Why, the Jag of course – assuming it has a 350 Chev under the bonnet!
Beat me to it! Otherwise the Jag is just a lawn ornament. (But still a very attractive one. 😉 )
Edit: I didn’t realize until I clocked on the photo that it’s an XJ12. In that case, my (our) supposition is even more apt. 😛
I’ve nothing more to add. You’ve said it all.
Ditto w/NZ Skyliner. And . . . assuming remants of the “Prince of Darkness” don’t render the Coventry Cruiser idle . . .
Prizm, running back and forth to Autopart International.
I keep a ’95 Camry around for exactly that purpose. No engines hauled yet, but I’ve had a 5-speed transmission out of a ’89 Chevy K1500 in the trunk. Rode a little low.
Maybe it’s me, but do people really use old cars like that as daily drivers, or even frequent drivers? I often wonder this when people complain about the gas mileage or something in an old Jag or Caddy or something, I’d think a car like the Jag would get used (assume it’s running!) maybe once every other week, for a short drive.
That Jag’s really just for looking at anyway, maybe taking a whiff of the old leather.
I try to use my old cars on a regular basis. Maybe it’s just me, but what I find disturbing about old cars is once they strand you somewhere, you never really trust them again. I always think they’re going to break down at the most inappropriate moment.
Like last week, one of my cars refused to start at a shopping mall. After a wait, it started and I drove home. After getting home, it refused to start at all. Replacing a few inexpensive ignition items, and checking electrical connections, the car started as usual. But, one asks oneself, did I really solve the problem, or will the phantom bugaboo return?
This, to me, is the biggest downside to owning an antique car. Most non exotics are cheap to own and maintain, provided you can do minor repairs. Last week, I would have needed to tow the car to a mechanic, have a scope diagnosis, which may or may not identify the problem. Also the mechanic would have charged twice as much for parts, and his labor would have been somewhere around $ 100 per hour. Several hundreds of dollars, total.
For $ 45, I replaced a distributor pick up coil, and an ignition coil. (After ascertaining that the car was getting no spark.)
However, as a shade tree mechanic, I’m never sure I got all the problems. For the big $$$ of the pro, a person at leasts gets to beef at the guy if it breaks down again.
Parts are plentiful for 30-40 year old American cars. Waiting a few days is the norm, however. I shudder to think the cost and wait time for parts to an exotic like a Jaguar.
I drive mine all the time except during winter. For instance tonight I am driving my 72 MGB. The truth is most old cars around today are likely much more reliable than they were new. We have benefit of both getting the survivors which are likely the best of the bunch and decades of accumulated knowledge on righting design flaws. I will state that the most reliable classics are the one that are driven the most. For instance, carbs that with fuel constantly blown throught them won’t get dirty.
As for the Jag they are wonderful cars, in reality they are no less or more reliable than a Mercedes or BMW of the time. Like a S class Mercedes or BMW 7 series these were very complex cars with demanding maintenance schedules and were quite difficult to work on. My father had an e-type v12 he bought new and kept until a house fire took the garage a few years ago. I was very reliable despite almost 200k on the engine without a rebuilt. The trick was, it was well maintained and driven often, never neglected. Maybe this XJ has a similar tale.
Those who are really good mechanics, don’t mind spending the evening fettling, and know their vehicle better than their significant other’s body do use these kind of cars as a daily driver. At least until the enthusiasm wears off. Which it inevitably does. And, with a Jaguar V-12 it happens a bit sooner than with other alternatives.
Not helped by the V-12 having four fuel pumps. And if one goes, they’re all effectively out of commission. At which point you get to figure out which one is the problem.
The coolest part of a Jaguar is the “leaper” . . . . Rowww!
Yep. Lots of diesel W123 Benzes that are just slightly newer than that Jag around here in Seattle. Also, Volvo 240.
Are the plates any kind of clue? The Jag’s plates look old, and I can’t tell where they’re from. It appears to be a project to me, while the Toyo… uh, Geo, looks like a driver with current tags.
