Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Jag is an old-school cruiser — big on the outside but a bit of a squeeze within. Its seller is hoping to squeeze some cash out of its sale. Let’s see how much that pinch should rightfully cost.
Demand and hence prices on used cars has been steadily climbing over the past year or so. Economists place the blame for the situation on a global chip shortage that has affected the supply of new cars and trucks. Fortunately, those missing chips aren’t the sort that comes with tasty batter-fried cod and malt vinegar. That would be a true tragedy.
With the used car market gone all topsy-turvy, our job here has become a lot harder. As it turns out, NPOND is a trailing economic indicator, and as a result, yesterday’s 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster got castigated in the comments for its $16,000 price. Despite being an apparently very nicely maintained car, it, like many of this week’s candidates, received the whole torch and pitchfork treatment. That was ultimately reflected in its 60 percent No Dice loss.
I think I know what the problem has been. All the cars and trucks we’ve looked at this week have asked five-figure prices. Many of us just aren’t ready for those sorts of numbers in the general used car market. Maybe something in the four-figure range will be more appealing. Perhaps even more so if it could be comparatively cheap while being fancy at the same time.
For a time, you couldn’t get much fancier than with a Jaguar. The British company, founded by Sir William Lyons, always positioned its cars as value-leaders in the luxury performance category. Considering that Jaguar is still around today while much of the rest of the British auto-making industry collapsed, that proved to be a reasonably safe harbor.
This 1996 Jaguar XJ-S convertible is pretty much the epitome of that luxury performance mantra. Introduced as a coupe in 1975, the XJ-S shared much of its underpinnings with the XJ saloon and initially offered only Jaguar’s V12 engine under the long, low bonnet. By the mid-’80s both a convertible version and a new 3.6-liter six-cylinder were added to the lineup, expanding the model’s appeal even further.
This one, in Glacier White over biscuit, hails from the last year of production and carries both a 4-liter version of the AJ6 DOHC straight-six and a slew of platform improvements made possible by Ford’s ownership of the marque at the time. Power should be around 245 horsepower and a healthy 289 lb-ft of torque. Mated to the big six is a four-speed automatic sourced from transmission maker, ZF.
The body kit applied to the last generation XJS does look a bit tacked on and almost aftermarket. The changes wrought included bigger body-colored bumper caps and a full-width tail lamp assembly with smoked lenses. In the front, a pair of cat’s eye headlamps still bracket the simple, narrow grille. Above that is a Jaguar badge rather than the saloon’s traditional Leaper.
A number of minor bodywork issues are noted in the ad’s pictures. Those include some scuffs on the front air dam and a bit of wonkiness in the fit of the chrome trim that caps the front bumper. Other than that, it looks to be solid and the paint seems to have held up well over the years. A set of wire wheels underpin and look a bit hokey if you’re not into such things. The beige top appears intact and covers an interior that is awash in leather and real wood. This being an old car that’s the last of the line of an even older model run, there are two ashtrays in the center console and both of those are bright chrome plated. You also get automatic climate control, power everything, and what looks to be the original AM/FM/cassette stereo in the dash. Cool! We don’t get to see much of the interior so it’s hard to gauge the condition of the heavy-use elements. At least we can tell that the dash and steering wheel both look ok.
The ad claims the car to have 112,000 miles and a clean title. It comes with all its original literature and some service records for your reading enjoyment. On the downside, the seller says that the ABS warning light is on and that the car is being sold “as-is.”
The asking price for this big luxurious cruiser is $8,000. See? I told you we’d look at something cheaper to wrap up the week. Is that cheap enough, however? What do you think, is this XJS worth that $8,000 asking in its “as-is” condition? Or, does that price make this a cat with no lives left?
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