It's official. My trip to the workshop has revealed that I haven't bought a complete lemon. There are things that need attention, sure, but the XJ6's oily, expensive bits have been looked after.

Despite no service history and just a couple of its most recent MOT reports with the car, it seems someone has actually been looking after the old thing. 

Meridien Majestic's mechanic Mikey was more surprised than me. He's got plenty of experience working on XJ6s for customers and banger racing, and he didn't shake his head or laugh once. 

The care was apparent as soon as we got the wheels off. The pads and discs show minimal wear, and while rusty on the outside (a normal thing I'm told), its springs are as sturdy as the day they were fitted. Fluid changed, the brakes now feel better. 

However, my fears about the front shock bushes were confirmed. With no history to go on, I'm not sure they've ever been replaced, but a 20-year, 1800kg pounding from cratered UK roads has been enough for them to perish almost completely on the driver's side.