Last Leg in the Million Mile Lexus: Willcox, Arizona to Los Angeles, California

Odometer (LS400):  922,607


Total Driven Miles in LS400:  1,383


The eagle has landed:  I’ve returned the LS400 to its proud and rightful owner, Matt, in Los Angeles.  His first words when I met up with him:  “The car is dope, right?”  Yes, Matt!  It’s dope.  And I’m glad I got to spend some time putting miles on it.

Sunday morning, I peeked out of the window of the Super 8 in Willcox and was greeted by a gorgeous 59-degree day.  We treated ourselves to fresh waffles in the lobby and a little OJ, then decided to snag a few pictures at an abandoned Chevrolet dealership on the main street through the old part of Willcox on Haskell Road.  So, the Mazda, Lexus, and Acura lined up for a photo out front as if to say, “Has any Chevrolet ever gone as far as we have?”


Just to the side of the dealership was the carcass of a 1959 Chevy station wagon, still remarkably complete and even with most of the glass intact.  If I were a used car salesman, I’d say, “Clean, one owner!”  The front doors were unlocked so I took a peek inside and probably would have taken a seat if the interior of the car hadn’t been covered in rubble.  I did manage to get a closer look at the gauge cluster but couldn’t make out an odometer reading.  Either way, I’m fairly certain that the odometer would have only displayed 5 digits.  In which case, in Lexus terms, it would have rolled over 9 times.


James L and I split ways from Jason & James Z, then headed westward on I-10 toward Tucson, then Phoenix.  Luckily traffic was light, weather was beautiful, and roads were clear.  We did make just one pit stop off Wilmot road, Exit 269, to meet up with my new friends Chris & Josh who brought their Acura Legends out for a quick meet-up in the Chevron parking lot.  Both of them drive 1991 Legends in rare “Golden Glow Pearl” paint color.  Chris has a coupe with just 91,000 miles on it, and Josh has a sedan with 138,000 miles on it.  Both are extremely passionate about their cars and I was honored they would take the time to swing by and let me take a closer look at them.


Home sweet home in Scottsdale, I responded to some ‘fanmail’ from a The Smoking Tire follower named Kai who’d seen on Instagram that the famous LS400 was in Arizona.  I invited him to come over and check the car out.  What blew me away was that Kai’s LS400 – a 1997 model but pretty much a twin to the #MML – was in phenomenal shape for 254,000 miles on the odometer.  I invited him to take a spin in the ol’ Farah-mobile, but only if he agreed to fill out a logbook page about his experience, and he happily obliged.


My friend Tom stopped by as well on a business trip from Connecticut – bearing gifts, no less!  He showed up with a goodie bag full of tools from the local auto parts store.  He and I took the Lexus out to meet up with friends for dinner.  Thanks, Tom!


Woot woot, gift basket of tools from Tom.  “Legend survival kit,” he called it.


Monday morning was a typical work commute to the office 10 miles away in Scottsdale, except that I was driving a car that had been to the moon, and back, and to the moon again, and almost back again. I was the first person in the parking lot.  A coworker sent me an instant message later that morning, because he knows that’s “my” parking spot.  He asked if I was driving the Million Mile Lexus and wanted to know the whole story about it, which I happily provided.


I took off early in the afternoon today for the 400-mile return trip to LA from Phoenix and it was a drama-free experience – just like I’d wanted it to be.  Huge thanks to Matt from The Smoking Tire for entrusting me with his prized LS400 over the past several days!


Other pics follow:

The 1959 Chevy Wagon from Willcox




Hacienda Motel on Haskell Street in Willcox has been closed for some time now


Meet up with the Golden Glow Legends and their owners


Chris’ odometer reading on his 1991 coupe


Josh’s odometer reading on his 1991 sedan


Kai’s 1997 Lexus LS400 and the Million Mile Lexus


Kai’s odometer reading


Thanks guys for meeting up!

8 Responses to “Last Leg in the Million Mile Lexus: Willcox, Arizona to Los Angeles, California”

  1. nice little get together! Nice that Tommy could stop on by.

    • Yeah it’s fun having him in town! A couple of years ago he was in town for work, right when I needed help with that 1988 L coupe I was restoring. Perfect timing!

  2. Who needed a time machine – we went back far enough to realize the millennium is where we belong. iTunes should give you a cut of that song in the video I just purchased. 😀

    • That’s for sure! I’ll await my profit sharing check from iTunes. Might be waiting awhile… Thanks for being a part of the million mile adventure! I think Matt Farah will enjoy your logbook entry. Especially the part about coming back to this century at end of it all.

  3. Wow! The fun still continued even after we all split. I already miss the old girl. Your video footage was great…even made my goof look intensional. Haha. 🙂

    • Haha, yes, I spent a couple of minutes wondering why you’d taken a left when we wanted to go right. But, it all came together in the end 🙂 Thanks for joining for the trip!

  4. Mustve been interesting to be back behind the wheel of another automatic! Love the write up!

    • Thanks Nate! It sure was interesting. An automatic makes for a lot easier traffic jam driving. Though I must admit it was amazing to get back into my ILX and be able to control my own gears again!

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