Saturday, October 31, 2020

 It's always something, the more cars you have the more stuff there is.

Sometimes I feel like I'm buried
at the bottom of that pile!

I reported that I replaced the radiator in the XJ6. 

I'm quite concerned about the up coming smog test. 

There was a code displayed concerning the air injection, so I took a look at the pump and plumbing. I had posted a question about the code on the Jaguar forum and I had received an answer. The reply was to check the valve that connected the output of the air pump to the exhaust manifold. The valve can fail causing a problem. I thought I'd take a look at the area to anticipate how difficult replacement might be. 

I found a vacuum line to the pump that was completely disconnected from the air box,  How long had that been like that? For the previous smog test I had checked the air ducting from the MAF sensor to the throttle body and had found a loose connection. I fixed that and was able to reset the CEL. The car passed the smog test but it needed about fifty miles of varied driving with a a 3/4 full fuel tank. 

I once again used the code reader that my Son had lent me, and successfully cleared all codes and extinguished the CEL. I hadn't done that since the last smog test.

I will fill up the gas tank and drive the car until the CEL trips again and recheck for codes. If I can make it to 100 miles without the CEL coming back on, I'll rush down to the smog station.

Maybe I'll get lucky!

The Explorer got a little attention. I wanted to drive it up to Lake Tahoe next week, so I gave it a going over.

I'm been keeping an eye out looking under the hood, checking for leaks and the condition of the belts and hoses.  No leaks found and everything else looks good. Checking back in my photo files I discovered that I've owned the Explorer for four years! It didn't seem like that long ago that I brought it home. 

However one morning it refused to start, so I had to use another vehicle. 

I checked the battery and found one dry cell. Interestingly enough it  restarted a bit later without a jump and I put it in the driveway. I hooked up a charger and brought it up to full voltage. It fired the motor enthusiastically but the next morning it was almost dead.

Time for a new battery. I just put one in the '07 Mustang a few months ago! 

It turns out the battery is five years old, right about at the end of it's lifetime. It must have been about a year old when I bought the Explorer. 

This time I just decided to quit shopping around and go to my local auto store, Winchester Auto. They provided me with a Napa Legend replacement battery, knocked 15.00 off for a AAA discount and I carried it out the door for 130.00.  Ouch! 

A week later I decide I'm taking it to Tahoe so I check the air filter. It's definitely dirty. For some reason Winchester doesn't have a listing for it and I have to order it from O'Reilly's! 21.00

An oil change was needed and sounded good. I took it down to my usual place, Oil Changers. They have a service special that gives you four oil changes for the price of three. Only 154.00! Well, it is a savings of around 45 bucks, and it's not like I don't have five more cars! It's a good deal. 

Here's what it looked like when I got it.That scuffed up old front tire
was still there until a couple of days ago.

When I replaced the rear tires a couple of years back, I had them mounted blackwall out, I figured that I'd be getting new front tires soon enough and could ditch those RWL (Raised White Letter) Bridgestones.

I've been driving it with RWL letters in front for years I hate obviously mismatched tires like that. It just looks so declasse!

Being the classy guy that I am, I tried to paint the sidewalls black with a spray can. Should have used lacquer, the enamel flaked off and it looked even worse. 

Since I was already in that part of town, I dropped by Calderon's Tires. My favorite used tire store.

Last time I was there, about a month ago, I had them remove the tires from the '51 Jag's original wheels, so I could more easily store the rims in the car. I'm sure that some future owner pf the Jaguar will want to mount some bias plys on those old wheels. They gave me what sounded like a good deal on removing and disposing of the tires. Forty bucks. I guess they wanted to make their money back, this time. They wanted 25.00 ea. to flip and balance the tires! Why haggle over a few bucks? I wanted it done. It looks so much better now. I went home and washed the newly exposed sidewalls with Blechewhite then treated them with Turtle Wax protectant spray.

It looks so much better than the RWL.

