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Hi All. 

Been a lexus owner for a long time. I've had my IS250 SE-I for 5 years now and covered 60k flawless miles in it (total mileage now 110k). 

I have an agent searching for a 2009+ IS350 from Japan. They will adjust the Odometer and instrument to display in MPH instead of KPH. Once it arrives, will it be possible to change the instrument clocks for a UK item and have it electronically matched? 

Also, I plan on removing the whole DVD based navigation / radio / display from my IS250 and replacing the HDD one from the IS350 so it should work in the UK properly. Has anyone had experience of doing this? 

 

TIA

Stew

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Blimey Stew that's a mission you're on. I don't think anyone here has done what you're after doing as I don't think there is an is350 in this country unless they're keeping quiet. Look on an American based Lexus forum as I think you'll find more info etc. Wouldn't it be cheaper to do an engine swap instead?

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Well, I was thinking of finding someone to do a 3UZ swap to my 250, but they're getting on a bit now - don't get me wrong I think they're great engines - but less power and not as reliable as the 3.5, plus I'd need suspension, brakes and probably ARB upgrading to cope with the extra power, as I believe the 350 uses the GS300/450h brakes/suspension. 

I know it will be a bit of a mission, but I'll have my 250 Nav to use for a bit of wiring fact finding - can't be THAT much different since the units do pretty much the same thing - just getting the data from a different source. Plus the UK DVD based units are all integrated, so *theoretically* shouldn't be that big of an install. I've seen it done in NZ with a JDM IS350. 

As for the speedo conversion, I'm really not sure how easy that will be. Again, I'll probably use my 250 clocks as a test and see what happens. At that point, I'll speak to a specialist to see what they can do for me. Got to find the right 350 first 🙂

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Obviously I need to come in here to defend the 3UZ engine!  It may have been around for twenty years but it's still the sweetest engine of any car I've had or since been in.  If I was brave enough to do an engine swap I wouldn't hesitate to use one. 

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No need to defend it - as I said - it's a great engine. Had it in my old mk2 GS430 sport.

But, in terms of overall ownership, the 2GR is more modern, efficient, powerful and cheaper to maintain. I love the 3UZ, hence looking at one in the first place. But for long term ownership, I'll go with the 2GR. 

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Following this thread with interest. All the best @Stew-R  🙂

 

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Whilst I was on my tacho break today I googled is350 jap import. There's a video on utube where an agent is presenting a white is350 from Japan. The clocks were set to mph etc but I did notice that the info screen between the clocks read in Japanese as did the satnav screen. 

There are is250's in yank land with the straight 6 Toyota 3.0 litre and turbo'd. I've seen that online. I was amazed the engine looked as if it came from the factory the fit was superb. 

I've seen is350's for sale in NZ but they seem a bit pricey. 

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6 hours ago, Mr Vlad said:

Blimey Stew that's a mission you're on. I don't think anyone here has done what you're after doing as I don't think there is an is350 in this country unless they're keeping quiet. Look on an American based Lexus forum as I think you'll find more info etc. Wouldn't it be cheaper to do an engine swap instead?

There are few, including one TOMS45s. I think the reason not many people are doing it is that after all costs of importing IS350 to UK and changing what is needed it costs as much if not more than IS-F. Arguably, IS-F is better value for money, has more stuff in it and at the end of the day probably cheaper to insure than "grey" imports. On this being viable really depends on getting IS350 at next to 0 cost in Japan. I guess current firm prices on IS-F made it more feasible, but when IS-Fs were trading all day long for £12k this wasn't that feasible to do.

Really sad Lexus decided no to sell 350's in UK, I certainly would have had RC350 instead of anaemic RC200t

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24 minutes ago, Mr Vlad said:

Whilst I was on my tacho break today I googled is350 jap import. There's a video on utube where an agent is presenting a white is350 from Japan. The clocks were set to mph etc but I did notice that the info screen between the clocks read in Japanese as did the satnav screen. 

