Jaguar XJ40 & X300Jaguar XJ40 & X300 Published: 9th Feb 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!
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● Wide range ● Value for money ● XJ40 styling & rarity
Much needed successor to classic XJ strain that was better dynamically but suffered poor build and quality issues from the outset and have always dogged both ranges. Square-cut XJ40 look was a matter of taste – although their rarity and age mean increasing interest as a classic – and replaced by more traditional looking X300 in the early 1990s along with a host of improvements and a better build. As with all Jags, jaw-dropping value for money is guaranteed but there’s far too many scabby cats around and you get what you pay for.
Any car following in the tyre tracks of the XJ6 and XJ12 was always in for a tough time. Say what you will about the XJ40, but few will argue that it wasn’t an improvement on the old design, providing astonishing ride and handling qualities as well as Rollslike refinement. Engine choice ranges from a 2.9-litre ‘six’ to the famous V12 and these are poles apart. The former is the ‘2.8 XJ6’of the range in every sense. Better are the 3.6 along with the later 3.2 and better still, the 4.0 variants as they are not only better performers but also more durable (heads and gaskets can fail on the 2.9) and frugal.
Stamina was hardly this XJ’s forte and condition counts the most when looking around, although in a perfect world the 3.6 and 4.0 ranges are best all rounders. The V12 is as magnificent as ever and the top cat so long as running costs aren’t a concern.
The rarity of the XJ40 is already starting to affect values – most exclusive of the lot are the TWR XJRs which boast chassis mods and a body kit. Trim levels range from a cloth trim basic spec to luxury Daimler delights.
If you’re after the most metal for your money, then look no further as these cars are as cheap-as-chips and usually sell for banger money (that’s a good way to ensure cheap parts for years). However, we’d budget around £1500 as the starting point to ensure you get good well cared for models – but many aren’t. At the top end, £4000 is our limit for something exceptional but check for some crafty bodges.
There’s lots to go wrong with these old Jaguars and many of the problems stem from lack of proper care due to their ultra low prices. Rust can be bad on the oldest examples and even decent cars can be cosmetically compromised. Trim quality was never great, especially on XJ40, so expect to see a lot of tired, shabby interiors, although there’s enough scrapped cars to ensure good replacements.
The electrics and electronic gubbins, again mainly XJ40, were a nightmare so see everything works – particularly the dash. Mechanically, the car is so-so; the AJ6 engines are the sturdiest bit although the single cam 2.9 is the weakest link. At the rear, differentials can fail but usually here the rear suspension’s geometry may be out of adjustment. Some XJ40s ran on metricsized wheels and tyres but probably they have been swapped to conventional sizes by now. With so many unloved cars out there it’s best to buy the best you can from the outset as many repairs, some quite ordinary, will outstrip the car’s true value.
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