Speculators vs passionate owners


You are one of three people who buy an XJS. Two are so in love with the car, that you are in need of help. I mean the type of help you get when two people are in a room where one is taking notes as the other is laying on a couch describing how you feel when thinking about the XJS. You explain the excitement you have and understand why puppies hump people’s legs.

You know I am not the only one so it’s okay we can get through it together, or not and who cares! We are the envy of many. The younger owners are having the time of their youth. The mature owners who owned one in its early years may have met the love of their life while driving it, then you became a traditional family and the two-seater was no longer practical, so you traded it for a station wagon. But now you can experience it all over again, wow! It feels so good as you are truly in heaven!

Now let’s address the third type of buyer who may not have any passion and is just a speculator.  There are some speculators who may truly love the brand and see the value in making an investment in something you love. We passionate XJS owners in any age group buy the car because we are those as described earlier and the idea of it becoming an emerging classic was never part of the motivation, therefore an asset increasing in value is just the icing on the cake.

Now, on the other hand, there are those who have no love for a classic and may consider anything with an engine and for wheels just a mode of transportation. This reminds me of the guy who raised his paddle and won an item at auction then stood up and said he wanted to sell it, and when the auctioneer asked what he meant, he responded, that thing I just bought.

This I believe is the type of speculator that bought one of Jerry Seinfeld’s extremely rare Porsches for $1,540,000 at auction and most likely overpaid for it because of its provenance. Many of this type of buyer place it in another auction shortly thereafter, then when they cannot make a healthy return, they then get upset because another buyer will not make them whole. This buyer tried to get Seinfeld to buy it back as he said he would make it right if they could produce any evidence that it was not as represented. Rather they sued him claiming it was not as represented by the auction house.

I can understand investing in collectibles and classic cars as strictly business. I too am forming an investment syndicate to purchase many XJS cars for a plan that will be shared at a later date.  However, it will not be based on a turn and burn speculation. But I will share a tip, these cars will be available for people to drive. I began buying classics for my own collection in September 2002 when I decided to formally close my wall street business following the events of the previous year.

I purchased 14 cars in a two-year period after relocating to Hilton Head Island. The cars consisted of a couple of Rolls, several Mercedes and a few Jags leading up to my first XJS in 2004. I purchased cars that I always wanted to own but as a jet setter for many years, I never had the time. I did know that these cars were very rare and valuable. Some began to increase within a few years to where I several times tripled or more, my original investment. Did I make a profit on all of them? Absolutely not, but neither did I lose any money. But I did not buy any of them to sell and only did so when made offers I could not refuse and needed the money.

So, I say to anyone who is considering buying an XJS, to buy it and enjoy it. But do buy the best example you can afford, or you will be spending years of trying to get a cheap car running right and to make into a proper Jaguar and perhaps never finish and end up selling at a loss because you just want to see it go. As the brand increases in value, be sure to update your insurance if you are driving accordingly, and if by chance someone offers to buy it later, you can tell them not for all the tea in China.   

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