How to get one in your garage:
An expert’s view, Sean Collins, XJ motor services: “The XJR engine is very reliable. Jaguar engineered its ancillaries, fixtures and fittings to withstand the extra stresses and strains. I’d recommend a high-mileage motorway car over a low-mileage one that has done lots of short trips on potholed urban roads – no good for the engine or the suspension.
One of my customers has just bought a 200,000-mile XJR. He lives in Northampton but works in Staines. He has complete confidence in the car. It has a slightly noisy diff but I’ve told him there’s another 12,000 miles in it, so he’s ignoring it. That’s the trick with these big cars: find a specialist who can prioritise running repairs and help manage your costs.”
ENGINE - Check for leaks from the bleed pipe at the radiator expansion bottle. A squeaky auxiliary belt could mean the roller bearings in the belt tensioner are wearing out.
TRANSMISSION - The gearbox sump, which incorporates the gearbox filter, can spring a leak but is only around £200 to replace.
SUSPENSION - Check the front-mounted compressor, which can play up but isn’t expensive. Also check the integrity of the suspension valve block in the boot. The bushes in the front lower wishbone ‘banana’ arms can split, causing irregular wear on the inner and outer shoulders of the front tyres. The rear suspension lower bushes often fail. The bushes on the lower air spring unit (one bush per corner) can be troublesome. The rear units tend to fail first.
BODY - Look for rust on the boot lip and above the chrome strip, on the lower trailing corners of the rear doors and on the rear window seal at the D-pillar. Under the skin, steel bolts corrode where they touch aluminium and often break off when unscrewed. Check the earth contact behind the headlights on the front radiator mount because failure can cause electrical havoc.
INTERIOR - Tough but ensure the air-con, windows and locking all work. Leather driver’s seat bolster can split with age.
Also worth knowing:
Fortunately, some suspension parts are shared with Audis and VWs. There are various excellent suspension specialists, including Arnott, too. The supplier also makes a coil spring conversion set for around £1500. Not ideal but cheaper than the £1000 per corner one Jaguar dealer quoted for new, original-equipment struts.
How much to spend: