I’m interested: what’s the appetite for Jaguar XJ40s among the PH fraternity right now? It’s a car that, perhaps mistakenly, I guessed was off the radar for many, yet judging by the rising prices of the good ones out there, clearly it’s grabbing the market’s attention. I noticed this while I was looking for a Series III. The sinuous lines of the Series III, skillfully modernized at the time by Pininfarina, never seemed to me anything less than beautiful, in a way that the angular, 80s shape of the XJ40 never seemed quite to me. Yet it is an iconic car that is instantly recognizable and that I know very well, having cut my teeth as a Jaguar technical apprentice in the mid-1990s.
I can definitely tell you what to look out for when buying one. There are many things, actually. Collapsed A-frame mounts (the front mounts for the rear subframe) are a common concern, as is a split propeller shaft rubber. In fact, anything rubber needs to be checked carefully, including front suspension wishbone bushes, shock absorber bushes (upper mounts for front shocks often disintegrate completely, causing an alarming but thankfully economically treatable rattle.
The rear drive shafts also wear out. These form the upper link of the double wishbone suspension at the rear and withstand additional stress as a result of performing two jobs. Weepy differentials are another thing to watch out for, but beware of MOT testers who fail a car due to play in the wheel bearings. I had to point out to some testers that the XJ40’s tapered roller bearings should have a minimum of play.
The AJ6 engine is quite powerful when serviced regularly, but watch out for timing chain crackling and cylinder head gasket failure. ZF automatic transmissions are also reliable, although routine fluid and filter changes are required to maintain them – make sure the fluid is not black. And don’t necessarily worry about oil leaks. Everything is leaking on an XJ40 – the cylinder head gasket, rocker cover gasket, differential gaskets etc. – and trying to stop them is an impossible task that will drive you crazy or bankrupt – or both.
My advice is: if he is crying, cancel him; if it is coated, please order it. Obviously, rust and electrical issues are problems, and in that regard, check that the HVAC is working properly. There are numerous flaps operated by servomotors and they stick together. If you’re lucky, you can free them with two specialized service tools that I highly recommend investing in: one is a long, thin screwdriver and the other is a hammer. Put the first one on the offending part and gently tap it with the second, which should do the job.
If that all sounds a little scary, the good news is that much of the work is doable if you’re happy to get your hands dirty, or there are numerous specialists on hand to help you if not. The latest 6.0-liter V12s are, in my opinion, the most interesting of the XJ40s, but the S model (like this one) is much simpler and always appealing. I liked its quad headlights, body-colored grille fins, attractive five-spoke alloys and lovely rosewood veneer on the inside, which, as far as I can remember, was unique in trim. . The 4.0-liter versions had adequate horsepower and also electronic control for the four-speed car which made them more responsive and smooth. The 3.2 still does well, however, with plenty of push for relaxed rather than truly lively progress. And this, in a bright flamenco red with those miles and true main-dealer history, must be worth a bet – don’t you think?
SPECIFICATIONS | JAGUAR XJ6 3.2 S.
Motor: 3.239cc, straight six, naturally aspirated
Transmission: 4-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 200 @ 5,250 rpm
Torque (lb ft): 219 at 4,000 rpm
CO2: N / A
MPG: N / A
Recorded mileage: 26,000
Registration year: 1993
New price: N / A
Your for: £ 9,995