Sunday, December 29, 2019

Does it hurt to become real? Part Two. Signs of Life.

Fake, Fake, Fake.

I'm sure that the owner of this wrapped Mercedes has never owned a car that was really rusty. The whole patina thing started out with the hot rod and muscle cars guys protest against the tyranny of over restored cars. This type of presentation doesn't lend any cred to the owner in my book.

Real, Real,Real.
Matt Hummel and his 356.

On the other hand you can't help but admire someone like Matt Hummel. If you haven't checked out the Petrolicious video "Against the Grain" than you should. Matt is a very easy going guy that assembled a very nice, unrestored Porsche 356. Matt decided that he might as well drive his creation since he didn't have to worry about getting it dirty and possibly chipped up. So he drives it all over the place, even on dirt fire roads and he seems to be having a great time. Like many car enthusiasts he acquired this car years ago as a basket case, before they increased in value. Even in this unrestored state it is still worth a fair amount. In fact, these days it is probably worth a bit more than some of the better preserved or older resto examples.

I just love the car, and Matt's story. This is the kind of relationship that an enthusiast should have with their car. Strange as it might seem, this is the same relationship that most ordinary motorists have with their everyday car. They use them to go places and live their lives. They may value the car. but they aren't doting on it. They just use it.

Sometimes we car lovers get a little too precious with our much loved vehicles. Just owning the car becomes the primary motivation, whether the car is just preserved, or restored,or just rusting away in a side yard. We forget that cars are made to be fixed up and used.

Years ago I ran into a couple of guys at the local Friendship Days event who had purchased their cars back in the 1970s. Now that's not so unusual, but the kind of cars they bought is. One had an Aston Martin DB5 and the other was a 1960s Ferrari. The Ferrari owner said that his buddies thought he was crazy to pay ten thousand dollars for an old car!

Both of these cars were in clean,original, non restored condition. The bodywork was nice and straight but the paint was faded and worn in some spots. The interiors were obviously well used but repairs had been kept up and everything was quite presentable. Under the hood some of the alloy components  could have used a bit of polish as there were the tell tale stains of old oil and fuel leaks.

It was a delight to see these cars in that condition. The owners were quite friendly and the owner of the Aston told me that if he restored his car than he would probably never be able to drive it again! It would be worth too much to risk anything happening to it.

Finding the right car to preserve is often up to luck. You don't want to start out with a rusty, banged up example if you can help it. Original is best. Original paint, original interior, original mechanicals.  Of course, the car is bound to show some wear and tear. Often the paint can be touched up in the worst spots and the upholstery repaired and everything can be cleaned up and polished. Obviously the drivetrain should be brought back to reliable running condition.

Nope, That ain't gonna buff out!

I would prefer not to drive it in this condition.
But I probably will anyway, at least for a while!

Sometimes things have deteriorated beyond the preservation stage. In this case, this wasn't the original paint and the interior had been redone in vinyl years ago.

On the other hand there are cars like my '96 Mustang.

The paint on my Mustang is fading gradually from the sharp looking original Lazer Red to a somewhat mellow, ripe tomato color. The rear bumper has some weathered clear coat on the top surface and there is a strange weathered thin area of paint behind the driver's door. It's gotten thinner over my ownership. I invested in a new convertible top years ago, which still looks very good. Inside, the cloth tweed like seats have held up well. There was a worn area on the driver's seat lower cushion where the  width adjustment mechanism blade wore a hole in the seat bottom fabric.

I still wonder what could have caused this.

Just recently I decided to fix that worn spot. I added some foam rubber to cover the edge of the adjuster blade and into area around the seat bottom cushion. Then I sewed up the hole and hid the repair with some black liquid shoe polish.

Not too bad for twenty minutes of work.

These signs of wear and usage can be proudly displayed as badges of honor. These cars are being used as they were meant to be, not encased in a protective bubble. They have, and will, "endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" ( Shakespeare said it better than I could).

