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1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12


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Yesterday afternoon I placed a deposit on this fine piece of "British craftsmanship".






It's an auto, but as it was only CAD$5200, and has only got 115,000 km on it, I wasn't going to pass it up just because it had a slushy transmission.

For a 20 year old it's in damn fine condition (a plate on the console says it was a concours event entrant in 2002), but it currently needs a bit of a tidy up and a good polish. It's hard to tell under the road grime, but it appears to be a charcoal gray metallic, and the interior is gray leather.

It's got a few minor problems ... the glass in the passenger rear view mirror is loose and needs to be re-glued, the handbrake light is on all the time, the wood on the console needs refinishing, the radio antenna needs replacing, and the hood gas struts need replacing or re-gassing.

The body is straight, there's no visible signs of rust and the motor seems quite good (although the engine bay looks like it'll need a few bits and pieces and a bit of detailing work done to bring it back to an as delivered state).

The one thing that is wrong and really can't be cheaply fixed is that someone has added a Jaguar leaper mascot to the hood (E-Types and XJ-S models didn't come with one) and if it's removed, there'll be a couple of holes to patch up.

I know it'll cost a lot to keep maintained, and it'll have a serious appetite for fuel, but I don't care.

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I love these things. I know they're build quality and reliability were pretty horrid, but they look fantastic. IIRC there's a British company that takes XJ-S' and renovates them so they become good reliable, quality cars.

Best of luck with it!

That particular rebuild costs £35,000 ... just a bit much for my budget.

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Glad to hear from you!

Very cool purchase, I have always loved these cars - such great lines.

Good luck with it!

The big Jag is my present to myself for Christmas. I've always wanted one, and one at the right price turned up a week ago. I'll only get a couple of weeks use before it has to go into storage until winter (and the salt trucks) have gone, but it'll mean I have 4-6 months to work on it before the snow melts.

Been just a bit busy over the past few months. Got a big Laser cutter/engraver a few months ago (VersaLASER VLS4.60) for the business I'm setting up, and I'm just starting to learn how to use it. The Laser is very temperature sensitive. Exposure to prolonged temperatures below 15 degrees C deteriorate the O-ring gas seals and this will result in a $1200+ gas recharge/rebuild cost much earlier than expected. This means I finally have an excuse to heat the garage, so I'll be able to work in there during winter.

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Picked up the car yesterday ... odometer reading 115527 km.

I'll run the car through a car wash when I fuel it up some tomorrow. It's still intermittently raining, so the cut and polish will have to wait.

Starting to sort out the electrical gremlins. Lucas, The Prince of Darkness, has a reasonably good grip on this car ... but so far the problems just seem to be due to really bad quality connectors and/or dirty switches.

The RH low beam appears to be the only blown bulb, but the hi/lo beam switch on the indicator stalk is erratic (worked about one time in 20). I suspected dirty contacts in the switch, and after a lot of wiggling of the indicator stalk, it's almost fixed.

RH headlamp bulb (H4 type) has now been replaced. There was no mention in the owners manual about having to take the headlamp wipers off so the trim surround could be removed. That was made even more challenging when our 2 dogs decided to help me. Headlights are Cibie, and appear to be Euro spec. Over the Winter I'll probably pull both headlights out and repair the cracks I found in the plastic trim. At that time I'll fit high output bulbs.

Looks like there's something funny with the handbrake system. I suspect it's stuck partially operated, and that's the reason for the permanent handbrake warning light on the dash. Checking the brake end of the handbrake is made more difficult by the fact that the rear brakes are inboard.

The radio keeps asking for the security code, and refuses to accept the code that I have been given. I might have to talk to the local Jaguar dealer and give them the serial number so they can look up the correct code in their database.

The passenger side external mirror is properly attached now. The glass assembly had popped off one of the two ball sockets that hold it securely. Both external mirror adjusters seem to be stuck. I don't know if it's an electrical adjuster or a cable style adjuster. If it's cables, then the cables are probably frozen or rusted. If it's electrical, then the problem is Lucas (again).

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  • 2 months later...

I'm with Dodgefan: Love the look, hate the reliability issues. A local Subaru dealership down the street from me just took in a sharp red '89 with saddle interior, lace wheels, 87,000 miles and change. A perfect candidate for a Chevrolet 350 swap if you ask me.

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