Having handed over my £500 and driven the Jag home, it was time to look in to what I'd actually bought. Turns out there's a wealth of Jaguar, and specifically X300 XJ6, information available online, and in around 10 minutes I had the complete 1995 X300 XJ6 literature pack in my digital glovebox.
I'm struggling to find the exact price of a new 1995 entry-level 3.2 XJ6, but seeing as a '94 entry-level previous-generation XJ40 2.9 was £27,350, lets call it around £30,000. For that you got a 216bhp, 232lb ft straight-six petrol engine with four-speed automatic gearbox capable of 0-60mph in 7.9sec - not bad for a 5m-long, 1800kg car.
Initial acceleration tests show that many, many of those horses have either died or are at the knacker's yard, but still, give the throttle a sharp prod, drop a gear or three and there's still some half-decent performance to be enjoyed at the business end of the rev range. Importantly, the engine and 'box feel sturdy.
Back when baggy shirts were cool an entry-level XJ6 came with electric, heated door mirrors, remote locking, electric windows all-around and half-leather seats as standard. That wasn't enough for the distinguished man or woman who bought mine first some 20 years ago. To that was added a six-CD autochanger and 10-way electric front seats.
Cavalier option-ticking you might think, until you look at the options list itself. There's a limited-slip differential, Harmon Kardon stereo system, lambswool rugs, rear cigar (yes cigar) lighter, full-leather heated seats and burr walnut finish. Alas, all I have are blanked-off buttons.
Even so, a £500 XJ6, options or no options, still feels extremely special. Unfortunately, though, the time has come to spend a bit more money. Crazy you might think, considering the price, but I plan on keeping this for a while and things need attention. There's also this niggling thing called an MOT.
A few clicks later on the brilliant britishparts.co.uk, I had myself a service kit including a new fuel, oil and air filter, as well as a transmission service kit and new front shock bushes and radiator mounts to replace the perished ones and cure the knocking. All this cost me around £100.
I'm also changing just about every fluid possible. Engine, transmission and differential oil has been ordered, as well as coolant and brake fluid. The various capacities for even this entry-level 3.2 are frightening, until you look at the specs for the range-topping V12. I've been in swimming pools that require less liquid; another £120 was added to the credit card.
So, it goes in on Saturday, after which I'll be able to tell you exactly where I stand. Wish me luck.
Read the first instalment of 'Life with a £500 luxury barge' here.