Yes, dear reader, you have read the headline correctly. It is with a heavy heart that I must confess the XJ has been sold on. But the decision was one motivated more by the series of circumstances that have come about over the past month, rather than just wanting it gone.
Indeed, if everything had stayed as it had been, I’d still be smoking around in the old thing now. Unfortunately, the morning of 11 September put an end to that. You see, there I was was minding my own business, when a van began reversing out of a side road (the wrong way down a one-way street, I might add) onto the high street down which I was moving.
Assuming he’d seen me - and the other seven or so cars following - approaching, I sounded the horn a couple of times to let him know there was no way of stopping in time. He seemed to slow, so I steered around him a little just to be sure. Not far enough it turned out.
There was a bump and sickening scrape as the car dragged itself across his rear doors. I stopped instantly, took pictures, made sure he accepted liability and sulked off. A week later, the car was declared a total loss, a ‘Cat C’ if you will. The repair estimate was £1400.
However, because the car was still mechanically sound and perfectly safe to drive, my insurer was happy to pay out and let me keep the car. So it was decision time. Do I get the repair work done and continue with the Jag, or investigate another cheap motoring avenue? I’d had nine glorious months driving my old barge, so I reasoned it was time to move on.
A week later and it was sold, to a local chap who’d had a few XJs before and who wisely had a second X300 in a garage to use as a donor car. The price? £335. He was laughing all the way home, but I’d effectively run the car for free, and as sad as it was to see it go, I could rest assured it had been a good financial decision.
He called a couple of days after the sale, but my initial dread quickly turned to relief when it transpired he was simply checking I’d transferred ownership. He went on to apologise for what he’d paid for it. A happy customer indeed.
So where to go next? It’s been a slower process this time around - if you remember I saw and bought the Jag within a week. With classic insurance being my preferred route, the car still has to be at least 20 years old, and I’ve set my budget at around £1k this time. Cars such as Alfa GTVs and Spiders, Audi cabriolets and E34 5 Series are on the radar. XJSs are a little out of my financial reach, but a 4.0-litre XJ or XJR haven’t been written off (excuse the pun) just yet.