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Taken The Plunge - Another Newbie


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All, I've just bought the best car in the world , a 1996 Lexus, BUT i didnt mean too !!!

I've often (when funds allow) had gas guzzlers all of my life such as the list below - so now I've saved my overtime for the last year what to buy?

It came down to a LWB Jaguar 4.0 Soverign, either I6 or V8. Now i know that the i6 is reliable, but the lure of the V8 was strong. Then i learn of the timing tensioner problem, and wasnt put off. I contacted a advertiser who had a part ex cheap, and it seemed good. The following day I said look its a 200 mile drive how fit is it, at which point he said on start up it smoked a 'bit'. Now it could be nothing, on the otherhand these are nikasil engines, so I though enoughs, enough and said no thanks. So I6 it is, but I couldnt get the seller of one to answer (funny garage that doesnt answer its phone ) and the other one was too busy to sell me the car, could I call back tomorrow! I wasnt so keen on the I6 as it had the same dash as the old Jag I had, so didnt feel like something new, and i did want a V8 again.

My wife wanted to go out, so I said theres a Lexus we could view in Peterborough, so we heaved the dogs into the Scenic and off we went.

Now we got lost several times had to walk the hound and make repeated idiot calls to the garage to find our way, we and the dogs were hot and bothered and I almost gave up.

The Lexus was outside the garage, and I though well it looks ok ( remember i've had slab side MB's and was looking for a pretty car ) , and then I got closer and my enthusiasm took a leap upwards. It was metallic black, with beige leather .... my perfect colour combination and even better it had nice 17" alloys on it, not the usual bland design.

The garage gave me some fuel money, and I hit the streets for a test drive. I was instantly at one with the car, no need to check where it was on the road, or near to the kerb. Now being extra critical some switches did feel plasticky but the leather wheel felt good, and the car interior was utterly silent. I mean not a creak, not a rattle, not a squeak.!!!! It was a nightmare creeping past speed cameras at 30 it seemed unnatural. I think it has some magical device fitted, as not one gear change was noticeable ;) Now I did find the handling a bit of a comedy, as it made my MB S500 L feel like a go-cart. The rear window drops at an unseemly angle when powering down, which always resulted in me scraping figure getting glass back up on other cars, but the other one worked the same way so I assume its the way they meant to work.


158,000 miles

Aircon didnt push out cold air

Exhaust had a slight blow up front

Boot had water in it

Scuff on bumper cracked/flaking

Front wing had some overrun paint.

Brakes didnt seem to do much.

2 x rear tyres bald.

Some laquer peeling on rear wing

SORN for last 5 months.



NO rust!

3 owners

Full history

Service recipts inc cambelt by Lexus @ 121,000 showing regualr attention

Black paint, beige leather, and nice 17" alloys

Immaculate interior.

No visible leaks, drips etc.

No uexpected noises.

My biggest was that it wouldnt have enough character for me, in light of all the prestige heavy metal I had. The drive and build soon had me convinced that the Lexus was the ONLY way to go. I am on a tight budget so when I pay for a car to be fixed, I want it to stay fixed, and I had that feeling from the LS400. I completely forgot about the mileage, the car felt that good! And the comedy handling added some character. After all who wants perfection, perfection is boring.

It was up for £1350, and the trader was a nice chap, and we had a good long debate, where you try and pretend you dont want the car, and they pretend they dont want to sell it :)

I told him it was ok and what could he do for me, I said £1200, but his partner on the phone said no. I said look there is another 100 miles away with lower miles etc, so we danced awhile with my wife giving me the ' im bored and need food' look.

So the deal is £1300 to include the following......

Full MOT

Aircon regas

2 replacement rear tyres (part worn though)

PDI to include my concern about the brakes

Oil/Filter change


Probably not the best deal in the world, but i only wanted a 95-97 car and to find one with the colour and trim combo, which had nice alloys and didnt need an immediate cambelt and had proof of regular servicing before falling on recent hard times, seemed like a good deal. Lets not forget when you live in Great Yarmouth, everywhere takes a long time to get to!

I should get it in the next couple of weeks, and will keep you all updated.

Its nice to find a home again and I look foward to discussing all things LS400 ......:)


Previously enjoyed these ....which each took there term to backrupt me !

3.5 V8 Rover SD1

4.2 Jaguar Xj6

2 x 4.2 V8 Range Rover LSE

4.2 Nissan Patrol

2.9 Jaguar XJ6

MB 560SEl

MB S500 Limo

BMW 730i

BMW 750iL

Scorpio Ultima 2.9

Saab 9000 2.3FPT

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