The Bid is Right

Will this 850-mile Lexus LFA hit $1 millon?

by Grady Eger
15 April 2022 3 min read
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If you’ve been following the auction scene of late, then you’re aware things are kind of nuts right now. Thanks to the continued growth of online selling platforms, classic cars are being bid on at an unprecedented pace. Insider has lots of thoughts about this phenomenon—you can find some here and herebut perhaps the most important one is that it’s fun. Who doesn’t like seeing amazing classics trotted out day in and day out, and who doesn’t like guessing just how much they’ll go for?

In the spirit of fun, we’re introducing a new contest. We’re calling it, The Bid is Right. The premise is simple and should be familiar to anyone who has watched daytime TV in the last few decades: The person who guesses closest to the final bid—without going over—wins.

Oh, and did we mention we’re giving out $500 to the winner? Yes, we take fun pretty seriously.

With no further adieu, we present this week’s contest. Submit your guess in the comments section below no later than April 19th, at 11 A.M EST (24 hours before the auction officially closes—that’s right, no sniping!).

Not too many legends start out as failures. Just ask Toyota about the excruciatingly expensive and drawn-out development of the LFA, its first—and so far only—supercar. What would sell out within minutes today was a tough supercoupe to swallow back in the late 2000s; now, the Lexus LFA is one of the hottest supercars to hit the auction block—virtual or otherwise.

Lucky for today’s cluster of endlessly moneyed collectors, there are an alarming amount of low-mileage LFAs surfacing on the open market as of late, especially as values continue to break records month-over-month. As we said, a $400,000 Lexus was a very, very hard sell back when it was new, leading to a non-trivial stock of mothballed NOS LFAs rotted on dealer’s glossy marble showfloors for almost a decade.

Bring a Trailer’s 850-mile 2012 Lexus LFA might as well be a million-miler compared to BaT’s previous peddling of both a 208-mile and incredible 72-mile LFA, but even by supercar standards, 825 miles in 10 years is downright miserly. That’s a shame, since by most accounts, the LFA is incredibly engaging and rewarding to drive, particularly when the topic turns to what’s under the Lexus’ carbon fiber hood.

The LFA’s 4.8-liter naturally aspirated 1LR-GUE V-10 is inarguably one of the greatest engines ever produced, regardless of nationality or marque. Co-developed by Toyota and Yamaha, 552 hp and 354 lb-ft vaporize the rear tires on the way to the lofty 9,000-rpm redline, returning a neck-prickling howl that LFA engineers describe as “the roar of angels.” Even drowned in a field of V-10 Lamborghinis and BMWs, the shriek of the Lexus is unmistakable.

It pirouetted with the best of them, too. The LFA team was obsessed with weight distribution, pushing the interior seating close together, and going so far as to mount the washer fluid tank far lower than it would in some of its more domestic products. Outright lightness was a significant factor as well, with Toyota going so far as to build a state-of-the-art carbon fiber loom specifically for some of the trickier carbon components on the supercar.

All this, and Lexus still lost money on every LFA sold. A long development period led to the LFA’s semi-obsolescence at the time of its debut, and the (then) stratospheric $375,000 price tag led to genuine challenges finding buyers for all 500 production units.

Well, at least it did when it was new. Toyota’s only true supercar has become a hot commodity a decade after it left production, with values for an LFA in Condition #2 (Excellent) sitting pretty at $810,000 according to Hagerty Price Guide. Seeing as this wrapper-fresh, 850-mile example is closer to Condition #1, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit—hey, wait a minute! Guessing the final price is your job! This process should be old hat by now—closest guess in the comments below before the 24-hour countdown wins a clean $500 for your toil and troubles. Get guessin’.

More ground rules:

  • The commenter who guesses closest to the hammer price—without going over—wins. (Hammer price excludes auction house fees).
  • One guess per commenter.
  • If two people guess the same amount (within a dollar) the earlier guess wins.
  • Commenters must provide first and last name in addition to email address.
  • We will close the guessing on Tuesday, April 19th at 2 pm EST.
  • Your privacy is important to us, and we’ll never sell your information. By providing your email you will receive the weekly Insider newsletter, and you can opt out at any time.
  • You can read the full rules here.

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