I'm currently in the process of buying a ls400 and I came upon this 97 today.
spec's that I know so far are:
new valve job
garage kept (old dude that owns it)
kbb @ 7850
Only you can decide if you have to have this car but since you asked.......
I would wonder what he means by "valve job". It would seem odd that it would need a valve job at only 100K.
Of course the obvious thing is the history of the car. I just bought a one owner, always garaged, never been crashed or painted on 96 model for $6300 with 130K and a printout from the Lexus dealer of the service history since new. Knowing that it already had the timing belt replaced and all service was up to date coupled with the fact that it was my color inside and out (white w/tan) made it a great deal for me.
In the end though, the decision is yours but if you ask me (and you did) I would think that if it is an honest car with a good title and is in well above average condition with very minimal signs of wear and appears to need no repairs, it is probably about the right price for that car. If he can prove that the timing belt was replaced then that's a big plus as well.
yeah he said it was always maintained at the dealership
if it was it would be easy to obtain the records. i would be skeptical about this 'valve job' also. what made it need a valve job? get that history/car fax, helped me narrow my field a lot while i was in the search, found a lot of liars. one guy claimed his car had 150k, did a car fax and found out it had at least 250k! what a dishonest jerk! do the research before you pounce.
Clean ones are disappearing so depending on your desires, this may be a factor in the price or not. If you can get a complete service history from the dealer, this will help ease some worries. As I interpret this, I would suspect this owner is on top of the necessary repairs. So based on this, see if he will knock it down some. $250-$400 less will make it an even sweeter deal. At the current price, it has me on the fence toward the 98.
Like everyone is saying, the "valve job" would be wierd. It could be a simple (or not so simple) adjustment he had done, OR, he could have let the timing belt go too long and jumped time which would bend some valves, and much more. It's probably just the adjustment. Get the VIN and run it through Lexus, if he had it maintained at the dealer they will have the records. It could be that when/if he brought it in for the 90K service that they suggested it (adjustment) and he said "do it". But, someone might not be telling the truth there. Why would an "old dude" put those rims on it and tint the windows?
Why would an "old dude" put those rims on it and tint the windows?
Perhaps he bought it that way, which begs the question of how long he's had it and how many owners it's had. Run a Carfax - even with their price increase, it's worth it. Helped me find an undisclosed salvage title, among other things.
Regarding the price, black-on-black seems to command something of a premium as it's fairly popular and Lexus apparently didn't build too many of them.