Vinnie the Jaaaaag

Published on 25 February 2024 at 19:45

I couldn't help it. I have been without a Jaguar for about 6 years now, a totally unacceptable situation. Noisy Noddy the ridiculously fast Mini is great fun and all that but being used to luxury cars makes him feel a bit basic. On bad days I find it a bit difficult to get in and out. I started to have a bit of a think about what might be a good idea to replace him with. A  bit of a think in my life usually results in the acquisition of some project or  other and this  time was no different. I had been thinking about a latish model Jag XJ -  the last one that actually looked like a jag - when I happened across a number of  XF models that looked very, very cheap and exceptional value for money. I did a ton of research in to running  cost, spares availability, insurance costs and performance until I was convinced that they represented an awful lot of car for the money.

It only took about 3 glasses of Bells special Scottish anaesthesia to  conclude that ebay was the place to visit so that this particular itch could be scratched. There were not many for sale around here, my application of man maths had concluded that the 3.0 litre diesel Portfolio model was the one to go for with the 14 speaker Bowers and Wilkin stereo being a particularly appealing  extra. I found exactly what I was looking for except that it was a highish mileage example with no MoT and a few reported problems - right up my gumtree. I contacted the seller as the auction ended before I could get to see it - it was about 25 miles from here, which on Lincolnshire's excellent road network made it less than 7 hours away.

I spoke to my good mate Malc and he said I could borrow the Boston Bowl Racing Team transporter to go fetch it so the stars aligned, I put my bid in. I bid what I wanted to pay as a max from the outset, the seller had told bidders that if they had less than 10 feedback that their bid would be removed. I watched with baited breath as one bid after another pushed up the price, only for it to fall again as bids were cancelled. In the end I got it for a couple of hundred quid less than I was prepared to pay, even taking in to account the worst case scenario costs of possible repairs. I was well chuffed but also full of apprehension that I had committed to buy something sight unseen - I never do that. Fair dues to the seller though, he had agreed that if the car was not as described or if I was not happy he would not hold me to the deal.

Me and Mrs set off and went to my mate's to pick up the transporter, sat nav had told lies and we arrived way too early. The seller, Ian, was already there, the car had clearly not been started for a while - he said about 3 weeks - the battery had enough to unlock the car but just not quite enough to start it. A boost pack saw to that minor inconvenience and the car started easily with no smoke, nasty noises or anything else to alarm me except for a gearbox fault warning. I was certain that was down to the flat battery and indeed a short test drive had the car changing gears smoothly and the error soon cleared.

It's still on the transporter at the moment as the workshop has a race car, a Lotus Cortina and  Ferrari Dino in it. We cracked on and got most of the jobs done on the 'tina so that can now go in the store room and leave me a ramp free for when my newly ordered diag box gets here. I know I have work to do, the only thing that worries me is the cam belt change, just because there is so much stuff to be removed before you can even see it. It may not need changing, it may have been done but I can't prove it one way or another as the service record I have does not mention it specifically and that scares me. Although it doesn't scare me quite as much as the look my Mrs gave me when I told her I was buying another Jag. I think she likes it though and it's a lot quieter than noisy Noddy. I will report back when I have been through it properly, I suspect most of the issues to be quite straightforward.


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