A wash, quick wax, vacuum, and cleaning of all the windows, and the Explorer was standing proud. Standing proud is a term that I read in a book about auto detailing. It seems to fit.

Presentable. That's a word that I like to use. The word is presentable. It doesn't mean that a car is restored, or even in prefect shape. It just has to be clean, well maintained and project the impression that the owner actually cares about the machine. I don't feel embarrassed to drive my Explorer anywhere, It looks like it's been fairly well cared for. Or maybe it's just me, I don't shame too easily.

Standing proud.

I like to tell my Wife. "One of the good things about being an old man is that you don't care any more about how you look. And... one of the bad things is, that you don't care any more about how you look!

I've been a bit concerned about my '96 Mustang. I replaced the radiator cap after returning from Lake Tahoe. It did spill some coolant after that. I may have overfilled the coolant and I might have failed to completely screw down the cap. It has a different feel from the OEM cap. The temperature gauge seemed to move a round a bit still. I figured I'd just drive it and keep and eye out.

A couple of days ago I thought that I'd take it out for a little spin out to Los Gatos, about a forty mile round trip, primarily made during afternoon commute traffic on surface streets with 85 degree weather. The gauge didn't go past midway though it looked a little jerky, maybe the temperature sending unit is going bad. It didn't get hot or puke any coolant. I might replace that next. 

I've been so fired up that I even started doing some work on "fabbing up" the master cylinder mounts for the old Mark VII.

It's not more money more problems, it's more cars more problems!

Maybe I'll have to do something about that situation.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

The person in the passenger seat.

That seat back there was reserved for the Mother in Law!

In my case, that would be who is often humorously referred to in old car stories as "my long suffering spouse."

My Wife road comfortably in this seat on our trip to Lake Tahoe.
                                                                 Well almost most of the time.

My Wife is not an enthusiast or even very interested in cars. She doesn't especially enjoy driving. Cars and driving are just things that are a necessary part of life, like going to work, doing the housework, cooking and cleaning. I guess that she is like the great majority of people, she saves her enthusiasm for things that she cares about, like her family, home, and her Art.

I knew that she wasn't  a car or motorcycle enthusiast going in, but her other outstanding qualities far outweighed that shortcoming.

She knew that I was a car and motorcycle enthusiast going in, but she overlooked that, and saw I had a few other redeeming qualities.

I saw that it was my responsibility to provide her with good, safe, reliable, non embarrassing, transportation. For the most part of our marriage I fulfilled that obligation.

Then "something"happened.

To be honest, I never really considered how she felt about my cars, especially as long as she had a decent car to drive. I imagine she thought that all my energy spent thinking about old cars was kind of silly. Like a lot of car guys I made sure that there was at least one "good car" for us to go out in.

There was another thought that never really crossed my mind.

I never considered if she was embarrassed to be seen in my old cars.

We had some neighbors years ago, a young couple, like we were back then. He worked in the computer industry writing code, I think. I'm not sure what she did. They were nice middle class people, recent homeowners like us. A few years later they moved up to the Sacramento area and bought a really nice new house. I'd heard that he had always wanted an old car and he had bought a decades plus, old Lincoln Mark III. That just needed a little work!

photo source:
It really wasn't quite this bad. It just looked like that to her!

We visited them once, and he of course, wanted to show me the Mark. The look on his Wife's face was incredible! She obviously hated that old car. She hated it so much that she couldn't stop herself from telling us about it. We all went for a ride in it. It stalled out once, probably because the engine was still cold, but her husband got it restarted after coasting to the curb. She was incensed that it would "break down" like that. She couldn't see why he would buy something like this, something that you couldn't depend on, when you could afford to drive a reliable new car. (They actually also had two newer cars.)

She then told us how her parents always bought new cars once they could afford it. They only drove older cars when they were first married and broke. Her Dad had impressed upon her the idea that a used car is just someone else's problems. That's why they got rid of it. I began to understand why she felt the way that she did, when she added that only people that couldn't afford new cars, bought used ones. It was all related to self image and status.

Driving that old car, being seen in that old car, and even just the fact that they owned a car like that, was a huge come down in social respectability and status. At least in her eyes! And worst of all, it was a flashy old luxury car! They were like all those pathetic poor people, the kind that put on airs, trying to impress others by driving some rich person's cast off status symbol.  The horror!

While I didn't agree with her, I could empathize with her point of view.

The Doctor is in.

I remember watching an episode of Dr. Phil years ago. In this particular episode, a professional couple had decided to move out to the country and had bought a property on several acres. It turns out that her husband really began to embrace the ethos of rural living and started to listen to Country music and even bought himself a big 4x4 truck. That was bad enough, but then he had it jacked up and fitted it with huge tires. He loved it! She did not. In fact she really hated it, and she began to find herself feeling a bit the same way about her husband. It was starting to take a toll on their marriage and they turned to Dr. Phil for advice.

As the couple explored and shared their feelings, it became apparent that the truck was just a big toy for the husband. Everyone else around them had a truck like that, it also filled some real needs around the ranch, but it was primarily a "hoot." He didn't force his Wife to drive, or even ride in it, so why was she so upset? When Dr. Phil asked her why she disliked the truck so much, she told him that her husband was a successful professional man, "It's just so beneath him." Then the Dr. asked the salient question. "Is it that the truck is beneath him, or is it that the truck is beneath you?"

She admitted that she really felt that the truck was beneath her. She explained that she had always supported her husband's plans and dreams, through college and during the rough times getting started in his career when they were first married. She had done her part, kept their house, raised the kids, scrimped and saved, and now it was her time to enjoy the fruits of their life's work.

Some jacked up Redneck truck didn't figure into that equation.

Again, I can see her point. We are all working to have the things that we need and want. Respectability, if not status, is something that most of us want. How we define and achieve that end is what makes the difference. Believe it or not, I want that same thing too. Maybe my interpretation has been a little "different".

Is what I've been doing  just been a huge embarrassment to my Wife?

If so, it hasn't been my intention, though my Rat Rod stage was probably my most flagrant abuse to our self image. If she ever had a right to express her feelings, that would have been the time!

To be honest, if it wasn't for my Wife, I wouldn't have much to show in the area of social mobility. She wanted nicer things, I wanted to provide them for her. She has worked and done her part, she is very smart and manages and directs  most (all!) of our familial affairs. That's something that I respect and value, and one of the reasons that I married her. For my part, I just supply the grunt work.

Not that I haven't enjoyed some personal accomplishments. Without her influence though, I'd probably be living in some run down little house, with a Harley in the garage, and an old Cadillac in the driveway. Not that it sounds so bad to me at all!

Now when I show her pictures of old cars for sale on Craig's List she has a tendency to comment on how big they appear. Yes, I suppose 1950's and 60's Cadillacs are kind of big.

The problem with my new sensitivity is that now I can't just ignore her feelings.

Is this kind of like what the young folk refer to as being "Woke?"

I constantly expose her an array of imagery from the Web, displaying a variety of "interesting" old cars. I gauge her reactions as I suggest that one of these might be something that I'd like to own. I guess you could say that I'm tying to desensitize her to the idea. She's not fooled, as she knows that I'm so deep into my current batch of cars that there's no money for anything "new." 

She knows me too well. That's also one of the things that I like about her!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Maybe newer cars are better for older enthusiasts?

2015 V6 Mustang 18,995.00

Or at least some of them.

Like me, Maybe?

I've observed over the years that older guys usually buy better cars. New, near new, or just in really good shape.

They would buy the really good original, or the previously restored car.

I used to criticize them a bit when I was younger. They were just taking the "easy way out!" It makes a lot of sense.

Why would you want to start out with something that needs everything?

Some guys like the challenge, and I suppose that they like the actual work itself.

These are the kind of guys that want things to be perfect.

