ENGINE 3239cc/6-cyl/DOHC POWER 211bhp@5250rpm TORQUE 222lb ft@4000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 138mph 0-60MPH 8.9sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 18-24mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed automatic MoT None ODOMETER 158,994 miles WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
This XJ fires instantly, though the straight-six’s normally gentle purr is amplified by a slightly blowing exhaust section that will require rectifying before an MoT. The bushes have recently been replaced, so the ride is free of shudders or crashes, and the power-assisted steering is nicely weighted and free of any vagueness. The 3.2-litre unit up front feels far fresher than its 158,000 miles would suggest, with a healthy power delivery throughout the rev range, backed up by smooth kickdown from the four-speed automtic gearbox. There’s no juddering or pulling from the brakes – mechanically, this Jaguar feels in fine fettle.
There are quite a few cosmetic niggles to keep a new owner busy. Some of the lacquer is lifting away from the Brooklands Green paintwork – particularly on the offside doors and bootlid – there are cracks and microblistering in the paint on the offside front wing and a small section on the nearside rear wing where the paint has come away altogether and which is now covered in surface rust. There’s also moss growing beneath the offside twin-headlamp unit and the bumper chrome at either end would benefit from some TLC. However, the body itself is in solid condition and there are no signs of corrosion taking hold on the wheelarches, along the sills or around the boot floor.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The electric sunroof works correctly but has recently started leaking, prompting the vendor to temporarily seal it with duct tape. This leak would probably explain the minor signs of damp in the driver’s footwell, but elsewhere the carpets are dry, in good condition and free from any fraying. The front seats are showing their age, particularly the worn bolster on the driver’s side, but they’re not beyond repair and the rear bench is in fine condition. The headlining at the rear is also starting to sag at the rear, but looks like it might be salvageable. The four-spoke steering wheel’s smoothly polished rim is consistent with the car’s high mileage, but it’s worth noting that all of the instruments and electronics – including the factory-fit radio cassette player – still work as Browns Lane intended.
UNDER THE BONNET
There’s nothing here to suggest this XJ has been abused. There’s a grubbiness to some of the auxillary components that reflects its mileage and age, and some of the sound deadening on the underside of the bonnet is starting to come away. More encouragingly, there are no signs of any fluid leaks and none of the rubber pipes appears to be cracked or perished with age. All of the components appear to have been well looked after, and there are plenty of receipts with the car to testify that its innards have been regularly maintained over the years. We drove the car before its MoT expired.
THE CCW VIEW
This XJ40 is definitely going to need some cosmetic TLC sooner rather than later and its blowing exhaust sorting out, but look past the tired exterior and high mileage and this is a bargain-priced Jaguar with plenty of life left in it. Approach it as rolling project and we reckon it must be one of the cheapest routes into XJ ownership. David Simister
Tired front seats and leaky sunroof require attention.
Engine runs really sweetly, considering its mileage.