Cars are a little bit like children, in that if you nurture them from a young age, odds are that they'll be more desirable to others and valuable later on in life. Conversely, if you neglect them and leave them unattended for years on end, the result will be this haggard Jaguar XK8 - blistered, broken, and barely holding on. Cue Sarah Mclachlan.
This 1997 Jaguar XK8 Convertible is like that cool uncle you had as a kid, except you've grown up and you've realized that the divorce left him a lot worse than you thought and apparently it is possible to string together a sentence with a .27 BAC. The car has been battered by the sun's ever-present UV rays, bad parking jobs, and the relentless Jaguar electrical gremlins. The prognosis isn't good, but the car is theoretically saveable, because it's cheap, has had only one documented owner, and it's a Jaaaaaag.
Was the car looked after? Probably not, but it's not above anything a lick of paint and some elbow grease can't fix, I reckon. Here's what the seller has to say:
This is a decent car that needs some love to be back on the road. Nice overall with good body, chrome wheels, good top. Interior can be very nice with a good cleaning and some minor repairs. Engine cranks over smoothly but will not fire and run- not clear what is wrong. This was a running/driving car until one morning recently when it would not start.Body is overall pretty good. The only damage is a repairable hole in the front bumper (a body shop friend of mine says it can be repaired) and the right front headlight lens was broken (and they are available used or new- less $$ than you think). No damage otherwise. Paint is original and fading all over. Nice chrome wheels with great tires. Interior is good and really needs a good cleaning and some minor repairs to be very nice again. Rear seat and passenger front seat are great- driver seat has a small break in the leather on the lower cushion and the backrest cover has come unsnapped from the frame- all easy fixes. Carpets need a good shampoo to be nice again. The sun visors are off the car- driver side is in the trunk- passenger is missing. Good wood, good door panels and interior panels, and the cupholder seems to still work too. The top is in good shape with no breaks or holes in the material, good glass, and still has good color for being original.
Would I buy it? At this price, why the hell not. The only reason I'm not putting in an offer is that it would cost more to ship to me on the frigid East Coast than I'd pay purchasing the car. For anyone a bit closer, I wouldn't hesitate to at least give this car a look. It looks like a great project, and it would be a delve into the complex, unforgiving, but ultimately rewarding world of Jaguar ownership. Do it because getting your hands dirty can be a ton of fun.
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Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world's cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he's the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn't feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.