They enjoy the process, especially when they can control the entire process.

That's fine, to each their own. I've never been accused of needing things to be perfect.

For me, cars are all about the driving.

I enjoy the cleaning, detailing, routine repairs and maintenance. But I don't especially enjoy the heavy wrenching.  I was never suited to taking on the long term project.

I remember seeing car magazine photo shoots from the 50's and 60's.  They always include a shot of the owner standing next to a toolbox, looking under the hood with a screwdriver or wrench in their hand.

That's cool, but if you took my picture, I'd want to be photographed sitting behind the wheel. I'd be checking out a road map planning my next trip.

I guess that you could say that I've gotten kind of lazy, and to be honest, you'd be right!

Not just lazy but older, and I would hope also a bit smarter. Unfortunately not really any richer.

I've always been willing to put in the work because that's the only way I could afford to drive any car or motorcycle when I was younger.

I've pulled the heads to perform a valve job, pulled engines, transmissions, radiators,
springs, ball joints and more.

I've pulled body parts like fenders and doors, hatches and deck lids. Sanded primed and prepped. 

The last really big jobs I've done was to replace the control arms on my '96 Mustang and the transmission in my '89 XJS.

Can't say that I'm honestly looking forward to more work.

I've written that the trick is always to find a desirable car in good shape, at the right price.

Even I have learned that lesson. Most of my cars are in pretty good cosmetic and interior shape. My XJS, XJ6, '96 Mustang, and even, my old Explorer.

It's satisfying to bring a somewhat neglected car back to good cosmetic condition.

Once I get my garage back into shape then I'll be able to proceed with some of my mechanical projects. These have been on hold due to a lack of garage space, funds, and most of all gumption.

The '51 Jag is more of a project than most of the cars that I purchased in the past. The biggest thing is that it was not a running and driving car on purchase. This car needs some bodywork and paint, but also some mechanical work. Even some fabrication and updating. I usually avoided buying cars in this condition.

The biggest problem with this particular car isn't what it needs, it's sourcing the parts that it needs. With my '70 Mustang, I replaced the master cylinder, wheel cylinders, hard and soft hydraulic lines, shoes, drums and brake hardware. All of this stuff was readily available and affordable. That's why traditional common knowledge says that you should always buy a car to restore that has good parts support.

I'm really experiencing that now, new replacement parts for the braking system of the Mark VII are pretty much unavailable. It's even quite difficult to rebuild the parts that are on it currently.

The whole point of this hobby is enjoyment. When you stop enjoying it then you're in trouble.

Jaguar are beautiful cars but they are troublesome. I've always said that there is always a kernel of truth in every stereotype. They are high maintenance. Their parts are not as long lived as parts used in more prosaic American and Japanese vehicles. I've been following a couple of threads where XK8 owners are complaining that the replacement poly urethane parts that they sourced for their suspension repairs are failing after very short mileages. They are not lasting even as long as the OEM equipment, which isn't very long in the first place.

Could my Jaguar romance be soon coming to an end? Maybe.

I've been on the web looking for newer cars that fit my requirements.

I used to like older Cadillacs because they were nice cars, pretty easy to find in good condition, and were relatively inexpensive.  Searching the web I've found 2000 and newer Cadillacs, both full size DeVille types as well as mid size CTS models at pretty fair prices. There are Lincoln Town Cars that also fit the bill. These might satisfy my "plush car" fix.

Maybe I should be looking at Chrysler 300s. They look pretty cool and could be lightly customized. You also have your choice of V6 and V8 models. Magnum wagons are still out there too.

Of course there are always Mustangs.

Look at that orange beauty at the top of the posting.  I love the color. All I would need to do is wash, wax, detail, maintain... and drive. That sounds very good to me. Except that I forgot to add... PAY!

The later V6 models with 300 hp. are just as good as the earlier V8 GTs. They get better fuel economy. They come standard with a dual exhaust system. I would just leave the engine and running gear stock. My 2007 V6 coupe is plenty fast and it has 100 hp. less.

