PH Fleet: Lexus LS400/TVR Chimaera

Interesting times for the fleet. Two have left the fold, one has had money spent on it and is being pampered and the other is auditioning for Dancing On Ice. It's been a changeable few weeks to say the least

Garlick is Merc-less for the first time in ages
Garlick is Merc-less for the first time in ages
Let's start with farewells. The Mercedes E220 estate has left me and I am without a Merc for the first time in a while. I was using the Lexus more often than not and it's hard to justify paying to have a car sitting there doing nothing these days. Similarly, the Eunos 1.8 S Special has been waved off too after my girlfriend started to commute by train for work. Weekends would be spent in the Lexus if wet and the TVR if dry so the Mazda had also become a static exhibit. Both are now in the hands of loving enthusiasts having a happier life ... we miss them.

Christmas spending
On a happier note it was time for the TVR to enjoy its annual pampering session while I enjoyed the (surprisingly decent) Fiesta loan car offered by Fernhurst TVR. Foolishly I bought the TVR just before Christmas two years ago, so annual service and MOT time takes place when I should be saving money to buy Christmas gifts for friends and family, but hey times are hard so the family can enjoy unwrapping a variety of items I found lying around in the office.

Fixed, fettled and tucked up for winter.
Fixed, fettled and tucked up for winter.
MOT testing means emissions testing and that means I need to replace the catalysts to pass. Being lazy I left this job to Fernhurst and added the fitment of two new Toyo T1-R tyres to that list and a temperamental OSR brake light was fixed (a loose connection) before heading for the test bay. It passed of course, and immediately the cats were removed and put back on the shelf to restore full noise and Prius upset.

Firing on all cylinders
It was also time for the annual service (interim) and while that was carried out the 4,000rpm misfire was finally fixed. It was all plug and lead related along with a few loose suppressors too, and now it finally revs cleanly and smoothly once again. Not that I could sample it upon collection mind you as I went to pick the car up after hours on a wet and foggy night and pottered along conscious of the fact that I was running fresh rubber on the rear wheels along with new brake pads (the only other non-routine part fitted). Fast I was not, but the car felt great as they always seem to after a service has been carried out ... unlike my wallet, but a tax rebate from HMRC was waiting for me when I got home that more than covered the near £800 bill. Result.

Not long after that I decided to tuck it in the garage to save it from the salty nastiness that is UK roads in winter. I am especially conscious after a valet company helpfully cleaned all the Waxoyl from the chassis thinking it was road dirt a year or so ago. I have had it reapplied since, but it doesn't look as thick as the original application so care is being exercised. As I type it is in the garage under a cover waiting for better weather, with a flat battery and a sad owner.

Lexus suddenly got unusually exciting
Lexus suddenly got unusually exciting
Slip sliding away
The hibernation and recent fleet culling means the LS is piling on the miles as it is now the main car of the household. My short inner London commute sees average fuel consumption starting with a 1 and I am pretty sure new front discs and pads will be needed early in 2012 along with an MOT as that expires in January. Once again the car expenses are less than perfectly timed, and a new tax disc is needed too.

Oh, I mentioned ice skating? Well you can read more about that here where I detail my first ever road pirouette.It seems P-Zero tyres are not great for winter use, a fact I didn't know when spending £250 a corner on them earlier in the year. Despite the slip the mighty LS remains the most comfortable and relaxing car I have ever owned, and I even think I'd keep it over the equivalent S-Class. What's happening to me?

1997 Lexus LS400
Run by: Garlick
Bought: Jan 2011
Mileage: 115,000
Purchase price: £1,800
Last month at a glance: Thirsty, slippery, comfy

Car: 1999 TVR Chimaera 4.0
Run by: Garlick
Bought: December 2009
Mileage: 56,000
Purchase price: £12,995
Last month at a glance: Service, MOT, hibernation


Noisy TVR upsets the neighbours
Summer fun with the Garlick fleet
Bargain barge not quite a bargain



Comments (38) Join the discussion on the forum

  • MrDarkBlack 28 Dec 2011

    Two great PH classics!

    What more does a man want? Though I have a feeling that there may be an addition to the line up in the not too distant future, looking at the size of your fleet over the years. smile

  • BMWill 28 Dec 2011

    Indeed the fleet has thinned.

    On an unrelated note, 'As I type it is in the garage under a cover in the garage'.... reads a bit redundant...

    = )

  • Stuart70 28 Dec 2011

    LS400 is brilliant, my father has run the same one for the last 8+ years. Nothing gone wrong, nothing fallen off. Saving in expenses just about pays for the petrol. Still looks fresh after a wash and a wax. Nothing compares with sinking into the well sprung armchair and wafting along on the V8 thrum.

    I had an XJ6 last year for a few months, fuel exconomy was little better; didn't waft as well and just about broke me with repair bills - bought and sold within 4 months - it has gone now!

    Interested to see what comes next to the fleet given cruising and sporting are resolved - something to go to the dump and manage the country tracks or something intense and high revving with 2 or 4 wheels?

  • Garlick 28 Dec 2011

    BMWill said:
    On an unrelated note, 'As I type it is in the garage under a cover in the garage'.... reads a bit redundant..
    Whoops. Will try and fix

    Fleet wise, I might (might) add a Range Rover....maybe.

  • Schnellmann 28 Dec 2011

    Always good to get updates, especially on the Chimera as once came close to buying one and so still have a fond feeling for them.

    But wonder why you have the car serviced on schedule, if you then stick it in the garage until spring. Wouldn't it be better to wait until spring so that you can combine the annual service with getting the car ready after its winter sleep? I'm sure an explainable, one-off delay of a few months is not going to be a problem for the car's history (and isn't it a keeper in any case?)

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