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XJ6 Sovereign Jaguar



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,594
    Is it a good deal?

    No, it is grossly overpriced, about double what it should be.

    How expense are repairs?

    Major repairs are very very expensive, maintenance is like with any comparable luxury car like a Benz or BMW.

    Are these cars dependable?

    Hard to say with this year. Probably with the low miles and if you conduct very diligent maintenance, you'd be okay with it. But not at the asking price. If the car passes all mechanical scrutinies, and it pristine, and you love it to death, maybe you could go up to $8,000, but that's really all the money in the world for this car and retail price. Then enjoy it until around 60K miles and then bail out, is my advice.

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  • I just came accross a gorgeous 1990 Vanden Plas with 46k miles, and we are talking $7,500. Am I insane? We have a TT Roadster as our main car, and need something with four doors and a real trunk in addition. I was considering late 80's and early 90's monster Benzes with about 90k miles, and now this just popped up in my search. If I do decide to go for the Jag, what would be a deal stopper? I hear the '90 Jags were the first truely reliable ones...
  • Also, at what point does that infamous self-leveling suspension give up the spirit? What would be the symptoms? And finally, do you know of any specific web sites that deal with these models?

    Hmmm - I haven't used my torque wrench in years....

    Thanks for any advice!
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I think the self leveling suspension gave up the ghost on the boat ride over here. Jaguar's official fix when anything relating to that system goes out is to yank the whole dang thing and put conventional springs in there. That's the best course of action, and it wouldn't hurt to do it before it goes out and your back bumper starts kissing pavement over every bump in the road, if you can afford to do it then.

    As for webs ites, I've posted this link before, but....

    Just be sure you check out the "modern" model page and not the "XJ" model page, or you'll find yourself reading about Jags from the 70's and 80's, and not the XJ40 you're looking at.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    If you need a 4-door luxury car, buy a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. Can't go wrong.
  • Checked out the site - found that the '90 wasn't that scary. But we ended up buying an '89 Benz (560 SEL) with 97k miles yesterday. It's beautyful!
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    That 90 VDP.. that was VERY cheap for that car actually... I just sold a 1990 VDP with 48K on it for $9,500 and have since turned down 2 offers for what I was asking for the car (Which was more $$..)

    That Sovereign is not a real steal... full pop retail with those miles. $10-11K is more like it. 100K+ mile cars in perfect condition break $5K at dealer auctions. That car is worth, realitywise, $7,500-8K wholesale if its just in the wrapper and 10Kish retail.

    Bear in mind... VERY low mileage Jaguars bring HUGE premiums.

    A better buy than that 91 would be a 1994 with 70-90K on it for about $10-12K (Color,condition, mileage, etc..) or a mileyish 1995 without a Sunroof (Say 70-80K miles) for $13K or so.

    But if you have to have ultra-low miles in a Jag, they willbring large amounts of money. I sell LOTS of these cars...its the really really low-milers that bring enormous premiums and inturn canbe turned around and sold for enormous money.

    Do check out and know what to look for. The big basics on a 1990-1994?

    AC Works and blows strong out of center vents and doesnt leak out of defroster flaps.

    Differential is silent. (Noisy? $1,000-1,500 to put right)

    Self-Levelling is either working right, (It WILL fail) or has been converted. ($500-700)

    Base of distributor is NOT wet and oily (Head gasket leaking) ($500)

    Smoke puffs on startup are normal on 93-94s. $500 to fix it if it bugs ya.

    Those are the biggies....

    I did originally write those pages at JL BTW :)

    Bill Weismann

    1995 VDP 139K miles $675 in non-warranty repairs since new

    2000 VDP Supercharged 22K (Come heeere little Mustang GT...hehehe)

  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    "I did originally write those pages at JL BTW :)"

    Having read them (several times), let me congratulate you on a job well done. I have yet to find any marque specific webpage as thourough and friendly as J-L, and you and the rest of the guys who put time in on it need to be thanked.
  • guzzettaguzzetta Posts: 3
    I have the opportunity to pick up a seemingly well maintained 90 VDP for $4500. The catch is the miles - It's at just over $100K. Should this be a bright enough red flag to warrant looking elsewhere?
  • guzzettaguzzetta Posts: 3
    ...with tan interior.

    Just in case that makes a difference to the value proposition.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    Your comment above mentioned that XJs without sunroofs are worth less. I wondered if lack of headroom would actually make the non-roof cars more desireable to many. I ask because the Jag must surely be one of the lowest roofed sedans extant. And the cavity for the sliding roof seems unusually thick in the back.
    Do you sort of specialize in the XJ and prefer them over the S-class Benz?
    I think the latest four headlight models with the nacells for the lights are exceptionally pretty,but I just feel too cramped in them.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    rea: Thanks :) Another guy has done a lot of updating.. but it was a ton of work!

    Guzzetta: Follow the info at J-L and above.. $4,500 is awfully cheap for that car. 100K is no worry of the other stuff is right.

    Merckx: Yeahup. The lack of a sunroof (Realistically, 1995s only) kills their value. $13-14K should buy you a nice 1995 without a sunroof.

    Compared to an S-Class? Cheaper, prettier, much more reliable, and when they DO break, it isnt $1,500++ to fix em.

    I do sprt of specialize in them.. I am low in stock right now. I only have 4 or 5 available for sale.. usually we try and keep 10+ 6-cyl cars around.