A couple of days ago I was driving by a nice townhome complex designed for retired folks. I pass by this location frequently. I couldn't see any garages just carports. (It's possible that there might be a single attached garage and a covered parking space also included in the package.)

How could a car guy like me live in a situation like that?

I could imagine that an old gent would catch my condescending drift and answer, "Hey Buddy, I don't need to work on my cars any more. This baby's new, and all I've got to do is take it to the car wash every couple of weeks. I'll save whatever energy I've got left for driving. Maybe you should grow up."


What would be wrong with that? Even for a true enthusiast. The only true measure of the hobby is the enjoyment that you derive from it.

Today it was really hot, 100 degrees. That's not normal, but I have to admit that it's not the kind of weather that makes me want to crawl under a car! Truth be told, there isn't much that makes me want to crawl under a car these days.

Friday, October 9, 2020

The Progression (?)
Keep it moving. Movement is the illusion of progress.

Sisyphus knows all about futility.

He worked so hard all day long only to find that he had lost all his ground overnight.

His curse was the result of divine decree by Zeus, for his transgressions in life. Mine is a self imposed futility. Perhaps for my transgressions of hubris?

I have lately got to thinking, "when did I start buying cars that needed work? " I used to buy what I called "good" cars. Cars that ran well and looked good, at least better than the cars that I was trading up from!

When I was younger I didn't have much money to spend on cars and whatever extra money I did have, I preferred to spend on also having a motorcycle.

The bikes were usually used, but they were in pretty good shape, except for my first Harley. It was a previously chopped Sportster that I knew was trouble going in. However I was confident that I could fix it.

Thinking back, I have never bought what I ( the operative word is "I"!) consider to be a junker. Something that was wrecked, didn't run, and had a shredded interior. Well, maybe just one out of three, of those areas! I suppose that others, especially my Wife, might have had other opinions.

The idea was always to buy better and better cars.

After all, I was getting older and somewhat better off financially.

This progression of ownership finally led to the purchase of several almost new, and even a couple of brand new vehicles.

Then "something" happened.

For some reason I began to reverse course. I stopped looking at new cars for satisfaction and fulfillment. Instead, I began to reference a mythical "Golden Age" sometime in my youth, where I found joy in the older cars that were the only things that I could afford to buy.

Was this the onset of the stereotypical middle age crisis?

I think that it was partly because I reached a point where I couldn't afford to buy the better new car that I aspired to.

It's also when I realized that they were no longer building the kind of cars that I really liked.

Oh, I still bought the new cars that I needed for the family. An '84 Cougar to replace my beloved '77 Coupe de Ville.  Our first minivan, a '90 Dodge Caravan. A '90 Honda Civic SI coupe. (Actually the Honda was a little something to satisfy my enthusiast cravings.)

I bought some late model used cars because these models were too expensive for me to buy new. My '94 Seville STS and '97 Chrysler Town and Country fell into that category.

It was while driving my Honda Civic that I again began to yearn for some good old American Iron.

This led to the purchase of my '71 Riviera. This car was in nice shape. It a had recent paint job and the interior was immaculate. It was a really nice car that I protectively kept in the garage. It ran well and only needed a few repairs during my ownership.

I should have been satisfied, but I got the great idea that I would buy an example of each of the three generations of early Rivieras; A '63-65, a 66-69, and would keep my '71.

This started me down a rabbit hole.

photo source: medium .com
Obviously Alice wasn't first or last!
Move over Alice I'm coming through! 

Over the years I've bought vehicles that I have been satisfied with, but not fulfilled by.

My F150 has been very satisfying to me. Besides it's utility, I like the way it looks and drives. I've taken it all over the Western United States and have enjoyed the experiences. Does it satisfy my enthusiast soul? No.

Those two minivans were great for family trips and we went all over the West Coast in them. Did I enjoy the experience? Yes I did. Did it satisfy my enthusiast soul? Of course not, they were minivans!

