If I had all of the money in the world, I’m pretty sure I’d have one of these in my own personal showroom, albeit in a condition more befitting my wallet status.
As I in fact actually do not have all of the money in the world, I make do otherwise. For a cash outlay of only three dollars (it used to be two), I can indulge myself in my favorite outdoor showroom, the junkyard, and explore every car I’ve always wanted to my heart’s content, as they all show up here eventually. I don’t know if it could get any better, frankly, as the enjoyment to dollar ratio is as good as it gets.
And before you ask, no, I did not take this one home. And I have no plans to do so either. This one is too far gone for me. Perhaps Mr. Saunders, but not me. Still, it’s magnificent. Or it was magnificent, some of that has dripped off over the years and has become absorbed back into the soil from which it came.
I don’t really know if it’s a 1976, it could perhaps be a ’75 or a ’77 (UPDATE: Turns out it’s a 1974). The yard says it’s a ’67 which is not so as that was before the XJ series debuted in 1968. But the V12s were a special sort of cat, curiously this is not the first of such that we’ve seen, it seems like a lot of V12 Jags end up in a state of disrepair such as this more modern one we saw last year.
While this one appears to stem from the Boulder environs, I don’t think the CHE means this was the Che Guevara edition, although I could picture his bereted visage in the window while cruising this one down Pearl Street and stopping at the Village Coffee Shop for a cup of joe… But what could it mean otherwise? I think you might be ahead of me on this one as we swing around to the front.
Before we fold that bonnet forward towards us though, that view never gets old. The way the hood drapes over the headlights, the length of it, although curiously sans leaper, it’s still instantly recognizable. The same way you wouldn’t mistake a VW Beetle for a Porsche 911 you also wouldn’t mistake a Mitsuoka Ryoga for an XJ, no matter how curvy the bonnet is. And this chrome don’t peel either, my good chap.
But yes, the word “heresy” does perhaps become synonymous with the word “pragmatic” as soon as you venture at least a few miles away from Browns Lane. Or when the warranty expires. Not everybody, wait, make that pretty much nobody, seems to be able to keep a Jaguar V12 running as it should. Maybe they never did, even when new. Who could even tell if it was running on just ten or eleven, really. Sticking a Chevy V8 (or at least that’s what I’m presuming this is/was) was all the rage back in the 1980s or so. Or even before. And well after, I don’t know.
Actually I do know when it stopped, right about the time Ford bought Jaguar. Then things seemed to work better. It’s a little odd though that GM didn’t step up instead, they could have just formally LS’d all the things and we’d be done.
Yes, I’m sure all the anglophiles will be spluttering now about how do we know this wasn’t done recently or perhaps the Jag had already travelled some intergalactic distance or whatnot, but no, I don’t think so, but let’s pop inside since the door is open. That door, by the way, wanted to be open. I shut it half a dozen times, and each time I turned and stepped back to take a picture and as soon as I was ready to snap, it would release itself and open again. Just like a cat releasing itself on the carpet when your back is turned. I slammed it harder and harder and then eventually just gave up. Door stays open!
The oil change sticker does not lie. The professionals at the Auto Repair Place in Boulder, CO, know their stuff. And if they say they changed the oil back in 2013 at a mileage of 43402 using only the best 10W30 oil they had on the shelf, who are we to doubt them? Is this the last oil change it got? Hmm. While the odometer is missing from this car (hang on, you’ll see), Jaguars didn’t get six digit odometers until recent times for one reason. They did not need them. I don’t think any Jaguar prior to the X-Type’s debut ever rolled one over. So the question now is, was that odometer number with the Jaguar V12 in place or even more shamefully did it not reach that and the V8 was already installed, and if so, for how long had that been the case?
I’m pretty sure this car has been sitting for a while. Sadly there isn’t much left that’s salvageable. You’ll have to use your imagination.
Here’s what’s left of the back seat. The “L” in the model designation stands for long wheelbase, although the missing bottom rear seat cushion makes it look like there is much more legroom than the reality. Still, eventually, all XJs would become L models by default.
Obviously the owner was hoping for some sort of divine intervention. I don’t think it occurred, thus its resting place in the rear footwell. This is the first time I have seen a copy of the Good Book in a junked car though. The travel size tequila bottle also present is just out of frame but perhaps a fitting accoutrement to the overall scene.
I like to say things could always be worse. But no, they really could not. At least there was no electrical fire, so there’s that. Otherwise the glass is not just half empty, it’s empty, full stop. Or just broken. Don’t cut yourself…
But can you see the splendor that used to be there?
Yeah, that’s right, mine would be something like this! And with the wheel on the proper side too! If I had all the money in the world. Which I don’t.
But back to reality, the indignities just don’t end. Although if it was a total creampuff it might be even sadder.
I mean, one has to wonder, just how much salty slush could a car possibly splash onto a rocker panel in 40-odd thousand miles? I thought adding lightness was more of a Colin Chapman thing.
The boot is huge though. It’s actually remarkable that considering how curvy the XJ’s body is, the trunk (in all the generations, not just this one) is always very square-ish to maximize the number of boxes, parcels, cases, or trunks one might need to fit.
I don’t know, I just love this thing. Even in the sorry state it’s in, it still exudes The Cool. It’s even multiple shades of green to remind you of all the green that it would need spent on it. And here you though it had something to do with the Brits and Racing…poppycock!
And the damn door is still open.