There are is250's in yank land with the straight 6 Toyota 3.0 litre and turbo'd. I've seen that online. I was amazed the engine looked as if it came from the factory the fit was superb. 

I've seen is350's for sale in NZ but they seem a bit pricey. 

I assume that was JapAutoAgent. That's who I'm using to get mine for me. 

They do reset the KMH clock to read in MPH, which is fine if you only ever drive in the UK, but I travel a lot in Europe, and also the sat nav buttons and as you mention display between the clocks reads in Japanese - hence wanting the UK style instrument clocks and navigation

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2 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

There are few, including one TOMS45s. I think the reason not many people are doing it is that after all costs of importing IS350 to UK and changing what is needed it costs as much if not more than IS-F. Arguably, IS-F is better value for money, has more stuff in it and at the end of the day probably cheaper to insure than "grey" imports. On this being viable really depends on getting IS350 at next to 0 cost in Japan. I guess current firm prices on IS-F made it more feasible, but when IS-Fs were trading all day long for £12k this wasn't that feasible to do.

Really sad Lexus decided no to sell 350's in UK, I certainly would have had RC350 instead of anaemic RC200t

You are correct that the IS-F may seem the logical choice.... however dig into a bit further - They have a known fault with the ATF cooler that has been known to take out the gearbox when it fails, which it seems to do without warning - someone on the F owners group had it happen recently. Also, running costs of the ISF are considerably higher than a 350. Tyres, brakes etc are considerably more expensive. MPG is also another factor. Given that there is an approximate 300 GBP difference in insurance for annual cover (my personal quotes), that wouldn't even cover the difference in brakes cost (Euro car parts ISF replacement discs and pads £862 vs 350 replacement discs and pads£512)! And what does the ISF come with that the 350 doesn't, besides the 5.0 engine, 19" wheels and quad exhausts? Given that you can get a 2008 ISF with 100k+ miles for ~15k GBP or a similar aged IS350 with ~50k miles for ~10k GBP with similar on road daily driver performance (obviously out on a track or empty road the F would walk away, but probably not *massively* in day to day usage ) then I'm not sure how the ISF seems better value for money either??

I do whole heartedly agree that Lexus should have brought the 350 models into the UK - IS, GS and RC models. 

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@Stew-R - in UK IS-F comes with every single possible extra which was available in IS mk2, including dynamic cruise control for example. Now it depends on what options you going to get on JDM car, but at least US imports have really poor level of equipment. Take for example ML sound system, in IS-F it is standard in IS350 it is possible to get a car with poverty line 6-speaker "radio". If we just take UK cars, then yes difference is minimal - DRCC and ML were main features, the only optional thing depending on your taste could be sunroof - optional across the range. ohhh and you get real Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer interior trim if that is your thing!

IS-F has better residual value as well and likely to maintain value in long term. I would even argue that IS350 is "un-sell-able" car in UK, which means to get anyone interested into it you will have to discount it significantly. This is to do again with all "imported cars" related issues and limitations. In short this means you really have to commit to IS350 and keep it for very long time. IS-F I may argue is in high demand, so you may drive for few years and as it seems now - sell it for profit. And that all again goes down to you actually being able to get IS350 inclusive of all costs for £10k and IS-F staying at ~£15k (few years ago it was possible to pick one up for 10-12k). Now again my knowledge my be obsolete, but few years ago JDM IS350 and any reasonable condition and equipment were selling close to £10k, even the dirtiest and cheapest were like £6.5k and I have doubts that you could actually get the car from Japan all inclusive for under £3.5k

The transmission issue affects all super-saloons, but in my many years being interested in Lexus I have only heard it happening twice - once in Australia and one in UK. It goes without saying the fault didn't happen when just cruising on motorway or visiting shops. Cars were frequent on tracks (which they should be) and not exactly original.. I mean it "could have" contributed to the fault.

That said there is massive difference between what you have in IS250/350 - 6 speed automatic transmissions gear with limiter and in IS-F where you have properly manually shifted 8 speed (is it up-to 4th gear if I am not mistaken) which is actually very fast. I guess all boils down into finding IS-F in good condition, but that applies to any car including IS350.

