DIY or pay a shop

All too often many buy an XJS in need of a ton of work for a very low price, with the intention of making it a great car on a shoestring budget as a DIY project. However, when faced with the reality of the cost and availability of parts alone throws them into shock. After this car has cost a great amount of time and money, the love you had, is many times lost and now they decide to sell it to someone else and let them deal with it.

Well, now the question is this, was the previous work performed done correctly or just patched and thrown together? Realistically there is no way to know. Sure the seller can and most times tell you what they think you want to hear which many times is not the truth. This is where a pre-purchase inspection is always a good idea, especially if buying long distance where you personally will not be inspecting the car. Most of these inspections will cost around $300 to $500 depending on how far the person may have to travel.

The people doing the inspection will do it on-site where most likely there are no lifts to get under the car for a good underbody inspection which I strongly recommend. Ignored close inspection prior to purchase can very easily cost you $6,000 plus just for the basics such as hose replacements and suspension and its rubber parts. My advice is to find a Jaguar dealership near the car if possible and you make the appointment and pay for a pre-purchase inspection normally around $125. Too many people think they got a great deal because the price is so low and brag about it! Then there are those who think they got over on the seller because they forced the seller to take a painful walk, kicking and screaming through the bargain basement! Well, I have news for you. That seller was acting and had a bottle of champagne chilling waiting for you to take on the albatross. There is no reason to grab the least costly XJS you can find when there are still many great examples that are good honest deals. This is best for a car you will service as well as one you will pay someone else to service it. Start off with the best example you can find.

I have heard the stories over the years since 2006 as I have purchased 20 XJS cars. Three for my own collection and 17 that I dismantled for my parts business. So I urge people to take your time inspecting an XJS before you buy the car. Do not bank on asking every tom dick and harry online what they think because they don’t! Let's face it, all the people who edge you on to by it, have no knowledge of the car in question and will not be contributing to any of the cost to repair, restore or service of the car once you buy it. Please pay someone who knows something about XJS or take the time to study buying guides before doing so. I too have written one. How to buy an XJS free here on our site.

To the others who are convinced that their DIY skills alone will make any basket case a good deal, then I have crying towels for sale to you at list price delivered to your door, and if you buy now! You will get two for the price of one. However, you will have to agree to pay for flood clean up fees for your long extended use. To purchase your XJS crying towels now, dial 555-555-5555. Comforting operators are available 24 hours.


  • Hi, very sound advice. It took a while to find my XJS. A 3.6 manual with every receipt from new and while the body was rust free the previous owner had entrusted the car to his “mechanic” mate who obviously had considerably more enthusiasm that knowledge. I don’t find these cars particularly complicated but they are heavy and require regular, not neccessarily frequent, inspection of brakes, suspension bushes etc. Do that and they reward you with unparalled reliability. Mine is genuinely my everyday car has done 190,000 miles on its original engine, gearbox AND CLUTCH!

    Gerry Summerfield
  • When I bought my xjs, I received all the maintenance receipts for it which was good. I knew the previous owner had the transmission rebuilt by Cottman at 60k miles. While it was being looked at by my mechanic I saw that Cottman may have rebuilt the tranny but reinstalled the old perished rear tranny mount. I was really happy to find that, before I had any future problems, as I was specifically looking for a known problem there as other xjs owners had warned.

  • Where are you in the US , I m looking for a part or 2

    Stephen Thomas
  • Hi LeRoy
    It’s always a pleasure to read your sensible and very spot on articles here on this site.
    Keep up the good work👍👍😁

    Jon Tore Jacobsen

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