Jaguar XJ8 sold on Craigslist

Bad Idea or Best Idea: Jaguar XJ edition

Dear reader, I need some help. I’ve got this problem and I can’t seem to shake it. My heart thinks I need to buy a Jaguar XJ. But my brain knows this is a terrible idea. The two aren’t communicating and I have a handful of tabs open on my browser. All of them are showing different XJ sedans for sale, typically ranging across the X308 and X350 models with a few sprinkles of Series I and II tossed in for “good” measure.

The XJ in the lead photo? It’s a 2000 XJ8 and the odometer only shows 89,580. The seller says everything works well, AC blows cold, and the title is clean. The asking price? It’s just $3,000. If I offered $2,500 that’s an amount of money that, while not insubstantial, wouldn’t ruin me should when the car goes boom.

There’s also a 1971 XJ with a Chevy 350 already transplanted. I’ve found a 1972 XJ that looks to be in decent shape for its age, with a sub-$3K asking price. And there’s also a lovely 2004 Vanden Plas model on the list as well.

None of these cars is a good idea. But I can’t stop thinking about buying one, tossing on some fresh wheels and tires, putting the car seat in the back, and having a comfortable daily-driver with some personality. Do I listen to my brain or follow my dumb, stupid, heart?

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18 responses to “Bad Idea or Best Idea: Jaguar XJ edition”

  1. Maymar Avatar

    I keep telling myself that if an X308 is still on the road, it means it’s gotten past all the major problem areas, so it’ll be fine! Otherwise, I’d just have to take the gamble that I can get through a year (12 months of ~$200/mo payments on a newish car) without any real problems, at which point it’s not a terrible idea?

  2. mdharrell Avatar

    As the Regional Secretary for the United States and Canada for the Vanden Plas Owners Club (yes, really), I fail to see why you would even consider any of the other variants of the XJ. Beyond that, all I ask is that you keep in mind that the “s” in Plas is not silent and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      People say Vanden Plaaaah?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Oh, some people most certainly do, either from a sense that it must be “more correct” this way or simply from hearing others pronounce it this way. Nope.

      2. Idaneck Avatar

        Damn, I always said Vanden Plazzzz.

    2. Alff Avatar

      I pronounce it “long one with tea tables”.

  3. kernel_panik Avatar

    Jeff, we’re not a support group for recovering from project car addiction. We’re the enablers. That said, I don’t see the point of purchasing any of these XJs unless you plan to LS-swap it. Just think of how awesome that would be, and immediately regret listening to my advice.

  4. Zentropy Avatar

    I sympathize, as XJs are gorgeous regardless of year model. However, I’d be much more tempted by the older cars, especially if already fitted with an American V8.

    Dammit, now you have me searching our local Craigslist…

  5. Lokki Avatar

    If 2020 has taught us anything it is that life is short and that worrying too much about what may happen is pointless. Assuming that after buying the car and automatically dumping another $2500 into it for “the foreseen something” you will still have enough money to feed the puppy like you should, than ask yourself this question:

    When you meet Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates would you rather be talking about how you spent your life or distracting him by telling him about your Jag Vanderbilt Plas?

    1. Lokki Avatar

      Ah, Siri, Siri, Siri, dammit – who asked YOU to help with my spelling? VANDEN PLAS, not @#$&*!! Vanderbilt. Jeez.

    2. Tiller188 Avatar

      Well, yes, there were a few…indiscretions…in my time down there on Earth…but really, wouldn’t you rather hear about my Jaaaag?

  6. outback_ute Avatar

    If you get an early car, at least fit 7″ lights to the outer headlamps, the U.S. spec looks terrible

  7. Yepthatsbroke Avatar

    I have an 83 XJ6 that I was given for free. The ride is amazing, even if few of the electric bits work and the seat leather is split. If everything works and the interior is solid, buy it. You’ll feel special every time you drive.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      I was to comment that 2500$ is a giveaway price, then you present an actual giveaway. Even if Jaguar really doesn’t have the…eh…best reputation, it’s amazing how much car you’ll receive for such a low threshhold of entry. Do you have photos of yours?

      1. Yepthatsbroke Avatar

        Well, to be fair I did have to tow it home and replace a head gasket, but it does run nicely now. Unfortunately a lifetime in the desert Sun was not kind to paint or leather, so she’s a bit camera shy! Still, FREE! At first my friend wanted $500 for it, but after another six months his wonderful wife insisted it leave his driveway.

  8. Alff Avatar

    I would take the repowered ’71 because a lumped kitty has been on my wish list since I first saw ads for kits from John’s and Suncoast in Hemmings close to 30 years ago. I’m equally split between that and an XJR. Don’t listen to me, though. I spend way too much time fixing my bad decisions.

    1. Alff Avatar

      On the other hand, $2500 is right in my sweet spot. That’s what I paid for my each of my two preferred drivers.

  9. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    supposedly the I6 X308s are pretty solid. i don’t know if that’s from a “…for a Jaguar” perspective.

    i also would feel a deep sense of loss for owning an X308 that wasn’t the V8 XJR. i once worked out what was the most “excess power” per dollar, using a sampling from Craigslist and a formula: (hp-200)/($ price). a quick jaunt through Craigslist showed that an XJR was easily the best value, with old battered V8 AMGs as a very distant second.

    i love the XJ6, but i know that if i owned one it would be the Jaguar i’d own before i die. i wouldn’t be able to keep fantasizing about a jet black XJR, asteroids and black leather, burlwood trim. i don’t know if i could live with that, given how high it ranks in my fantasy garage, well above the Impala SS and Marauder. so unless i go insane and buy an XJR, i’ll never own a Jaguar.