I had 'one of those drives' in the Jag this weekend. One of those drives when the sun is out, the winding country roads are dry, there's very little traffic about and everything seems to be working. It was great, and to think I was experiencing it in a car that has cost me just under £1000 to buy, tax, insure and repair made it even sweeter.
Indeed, the Jag seems a lot happier since colleague Lewis Kingston and I gave its throttle body a good spruce. It's still idling at around 1200rpm out of gear - thanks to a sticky throttle - but some more lubrication of the throttle cable should help out. More important, it doesn't stall or proceed to sling me unassisted down hills.
Another thing I have seen to recently is the radio. There's nothing wrong with the factory Jaguar unit's design and functionality - I quite like it, in fact. However, I've had real issues getting it to sync with the aerial, and three of the car's four speakers had given up the ghost.
So with the help of YouTube and a gentleman who skillfully took apart an X300's dash with a Phillips screwdriver in one hand and a shaking iPhone in the other, I began to dismantle mine.
Out came the two screws holding the ashtray down, and with that removed, a piece of dividing trim comes away to reveal two wing bolts holding the veneer 'slope' down. Those off, and with the gear lever in neutral, the slope slips over the top and leaves six more screws to remove before the climate controls and radio housing can be lifted clear.
Disconnecting and reconnecting the factory radio's wiring had no effect on the dud speakers, so in went a cheap Clarion single-DIN system. With everything back in place, it doesn't look too bad. At least it's a black unit, and the X300 faceplate I bought to fill in the awkward gap left behind works well.
To my surprise, after firing up the new unit and connecting my phone, all four speakers burst into life. The aerial's wiring is still to be reattached at the base of the aerial itself after my last investigations, but streaming radio via my phone is perfectly fine for the moment. In fact, having any sort of musical accompaniment on a long drive is marvelous.
With the Jag in better shape than ever, I was feeling confident that it wouldn't look too out of place next to Jaguar's heritage collection in the Surrey Hills prior to Goodwood Revival. Of course, my confidence was dashed on turning into the car park, faced with pristine examples of an XJ40, XJ12 Coupé and Sir William Lyon's personal Series II. To be honest, even the heritage volunteers' X300s in the car park were in better condition.