But, they have not been actively abused or ignobly ignored or forgotten.

Right now my XJ6 is sitting in the driveway exposed to the first torrential rainstorms of Winter. (Finally!) I've been driving it everyday for the last couple of weeks. Soon it will trade spots with my '96 Mustang in the garage.

The XJS will remain in the garage as I sort out it's problems. It's got a pretty worn out top and I'm not going to let it fill up with rain water. My Mustang had to suffer that indignity when I first got it years ago. Hopefully it will take it's place in my fleet rotation some day, when it's earned it's spot in the driveway of daily usage.

Still, I've decided that I've got to get the car into actual use, or what's the point?

The Skin Horse was right. Becoming real doesn't happen to things that break easily, have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept. It only happens to the things that you can actually use, live with, and build up a history of memories. Cars like my Mustang. Can it happen to my XJS? I don't know, but I'm going to give it a try.

2020 is going to be the year of the XJS.

Happy New Year to All! Here's hoping that all your dreams and schemes (car related) come to fruition.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Taking first steps, hopefully not on a very long road.

I covered the fender with a plastic sheet then used a cloth.

What I mean is, that I hope that preparing the XJS for actual driving duty won't be too long a process.

As I stated in an earlier post, I've got to do some maintenance on the XJS brake system.

First thing was to remove the dirty fluid that's currently in the system. I've used a bubble baby syringe to remove fluid from my '07 Mustang but a turkey baster should work even better.

It's pretty apparent that the fluids dirty.

I just sucked up what I could from the reservoir. That was some dirty looking brake fluid. One good thing about using the baster is that I can't remove all the fluid so I shouldn't have introduced any air into the system. So no bleeding is needed yet.

I've read a few discussions on the Forum but decided to stick with
the factory recommendation.

It is essential to use DOT 4 brake fluid. It is formulated to prevent foaming from the action of the ABS pump.

I plan on draining and refilling the reservoir again, after I drive it for a bit. After refilling then I'll bleed the brake system. Bleeding the rear calipers is supposed to be quite difficult. I'll be sure to document my efforts.

I think I'll watch some videos on just how to use this thing.

I bought one of those MityVac hand vacuum pumps which I hope will make the process easier. I think that I might find the bleed nipples somewhat rusty. I've read threads on the Jaguar Forum where posters accidentally broke seized nipples off. This would probably require removing the calipers to remove the broken threads. The problem will probably present itself on the rear calipers. The XJS has center mounted disc brakes. It wasn't a servicer friendly set up, but it remained in use for many years.

I probably won't get into driving the car much until after the Holidays are over. California got the rain we've been needing, but I'd rather not put the car outside in the rain. That bodged up top isn't going to keep the rain out.

I thought that I'd turn my attention to some areas needing work in the interior.

One major problem is that the passenger side window doesn't work very well.

The power rear view mirrors quit working.

The veneer on the console is cracked.

The driver's seat is in terrible shape.

The location of the blue tape identifies the damaged areas.

At first I just figured to replace the damaged veneer on the console "ski slope". However the veneer on the upper end was still pretty intact. Down at the bottom near the window controls it is pretty broken up and missing some pieces. Those darn switches don't want to stay in their mounting holes either. Something else to fix.

I started by gluing down the loose edges and cracked and peeling pieces. I held them down with some blue tape overnight. I carefully peeled off the tape and accessed the damage. The area below the shifter lever looks particularly bad. There is a big chunk of veneer missing.

I think that this damage occurred because of the lack of a cup holder. I can imagine a travel mug set on the console dribbling liquid onto the veneer over time. There are plenty of alternatives now available, I'm sure that I can up with something.

Here's how it looks now.
Hopefully the veneer is more stable.

My plan is to paint over the edges of the cracks with clear nail polish. I'll try to build up a layer of clear polish to hold down the edges. Maybe I can use some touch up paints to try to simulate the missing burl pieces.

