1988 Jaguar XJ6 2.9 from UK and Ireland
Very little, apart from a replacement alternator, fuel pump and new shocks all round. Everything else has been consumables, such as exhaust system, brake pads, tyres etc.
This car has been (and still is) excellent. It has never let me down in the years I have owned it, and I still find it a real pleasure to drive.
The XJ40 was a massive improvement on the previous models. Having had the dubious pleasure of a series 2, 3.4 ltr and a 4.2 series 3, believe me, there is no comparison. The series 1 through 3 Jaguars were shocking in almost every respect. Non-existent build quality, crap XK engines that were knackered at about 70,000 miles, rust from top to bottom, and endless breakdowns and failures. I am not one of these who looks at series Jags through rose tinted, "classic" glasses. Still, each to their own, and I can only speak as I find, or have found.
Anyway, back to the 40. Personally I like the styling. Can't really see what all the fuss is about with the curves. They may look alright on your missus, but not necessarily on cars. The 40 is chunky and unmistakeably a Jaguar, which is more than can be said for the new models, good as they may be.
That said, the old 40 is not without some niggling faults, often in the electrical department. Rarely do these prevent the car from running, and most owners shrug their shoulders and learn to live with them.
Engine wise, the AJ6 units are robust pieces of kit, which given regular servicing, may well outlive their owners. The 2.9 has an unfair reputation for poor reliability. Take this with a pinch of salt. They are infinitely better than the XK engine, and if it's timing chain trouble you're looking for, then buy an XJ8 and all your prayers will be answered!
One thing to watch on all AJ6 engines is the potential to clog the breather pipes with oil residue, which looks like mayonnaise, which upon sight would have most people running for the hills, convinced the head gasket was about to expire. Fear not my friends, on these engines it's a fairly normal occurrence. Don't leave it there too long though, as it will eventually impair performance and lead to some pretty erratic running. A couple of hours to clean the pipes, and all will be well.
Mechanically these cars are fairly conventional, with most jobs well within the scope of your average D.I.Y owner. At least you won't be cursing for hours over those ridiculous inboard brakes found on previous models. Nice and straightforward on the 40.
On post '90 models, one job that is guaranteed to raise the suicide rate, is swapping the fuel pump. Not a problem on early cars, but on post '90 cars it lives in the fuel tank. Whichever bright spark decided on this "improvement" really ought to be executed. By the time you're halfway through this job, you'll be seriously considering scrapping the entire car and buying another one. It really is a pain in the backside, and everywhere else for that matter.
Interiors wear well, much better than the X300 and the XJ8, both of which suffered from Ford's penny pinching influence. Exception to this is the headlining, which are often found in various stages of collapse. It amazes me that after all these years, Jaguar still don't have a clue on how to make a decent headlining. However it's a relatively small problem, but not a particularly cheap one to cure.
Jaguars in general, and the XJ40 in particular, don't suffer fools gladly. Skimp on maintenance, particularly on fluid changes, and you can get ready for hell to break loose. They WILL get their own back. On the other hand, a well looked after example can be a rewarding experience. No other car on this planet offers so much for so little. I love mine, and I think you might just love it as-well. Give the 40 a chance.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 29th March, 2011