I think the Jag is in current use. Both are Oregon plates, which stay with the car from its first Oregon licensing, either new here or moved here. The Jag’s plate was new in 1986 or ’87, my ’87 Sable had NRW plates. Can’t read its renewal sticker to see if it’s current. But it’s clean and shiny and that’s not a wealthy neighborhood. If it wasn’t being used it’d be dirty or covered by a tarp. I think Hachee’s right, it’s driven once in a while on nice occasions.
Our current tree-and-mountains design came in the early Nineties, and the Prizm’s VTT plates are late 90s I believe.
I work with a British chap who owns a 1986 XJ6. He tries to use it as a daily driver, but something on it goes wrong on a regular basis which banishes it to the garage for several months at a time while it waits to get worked on (the latest malady was a snapped-off head bolt). The same is true of my 1997 Passat TDI that is currently not running and has been sitting in the driveway for the past few years.
I completely understand the love-hate relationship that one can have with an inanimate object after owning the Passat, so I feel like I have something in common with Jaguar owners/enthusiasts!
My pal in LA had an ’86…never could get it to run right; finally he got a new Brit specialist who told him 1986 was the ABSOLUTE worst year for Series 3 XJ6s. At that point my pal tried to sell it; couldn’t find a buyer. It went down the toilet…I think the damn thing just refused to run; he asked his mechanic if HE would buy it, the guy said, “No way.” He wound up selling it for $400 I think to some guy for the body stuff (body was in perfect shape).
Yeah, but Passats don’t have “leapers” . . .
Running or not, that XJ is a real beauty, even with the 5-mph bumpers. Looks like it is a long-wheelbase version as well.
Tha Jag is very unreliable, but it’s a nice looking car.
If you’re gone to have an old car as a daily driver it has to be an american car, or a Volvo or a Mercedes. But the parts to old american cars is realy cheap. To an old MB it’s very expensive.
There’s a black W116 450SEL in my neighborhood that still looks gorgeous, but I wouldn’t want to have the repair bills. Sometimes I wonder if it would be blasphemous to drop a 350 Chevy in something like that. Then I wonder if the current owner of that one already has.
W126s . . . . those Benzes keep plodding along . . . there’s a bunch on the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) . . . most of ’em pretty sad looking . . some beautiful . . . but they’re crusing right along. (Diesel runs $5.00 a gallon here now).
I can tell you which one I’d rather give the most use. 😀
The PRIZM. Ask the man who owns one. They are the most reliable, dependable cars on the planet because a PRIZM is essentially a Toyota with an inferiority complex. Those darn cars have something to prove! Jaguars, on the other hand, are unreliable excuse-making cads, who make it through life on charm and looks alone.
Please note that I have updated my avatar to the GEO globe-with-a-chevy-bowtie-in-the-middle emblem.
Sing it brother! I’d still have my ’96 but for the rust.
I always liked passing a Chevy dealer near me that still had a Geo sign until recently.
I have to keep reminding myself about British cars every time I see what looks like a decent one for under $5k. Lately I’ve been finding myself looking at cheap Jaguars online with the idea that one might make a fun car to leave at the airport when I’m travelling during the week. Then I regain my senses and realize this would mean that I’d be depending on a Jaguar to start and actually be able to drive after sitting for 3 or 4 days to make the 55 mile trip home. It might happen once or twice but not in a row.
ACD – you said it . . . a car to leave at the airport. You’d have to – it probably won’t run !!!
Damn, that’s the problem. I’d actually need it to get back home from the airport.
Before even reading the comments, I thought, wanna bet it’s the Prizm/Corolla?
I know, they are appliances, but you can’t fault them for being uber reliable to the Nth degree, and that alone is worth something.
The plates on the Jag may be older Oregon plates and obviously not replaced in years. I don’t know if Oregon required one to replace plates every so often like Washington does as the Jag itself is older, probably from the mid to late 70’s, at best. However, it looks great still, judging by the photo anyway.
So my guess is, the guy drives the appliance to keep his Jag in order for the occasional drives (or to get parts to repair said Jag).
The Jag-the Prizm threw a rod!
Shirley, you jest! Pushrods are for OHV engines.