Then again, maybe not.

If you can't fix it why not just cover it up?

My other option is to cover the damaged area with a piece of leather, wood or metal.

Speaking of covering something up. There is some damaged leather in the cockpit. Luckily it's limited primarily to the driver's seat.

It looks bad but it doesn't affect the drive-ability.
Those flamed floor mats are from my old '66 Riviera

The bottom of the driver's seat is the worst. The front of the seat cushion cracked off years ago. The seat bolster is cracked also. The leather is so dry and brittle it's like old beef jerky. It's so dry that it would just crack and split if I tried to stitch in a patch.

Lexol has been a go to product for leather rejuvenation for years.
This will be it's toughest challenge.

I've been treating the area with numerous applications of Lexol in the hopes of softening the leather. I just spray it on and rub it in with my fingers. I leave the surface wet with the conditioner overnight. I don't know if it's possible to restore the leather back to a somewhat pliable state. I would just like to arrest the further deterioration of the seats, even if I just cover it up with some kind of high quality seat cover.

I've seen many threads and videos on restring worn leather sets but they usually weren't as bad as mine. The best option would be to have just the seat bottoms reupholstered. That can wait.

My twin Harbor freight battery tenders.

I use these two float chargers to keep my cars batteries in good condition. Both of my Jaguars had been treated to new batteries within the last two years. Quite an expensive proposition especially with the XJ6. It's important to maintain them. I don't keep them constantly plugged in. I connect the chargers every couple of weeks. and also check on them throughout the day. I've read that some "cheap" chargers can get too hot. I haven't noticed that problem. But I do keep my eyes open.

The year is rapidly drawing to a close and I'm anticipating 2020. The next year belongs to the XJS.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Sometimes you can't help but learn something new.

Anti Lock Braking Systems (ABS) are now standard equipment on most new cars.
At one time they were seen as an exotic offering on high end cars.

Learning more about potential problems with thirty year old anti lock braking system.

This black ball is a gas pressurized accumulator and an indication of the existence
 of a Teves Mark II  ABS system.

I didn't delve into this subject because I was intrigued. I did it because I became aware of certain problems that could affect my XJS's ABS system.

Like total brake failure.

Or the steering pulling hard to the right or left upon brake activation.

I was well acquainted with possible brake failure with older single circuit systems.

 A leak in a line or in a wheel cylinder could result in a loss of all braking power.

The switch to dual circuit systems isolated the front and rear brakes

A leaking master cylinder could still cause problems with both systems.

Leaking wheel cylinders would result in the inside tire wall being covered with brake fluid.

On American cars a leaking master cylinder would often leak into the area in front or behind the firewall.

Of course unless you regularly kept an eye on fluid levels you might never notice it until it was too late.

I once had a front brake line rupture on my '77 Datsun 280Z as I backed out of a parking space. I felt a sudden decrease in pedal resistance but the car still came to a stop.

I stopped, got out and looked at the parking slot. It looked to me as if oil had been sprayed onto the pavement.

Luckily, I was only a short distance from my house so I carefully and slowly drove the car home.

I replaced both front lines, bled the brakes and was good to go.

My '89 XJS is equipped with the Teves Mark III ABS system.

It does not have the familiar vacuum booster on the firewall, instead it utilizes an electric pump to provide a source of high pressure brake fluid. A spherical pressure reservoir (accumulator) is mounted on a manifold on the opposite side of the firewall. These black balls are quite distinctive.

The accumulator stores enough pressure to provide boosted stopping for several applications even if the pump fails. Much like the more familiar vacuum booster which does much the same thing.

The accumulator/ pump manifold is energized by turning the ignition on. The pump runs until it pressurizes the fluid in the accumulator ball. Then the  pump shuts off and awaits the need to pressurize the system during a brake application. Warning lights on the instrument panel advise of this process.

