Luxury survivor 1990 Lexus LS400

The Pick of the Day is a 30-year-old sedan with only 33,000 miles

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The Lexus LS400 is a luxury stalwart in original preserved condition

When Toyota launched its Lexus luxury brand at the Detroit Auto Show in January 1989, the car on display was the result of over $1 billion in development costs.  It represented the pinnacle of engineering and the ultimate in Japanese luxury. 

That car was the LS400, which became the standard of reliability and build quality that left other automakers scrambling to catch up.  In recent years, at least one LS400 has been known to surpass 1 million miles.  That car was Matt Farah’s 1996, which was passed around to various journalists over the years as the “Million Mile Lexus.”

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The Pick of the Day is a 1990 Lexus LS400 in Diamond White that is accompanied by all the right collector-car swag, including a factory car cover, shop manual, original books, and even the window sticker, according to the West Chester, Pennsylvania, dealer advertising the LS on ClassicCars.com.  Best of all, it has been driven only 33,000 miles. 

In other words, it’s been driven only a little more than 1,000 miles per year on average throughout its lifetime.  This time capsule is said to have had one owner since new, and it is presented as an original car that’s been “always garaged and meticulously maintained.”

RELATED:  Pick of the Day: Nash Metropolitan, a longtime father-son hobby car
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The rear-wheel-drive Lexus sedan is powered by a 4-liter, 32-valve, 250-horsepower V8 that was praised by reviewers for its quietness and refinement. 

Some readers might recall TV commercials used in the LS400 marketing campaign that had a pyramid of 15 champagne glasses stacked on the hood while the car accelerated on a dyno to the equivalent of 145 miles per hour without shaking a single glass out of place.

When the LS400 was new, it started at around $36,000, which is roughly $70,000 in 2020 dollars.  The asking price for this LS400 is just $17,500.  At 33,000 miles, it’s only starting its quest for a million.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I just took delivery of a 98 LS 400 with 55k original miles originally from Texas with all current services already done and I can tell ya the car is phenomenal in all aspects! best $8k I ever spent!

    • I own a 1990 Lexus LS400 57k [one owner]
      thinking about selling because it just sits and is not being used,
      the gas is old and im afraid to start it with bad gas… it has never been wrenched on neither,
      any ideas on where i could sell it? lastfanstanding999@gmail.com

  2. A few years ago I purchased a used 1990 LS with about 100,000 miles on it. About 6 years later I sold it with 200,000 miles on it to my neighbor …… which made me nervous. He still has it, now with 350,000 miles, and every year he says how happy he is that I sold the car to him. I still drive a newer LS 460, but the 1990 was an amazing car, especially when it was the first year for that model.

  3. I first saw the LS 400 at the Detroit Auto Show the year the came out, and told my high school friend some day I will buy one of them. In 2010 after driving my Honda Accord V 6 200,000 miles, it was time s— or get off the pot and make it a reality. On a teacher salary the pickings would have to be very used. Living in a rural setting, there were few and far between (none locally). After several looks and many miles driven, I found a well mechanical kept 2003 in 2009 sixty miles away. In 2018 I though I needed all the newest of technologies autos had to offer, so bought a 2016 Accord EXL V 6 (only engine choice for me). Well, guess what, technology can go to h— nothing drive like a Lexus. One year later, 2019, I found a well kept 77,000 miles 2006 LS 430 (last of the best ones) and bought it. At my age 75 years young, it will not dough be my last car. Wife says if I sell it, she will leave me, yea right. Oh, by the way, I did buy a Garmin just in case I want to travel cross country.

  4. Jeez, the Lexus may be 30 years old, but it was made with still-modern materials and techniques. Calling this car a survivor is amusing at best.

  5. A sweet V8 in a modest and dignified package, reliable as an anvil with living room comfort. And a swift kick in the pants to the then complacent German luxury brands.
    What’s not to love?

  6. I have a 1990 Lexus 400 that I purchased in Phoenix in 1995 for $24,000. It now has 235,000 miles and still runs as smooth as new. I also have a 2003 Lexus 300 LS. However the 1990 will stay in our family as long as possible.

    • I own a 1990 Lexus LS400 57k [one owner]
      thinking about selling because it just sits and is being used,
      the gas is old and im afraid to start it with bad gas… it has never been wrenched on neither,
      any ideas on where i could sell it?

  7. I own a 1990 Lexus LS400 57k [one owner]
    thinking about selling because it just sits and is not being used,
    the gas is old and im afraid to start it with bad gas… it has never been wrenched on neither,
    any ideas on where i could sell it? lastfanstanding999@gmail.com

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