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