The master cylinder is directly activated by the brake pedal. The hydraulic fluid is directed to the front brakes as well as the accumulator manifold. The pressure opens a valve which directs pressurized  fluid from the accumulator ball back to the master cylinder, where it helps provide boost to the master cylinder piston. This pressurized fluid is also routed to activate the rear brakes.

The wheels are equipped with speed indicating rings with pick ups. This info is fed to the ABS computer which will determine if a wheel has locked up and is skidding.

The computer activates electrical solenoids that control the amount of fluid flowing to the brake caliper at each wheel. If a wheel is determined to be skidding the solenoid can stop the flow until the computer can determine that the wheel has started rolling again. This takes place very quickly and it is the basis for the "pulsing" felt by the driver at the brake pedal.

The actual braking action is supplied by conventional discs and calipers.

The XJS and other high end cars were the first to be equipped with these systems. However this same system was used on a surprising variety of cars both foreign and domestic. It was high tech and functioned well back in the day.

In my case that day was thirty years ago. What can go wrong? Plenty, of course. We can leave the regular hydraulic components and fittings out of the discussion for now.

I visit the Jaguar forums on a daily basis and I look through all of the new posts as well as search for answers to my specific questions.

I stumbled across several threads with frightening titles such as Total brake failure, Sudden brake failure. Occasional problems stopping, and, The car darts suddenly upon braking. Not too reassuring.

Pressurized brake fluid is supplied and stored by the ABS pump and accumulator ball. If the pump fails than there will be no assist. When the accumulator fails than there is no safety reservoir of pressurized fluid and again assist is lost. The front brakes should still remain operable but require much higher foot pedal effort to stop. Pretty much like any conventional vacuum boosted system.

It seems that an equal concern is the failure of the solenoids that control the distribution of brake fluid. If they get stuck in the closed position than that wheel will lock up and stay locked up. If a single front wheel locks up it will cause the car to pull severely to that side. It seems that some of the forum members have ended up in a roadside ditch.

photo source: jaguarforums com
These are the six solenoids and you can see the ribbon wire connections.

Those solenoids are connected to the connector plug with ribbon wires. There are reports of these ribbons breaking due to old age.

What can be done to prevent these problems? Keep in mind that these cars can be thirty years old. Components can and will wear out and require replacement.

First of all is performing the proper maintenance, which includes using the proper brake fluid

This actually seems to be the most important factor. The specified fluid is DOT 4. DOT 5 silicone fluid is not compatible with these ABS systems. Since it doesn't absorb water, the water sits in different parts of the braking system causing corrosion and it can boil under high heat conditions. It was also noted that it can foam when pressurized by the pump.

Also very important is to change the fluid regularly to keep it clean. The fluid in this system doesn't just sit in the reservoir. It circulates throughout the system constantly. Dirt and contaminants will be spread throughout the system instead of just settling to the bottom. Change the fluid and flush the system by bleeding the brakes. This is important to keep the distribution solenoids clean and working freely.

Of great importance is that when changing brake pads the caliper pistons should never be forced back without opening the bleeder valves. This could force dirty fluid and contaminants back into the distribution block. This could result in the solenoids sticking resulting in seizure or erratic behavior. This is what causes the car to pull to the side.

The accumulator ball is a very important safety component. Not only does it provide a storage area for pressurized brake fluid but it also controls the length of time that the ABS pump has to run. These balls are gas charged and on average lose 10% of their charge every year. As they degrade the ABS pump must work longer to bring them up and maintain the required pressure. These pumps were never designed to work 100% of the time, they were designed to bring the pressure up when the vehicle is started up and they will kick in to keep the system at proper pressure. Think of it like your home's heater thermostat, it's there to maintain a certain temperature. It shouldn't keep the furnace running all the time! If the pump is activated after every brake application due to a faulty accumulator, it will eventually overheat when repeatedly used, and will shut down, with predictable results.

Obviously it's extremely important to pay attention to how long the ABS pump runs upon initial start up.

