S1 driving distance

I have a buyer for a series 1 from abroad. They want to drive the car home from mine. This journey is 700 miles long and through several countries. Has anyone any advice on this? The car in question is fully road legal and in great condition. This seems to me a very big distance for a 50 year old car. I cant help but worry even though technically its not my problem how the buyer takes the car. I usually drive the car 30miles for shows etc. As i said ive no doubt the car is capable…is this a wise journey? And what preparations should i make?

Buyers risk, G-mac - usually it is the buyer rather than the seller that is worried…:slight_smile:

It is good of you to care; you know the car. And if you know any specific reason why the journey should not be undertaken you should so advice the buyer…

However; 700 miles is no great shakes. But as the car seems to have been mostly used in ‘local’ traffic - advice the buyer to ‘work up’ the engine before using its full potential.

Like with all cars; ask him to keep an eye on oil level and pressure, tyres and engine temp - and he’ll be OK…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

Thanks Frank
I worry more as the car is still my baby and the buyer doesnt seem mechanically minded at all. They want a mechanic to inspect the car first which i guess will help ease my mind.

My S11 is coming up nearly 45 year and I would have no problem getting in and doing that, obviously it would involve checking the oil on the way but that would be all :slight_smile:

Albeit my car is a V12 Series III, I did many long trips with it, including 6.000 km from Montreal to Vancouver in Canada with no problems. This is what these cars are build for.
If your buyer has some basic knowledge I see why not.
Some basic tools and parts, like belts etc, is always good to have with… I never ever travel with out my full kit tool suitcase.
One only precaution I can think of, if the car hasn’t been driven on highways, the prolonged drive on high revs might stir the junk inside the cooling system… it happened to me once, and all of a sudden debris blocked my coolant filters.


I would add looking at a few coolant hoses, if they seem sound all is well, and please inform the buyers that if the oil pressure drops when braking to please pull to the side as soon as possible and fill up a quart or two, until that they should avoid braking and not keep it in gear so if the oil pressure is gone for too long it won’t be at high rpm.
Other than that they are made for long distance and the car seems well: check all the fluids, and say your goodbyes! A roll of duct tape and some water and oil have never hurt.
I‘m willing to do 150 miles and not all is well in my case, yet it is happy to run :slightly_smiling_face:

If they have the car checked by a mechanic - the mechanic should prep the car for a 700 mile journey based on information you have on when the fluids were last changed, brakes/clutch bled, chassis lubricated and so on. The new buyer can then elect to have the car prepped for a 700-mile journey or not. I did the above (for a winter shipment across the US) but forgot about the chassis lubrication (been awhile since I had a car with grease fittings…). Make sure your bill of sale says “as is, where is” so there is no squabbling down the road if they have issues on the way home…

I’ve been enjoying old car shows on my smart VIZIO TV. One seller of some really old ones, clearly states, “no drive guarantee”.

These buyers are smart to have a mechanic check the car.

AS Is, as seen. Way of the world.

I’ve read of buyers taking long trips home. Most with minor issues only and some with none. But, others… one never knows.

Most recently, my SIII did a four hundred mile round trip ion aplomb…


I just finished a charity run from Auckland to Invercargill, the criteria was that the cars could cost no more than $2000 NZ, you could spend money to bring them up to what you were happy with to make sure you could do the <> 2600klms, (on roads less traveled) in 12 days.
At the end of the event the cars are auctioned off with the expressed warranty of… one wheel rotation. After that you’re on your own buddy :slight_smile:

All of the above and a fire extinguisher. Paul

If mechanically it has been taken care of, in which it sounds like it has. There should not be any issues has Frank put in words checking oil pressure etc. I have driven my 72 xj6 to Montana from california , a 19 he trip 1300 miles no problem and back with no issues and intact it runs better because of the journey it starts every time even in cold weather at 18 Fahrenheit with 20/50 oil. I just keep an eye on the gauhes.

When I was selling my E-Type a potential buyer wanted to have his mechanic inspect it, so I went along. Listening to their conversation, I realized they were pals, and their sole purpose was to find things wrong to knock the price down. No sale.

Yes im cautious on this scam. The buyer inspected the car already and signed an agreement on sale and price. To have a mechanic inspect is either for their piece of mind or to try and lower the agreed sale.

I frequently drive my cars from Stockholm to my summer house. That is 350 miles, mainly on motorways and good country roads. Takes about 6hrs, doing 90-130km/h. No problem att all, but then I know that they are in good shape. I agree with the advice obove. Cars in question are XKs, S-type, E-types, Mk9, 420G.
A suitable cushion, rolled towel or similar to put behind your lumbar/back, and the seat is essential for longer drives. 2hrs between breaks are no problem.
Good luck.

It’s almost impossible to tell what might happen.

If the car can take a 1 h run, some of it highway, then it’s probably going to make 700.

You could just use the car a bit more until he comes to get it, but what do you do if something does go wrong? Even a minor problem (Battery, alternator, steering pump seal) would then need fixing, but who would pay for that?

If you sell the car as is, but point out that it does regularly make 30 mile runs, then the buyer can presume that he’ll probably get home. But he does need to be aware that once he’s left your driveway, it’s his car.


If the car runs and drives…and gets to operating temperature without overheating, mechanically, I would have little hesitation driving that distance. However, that said…tires would be my main concern. I realise many of our classics have tires that may be well beyond their freshness date.

Tires that are old and or dry rot could be a risk of blowout at highway speeds as the tire gets warm under high speed highway driving. Additionally, tires of the appropriate size are not commonly found at the typical main stream tire shops.

Check the date codes on the tires. At a car show a gentleman asked if I felt comfortable driving on my tires…after looking…I found I had 30 year old Michelin Red lines on my Triumph TR6…I quickly decided to replace the tires. I suspect tires are often overlooked…at least for me :grimacing:.

Just my 2 cents.



I see no issue with the inspection by a pal mechanic or an acquaintance. Thais so long as they e honest. Made up issues is a deal killer.

But being there, not so good either. One never likes the warts of one’s pride and joy being discussed. Unless, one is highly motivated to get rid of a money pit…

I like to watch TV Judge shows. Some used car cases are interesting to me. Points of law and the cars themselves. Harvey Levin is the lawyer commentator on one. He is usually on point. But strange ideas in used car sales.

  1. Buyer and seller split the cost of an exam by a mechanic ? For me, as a seller, OK to inspect. At buyer’s expense !!

  2. Negotiate a warranty. As a seller, no way. Serious flaw in principle. No way to spread the risk, as the warranty companies do. Warranty is akin to insurance. The very core is “spread the risk”. One deal violates that in spades!!!

There might be a way. If the car qualifies, buyer buys his own warranty from the market place.

If not, what seller in his right mind would do so!!!

And of course, closure in ownership, not extension!!!

O’wise, a pretty smart guy??