Finally, if you really want to know what "BAD" fuel efficiency is then try 200t. On my IS250 I was getting 38/28 and doing exactly the same driving in RC200t I am getting 28/22... The lowest I have ever seen on tank was 24 in IS250 and 17 on RC200t. This is much worse than RC-F or even IS-F. From my experience IS-F can still do ~32-34MPG on motorway and if you really careful you could make it fit 26 per tank.

Anyway, I am not tying to discourage you from importing the car, I would have had IS350 myself... would it be available in UK, but I just explaining why they are very rare in UK.

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35 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

@Stew-R - in UK IS-F comes with every single possible extra which was available in IS mk2, including dynamic cruise control for example. Now it depends on what options you going to get on JDM car, but at least US imports have really poor level of equipment. Take for example ML sound system, in IS-F it is standard in IS350 it is possible to get a car with poverty line 6-speaker "radio". If we just take UK cars, then yes difference is minimal - DRCC and ML were main features, the only optional thing depending on your taste could be sunroof - optional across the range. ohhh and you get real Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer interior trim if that is your thing!

IS-F has better residual value as well and likely to maintain value in long term. I would even argue that IS350 is "un-sell-able" car in UK, which means to get anyone interested into it you will have to discount it significantly. This is to do again with all "imported cars" related issues and limitations. In short this means you really have to commit to IS350 and keep it for very long time. IS-F I may argue is in high demand, so you may drive for few years and as it seems now - sell it for profit. And that all again goes down to you actually being able to get IS350 inclusive of all costs for £10k and IS-F staying at ~£15k (few years ago it was possible to pick one up for 10-12k). Now again my knowledge my be obsolete, but few years ago JDM IS350 and any reasonable condition and equipment were selling close to £10k, even the dirtiest and cheapest were like £6.5k and I have doubts that you could actually get the car from Japan all inclusive for under £3.5k

The transmission issue affects all super-saloons, but in my many years being interested in Lexus I have only heard it happening twice - once in Australia and one in UK. It goes without saying the fault didn't happen when just cruising on motorway or visiting shops. Cars were frequent on tracks (which they should be) and not exactly original.. I mean it "could have" contributed to the fault.

That said there is massive difference between what you have in IS250/350 - 6 speed automatic transmissions gear with limiter and in IS-F where you have properly manually shifted 8 speed (is it up-to 4th gear if I am not mistaken) which is actually very fast. I guess all boils down into finding IS-F in good condition, but that applies to any car including IS350.

Finally, if you really want to know what "BAD" fuel efficiency is then try 200t. On my IS250 I was getting 38/28 and doing exactly the same driving in RC200t I am getting 28/22... The lowest I have ever seen on tank was 24 in IS250 and 17 on RC200t. This is much worse than RC-F or even IS-F. From my experience IS-F can still do ~32-34MPG on motorway and if you really careful you could make it fit 26 per tank.

Anyway, I am not tying to discourage you from importing the car, I would have had IS350 myself... would it be available in UK, but I just explaining why they are very rare in UK.

Yes, it does - but I intend to get a JDM Version L, which is the same as UK SE-L spec, so shouldn't miss out on too much there. 

Yeah definitely right there on residual values, can't argue that. I wish ISFs were still going for the 10k GBP - I'd have already bought one! 

The ATF issue does affect many of the saloons. People have reported it on here in LS430's also - so presumably it can also affect GS430, GS460, LS460 etc And I'm pretty certain the chap on here who had it happen to his ISF wasn't on a track, but just driving down the road (although I could be wrong there). 

Yes the ISF gearbox is definitely a better box! However, I can't really complain with the box in my 250. It does not manually shift anywhere near as quick as an ISF, but since my driving is either very local or long cross continent journeys, that's not really a major issue, and I don't use the manual mode all that often except for overtaking or the odd blast on a country road. 