First things first. I'm going to replace the brake fluid in the master cylinder using a turkey baster. I know there's one in the kitchen somewhere! Then I'll see about bleeding the brakes. That's probably going to have to wait until the Holidays are over.

I'd like to thank the Jaguar Forums, and Jaguar Lovers websites as well as Kirby Palm and his book; Experience in a book, Help for the Jaguar XJS owner.  They have made an enormous amount of valuable information available to the enthusiast.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

"Does it hurt to become Real?" Part One.

photo source: Get me
C'mon you know that you'd love the little guy a bit more since he's been through a few things.

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time. Not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes" said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up." he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once,"said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

_ Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit.

Maybe you remember the entire story, I just remember hearing the quote somewhere.

Anything that is actually used as it was intended too is going to display evidence of that use. Now multiply this use by years and years, even decades and be honest, "That's going to leave a mark."

Of course the subject of my discourse is not going to be about well worn, stuffed childhood friends, it's going to be about old automobiles.

They are designed to be very hardy and to stand up to years of exposure to the elements. The paint, the bright work, the interior can last very long time, almost indefinitely.

However, over time, even a well kept vehicle will display fading paint, dull, tarnished, and oxidized bright work and dirty and worn upholstery.

Sometimes if a vehicle is bought and placed in a time capsule, usually purchased new as a collectible, it can easily be preserved cosmetically as a brand new vehicle.

The 1976 Cadillac El Dorado convertible was purchased by some collectors as the last of it's kind, the owner's goal was to maintain it in an "as new" condition. Hopefully to sell it at a later date at a huge profit.

Unfortunately, some cars are bought and subject to complete neglect. They are seldom washed, never waxed, and certainly never garaged. I've always felt that kind of treatment was unfair to the car and a very poor reflection on the owner.

Their interiors are never cleaned and they develop an accumulation of trash, food wrappers, and liquid spills. They also develop some rather unpleasant odors due to this accumulation.

Cars treated in this manner quickly deteriorate to a very sad level and remain at that level for the rest of their useful lives.

Most of us, being enthusiasts, maintain our cars much better than this, even if we don't always dote on them excessively.

My stable of cars have endured the bumps and grinds of life commonly referred to as everyday use.

Take my Explorer for example. It arrived in my garage already a veteran of over twenty years of road campaigns. It had accumulated over 200,000 miles of experience with the requisite scars. Careful maintenance had preserved it's innate nobility.

Though it was looking a bit down at the heels around the edges.

Overall it was acquired in presentable condition.

Looking kinda faded.

Definitely broken in but still real comfy.

Ouch! That had to sting!

The right rear door had sustained a pretty big scrape before I bought it. The hood is pretty chipped up and the rear window posts have both weathered quite badly. The front tires were scuffed and one was missing  a hub cap. The front seat bottom leather covering had cracked and broken in several places, and they were covered by those hideous cheap nylon covers. Luckily the seat backs are still in really good shape. There are a couple of dents and dings but overall, the body and paint are in good shape.

You could just leave everything as it was and learn to live with it, Or, you could do a few things to spruce it up a bit.

That door scrape was the worst spot, so I went over the area with some touch up paint and a Q Tip. It made quite an improvement.

A year and a half later the touch up still looks pretty good.

Replacing missing badges and emblems shows that you care.

I found the missing Ford emblem at a wrecking yard and glued it onto the tailgate.

Those weathered roof posts really made the Explorer look old and tired. A quick mask and spray perked things right up.

I decided that those cheap seat covers looked worse than the damaged seats so I pulled them off. The seat backs are the only part visible from outside, and those look perfect.

What about those cracked and torn seat bottoms? I'm going to live with those for a while. I'm a mechanic, not a magician!

My XJS looked pretty good as found.
Yeah, I wish that was my house, too.

