Consensus on Buying a "Live" or "Dead" XJ6

It is kind of strange to consider how little extra the posh spec differed from the basic spec on these cars, and what a big deal was made of it, compared to the cars of today.


Right. The 2.8 litre version was deliberately designed to get a foot into the corporate fleet market and yet there was a “de luxe” version to match the fully specced 4.2.

What keeps striking me is that the incredible price markup for the Daimler anticipated the current trend to pay not for specification, but rather for individualization by some decades. Why would anyone pay the price of a Ford Consul just to get a fluted grille, some more leather hides and a reading lamp? Most people then did it to get bespoke colour combos, I bet… today not always the biggest asset of such cars;-)

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

In my opinion, if you want the best XJ, contact the “local” Jag club

At any time in our club their is always one or two that are either for sale ,or potentially for sale, mainly due to the fact the owner is elderly or has deceased

Such vehicles have usually been looked after much better than average, have less rust, and the price is reasonable

An enquiry to the Club will sometimes draw out potential sellers

Deceased estate purchases can sometimes be had at good prices, but you then dont have the benefit of talking to the long term owner, which is usually very helpful in such sales

1 Like

Speaking of the S1:

Armrest, power steering, radio, electric windows, leather seats, AC, overdrive or automatic, bigger engine. Not too bad. Hard to strip away more? Maybe a cheaper dash and less chrome - unlikely. Also hard to add more without making production unnecessarily complex - VdP basically rebuilt the car from the ground up?
Today there is much more inventions to add and most of the money is made in extras. The XJ does mostly basics, and does them well. Okay: I put in seat heating, for control the rear window heater switch has two positions now… rear and window :slightly_smiling_face:

Elderly owners that took care and can’t drive them anymore are the best.

This very scenario is one of the reasons I started this thread.
Not all but several of the “dead” cars that are for sale in this area were put to the side by an infirmed elderly owner who subsequently passed. Now the car has been sitting untouched for years. The wife passes or goes into assisted living and now the property and all it’s contents have to be sold like a whirlwind. No one involved with selling it can answer any questions because they really don’t care and just want the payout. It’s the craps shoot car buy yet again come full circle.

1 Like

I’d put $1500 on a crap shoot. $3000 is a tougher call. What’s your risk tolerance? That’s mine!

I just realized my risk tolerance is not $1500, it’s $32000. In 2018 a car came up for sale, at a chattel auction in Ohio…. Exact scenario Bill describes. Elderly owner moves to a home, kids sell all his stuff. The auction was for everything… shovel, old couches, wheel barrows…. And a 1953 Arnolt MG. I bid $32000, Hagerty price for “fair condition” sight unseen. Tow it home, clean it up, get it running, replace the brakes… new carpet… have a guy detail it…. This is $100k car easy. So a $3000 XJ6 not running but looking good otherwise? SELL ME TWO!


Hi Jochen,

It wasn’t a question of value/money but the brand and the associated image. In England Jaguar had a ”fast” reputation which was not ok for certain solicitors, doctors, dentists, architects & other scolars. But as Daimler was an old and respected brand that also was being used by royals (also in The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, etc.) it was used for the upper class market.

In the US it had no brand value, thus Jaguar came up with using something that did: Vanden Plas. :smiley: And later other words, like Portofolio.

A bit like why no XJ coupés were sold in Finland: if you bought a 2-door Ford, Volvo or Opel it would cost less than a 4-door version. So Jaguar’s XJ cost more as a 2-door version! There was no market for a fancier version, as even the cheapest manual 2.8L SWB XJ6 with bo A/C and no extras was considered overly luxurious over here. No Bentleys or Rolls-Royces anywhere!

Until the very end my mom always had a 4-door saloon. When me & my brothers were young, an estate would have been better. Later she only needed a 2-sear 2-door car, but always insisted in having a 4-door sedan, as she was a dentist and to her the car she had, needed to comply with a certain image. To me it never made any sense. :laughing:


1 Like

If he didn’t pre soak the cylinders with penetrating oil for a few days before cranking the engine over, you are probably right. Scored cylinders at best, broken rings at worst.