There’s a “Don’t call me Shirley” joke waiting.
Not a push-rod, connecting rod!
Ooh.. I should have caught that. Sorry for ruining the gag.
Oh. So your name isn’t Shirley? Or did you mean the Panhard Rod?
The Prizm it is. That looks like a “it’s a beautiful design, too bad it won’t run” pre-’83 Jag.
I always thought those ’93+ Prizms were unusually elegant cars, for the size and price. Of course, I was an impressionable teenager at the time, so it wasn’t too difficult to see the glossy black LSis in magazine ads as something like budget BMWs. Was the same body style sold as an upscale Corolla variant in Japan?
As far as I can tell, the standard sedans (like your LSi) were pretty much the same here as they were there. Although here in Japan, they did have a multitude of body styles available that were not sold back Stateside, one of which was a “4-pillar hardtop” called the Corolla Ceres or Sprinter Marino with sleeker lines than what was sold elsewhere (Wikipedia tells me it was a mail-order model). I’m pretty sure that fleet purchases here would be pretty basic and tinny in their features, but those wouldn’t be what regular people would buy.
Ouch! My head is hurting…what in the world is a “4-pillar hardtop”? In my little mind, visions of a six-door Colonnade come to mind!
Thanks for the headache…
Back in around year 2000, I saw an ad in the paper for a 74 Jag XJ 12L, I think the guy wanted around $ 1,800. I called and the guy told me the car was in excellent shape, but was not running. (An oxymoron if there ever was one.) Anyhow, the car had 3 carbs, had not run in years. He told me that the car would have to be towed. That killed it for me. I, at least, expect a car to get home on it own power.
I kinda got a Jag out of my system after that. A guy I used to golf with told me that Jaguars used to come with a spare key that could be used as a tie bar. A neat item. I recall owning a tie bar that was actually a mechanical pencil. Must have lost it, for I haven’t seen it for decades.
Back in 1961 my young brother-in-law purchased a beautiful 1954 Jag Mark VII sedan, baby blue with grey leather interior and “genuine teak interior trim” according to the slick salesman. It was purchased in my w. PA hometown at a small used car lot for $600. The next weekend brother-in-law returned with his buddy to pick up the Jag and drive it home to Elmira, NY, a distance of about 150 miles. I have forgotten just how many breakdowns they had making that trip but eventually got the car to Elmira where it spent most of the next year residing inside the garage because it refused to start. I do not recall how he disposed of that beauty. But I do know he replaced it with a 54 Dodge Royal 4 door that later became my first car.
A friend’s dad had a Jaguar Mark VII sedan. They apparently forgot to design a place for the gas tank, so the car had two little tanks along with all the plumbing to switch the feed and the gauge from one tank to the other. He thought it handled like a Buick, but it did have that lovely limey-car leather aroma in the interior.
I stopped and looked at an XJ6 (I think) coupe a couple of years ago, partly because I was curious about the bright metallic blue paint (think Mopar B5 blue). It turned out to have a Chevy V8 engine and no working instruments. Definitely not a John’s Cars kit…. At that point my investigation ended.
My coworker’s 1986 XJ6 discussed above still had this exact same fuel tank setup. One of the times it quit on him in traffic in the past year (and for which he got a tow to a shop) was because he had run out of fuel in one of the two tanks and it didn’t even occur to him at the time to flip the tank selector switch!
I’ll point out here that the automotive warranty offered through Ebay Motors made a specific, written exclusion for Jaguars (I haven’t read it recently so it may have changed) for which the warranty period was almost nothing. Out of all of the car makes in the world that they could have written in, only Jaguar was mentioned. Makes you think, eh?
The Jag will be the daily driver either with SBC or LD28 transplant both popular options in Aotearoa.
“When in Rome, drive what the Romans drive.” Otherwise…
You certainly can daily-drive Jaguars (even the dreaded 12 cylinders) in GB, with an Jaguar’s Owner Club in every town, you’ll certainly have no problem to do so with Benzes in Germany, but I would not recommend to do this vice verse.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
About Arras WordPress Theme
Copyright 2011 - 2016 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.