My XJS was purchased in pretty good shape, the body and paint were quite good. There is a faded spot on the lower left quarter panel. There a few small dings along both sides and one of my co workers recently scraped the left rear bumper panel. Luckily, it only abraded the rubber. I rubbed it out with compound and it's almost invisible. It just wouldn't have been worth replacing.

Before the buffing.

The Skin Horse would be sympathetic.

The interior has held up well except for the driver's seat bottom and the wood veneer on the console face. The top was in bad shape and my driveway patch job really hasn't done it any favors.

This is after I glued down all the broken bits and loose edges.

Not done for beauty, obviously
There are several cosmetic things that I'd like to fix and improve on the XJS but I have to address the mechanical items first.

My XJ6's photo in the Craig's List ad.

My XJ6 was purchased in pretty good overall shape. The body was straight and free of collision damage. The paint was still shiny, the interior clean. There were a few dings here and there a chip in the paint.

Located somewhere between those two leaves is a little dent.
Kind of hard to see so I usually don't worry about it.

That inside headlamp is kind of wobbly.

That was there when I bought the car.

This one really hurts. Supermarket damage sustained under my watch.

Another door scrape to the right rear quarter

Both sides of the rear bumper had these scrapes when I bought the car.

A pretty good chip on the left rear door.
I should really touch this up.

One small ding on the left side of the hood, a scrape on the left rocker a noticeable ding on the rear passenger's door, and a small scrape that damaged the pinstripe on the right rear quarter. The rear bumper has scuffs on both sides. The interior is in great shape as the headliner was replaced. I believe that a couple of new panels were sewed into the driver's seat. A professional repair. I need to find an upholstery shop that can do that. Still it looks really great.

I haven't addressed these cosmetic imperfections and they don't detract from the appearance of the car as a whole. I've described how I repaired that inside rear view mirror that kept falling off. After I peeled off the melted velcro tape. Yes, there are a few things that I can and will do.

Next week I'll finish up my thoughts and see if I can offer some kind of conclusion.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Going to a Toyota dealer to see a used Jaguar XJR in a very used Mustang.

It's hard to believe that this car is twelve years old.

If I bought this car, would it make me happy? Would I now be "satisfied"?
Not an easy question to answer.

I spend a lot of time on the Internet on car related activities. Besides preparing this blog, I'm active on a couple of forums and as a frequent contributor and watching the latest automotive videos.

I also spend an inordinate amount of time looking for, and at, various cars for sale. I look at everything. Old cars, recent cars, American cars, Japanese cars, European Cars, restored cars and most favorably, project cars. If during the day a certain type of car pops into my consciousness I'll start the search when I get home.

During my cyber travels I encountered this lovely 2007 Jaguar XKR coupe.

It was offered for sale at a Bay Area Toyota dealer. I generally have a rule that I never go to look at a car if I'm not really interested in buying it. Especially  with a private party. I would not never want to inconvenience the owner and waste their time.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule.

First, is if the car is advertised by an actual used car dealership. Especially if it's the kind that just parks them in an open lot. Not one of those fancy enclosed showroom collector car emporiums.

Second, if the advertisement advises the buyer to come by and check out the car parked at such and such location. This is the comparable situation to stopping to check out a car you see on the street displaying a for sale sign.

Thirdly, if it's offered for sale at my favorite consignment lot. I love going there. Lot's of different types of cars, no sales people. No pressure, in my mind, it's the equivalent of an automotive zoo.

Several years ago when I was in L.A. I saw an Aston Martin DB7 Volante offered up for sale at one of those non dealership lots that line the Main Streets of most cities. It was an import specialist lot, a couple of notches up from the "buy here, pay here" dealers with the sales office sitting on some mobile home axles.

I drove over thirty miles to check out that car. It was well worth it. I got to get up close and personal and really look closely at it. I got to sit inside of it, look under the hood and chassis. This was how I learned that there's an awful lot similarity between this Aston Martin and my XJS. (They are in fact, platform mates, kind of half siblings) That little kick up in the quarter panel ahead of the quarter window is present in both. (Aston did add a cool little winged emblem to that spot). They felt the same when I sat inside, I think that they even smelled the same! Perhaps I'm going a bit too far!

