This car was the first one I bought purely for emotional reasons: The Jaguar XJ has been among my top dream cars for as long as I know of its existence. This model’s history goes back to 1968 and across several product generations until today. My first recollection of riding in one goes back to the late eighties when we would spend the summer with friends in the UK who had an XJ40 as their family car.
I really like each generation of the XJ, but I think the X308 may well be the best car Jaguar ever made. It is cool, classy and stylish in a Jag-way, and it has got a wonderful V8. I bought this one in July 2013 and up until today, I intend to never sell it. Actually, my passion for this car (and countless learnings and experiences in maintaining it) made my start to blog about it in 2016 (you will find my blog at X308.net but only German, sorry).
This Jag doesn’t officially go by “XJ” even though it is one. Instead, it is officially called a “Jaguar Daimler V8 LWB” (LWB = long wheelbase). Being a Daimler version made it top of the line when it left the legendary Browns Lane factory back in the year 2000.
Back when it was new, my car was shipped to the owner of a machinery company in Regensburg, Bavaria. In the first years of its existence, this seems to have been his main company car as it acquired the first 100,000 kilometers (about 60,000 miles) within few years. As of 2006, it has only been driven only occasionally; all this is reproducible from the original service booklet which is still in the car. The booklet also tells you that this car has been maintained by official Jaguar dealerships throughout its whole life.
When I bought it in 2013 as a first hand car, the owner had sold his company and was also in the process to have all of his cars sold, preparing emigration to Florida. I was immediately impressed by the immaculate condition of interior and exterior; however, the car had been sitting in the garage for a few years so some things needed an overhaul.
Today I have the pleasure of using this car only when I feel like it (among other factors, this excludes any rainy day). Even after many years of owning this car, every ride still feels somewhat special. I love its classy look (I couldn’t think of a better looking sedan), the wonderfully comfy interior, and the smooth ride. Whenever I take a ride in it, it feels like a flashback into the 1990’s. Just wonderful.
One of the beautiful things about the Daimler V8 is that it really offers many possibilities for using it in special ways: It can be a family car for summer vacation, you can take it to Jaguar owners club meetings, it makes a wonderful wedding car, you can do trips with other classic cars, or just drive to the office in it; you will have just the right car for each of those occasions and you’ll have a lot of fun while doing it.
Over six years of owning it, I have only added 15,000 km (9,000 mls) to the speedometer. I still look back at it in delight when leaving the car at the end of a long drive, and can’t wait to get back in it for the next ride. It’s kinda like your favorite suit that makes you look your best. It’s always exciting to get dressed up in it but after awhile, it’s time to change into something more casual again.
Of course, owning this car hasn’t only been delight but also despair to a certain share. Maintaining it in a technically fault-free condition comes at a certain price. These were the main items I had to invest my Jaguar budget into (besides regular services):
- Replacement of chain tensioners and adjusters from plastic to aluminium ones
- Exchange of front axle bushings
- New multi belt
- New water pump without plastic parts in it
- Overhaul rear differential
- Spark plugs, brake discs and pads, tires
- And most of all: Keep fighting rust in the most different places (by far the most expensive chapter of this punch list)
I wrote a technical guide for this type of car based on all my experiences which can be found on my Jaguar X308 blog (but again, only in German, sorry).
All things considered, I have easily spent 15,000 Euro on repair and maintenance in the last six years. Maintaining this car doesn’t come at a discount but then again, this is the reason why you can buy many Tomorrow’s Classics for so little money…
I wouldn’t want to miss owning and driving the Jaguar X308 anymore and look forward to many more miles in it!
Tomorrows-Classics.net is all about sharing stories of beautiful cars that will soon be genuine classics. Do you have a special car and a story to share? I look forward to reading from you!