If you know anyone who used to sell cars, they always have a story to tell about any car you care to name. Sadly I’m no exception.
When I worked at a Mercedes dealer in the mid 90s, my Dealer Principle used to buy in various cars from trader mates to put on the forecourt. We had 928s, 308s and the odd Volvo T5 (and even a flood damaged Probe at one point), but the best one was a burgundy XJS V12.
I had always loved these cars, but had never even sat in one, let alone driven one so Ieagerly jumped in when it arrived to take it round to the valeting bay- via the dual carriageway. I was instantly surprised with how small it was inside, and how the car felt like it was from a different era, although at that time it was still a fairly new car. I loved it regardless, and rushed outside to greet any potential punter in the hope I could sell it.
One bloke, a doctor from Peterborough, took it out for a test drive on a wet Saturday afternoon and as it needed some fuel we went to the local petrol station. On the way out he was waiting to turn right, spotted a gap in the traffic and booted it on full right hand lock, we spun round 180 degrees and blocked the road. He didn't buy it, and I got told off by my DP for not controlling the test drive. In fact, we actually ended up trading the car out again as we couldn’t sell it.
Have a look at this example I found on Auto Trader, yes you would need to have lady luck on your side if you were to buy this car, coupled with deep pockets, but can you feel the urge to buy? I can- especially as it reminds me so vividly of the story above.
£999 for 12 cylinders and 5.3 litres? It doesn’t get better than that does it? It may need 'some tlc' but I would be happy to fettle this over a few months to get it up and running again. Take a look at the engine bay - there isn't space left for anything else in there - can you imagine trying to diagnose any faults?
That’s where my dream bubble bursts. I imagine myself sitting in a warm garage cleaning a bit here, replacing a part there and then firing it up and burbling down the road. In reality, I don’t have the skills, nor the aforementioned deep pockets needed to complete this job, and it would slowly rust away outside my house.
Someone who has the skills should snap this one up though, it doesn't look too bad and it may be a simple enough job to complete. Yes there are cheaper cars out there, but I think this one still has some life left in it. If you do take the plunge, please let me know and I’ll pop round and help you put it back on the road.
Advert says: 1986 Jaguar XJS 5.3 V12 HE, Automatic, 84,495 miles, burgundy red with doeskin leather interior, Mot Oct 2008, e/sunroof, p/windows, repainted alloys and nearly new tyres, twin h/light conversion, excellent running condition, appreciating classic, enthusiast owned and maintained, partial running restoration carried out, see pictures, present owner 4 years, needs some tlc hence low price. £999