Okay, back on subject!

Earlier this month, I took the day off for my Birthday and after we went out for breakfast I took my Wife to the Toyota dealership to take a look at the XJR. It was a surprise to me that the car was not displayed in the showroom or even proudly parked in front. In fact, when we arrived, they didn't even know where the car was or if it had been sold. After asking around and making a couple of phone calls they figured out where it was and advised me that the car was "out back."

Even though the car was relegated to the rear of the dealership it was in beautiful shape with only 35,000 miles. The paint and interior were in excellent shape and the car had obviously always been garaged until now. I really liked the color scheme. The exterior was a light metallic pearl blue and the interior was even better. White leather seats with a blue dash and blue and white door panels. My only complaint was the white wood "poplar" veneer on the dash and console. Poplar was not too popular with my Wife. I think that a blond or white wood grain would have been more attractive.

Either way the car was beautiful. I no longer care for black or dark colored interiors, or exteriors for that matter. The car was offered at 21,000 dollars which was a bit high for the year. Originally it was priced new at around 80,000 bucks. Cars do not perform well as investments.  I checked NADA values, and it was a bit over priced. But the mileage was very low. The car had been offered for a few weeks already and it was still being advertised for another couple of weeks after we saw it. The price was dropped a couple of thousand bucks during that time and at now it is no longer listed. I'm guessing that it must have been sold. The unique color scheme probably had a lot to do with it's slow sales. Resale red would have been a safer bet.

While I was probably never actually going to buy this particular car. I would consider buying something like this. A fairly late model, relatively speaking, example in excellent condition. I am not going offer my critique as an example of "sour grapes."  It's obvious that later models replace the earlier ones. They are different, but the important thing is that they are newer, and can be found with lower mileages and in better condition. The time is approaching when I will want to buy the newest model that I can afford, because I'm not going to find it desirable or even practical to do extensive work on a project car. I'm not getting any younger!

Looks kind of like a surprised fish out of water.

I find the previous XK8 to be a more attractive car. While the proportions are similar, the earlier car is a more curvaceous homage to the E Type. The detailing of the lights and grille blends into the overall image better. Yes, it was a retro design, but it was beautiful in my eyes and my opinion was shared by thousands of other enthusiasts.

My Wife asked. "What's that silver thing on the fender for?"
Good question.

I think that the profile is the best view. 

The 3/4 view displays the dramatic roof line to it's best advantage.
Again, I find the rear lighting to be overly busy.

Ten out of ten! Love it!

I could get eventually used to the veneer.

XK8s have been around for quite a while. Their beauty is now overlooked by the masses. They are just seen as old cars. The XK would be perceived as a more up to date expression of the GT look. Though the XK has been replaced by the current F Type.

The passage of time doesn't make a car ugly. The styling cues of the past might now seem dated, or quaint, or ill advised, or sometimes just passe. It's the same passage of time also allows one to take a less jaundiced view of a car's styling.

Nothing I've written is meant to indicate that I think that the XK is an unworthy car.

I still like the XK8 and the XK but I already have a car that I find pretty nifty. I think that it's starting to look better and better as the years go buy

My XJS, as found.
Elegant simplicity.

The bumpers are a product of the times.
Those headlights will never yellow.

Time has not dimmed it's beauty.
In fact, the passage of time has allowed it to become more appreciated. 

Recent posts have detailed how I got my XJS up and running again, I'm ready to make a real commitment to getting it into shape. The great thing about being a car guy is finding something like this, especially at a bargain price.

My Adventure began that day.

Of course, the "buy in price" is just the beginning.

I never answered the question posed in the beginning. Would I be completely satisfied with the XK? Or even the XJS? Well, I've already got the XJS so let's just see what happens. No promises.