Wow really!!? I thought the 200T was meant to be more fuel efficient than the 250! I'm really surprised! I've regularly seen 40MPG on my cross continent journeys in my 250! On a recent trip to Oxford from London I was seeing 42MPG tank average on the M40 (granted, this off the computer and not calculated properly!). I do often see 20MPG tank average on local driving only. But I'm really surprised that the 200T isn't doing more than 28MPG. 

No I know you're not. I too would have bought one earlier had they been available in the UK. After doing my research on cost to purchase, insurance, parts, servicing etc I came to the conclusion that the 350 would be the best overall option for me. 

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Yeas, I as still very surprised and yes - it "meant" to be more modern and more fuel efficient than 4GR-FSE in IS250. I even had several arguments on this forum and people had this particular claim all the time - "yes perhaps V6 on IS250 sounds better, but is antiquated and 8AR-FTS is just more modern and more efficient engine, less emissions, more power more MPG"... YEAH SURE!

Doing steady 70MPH, ~28MPG. I have once got 36MPG for a short distance because there was like 30 miles of roadworks with 50MPH speed limit on M4, but by the time I reached M25 the average has dropped to ~30... 

My best in IS250 was like 48MPG on journey from London to Bath and I wasn't even hanging about 70... 

In terms of ATFs GS/LS460 has the same one as IS-F, and RC200t actually has very similar ATF... Whereas GS/LS 430 are on 5-6 speed, without TC lockout or manual limiters, preceding even 6 speed in IS350/250. So I doubt there is common issue between IS-F and say GS430.

I had long discussion with sales people in Lexus and they reckon there is no market for 350 in UK... not sure it could do worse than 200t... and in the of the day whenever there is market or no depends on the price. If they can sell 350 at similar price as 300h (which actually costs more to make) then I am sure there would be market, but if they would sell it ~ 10k less than RC-F then surely nobody will buy it. 

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2 hours ago, Linas.P said:

Yeas, I as still very surprised and yes - it "meant" to be more modern and more fuel efficient than 4GR-FSE in IS250. I even had several arguments on this forum and people had this particular claim all the time - "yes perhaps V6 on IS250 sounds better, but is antiquated and 8AR-FTS is just more modern and more efficient engine, less emissions, more power more MPG"... YEAH SURE!

Doing steady 70MPH, ~28MPG. I have once got 36MPG for a short distance because there was like 30 miles of roadworks with 50MPH speed limit on M4, but by the time I reached M25 the average has dropped to ~30... 

My best in IS250 was like 48MPG on journey from London to Bath and I wasn't even hanging about 70... 

In terms of ATFs GS/LS460 has the same one as IS-F, and RC200t actually has very similar ATF... Whereas GS/LS 430 are on 5-6 speed, without TC lockout or manual limiters, preceding even 6 speed in IS350/250. So I doubt there is common issue between IS-F and say GS430.

I had long discussion with sales people in Lexus and they reckon there is no market for 350 in UK... not sure it could do worse than 200t... and in the of the day whenever there is market or no depends on the price. If they can sell 350 at similar price as 300h (which actually costs more to make) then I am sure there would be market, but if they would sell it ~ 10k less than RC-F then surely nobody will buy it. 

Just goes to show how good those old V6 lumps are! But yes, I'm definitely surprised that the 200T lump doesn't outperform it in terms of MPG. 

I once did a crazy economy run from J8 M25 to Folkestone. I'd have to dig out the photos I took but I think I was up round your best figure!

 This post suggests it happens in the 3UZ also - thought it may have turned out to be something different - I never read to the end lol!

I must admit, I've often wondered about their claim (they told me this too) but then they released the ISF here. If there was no market for the 350 here, then there'd be no market for the ISF either. They do have some odd marketing Lexus - take for example the fact they've dropped the IS, GS and I think RC over here as of next year. Guess we'll all have to import our own cars in future! 

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Well, I guess their logic is - they are niche player and they want to remain that way (for some reason)...

