HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1993 Lexus LS400

Pick of the Day: 1993 Lexus LS400

When Japan beat the best in the world


In January 1989 the world of luxury cars was forever changed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit when Lexus launched the LS400. For the very first time a Japanese company aimed a head on assault not at American luxury brands but on the Mercedes and BMW cars from Germany, which many people considered the best in the world. The car was not just as good as the German competition, however in many ways was better than the Mercedes S class and BMW 7 series. To sweeten the deal for customers the LS400, even when fully optioned, was less expensive and more reliable than its German competition. 

How Toyota did this with their new car brand was to literally start from scratch and develop a car with no budget and not based on any car they had ever built. The company employed a staggeringly large team of 60 designers, 1,400 engineers in 24 teams, 2,300 technicians and over 200 support workers to develop the LS400. The cost for the project was an estimated $1 billion.

In addition, another Toyota masterstroke was to sell the new LS400 at Lexus-only dealerships. These were set up to offer their customers the best possible experience both in buying their cars and in the service department as well. What best illustrates this is when in December 1989, shortly after the car’s launch, Lexus ordered a voluntary recall of the 8,000 LS models they had sold. This was based solely upon two customer complaints concerning defective wiring and an overheated brake light assembly. All vehicles were serviced within 20 days, and the incident set the stage for what customers should expect from a top tier automotive brand.

The result was that the car did indeed capture quite a few customers from the German luxury segment, and almost overnight the Lexus LS became the new measuring stick for quality and luxury. In fact, by 1990 the LS400 had outsold the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S class, and the Jaguar XJ series.

The Pick of the Day is one of these amazing cars for sale on ClassicCars.com, a 1993 Lexus LS400 located in Elkhart, Indiana.

The seller describes this as an excellent two owner LS400 with only 64,000 miles from new. Painted in its original Diamond White tri-coat paint that is said to be in great condition.

They add that the original Tan leather interior is in excellent condition and comes with two sets of factory floormats. This is because when the first owner purchased this Lexus new, they bought a second set of factory floor mats to keep the originals in like-new condition.

The car is powered by its legendary and original Lexus UZ-FE 4.0 liter V8 and backed by its original 4-speed automatic transmission. They state that the engine and transmission perform just as they should and deliver a very effortless driving experience that you would expect from a well-maintained luxury car.

This LS400 is nicely equipped with power steering, power 4-wheel disc brakes, automatic climate control, the gold logo package, power tilt/telescopic steering, factory car phone, dual power mirrors, power windows, power seats, heated seats, rear defrost, cruise control, power sunroof, keyless entry, power door locks, Nakamichi AM/FM stereo w/ cd changer, heater/defrost, and variable speed wipers. 

Finally, this LS400 still retains its original owners guide, inspection certificate, original trunk mounted tool kit, and its original first aid kit.

The LS400 is a car that has been slowly creeping up in value as more collectors rediscover what a landmark car the original LS series was. They literally sent their competition back to the drawing boards to catch up with the LS.

The asking price for this time capsule 1993 Lexus LS400 is only $16,500 and I would expect in to increase in value over the next few years.

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

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. I love these, and I can’t help but remember the commercial with the stacked / tiered champagne glasses on the hood while the car was run at 100+ mph on a dyno. Precision!


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