Everyone who drove it came back describing it with adjectives such as 'excellent', 'amazing', 'superb' and 'brilliant', and several repeatedly jumped at the chance to prowl through Teddington's high streets in it – even if it was just to the shops and back. It even got a few admiring glances from passers-by.
Moreover, it transpired to be an immensely gratifying car to own and use. That's what I find most appealing about cars like these, the sheer satisfaction that comes from knowing that what you are driving cost so little, yet is capable of so much.
It's always a refreshing experience simply to not have to worry about a car as well. Parking by touch? Sure thing. Leaving it in a grey, desolate train station car park? No bother. Just driven over your own crankshaft? Well, it only cost £500.
Admittedly, the Jaguar may have proven difficult to get through another MOT. But even if it did fail, it would have still been depreciation-free and enjoyable motoring for the duration that it lasted – and you'd still have netted about £250 for it in scrap metal value alone, if so inclined.
Despite feeling that I should keep the XJ in order to do it proper justice, and numerous similar requests from readers suggesting we do similar, time and space were at a premium. Alas, as a result, the Jaguar had to go.
There was no way I was going to scrap such a perfectly serviceable car, and my initial inclination was to turn to eBay. We'd had several emails from people who were interested in it however, having seen it featured, but one in particular caught my eye.
John Kirk, who'd seen the car in the magazine, was planning to take part in a charity rally in order to raise money for the Round Table Children's Wish appeal, which provides holidays or last wishes for terminally ill children.
Along with several other teams, he would be departing from Europe – with his co-driver Stephen Hill – in an effort to reach the fabled Nürburgring circuit, complete a lap or two and then head home. He was, unfortunately, missing a rather important piece of the puzzle: a £500 car.
So, after a quick phone call, I found myself standing in the rain as John drove the XJ away. We'd let it go for what we paid for it, a mere £500, in order to fit within the constraints of their budget.
Both John and Stephen had been amusingly shocked by the sheer value for money the Jaguar represented; it was entertaining watching them struggle with the reality that, yes, you could get your hands on something as powerful, as stately and as luxurious as the XJ for so little.
I later received an email from John, once he'd made his way home, and couldn't help but smile. "What a car… Fantastic, never missed a beat and amazingly burned off loads of BMWs etc on the way home. Well, you've just got to see how it goes!"
Whether it will make it to the Nürburgring and back is another question, but I've few doubts. The rally starts on Friday 20 September, so we'll soon find out.
To read the original feature on the Jaguar, and to see more pictures, click here.