Santa Put a Near-New 2001 Lexus Under the Tree
And it didn't sell.
A 2001 Lexus LX470 SUV failed to sell on eBay this week. Bidding started at $140,000 and exceeded $145,000 before the auction ended Christmas afternoon, with the reserve unmet.
Now, most of us would be thrilled to get $145,000+ for an old SUV, but this was a unique situation. The Lexus in question had only 1,000 miles on the odometer and was in as-new condition.
The seller stated that the truck had been stolen off a dealer's lot in 2001 when it was brand new. The thieves then stored it for years inside a warehouse along with other vehicles before the whole collection was recovered. "There was never any accident or damage to this truck, which can be seen in an inspection," the seller noted. "In addition, the truck is on a clear NJ title."
In 2001, the LX featured a 4.7-liter V8 putting out 230 horsepower. It came standard with stability control, four-wheel drive, cassette (YES!) and CD players, leather seats, and a sunroof. This model is from the second-generation of the LX line, sold in the U.S. from 1998 to 2007 and based on the UZJ100-series Toyota Land Cruiser.
The LX is famously well-built and long-lasting, with samples regularly exceeding a quarter million miles. Still, valuing this not-especially rare luxury SUV above $145,000 seems absurd. The brand-new third-generation LX is about as well built, and they start at $90,000. Granted, the 2018 Lexus is not as analog as the older LX – and less classically handsome, but anyone interested in the marque would save a lot of money, while also getting a roomier and more efficient vehicle with modern safety technology. This seems like a reasonable trade-off.
Of course, some folks might enjoy the paradox of owning something that's 17 years old but nearly new... or they may simply love big Lexuses (Lexi?) from the early aughts. In either case, there's always the option of picking up a well-cared-for 2000-2002 LX with relatively low miles, say 70,000-100,000, then replacing any worn parts. The resulting SUV would no longer be all-original, but it'd give you the chance to drive a nearly perfect truck of the same vintage, while getting some change on your $145,000.
Garr Larson of Barn Finds noted that the truck's unique history might lead a "museum or avid collector" to pay top dollar for it. We'd certainly be interested to see what it eventually sells for, should it ever come to market again.