Bargain? Not likely!
I nearly spat out my tea when I sorted through the mail and saw the word ‘bargain’ in near proximity to ‘my’ 2004 Jaguar XKR (C&SC, September). Ye Gods, the thing is higher maintenance than the wife! Admittedly, the drivetrain was ‘Fordised’ and has been sound these past 60,000 miles, but the rest of the car has been, well, Jaguar.
Anything that is built out of what must be the world’s thinnest, cheapest, most brittle plastic has been replaced at least once, which includes almost everything. Be it the coolant overflow bottle ($280 – I begged my mechanic to replace it with a 2-litre soda bottle), coolant lines, convertible hydraulic lines,
window drives, window guides, seat motor controllers, oil pan cover (or something under there: I was too shellshocked by that point to ask), it’s been replaced, none of which was below a starting price of $650.
Particularly galling was that the hydraulic release catch packed up just one month after the warranty on the new hydraulic hood lines expired ($3500 for parts and installation), no doubt because of some sort of plastic insert, switch, hose or valve. It’s now a soft-top coupé and probably going to stay that way.
There is no doubt in my mind that if I ever did the foetal-positioninducing exercise of totalling up the amount I have spent on it these past four years, after buying what had in essence appeared to be a showroom-fresh nine-year-old car with 44,000 miles on the clock, it would amount to pretty much what you say you can buy one for today.
Houston, Texas, USA