrong side of 75 grand. Which makes this week's Shed - a third-gen Soarer - a possible bargain at £1,350 or less.
Toyota threw the engineering technology book at some of its Soarers. One, the UZZ32, had four-wheel steer and a computer-controlled hydraulic TACS (Toyota Active Control Suspension) system that used a cartful of height, speed, yaw velocity and lateral-G sensors to prevent any roll in cornering. Any roll.
The vendor of this Shed reckons it's got air suspension, which suggests it's a UZZ31, but it seems to have the stripped-back 'no TV plus velour' spec of the UZZ30. That could mean it's a special order UZZ31, with the leather and telly deleted. The first owner seems to have had a thing for light blue: maybe the colour-coding options were better with cloth.
Anyway, whatever it is, air suspension apart, the lack of complication is a good thing because, 23 years down the line, much of the speccy stuff that was cor blimey back then is now little more than a liability. The UZZ31's air suspension that went on to feature on the Lexus LS400 definitely falls into that category, so you'd want to zone in on that area to make sure it's not gone baggy. Fixing it isn't cheap. Coil pack connector clips are known for their fragility, and the pumps for coolant and power steering will fail at some point.
The heart of the matter is of course the 1UZ-FE four-cam V8 motor. A paragon of refinement, and good for many, many miles, the Lexus/Toyota V8 is the cheapest entry point into V8 motoring for UK-based petrolheads. It pokes out getting on for 260hp in stock trim, but can churn out twice that amount with standard internals. They can sound fruity too. Here's one with some Cobra-style side exhausts. Any blue smoke on startup is almost bound to be worn valve stem seals.
There are no performance specs on the PH ad, but the 1991 car in this Motor Week review (presumably with performance-sapping smog equipment attached) knocked out a six-second 0-60mph time. Twin-turbo straight six-engined 2.5 Soarers reputedly dipped into the fives, but that's another story.
The paintwork on this car is looking a bit tired, but you can imagine the potential transformation that could be wrought by a determined owner with a drill, some light cutting compound and a few polishing heads. The design of the alloys is less than inspiring, but if they're original then they become a nice touch. No doubt a marque expert will be along shortly to give us the SP on that.