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


Comments (103) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Steameh 21 Feb 2008

    Blimey, someones up early.

    Nothing says opulence more than a big old jag. Saw one earlier parked up near the university, and out of a carpark full of new BMW's, Mercs and the odd Evo the only car that drew the attention of everyone I was with was the jag.

  • hardcorehobbit 22 Feb 2008

    Such a gorgeous car. Makes me sad that I'm younger than that, and nothing the same will ever be made again. I'd love to keep something like that on the road, but I wouldn't have the first clue where to start.

    And with the current insurance climate, it would cost me about 4 million pounds to drive every foot.

    Someone buy it.

  • Gretchen 22 Feb 2008

    Ad said:
    Nearly new tyres
    On just the two present wheels?

  • sleep envy 22 Feb 2008

    I'm stting myself of the bills just looking at the photots

    lovely cars but a money pit one and all

  • Sciroccology 22 Feb 2008

    Would really, really love one, but couldn't afford one.

    When I was working as a lowly van driver/storeman for a software company in Hemel in the early '90s, the MD had one of these in BRG. I was given the "chore" of taking it to the Jag dealer (Merritts in Amersham, IIRC). Wow, what a drive. Very "snug" inside though.

    Saw an old Top Gear recently where Mr May was driving an updated XJS, with new electricals, suspension etc. Done by some company in the West Country, I think. Not cheap though.

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