1999 Lexus LS 400 Sedan

Editor’s Note: To tell the history of my car, I thought it would be amusing to write it in the style of a high end auction site, such as RM Sotheby’s. They have a distinct writing style to describe collector cars that I wanted to emulate. This vehicle is not for sale.

  • Lexus’ flagship sedan; original MSRP of $54,100
  • Finished in Diamond White Pearl over gray leather interior
  • Powered by a 4.0-liter V8 engine rated at 290 hp and five-speed automatic transmission
  • Second to last year of production; features a revised intake manifold with Variable Valve Timing and increased power
  • Originally delivered to Servco Lexus in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Optioned with Nakamichi Premium Audio System, 6-CD Auto Changer, and HID Headlamps


In 1983, Toyota chairman Eiji Toyota initiated a top-secret project code named “F1 Project.” The goal was to prove to the world that Toyota was capable of producing a world-class luxury vehicle that rivaled the finest luxury sedans from Europe. The F1 program involved 450 vehicle prototypes, 900 engine prototypes, and 1.7 million test miles. After six years and more than $1 billion in development costs, Toyota had completed work on its flagship luxury sedan that would wear a new badge: Lexus. The Lexus LS 400 made its public debut in January 1989 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) as a 1990 model.

The automotive press praised the LS 400 for its quietness, well-appointed and ergonomic interior, engine performance, build quality, aerodynamics, fuel economy and value. The car was well-equipped for the period with four wheel independent suspension with double wishbones, front and rear stabilizer bars, four-wheel disc brakes, speed-sensitive power steering, and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). The platform received an update beginning with 1995 models that bumped engine output to 260 hp, increased sound insulation, suspension updates, improved braking, and a redesigned interior.

The final three years of production from 1997-2000 saw further improvements including a new intake manifold with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) that increased power output to 290 hp at 6,000 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque. Coupled to a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, the LS 400 sprints from 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds and tops out at an electronically-limited 149 mph. With these changes, the 1997-2000 models are the most desirable among LS 400 enthusiasts.

This LS 400 (chassis #40358) was completed at Tahara (Aichi Prefecture, Japan) in 1999 and delivered new to Servco Lexus in Honolulu, Hawaii. One of just 17,198 examples produced that year, it is clad in Diamond White Pearl paint. The gray leather interior features California Walnut wood trim on the steering wheel, dashboard, center console, shift knob and door panels. Optional equipment includes a Nakamichi Premium Audio System with 6-CD Auto Changer and High Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlamps. 1999 saw the introduction of side impact air bags to the LS 400, offering improved safety for the driver and passenger.

The car stayed with its original owner from 1999 to 2005, including a move from Hawaii to California. From 2005 to 2010, the car cruised comfortably around the Laguna Beach area with its second owner. The car was sold to its third owner in 2010 and registered in the Salt Lake City area.

After two years, the car was traded in to Riverton Chevolet in 2012, then sold to Larry Miller Lexus in Salt Lake City. While in dealer inventory, it was listed for sale 6 times between 2012 and 2013. The car was purchased in October 2013 by its fourth owner, and was registered in Arizona to a Russian man who stated that he purchased the car for his wife, and she wanted a Mercedes instead. He owned the car for just two months before listing it for sale.

Purchased by the current owner in December 2013, chassis #40358 has been meticulously maintained at Bell Lexus North Scottsdale. Noted expenditures include a new starter and heater control valve in 2017, new engine and transmission mounts in 2018, a new Koyorad radiator in 2019, and a recent timing belt and water pump service costing approximately $1,816 and using exclusively OEM parts.

Now showing 225,000 miles in early 2022, the car is accompanied by 9 years of service records, a reproduction window sticker, manuals, tool kit and first aid kit, and assorted other Lexus materials. This LS 400 Sedan embodies the values of build quality, reliability, and practicality for which Toyota is known throughout the world. This well-documented and maintained example is presently being enjoyed by its owner in Arizona and is not for sale.

About the author

Trevor Freeman

Trevor Freeman is a writer, photographer, and maker who loves learning new things. His favorite food is pizza. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Grand Canyon University. He lives and works in Phoenix.

You can follow Trevor on Twitter @TrevorFreemanAZ, on Instagram at @arizona.dreamin, and on YouTube: TheRealTrevorland.

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