  • guzzettaguzzetta Posts: 3
    I read somewhere recently (perhaps on another forum on this site) that I should expect to put $250 in monthly maintenance into a car like this. Would you agree?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Shifty I saw a mid-'70s XJ6 today which got me to thinking about how handsome these cars are, which got me to thinking about how even more handsome they are without the big bumpers, which reminded me that the earliest ones ('69?) were available with a four speed. Ever driven one with a stick? How would it compare with the Mark II or the Mark X? Sort of in the middle? My brother's Mark II with Chevy was a blast, the Mark X comfortable but ponderous.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,594
    Gee, I never did drive one with a stickshift. Personally I think it's awful to have to shift such big cars and I'd imagine it would kill their value.

    I wouldn't touch a 100K Jaguar from the early 90s with a ten foot pole unless it was pretty cheap. $4,500 is plenty, that's a fair price. That's what Bill buys 'em for, not sells 'em for, so he's no fool either.

    Better yet, I'd just save up and buy a low mileage one, because you will have spent the price of a low mileage one soon enough. I'd rate Jaguar maintenance costs equal or higher to a Mercedes, and in durability of the body/interior/hardware there is simply no comparison in the early 90s. Now it is closer however, but as the cliche goes "only time will tell" and so far, when the years roll by, the Benz has always come out on top.

    I know, I know, you meet people who say they haven't had "much trouble" with their older Jaguar, but it never fails, I get in their "no trouble" car and find about 25 things wrong with it that they have blissfully ignored because they are in love.

    This is not unlike the people who marry into your family now and then.

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  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883

    That hasnt been my experience. You need to find a good, competent Jaguar tech to work on your car who's familiar with XJ40s. Remember, they share more in common, parts-wise, with a BMW 735i than they do with a 1987 XJ6 or an XJS.

    I'd say $1,000 a year for repairs and maintinence should be fine assuming that the car doesnt have the problems I mentioned above. These are either great cars, OR, they can rund and drive nicely, and be hiding $1,000 in repairs. So look it over carefully.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,594
    Yes! Start with a GOOD ONE, that's the trick, and find a COMPETENT Jaguar mechanic, is trick #2.

    This is what I always encourage people to do "without exception" if they want a pleasant Jaguar experience. But too many people jump on high miles cars that aren't carefully and thoroughly inspected, or they fall into the hands of real monkeys who don't know a Jaguar from a Pontiac (despite their claims).

    If your shop fixes Jaguars, Porsches and Buicks, watch out.

    Also, stay away from the 12s, but that's another topic.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Even in the mid- to late-80's, did Jags still use Lucas electrical systems and Smiths gauges? These things seem to have an alarmingly high failure rate.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Nah... if its clean... 3500 wholesale.. MAYBE 4K if it loks like a 97.

    Now, tomorrow we're delivering a 1990 VDP. Sold for $9,500. It has 48,000 REAL Miles on it and I would DARE you to find anything wrong with it. And you know how well I know these cars.

    Door seals are new, Leather, wood, Mechanics, Paint, chrome.. perfect. Leak and rust free. New Pirellis. New AC system. The car is a total stunner. My Jag mechanic has been all over it and I spent $1,300 on the car with him (Damned compressor blew.. and the customer wanted new door seals. Didnt NEED em, but he wanted it perfect and who am I to blame him)

    But, again, Miles and condition are paramount to value on these cars...

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,594
    Now Bill don't you go DARE me to find things wrong with a car! That is one of the few things in life I am very good at--lol!

    Hey, you should buy my girlfriend's 1999 Lexus. It has 2,900 miles on it!

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  • c43amg7c43amg7 Posts: 32
    I had a '95 XJ-12 Sedan (essentially a Van den Plas without the fluted grill and plinth, but with the V-12 and all options) -- great car and no trouble at all with the V-12. Tremendous torque and great for uphill passing -- faster than any S-class (including the S600 -- too heavy) and the 740s -- a 750 would be very close. Eevryone ought to have a V-12 at least once in their life (teaches the kids to spot cheap premium -- got 10.5 MPG city and 16 highway, which is not bad for two 3L V-6s, each getting 21 city and 32 highway!).

    Drove it from 10,000 miles to 50,000 miles but Jaguar didn't want to roll over the lease, so I let it go. Wife also had an '86 XJ6 at the same time -- the best of the Series III in terms of both styling and reliability -- also trouble free. Women love Jaguars.

    Have now gone over to the dark side -- C43 AMG, 420SEL and a 190E Limited Edition (with factory Sportline). M-B repair costs similar to Jaguar and, of course different driving feel. Finding a good Jaguar independent once it's out of warranty is key -- I would myself avoid the XJ40s and go after '95 or take a late Series III -- '86 or '87.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883

    Just one question here.

    You date a woman who drives the automotive sensory deprevation chamber?

    Oh wait... tis for sale... Has she seen the light yet?

    As far as the VDP.. I'm pretty conservative in my descriptions... it is that nice. Seriously. Even I am duly impressed. OK, so it has the odd parking ding. There :)

    PS... I got a nice 93 164S 5-sp in... Tell yer GF we take trade-ins.. haha!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,594
    Well, Bill, I don't try to influence other people's choices if they don't ask me. I think Lexus are very nice cars, but god are they boring to drive. Maybe some of the new ones they are making now with 6-speeds and some guts might be better, I'll have to see. I find Jaguars pretty boring to drive, too, but they are pleasant and comfortable, so I understand their appeal. Even the XK8 I drove did nothing for me.

    But I don't expect jaguar to cater to my narrow definitions of "fun" in driving. They USED to do that many years ago, but now, to stay alive they have to appeal to a wide variety of tastes. I mean, unless you want to be as small as Morgan!

    Now an Alfa 164, that is a fun car to drive, but not one I would recommend for most ladies. I do know a few who drive them, but winding up the engines and slamming the gears is not to most women's tastes. This is why you see so many women drivers in XJ6s, for the refinement.

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