The reality of driving a 20+ year old car..

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as a LS400 driver, and a clean example at that, i find it extremely easy to forget sometimes that im driving a 20 year old car. i have 3 of them. a 95, 99, and 00 but have been activley looking for a clean 90 for years. ill find one, someday hopefully. 

anyway, the car i do the most travling in is my 99 thats just a tick over 200k although youd never know it. everything works, its silent as the tomb on the highway and feels like its a pillow floating on air at 100 mph. i drive around town and notice the few other cars of its vintage which are completely clapped out smoke belching turds, that seriously look the part. 

last weekend i went to go see a friend of mine and he had a mid 90s Cadillac Deville he recently picked up as a project thats about the same age, with about the same mileage and in the same condition as my LS400 and we compared our rides. after driving my LS400 he is obsessed with finding one now and wants my help to look for one which of course i will lol. what really struck me was just how absolutely ancient that caddy felt in comparison! everything from the clunky door handles to the interior finish to the way it rode on the ride, -antiquated by todays standards and even by my LS400s standards. it felt like i was driving something out of the 1960s. ive driven a few other folks 20+ year old cars recently and its kinda the same deal. they feel like antiques! is it that the LS400 really was that well built to that it still feels modern in the 21st century or have i just gotten so used to the way they drive that everything else i drive feels like a wheelbarrow full of dog poop after it? my buddy's caddy was nice, REAL nice and had all if not more features then my LS400 has, but it felt like junk! even alot of other more modern cars feel like junk after driving it. 

thing is, i have driven and owned plenty of really tired LS400s over the years. my 95 for example, feels and looks old but not almost 25 years, but the experience of one thats right, and i mean really right is something thats completely different and honestly vanishing these days as more and more are abused and crushed. 

another reality check is when im driving around town or driving even long distances between large cities, not passing very much on the road from the 90s and not passing a single other LS400 for weeks sometimes. yes, these cars are a dying breed, and its all of them really and you can see it here on CL even. early Lexus vehicles are finally dying off and in alarming numbers. they have finally reached the age of not old enough to be an antique but almost, and too old to be taken seriously and just written off by most. hell even the enthusiasts have grown bored and moved on to newer cars. i go to the junkyard to get parts for my cars and its not a mad dash to get to the recently totaled one that just hit the yard. last 3 LS400s i pulled parts from were 90% intact shortly before being crushed. why? people just arent interested in them anymore and the few that are still hanging around people are not fixing. not enough supply to really even be a demand. 

even more so on the other models. 2GS are vanishing and 1GS are almost extinct as i really dont see them at all anymore outside well worn junkyard examples. i dont ever see early es300s anymore and i thought the 250s were all long gone till a fresh one went cruising by me in traffic a few days ago and i almost had to blink my eyes at the thought id seen a ghost! 

these are the greatest cars of the 90s and honestly its sad that there are so few left. they are not bad cars, its just that you can kick an old loyal dog around for so long before they get tired. these cars have fully aged out well past their life expectancy and now their reliability without major work being done to keep them alive. theres a whole adult generation that doesn't know a world without Lexus, but also have never experienced just how amazing the old ones really were, and if they do get a chance to drive an old one, its usually some friend of theirs absolutely clapped out bomb, therefore ruining the whole experience of what these cars really represented. i work at a lexus dealership as a Technology Specialist. one of my co-workers drives a 07 ES350 but was having trouble with it so he hitched a ride home with me and he had only ridden in one LS400 years before that was absolutely on its last leg and kept saying, "wait, THIS is an LS400??!?" REALLY I CANT BELIEVE THIS IS AN LS400!!" -basically assuming they were all horrible bombs like his friends was. first impressions can mean everything i guess..  

for those of us that drive the older models, especially the nice ones, bravo to you all! someones gotta keep these cars around for future generations to experience. and its sad that so many never will....


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Here, Here!

Question?..Would I be right in thinking you are located in the US ( your sig states Other/Non UK) as I know the LS was a 'World' car.


paul m.

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Unparalleled Japanese bubble economy research, development and engineering, as delivered by Japan's top motor manufacturer in its top global car. You simply will not find cars built to that standard again. Enjoy it while we can emit emissions as we like.

I was at a car show recently and took a good look at 1990s Mercedes, BMW and Rolls, inside and out. The LS400 is a better car with better materials than all of those cars, bar the leather used in the RR. Wood trim on all other makes was splitting and the cheap polyurethane finish had yellowed. Leathers cracked, plastics not flush anymore etc. Mechanically, well, the Toyota guys all looked relaxed while the others guys talked about the usual plastic water impeller failures/overheating/transmission failures etc.

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And think how green you are by not buying a new car. We should get free road tax by keeping our older cars on the road for as long as possible.

When making a new car I bet the pollution of the actual manufacturing process and shipping is not included! No good saying scrap your old car and buy this low emissions model!

I have a 1996 Volvo 940 estate 2.3 litre B230FK petrol engine as a workhorse and has 200,000 miles and still drives great. Need to get Ac working again and fix leaky sunroof!

The 240 was my daily driver for 8 years and then 940. Sold the 240 GLT last year for £500. New owner tidied him up and now looks tidy.


volvo 940 1.jpg

volvo 940 2.jpg


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