If you want Lexus just for show, but you not much for driving then 300h will do - it is comfortable and economical enough for daily driving and people driving them would not appreciate extra power or sound. I think that is actual reason why they are not rushing pure EV, because pure EV is hassle, whereas with hybrid you can get your "green cred" and yet just waffle along without much worries and without feeling guilty for being "gas guzzler". 

And if you want car which actually "goes", then why dilute the sales with selling 350 if you can exploit the market and get people to buy -F straight away i.e. they estimated that they will sell say 200 "sporty" car per year, if they have 350 and -F, then they will sell 199 350s and 1 -F, thus cannibalistic their own sales. Whereas if they have only -F then they may sell 100 of them, 50 300h's and loose 50 customers to other makes, but 99 extra -F sales on higher margins will bring more profit. + UK has generally high GBP to the jump from 350 to -F is not as detrimental as in other markets.

This is as well why I think they dropped RC altogether - to bring more sales to LC. And IS/GS, because selling single ES requires less tooling and it is global model + very inferior quality so surely profit margin is higher than both IS and GS. SUVs are on the rise now so they put a lot of effort into that segment and I think like 80% of their sales and profits now comes from SUVs.

I mean - that is what I think they internal logic is, even though I disagree. Because I always argued that jump from say IS250 to IS-F is far too big to justify and there are no natural progression in the line-up... making people leave the brand more often than actually making "leap of faith" and jumping into IS-F or RC-F. For this particular reason I got into RC200t... I was too afraid to go from IS250 to RC-F, because I though it is far too unpractical and cannot be justified for commuting, and I wasn't keen on paying "super-car" ownership costs (seems like similar sentiment you have with IS-F). What this results in is that I bought the car which I honestly hate and I may actually leave the brand for good. In alternative universe I could have had IS350 and move to RC-F wouldn't look as scary, or I would have moved to RC350 and would have been very happy. So yes - I find they line-up and strategy in UK counter-intuitive. 

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51 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Well, I guess their logic is - they are niche player and they want to remain that way (for some reason)...

If you want Lexus just for show, but you not much for driving then 300h will do - it is comfortable and economical enough for daily driving and people driving them would not appreciate extra power or sound. I think that is actual reason why they are not rushing pure EV, because pure EV is hassle, whereas with hybrid you can get your "green cred" and yet just waffle along without much worries and without feeling guilty for being "gas guzzler". 

And if you want car which actually "goes", then why dilute the sales with selling 350 if you can exploit the market and get people to buy -F straight away i.e. they estimated that they will sell say 200 "sporty" car per year, if they have 350 and -F, then they will sell 199 350s and 1 -F, thus cannibalistic their own sales. Whereas if they have only -F then they may sell 100 of them, 50 300h's and loose 50 customers to other makes, but 99 extra -F sales on higher margins will bring more profit. + UK has generally high GBP to the jump from 350 to -F is not as detrimental as in other markets.

This is as well why I think they dropped RC altogether - to bring more sales to LC. And IS/GS, because selling single ES requires less tooling and it is global model + very inferior quality so surely profit margin is higher than both IS and GS. SUVs are on the rise now so they put a lot of effort into that segment and I think like 80% of their sales and profits now comes from SUVs.

I mean - that is what I think they internal logic is, even though I disagree. Because I always argued that jump from say IS250 to IS-F is far too big to justify and there are no natural progression in the line-up... making people leave the brand more often than actually making "leap of faith" and jumping into IS-F or RC-F. For this particular reason I got into RC200t... I was too afraid to go from IS250 to RC-F, because I though it is far too unpractical and cannot be justified for commuting, and I wasn't keen on paying "super-car" ownership costs (seems like similar sentiment you have with IS-F). What this results in is that I bought the car which I honestly hate and I may actually leave the brand for good. In alternative universe I could have had IS350 and move to RC-F wouldn't look as scary, or I would have moved to RC350 and would have been very happy. So yes - I find they line-up and strategy in UK counter-intuitive. 

I can only agree with you there. Obviously, they wanted to push the F sales so didn't bother with 350 models. 

