I was looking/researching for a Soarer (V8 with the gadgets - me being a tech junkie and all) for about a year while trying to sell my GT4 for more than I paid. I had enough of the drivability of the turbo 4, and decided I wanted an 8 for a change. Glad I did too.
I had organised a 91 LS400 for my wife and loved the engine, memory seat, auto steering column etc. I had a Works GT4 Group A which was fully breathed upon but cost heaps to maintain and spent a lot of time in bits and on the hoist. I wanted a two door version of her LS400.
A colleague showed me his Soarer TT and I started seriously looking around. Once I found the UZZ31's I wanted one badly. The "experts" said avoid EMV's and Active's because no one can fix them. Lexus said they would service a V8 for me so I ordered a Grade 4 UZZ31 ex Japan in 1999 with 11,600 Km's on it (I think in retrospect that was the age of the dash) paid 29k for it on road (don't laugh, that was the going rate here then).
The most satisfying car I have ever owned. Other than a flat battery it has never broken down but it seems like I have replaced more than half the car along the way. Since I restored/VFT'd the suspension/engine/gearbox mounts/struts it makes me grin just to go and get the milk.
Sure I'd love a supercharged Active but these are such involving cars I don't think I could part with this one and I haven't got space to park 2 of them. I love the effort that Toyota put into getting the design right and the lack of compromise in the details. They make the equivalent Mercedes/BMW product look sad.
The design has not really aged much either, People consistently think it is some new model Toyota while the interior, in the view of many experts still sets the benchmark for a production car. For what a Soarer costs they are hard to match for value. However what really makes Soarers such a pleasure is the people that own them are amongst the most friendly, helpful, knowledgable and interesting bunch on the planet.
I was going to buy a R33 Skyline until I sat in a Soarer in the same car yard. I then searched the trading post, drove several TTs and ended up at a car yard looking at a V8. Was going to buy it at $15,500 until the next morning reading the trading post spotted a V8 in another yard for $11,990. Thought it would be crap at that price, but decided to check it out. Ended up buying it and drove it home that day-450ks from Adelaide to Mt Gambier. All I have done to it since are lower front bushes and service+stereo repair by Mark. Just love it!
I was looking for a replacement for my SVX in '99. Drove a couple of BMW's, a Renault and a ended up at Lexus in Chatswood just to have a look around.
They had an SC300 (non-VVTI) and an SC400. I couldn't afford the SC400 so I drove the '300 but it was under powered. Finally thought "since I'm here I may as well try it". I was sold immediately and paid much too much for it but I've never regretted it.
I have now had it for more than 6 years and all I've done is normal service, bushes and such things. I don't think I'll ever sell it.
Best car I've ever had. You'll still have to pay $100,000 to get anything even close to the same ballpark.
It is truly humbling to see this once conflicted thread segue into a series of delightful reminiscences of how and where we each first found real happiness. Poetry straight from the hearts of our members proving whatever our aspirations, true love conquers all.
I could just puke, It was a lot more fun when we were disagreeing...
The above mystery post is the last remaining clue to what can happen at 2am in the morning when all sensible people are asleep. Only Muzzy and myself know the whole story which involved a teddy and a boost gauge. My only comment is;