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What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 #5410643 04/22/20 08:08 PM
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14Accent Offline OP
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I sold the Impala to a family friend this past weekend, so I casually started hunting for a new "backup" vehicle. Now that it's nice out I'll be driving the Volt again, however I like having a second vehicle around just in case, and something I can use for a winter beater when the time comes.

I came across a 1995 Lexus LS400 locally, 223k miles on it. It's VERY clean for the miles and the year, it had to have been used by a salesman or territory manager of some kind. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd say the interior is an 8/10, the exterior is a 6.5-7/10, and the rust factor/under carriage is a 5/10. There's no major rot, but there is cancer and some holes underneath in non-critical areas.

Quick list of issues I saw:

Converted to electric fan, I didn't look too close but someone added wiring and a relay under the hood.
P/S noisy as could be. It has a new pump and pressure hose on it
Oil leaks galore, degrease and go from there. Valve cover gaskets, for sure
A/C was not cold
Heat blew cold at idle, nice and hot at 1500+
The ABS light is on, Trac Off light flashing, and I heard what I thought was a really cranky ABS pump at startup. The physical brakes felt fine on a short drive.

The timing belt was done at 143k, so it's due. It looked like it had newer plug wires on it. Someone removed the rear mini-mufflers and put straight pipes in. Nicely done, but they need hangers welded up. Someone added a bunch of Megan Racing pieces to the rear end, all adjustable. I'm not sure how I feel about those, I don't care for adjustable aftermarket equipment unless it's warranted.

He's asking $1,999, which is completely unreasonable given it's condition. He's got an odd sense that any old LS400 is worth big money, which this one certainly isn't. That being said, I have no issue with a little project, that's the whole point of a second car. I don't need it to be perfect, but it does have to be reliable. SO! That being said, what would you offer? I'm normally pretty good at deciding what to offer, but I'm stuck here between insulting the guy and losing my shirt. I know I'm never going to make money on it, and that's fine, but I don't want to lose any either.

Would $1k even be an insult? The owner has 3 other vehicles: one is a CL600 twin-turbo V12 that he just had both coil packs and plugs done on and one is a new Cadillac XTS, so I don't think he's hurting for money. He seems to have an odd attachment to the Lex, though. Apparently this is the second time he's owned the same car. I'd at most be comfortable putting $1,200 towards it, assuming I'll have to put $3-400 in it plus my time. It'll never be a $2k car, ever, in my opinion.

I'm going to sleep on it tonight and see how I feel tomorrow, part of me is hoping it sells so I don't buy another toy.


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

1980 Honda CB900C - 15k mile cream puff
Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410648 04/22/20 08:15 PM
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02SE Offline
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I simply wouldn't buy it. The rot, hacked wiring, non-working a/c, etc.

If I were really considering it, I wouldn't go higher than 500-800.

Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 02SE] #5410650 04/22/20 08:16 PM
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aquariuscsm Offline
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Originally Posted by 02SE
I simply wouldn't buy it. The rot, hacked wiring, non-working a/c, etc.

If I were really considering it, I wouldn't go higher than 500-800.


^^This


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
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Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410652 04/22/20 08:17 PM
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JimPghPA Offline
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A car that old could be hard to find parts for, and when you find them they will be high priced because it is a luxury car.

Last edited by JimPghPA; 04/22/20 08:36 PM.

Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


JimPghPa

Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: JimPghPA] #5410653 04/22/20 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JimPghPA
A car that old could be hard to find parts for, and when you find the they will be high priced because it is a luxury car.


It's a Toyota, parts are easy to find. I have no issues with doing repairs, I'm an ASE certified tech. It's just a tough number to come up with.


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

1980 Honda CB900C - 15k mile cream puff
Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410654 04/22/20 08:18 PM
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Imp4 Offline
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Any 25 year old rust belt car with ~225k on it is a steaming pile.
You might get a steaming pile that has been polished around the edges and allegedly maintained, but it is still a steaming pile at heart.

This from a guy with multiple 20+ year old vehicles hovering around 300k.

Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410657 04/22/20 08:20 PM
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It's worth a little over scrap, 230k miles, lots o' rust, lots of hacked up stuff, broken A/C, leaking oil, somethings up with P/S, needs timing belt. Since it still runs I guess it's worth a little more than scrap but not much.

Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410662 04/22/20 08:21 PM
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JimPghPA Offline
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How much could you be comfortable with spending on it (loosing) if something major like the engine or trany blew up a couple of months after you bough it and the price to repair it was way more than what anyone in their right mind would put into a car that old.

Last edited by JimPghPA; 04/22/20 08:31 PM.

Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


JimPghPa

Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410666 04/22/20 08:25 PM
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JeffKeryk Offline
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Like others have posted, the hack job would scare me away.


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Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410667 04/22/20 08:26 PM
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aquariuscsm Offline
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Any 200K mile car imo they should pay *you* to haul it away.


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage 10W30

Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: JimPghPA] #5410669 04/22/20 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JimPghPA
How much could you be comfortable with spending on it (loosing) if something major like the engine or trany blew up a couple of months after you bough it and the price to repair it was way more that what anyone in their right mind would put into a car that old.


I doubt I would lose anything on it. If I got it for around $1k and put $2-300 in it, I could still break even. I'll probably keep it for a year or so, I'm sure it's at least got that in it.


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

1980 Honda CB900C - 15k mile cream puff
Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410673 04/22/20 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 14Accent
I'd at most be comfortable putting $1,200 towards it, assuming I'll have to put $3-400 in it plus my time. It'll never be a $2k car, ever, in my opinion.


I think your valuation here is spot on.


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Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410675 04/22/20 08:30 PM
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About 15 years ago one of my brothers bought an old high millage van that had no reverse for a dirt cheap price, (the reverse in the automatic trany was totally shot). He piled sporting goods in it and used it as a beater for two years, considered it a challenge to always park it so he could get it moving again without having an actual reverse. After two years it died and was not worth fixing. For a couple of hundred bucks he got his moneys worth out of it, and when it died it was no major loss.

Don't put more out for an old high millage vehicle than you can consider loosing without any regret if it stops running.

If I were going to buy that Lexus I would make a maximum serious offer of $300

Last edited by JimPghPA; 04/22/20 08:33 PM.

Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


JimPghPa

Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410678 04/22/20 08:32 PM
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This LS 400 is an antique that needs a restoration or a rehab as a beater. Money wise it`s a pit. Sorry to be so harsh but I`v been there and it`s quick sand.


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Re: What's a fair price... 1995 Lexus LS400 [Re: 14Accent] #5410679 04/22/20 08:32 PM
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aquariuscsm Offline
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Bring with you an itemized price list of what needs to be replaced on the car. I will say though,this era of Lexus and Infinity blows away anything they make now.


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage 10W30

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