Can I find something, anything, preferably a later model, to satisfy my enthusiast soul?

For some reason it just seems to get more difficult. I find myself in kind of a weird place. 

Are there new cars that I would like to own? Yes there are. First, is a new Mustang GT convertible. Second, would be a Lincoln Aviator. Those commercials with Mathew McConaughey have had their desired effect. I'm keeping my eyes open for when values on these latest  models drop down to my level.

This regression is marching hand in hand with a subject that I'm raising in another post. My Wife's attitude to my old cars. As my taste in old cars gets worse will I some day encounter some real resistance from her on their purchase? 

Maybe I should try to discern what that "something" that happened to me actually was.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

 Thinking about historical registration. Part Two.

That's a lot of red!

Sometimes action takes precedence over thought.

I went ahead and sent off my application for my historical vehicle registration plates. A couple of weeks later they showed up in my mailbox. During those two weeks I decided to order a personalized license plate frame. I wanted to emphasize the historic nature of my automobile. 1989 was the first year of the production XJS convertible. Earlier  examples were custom conversions. The first factory approved conversions were built by Hess and Eisenhardt. I've seen one of those cars. They were very crudely modified, miles away from my refined factory model.

I attached the license plate and frame to my car. I decided that I would take it out of the garage and take it for a drive. I wanted to add at least twenty miles to the odometer, get it fully warmed up, and get the juices flowing. The car has been sitting for at least a couple of months though I did run the trickle charger for an afternoon a couple of weeks ago. 

The car fired right up and after I took it out of the garage I only saw few drops of oil on the garage floor. I have an extended loop around my greater neighborhood that will add the twenty miles I desired. The car ran fine, though I do stop and check for any leaks under the hood after it had warmed up.

I decided that I would keep an informal log on the mileage and use of the car. I don't imagine that I'll be adding too many miles in the near future.

I've got every issue now.

The Best of Old Cars Weekly.

I recently purchased some of the issues that were missing from my collection. I now have all six issues.  I subscribed to Old Cars Weekly for a few years back in the 1990s and have a couple of boxes of them stashed away up in the attic. 

These anthologies are just chock full of information. I can look through them and just read the topics that catch my attention at the time, ignoring the rest. The next time I revisit the issue I'll find other things I'd like to read. I take them with me on vacation, where I have the time to delve even deeper into the issue. These are real, old fashioned, newspaper formats. Sometimes there's a page with nothing but pure verbiage, not even a small photo to break up the page! I don't think that format would be well received by Millennials and other young folk. but I find it endlessly interesting. 

There are reprints of the weekly columns that were included in the paper. Some seem quite old fashioned even though they only date from the early 1970s. Especially the one entitled "Young Nuts and Old Bolts! I graduated from high school in 1973. It's hard to believe that's almost fifty years ago!

Sagas  of the Old West.

The author of this column lived through the early days of car collecting in the late 1940s and 1950s. He relates how he owned several rather rare and desirable Classics from the 1930s. He knew of many others who also owned many of these cars. These were just old unwanted cars at the time. They were worth very little, and the cars were only twenty years  or so old at the time. That meant that many were in quite good original condition. They could be freshened up and brought back to respectable condition quite easily. Paint and plating was polished and waxed. Leather upholstery was treated and restitched, and mechanical systems were freshened up a bit. The biggest problem at the time was finding good tires. Many were re-capped, a common practice up through the 1960s. 

Many of these enthusiasts owned their car s for only a short period of time. They would sell them to trade up to another more desirable model. Most could not afford to build up a collection, even if they had that inclination at the time. But some did. Restoration was not a consideration, you just didn't spend much money or energy fixing up an old car. You would drive it and fuss with it for a while. If you had too many problems, you'd just find another one in better condition.

