Rehome a big cat in need of love this Christmas with a 1990 Jaguar XJ40. Give this down-at-heel example some love and you could have the luxury bargain of the decade
Jaguar’s fourth-generation XJ saloon has suffered tough times as of late. Struggling to attain classic status in the eyes of steadfast automotive elites, values have been low enough for banger racers and the mechanically heartless to get their mitts on otherwise healthy examples. As such, unsympathetic owners have dispatched swathes of XJ40s towards the scrapyard. Usually in a million pieces.
Providing performance and tank-like safety, mated to supple luxury and a sporting pedigree, the Jaguar XJ40 strikes a decadent blend of stately elegance and riotous ownership. Except, finding a good one without remortgaging your house is tricky. Even then, with ageing electronics and drivetrain that won't suffer fools gladly, more costly examples continue Jaguar’s infamous reputation for dependability.
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However, the biggest hurdle for surviving XJ40 examples is the keyboard warrior. Hundreds of disgruntled owners take to the internet on a regular basis to fan the Jag’s flames, enhancing an unfair repute for murdering DIY enthusiasts.
Yet, delve deeper into the imperial world of Jaguar Owner Clubs and it’s a different story. The XJ40 may offer complex suspension and body panels commonly whored out to rust, but the engine, drivetrain and servicing interval are easily cared for with a bit of elbow grease.
With this mantra slowly seeping through the classic car scene, opinions are slowly turning on Jag’s previously unloved saloon. Enthusiasts on a budget are now seeking good restoration projects, and with values set for a leisurely increase, easy wins are often snapped up with fierce enthusiasm.
This is where our down-at-heel 1990 Jaguar XJ40 2.9-litre comes into play. It may appear tardy and ready to expire, with an MoT that terminated on January 19 and a worn interior boasting all the charm of a crime scene, but it won’t take much to sort.
In need of a new rear screen and fresh suspension bushes, there isn’t much else bar some aesthetic work required to produce a smooth bargain. The powerplant may be Jaguar’s lampooned 2919cc unit – famed for an acceleration rate of wind erosion – but what’s there is strong and intact. Breaching 60mph from a standstill might take 13 seconds, but it’ll be oh-so suave while doing so. You won’t spill a drop of your Bucks Fizz.
This model trumpets remarkably low mileage for a conservative wagon of the time, broadcasting a recorded 65,000 miles upon the odometer. The big cat has enjoyed the company of six previous owners, but does harbour a dark secret – it was previously written off. Not with excessive accident damage, but the insurance firm found the car uneconomical to repair.
That was some time ago, however, and with the rock-bottom price this online auction is sure to close on, if you are a keen mechanic or simply a lover of British machines, this Jaguar could make the ideal Christmas present to yourself. Get a closer look here.