Jaguar XK8

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Contents - Nathan Chadwick

EN­GINE 3996cc/V8/DOHC POWER 290bhp@6100rpm TORQUE 290lb ft@4250rpm 0-60MPH 6.4sec TOP SPEED 156mph FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 22-24mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, five-speed au­to­matic MoT 12 months from sale ODOME­TER 97,000 miles


The Jaguar XK8 may not have the fire­cracker pace of an XKR, but you’ll still be trou­bling mod­ern hot hatches – and that’s in a car getting on for 20 years old. Though smooth most of the time, should you get a bit frisky with it the meaty 4.0-litre V8 will re­spond with a muf­fled growl and a thump in the back. And when you’re not be­ing silly it’ll poo­dle around in near si­lence. The steer­ing is cus­tom­ar­ily light but pre­cise when you need it to be, and the brakes bring you to a halt pre­dictably yet quickly. There’s no slop in the steer­ing nor any peculiar noises or vi­bra­tions from the driv­e­train or sus­pen­sion. All in all, it feels me­chan­i­cally sound and ready to reel off a grand jour­ney.


The paint is largely OK, but it will re­quire work to have it look­ing its best. There are swirl marks and orange peel paint ef­fects here and there, and mi­nor scratches and marks across a num­ber of pan­els. All the al­loy wheels have signs of cor­ro­sion or kerb­ing and the paint on the door frames is com­ing off in places. We couldn’t find any signs of the dreaded lac­quer peel that af­flicts so many of th­ese cars, how­ever. This XK wears Con­ti­nen­tal Sport Con­tact 2s, front and rear, and all have plenty of tread re­main­ing.


The cream in­te­rior is in av­er­age con­di­tion, though there are some dark creases to the leather seats (but thank­fully, no rips). There are signs of wear to the leather parts of the steer­ing wheel, marks to the door pulls and the driver’s side sill scuff plate has come loose. To make driv­ing a lit­tle more chal­leng­ing, the head­lin­ing has also started to come loose. On the up­side, the wood pan­elling is largely free from scratches and cracks, and the stereo/tape cas­sette player works, as does the air con­di­tion­ing.


The long bon­net opens to a 4.0-litre V8 which ap­pears to be in good, un­mo­lested con­di­tion. It’s not con­cours but a big plus is that the in­ner wings and bulk­head are free from signs of cor­ro­sion. All the flu­ids were up to their max­i­mum and none de­cided to leave the party early dur­ing our test. While there are books and MoT cer­tifi­cate print-outs with the car, there is no record of its ser­vice his­tory or any other ex­pen­di­ture in the slim his­tory file.


This Jaguar XK8 isn’t go­ing to be win­ning any con­cours awards any time soon, but then it doesn’t cost a great deal either. Look at this as a rolling project and it starts to make sense – you’ll never make it make fi­nan­cial sense, but it’s a car that you can fix and en­joy at the same time. The lack of ser­vice his­tory is a con­cern, but look past this and it makes for an in­trigu­ing project.

By no means per­fect, but all the electrics work.

V8 seems sound, but there’s no his­tory with it.

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