A couple of comments from a Daimler V8-250 owner who knows little specifically about the XJ6 but who bought a car with more things wrong with it than he bargained for.
If you are going to own a ‘classic’ you will spend a lot of time working on it no matter what condition it is in when you buy it. That’s the ‘joy’ of classic car ownership. Even a car that is perfect today will need attention and if you’re not up for that a classic’s not for you.
Be wary of buying a model that there are few spare parts for unless you buy 2 the same or there are known conversions to alternative available specifications.
If any jobs come up that you can’t do, you will wave bye bye to $1000s straightaway. That’s if you can find someone who thinks they can do a job you can’t.
How much would the car fetch in an auction if you tired of trying to make it work? Because apart from your time and any parts you bought, the difference between this figure and what you paid for it is the amount of money you have at stake. Can you walk away still smiling?
$3000 ‘feels’ expensive fot such a complicated non-runner - is that the going rate? What does the local club say?

If it all works out you will enjoy a wonderful machine, one of the most enjoyable and rewarding cars ever made by anyone anywhere :blush::blush:

1 Like

Hello Robert, I have over 40 years of experience working on automobiles of all types as well as motorcycles.

My interests were many and varied and I’ve shed a great deal of income in the process. I make money on resale as a rule but there have been exceptions. Those are the ones I’ve bought with my heart and not my head and thats where a Jaguar falls into place in this scenario.

Every fiber of my being tells me to run screaming in the opposite direction from any Jag but that’s where the heart comes in. The experiences I had with them in my youth is branded to my soul and the time has come to go full circle and get one of my own. I have avoided this painful road with nothing more than a dabble here and there in the form of exotic rentals on various vacations. But with age approaching and abilities diminishing it’s time to grab at that last straw that has been plaguing me since 1981. With age comes experience and of course those overstuffed tool boxes filled with items you dreamed of having to make the job easier when you were in your 20’s.

I’m sadly distracted from my search for now while I am administrating the estate of a sibling. I couldn’t imagine how difficult this would be when I glibly agreed to this arduous task years ago never realizing that it would come to fruition one day way too soon. The wants have to take a back seat to the necessities because that is also a byproduct of age and experience. When my search begins in ernest I will report back here regularly.


Nice update

I strongly advise you to consider joining a local Jaguar Club if one exists

You often get access to the advertisements in affiliated Jag Clubs

These Clubs have ardent members who are often quite old, and eventually, their vehicles must be sold

Thay are almost always in better condition than those owned by members of the general public

We have members pass away each year, and their vehicles often get sold to other members, and prices are very reasonable

I would be somewhat wary of an EFI XJ soley due to the age of the electronics

Some Capacitors for instance, have a definite lifespan, and take out electronic functions when they fail

In my opinion, the carb XJs will outlast the EFI versions, although it is possible to replace the electronics with modern stuff, but that is expensive and tricky

I appreciate the heads up on joining a club. I will do a search when I’m finished here.

Part of my work experience was restoration and repair of electronic controllers for antiquated industrial equipment. I’ve probably forgotten more than I remember but hopefully it really is like riding a bike once I get into it. Yes those old liquid cooled cans can be troublesome but those big old boards are sure easy to work on compared to today’s equipment.

But like most anything British there is always the possibility of retrofitting of an equal part made by AC Delco. I’m sure computers and injectors are no different.

My ears are burning :slightly_smiling_face: . Remember that we can often be talked into prehumous sales.


Big headstart, as you probably know, electronics is not most guys strong suite

I would advise any owner to acquire spare used or NOS vital OEM sensors & computers for older model vehicles

If you check the archives, you will probably find threads on folk who have ditched the Jag electronics in favor of "universal " vehicle systems, you can get an idea of time and cost involved, also it will be interesting for you. I am sure some have FI E-type conversions

There is some fantastic electronics guys on this forum

1 Like

My ears are burning :slightly_smiling_face: . Remember that we can often be talked into prehumous sales.

Do tell…

Robert is having us on, in his dry, charming way…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

And he can’t have my Jeepster, till he pries it from my cold dead fingers!