Bar­gain? Not likely!

Classic Sports Car - - Letters -

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.

Alex Pro­cyk

Hous­ton, Texas, USA

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