In many ways that situation has a lot in common with me and my XJS. The car looks pretty good and I've got it up and running. I can drive it a bit just as it is, even without rebuilding the suspension. My primary concern is preservation. Luckily I'm now able to keep the car protected, inside a garage, under a cover. I may not be the perfect owner, with plenty of money and a perfectionist's attitude, but it's currently mine.  This model of car has been passing through a long period of undesirability and disinterest. Low values went along with that. But there is evidence of a light at the end of the tunnel, and I pretty sure it's not an approaching train! 

Speaking of XJS' I had an interesting experience a few weeks later. I passed by the Wheels and Deals consignment lot in Santa Clara and happened upon a very forlorn green (!) Jaguar. It looked about as neglected, at least cosmetically, as any XJS I'd ever seen.

The paint is very rough, but the body is straight.

I immediately noticed that it was a facelift model, a 1996, the last year of this model. It was also equipped with the fabulous 4.0 straight six motor. This same motor is in my XJ6. It is a rag top, rag being the operative word, and it's got the 16 inch alloys which I would like for my car!

I took a quick look inside and noticed that the interior was in slightly better shape than mine. Still the clear coat was peeling and whatever paint was left was oxidized badly. There were no rust spots that very easily visible. The asking price was appropriate, 2,100.00. A fair price. This surprised me a bit, as so many folks selling old cars tend to overvalue them. I continued my rounds through the lot.

That top is dirty but still intact.
I've never seen alloy wheels so dirty and oxidized.

As I was finishing my loop I noticed an older gent standing by the Jaguar, eyeing it quite closely. I watched him for a few minutes then I approached, maintaining my social distance, and keeping my mask firmly in place. I'm a Jaguar booster and apologist, so I initiated a conversation. "That's a '96, the last model of this series, by now all the bugs were worked out. It's also got the best engine, the 4.0 litre straight six, probably the best engine Jaguar ever made." 

In my opinion, the best engine Jaguar has ever made.

The gentleman said that he didn't know anything about Jaguars but the idea of a convertible was appealing as he was approaching retirement.  I told him that among Jag fans this configuration was held in high regard. The best engine, reliable, long lived and fairly easy to work on. The transmission was still a General Motors unit, but a newer design with overdrive.  These have been much better in the long run, than the Mercedes and BMW designs used in the newer models.

I hate to say it, but I think that the seats are better than mine.

The guy told me that he was looking for  a project. I said that there was a lot here to keep a guy busy. The placard stated that there had been brakes and some services done. I added that the suspension bushings usually were worn out and needed replacing. The parts weren't that expensive but there was a bit of labor to the job. He mentioned that he had worked on his own cars before though as he had mentioned , he wasn't familiar with Jaguars. I shared some of my Jaguar experiences with him. Still, I said if the motor and transmission are okay and the car passes smog, it might not be bad. He pointed out that the registration tags were current. That was a very good sign.

I told him that the cosmetics would be pricey to fix. The top, paint. interior and miscellaneous items. He wondered if the paint could buffed out and touched up. The body was straight, though the tail lamps and rear bumper cover were cracked. If you just fixed it up a bit it could be a fun car, and the price was right. Just don't caught up in trying to make it perfect. That would take you down the rabbit hole. 

I gave him a referral to the Jaguar forums and told him that he could find all the help he needed there. It was a great online community. We introduced ourselves and I told him if I came back and the car was gone, I'd keep an eye out on the road for him and the car. 

Would he take the plunge with the car? There were some attractive features on the car. Who knows. I kind of liked it myself, but I've got my own problems to deal with at home. Just like in "Sagas of the West," that XJS was like the neglected and undervalued Classics of the past, waiting to be rescued.

It may well be that I'm just biding time and holding onto my own car for the next owner That's alright with me. I don't have any real attachment or affection for the car. As long as someone will be willing to pay a fair price for it, I'll be happy to turn it over to the next caretaker.  Though I don't currently have it actively for sale, if someone saw it and made a good offer, the car would be on it's way.  

If it was only that easy.