I do have the same thought process in terms of running costs with the ISF, hence importing the 350. I had an E55 AMG, and that was stupidly expensive to run. I know I can't compare a Lexus to a Merc in terms of reliability, but the same parts such as tyres, brakes etc are going to be a similar cost - and on cars like that, they tend to need replacing pretty often!

It is a shame we didn't get the 350 models, as I'm sure they'd have sold pretty well. But, who are we to complain 😄

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@Stew-R, on a separate yet related note, did you consider the UK-delivered Infiniti G37 saloon/coupe?

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Not sure about OP, but I have considered as well Q60, but they have nothing to offer compared to Lexus quality and reliability... They are kind of just fancy dressed Nissan, with Nissan like problems, but where I can still understand exterior styling, then inside really leaves much to be desired.

The other thing is actually engine swapping say IS, with something like 1UZ or 3UZ... which will probably end-up similar cost and similar insurance as imported car. Either way, it is very expensive to fit something in between IS250 and IS-F.

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5 minutes ago, LexIS200Sport said:

@Stew-R, on a separate yet related note, did you consider the UK-delivered Infiniti G37 saloon/coupe?

Thanks for the idea..... but not really no. I've heard too many stories of them not ageing well, certainly in comparison to a Lexus. It may not be the generic rule, but what I have been told. 

Besides - I've already got the agent searching for an IS350, wouldn't want him wasting his time 😄

Also, I genuinely love my IS250, and it's safely the best all rounder I've ever owned, and the only thing I wish it had was more power.

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Just now, Stew-R said:

😄

Also, I genuinely love my IS250, and it's safely the best all rounder I've ever owned, and the only thing I wish it had was more power.

Strange, because that is what I have always been saying and it almost seems like my own words. The most annoying thing when it comes to replacing it  - it is extremely difficult to find the car which would not disappoint, because IS250 is not perfect in any way, but so good in so many ways that I cannot think about many car which could be considered "upgrade" over it.

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Thanks for the idea..... but not really no. I've heard too many stories of them not ageing well, certainly in comparison to a Lexus. It may not be the generic rule, but what I have been told. 
Besides - I've already got the agent searching for an IS350, wouldn't want him wasting his time
Also, I genuinely love my IS250, and it's safely the best all rounder I've ever owned, and the only thing I wish it had was more power.

Add to that Infiniti have withdrawn from the EU plus can get a Nissan skyline 370gt in sedan/coupe form for considerably less (lower tax band too).

I currently have (amongst others) a skyline 350gt as my daily for the last 11years but find myself needing 4 doors - is350 is defiantly being considered


Sent from my Iphone using Tapatalk

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Hi Stew its been a while. How you getting on with your search for a is350? There's one on ebay now at a very reasonable price which is tempting. 

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11 hours ago, Mr Vlad said:

There's one on ebay now at a very reasonable price which is tempting. 

Is it the white one? Does look tempting indeed for that price. 

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Yes its white. Wish I was in a position to get it.

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Hi guys, 

To answer a couple of questions in one post... I've bid on a few but not managed to successfully get one yet. Either the dealer wanted more than my bid (even though I was the highest bid on multiple occasions ) or I got outbid. Shame really, I thought he may come down a bit and meet me in the middle, but obviously not. 

I have seen the white one on eBay, and spoken to the dealer selling it.  It's up near York. It's due to arrive in the country soon, so I intend to go and have a look at it. It's meant to be auction grade 4B, but doesn't quite look it to me in the photos. A visit to see it face to face will determine that. If it's as described I may well have a go at it. But considering the mileage (87k miles, not KM), it is quite high priced.

I'll still go and see it regardless, as having one that is here and drivable and viewable before handing over the cash is preferable. 

I'll keep this post up to date as and when I do find something. I did buy some F-Sport wheels and F-Sport intake recently ( Put them on my IS250 at the moment, but will get transferred once a 350 is purchased! ). 

Hope you're all doing well and safe. 

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