I drove up to Manchester this weekend, and went car hunting with my brother Nick. He kindly did the chauffeuring around, because his air conditioning still works. We first looked at an LS400 near Bury. It was fairly nice, then Nick spotted some rust on the rear wing. On closer inspection it looked like there was a bit of overspray around the wing, so it had probably been fixed up in the past. Also there were various things slightly wrong inside, like the carpet mats had been removed (but the fixings for them were still there). We decided to go and look at another one in Bawtry (near Doncaster).
It took about two hours to get there. Fortunately, as the trader we were visiting trades from his own house, he was still open. He gave us the keys and Nick and I went on a 40 minute unaccompanied (!) test drive. I could find no faults with the interior or the handling. There were one or two chips in the front of the bonnet, and a scratch on the bumper, which the vendor is going to sort out for me. Because of those, and the fact that the cam belt will need changing at the next service, I got the price down to £9,600.
This is the most money I've ever spent on a car, and I'm hoping that the legendary Toyota reliability will mean that maintenance costs will be kept to a minimum. I aim to keep the car for at least three years (same as my 7 Series).
Anyone want to buy a second hand 7 Series?