[xj-s] 4.0's first long trip; impressed

Hi all,

At the beginning of this year we bought a ‘95 XJS
Convertible 4.0 on Ebay US. It was quite close to where a
friend of mines lives in Ohio so he was able to check it
out. Upon its arrival here some things were not what I’d
hoped them to be (the brakes had supposedly been renewed
recently for instance (yeah right…), and a functioning
hand brake would have been nice) but nothing really major,
considering the low price we paid. The car had done 168K
miles and the interior shows that (it’s way beyond some
leatherique;), but the paint is still very nice with very
few dings and scratches.
Anyway: the car had to be driven from the Netherlands to the
South of France and I was chosen for this awful task;)
So: last week I put it on a lift to change the brake pads
and bleed the system (really soggy pedal), which helped
quite a bit. Then the RH rear silencer needed the ‘‘hanging
pin’’ welded back to it and that was basically it. I also
fitted my 18’’ Penta alloys with 255/45 tyres because at
least they had some decent tread and frankly they look wicked;)
I completed the 799.6 mile trip in exactly 10 hours
(including pit-stops) and the car ran almost perfectly, save
for a very occasional ‘‘hiccup’’ (to be investigated). The
ride is a bit wallowy, so I think new shocks are in order. I
did notice the absence of a rear anti roll bar, which I’m
sure makes a difference as well, especially just south of
Millau, where there’s some really twisty bits in the
Autoroute. Acceleration from a standstill is not really
rocket-ship like, but once moving it keeps going to highly
illegal speeds without much drama. I took it to
130mph/200kph just to see what would happen, but save for a
thunderous wind noise it feels completely safe. Cruising at
100/110mph is a very nice way to kill some time. At these
speeds it still managed about 20mpg. I have to compliment
the factory '95 audio system for some very decent quality
sound. Oil consumption was less than half a litre, which I
find acceptable for a car of this mileage, especially after
the beating it had just taken (I doubt it had ever been
driven as fast before;)
To get it through French inspection/registration I need to
fix the handbrake and I’m sure some little but nasty thing
will turn up as well (I hope he’ll miss the ABS warning
light…), but all in all I’m well pleased. The best
compliment I can give is that after 10 hours of fast driving
I didn’t feel tired or anything. Just a stiff shoulder but
that could be the way I sit behind the wheel;)
Really looking forward to picking up the other one in Ohio
next month and taking that home as well. This one (also a
'95) is a 50k mile but front end damaged car from Texas with
which I have some plans to make it a bit quicker yet:)

cheers from France,–
Arnoud
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