Back to Blasts of the Past

1987 Jaguar
XJ-SC V-12
SOLD 01/03/2015

Targa Convertible Coupe
82K Original Miles5.4 Liter V-12
Automatic Transmission
Power Steering/
Disc Brakes
Climate Control/Power Windows
Leather interior/Alloy Wheels

Built 17 November 1986
#2,953 of 5,013 Built
1 of 295 Black XJ-SCs
1,947 Built U.S. Specs

October 22, 2015 -  HAIRBALL! - I found the Jaguar listed on the local Craigslist today:  "OK, I have a Jaaaaaag that is in need of a new owner. I have been working on this for a while trying to overcome a hot stall issue and have eaten up the valve guides while doing such. this is the perfect platform for dropping in a LT1 engine and having an elegant hot rod, or just rebuilding the existing V12 engine that is in it."  Sorta sad that they ruined the engine trying to fix something that has to be a minor electrical issue, but it sure makes me feel better about throwing in the towel early on.
January 3, 2015 -  A New Owner - Despite intentions to spend more time troubleshooting the Jaguar, I sold her today to a fellow who had contacted me when I had it listed.  He emailed earlier this week to see if I would still want to sell it, and I said no.  But after thinking things over that night, I wrote back the next morning and said OK.  He has Jaguar expertise and garage space, neither of which I possess.  So now the Studebaker is free to roam and I have two empty spaces in the driveway again.  Yeah, I took a financial beating on the Jaguar, but truth be told I usually at least break even.  I am not in this as a business, so I figure I am miles ahead even with the occasional hiccup - or in this case, a Jaguar-sized hairball.  It was a lovely car to drive, and I enjoyed having it. 
December 26, 2014 - Winterized and running (briefly) - The convertible top is not sealing well around the forward edge, so I finally got the hardtop back on.  It is a very nice-looking setup, and even has upholstered covers for the securing clamps (inset image).  I also cranked her up - the car fired immediately even though I have not started it in almost a week and ran smoothly for a couple of minutes before it died.  This time I caught it on video, which is posted on You-Tube at:  There are a lot of possible causes - one of which is apparently NOT a cold start system, since the car does not have one.  Possible ignition or emission system issues.  Or fuel.  Or ancient curses.  I'll keep researching and seeing what I can find as potential issues.  If you have an idea or suggestion on how to fix it, please email me!  (
December 25, 2014 - And Off the Market - I decided to give the Jaguar another chance for Xmas.  Frustration is a stupid reason to dump the car for so much less than what I have in it - besides, only a couple of folks have been interested even at a giveaway price.  I plan to get back into diagnostic mode and keep at it.  If troubleshooting takes months longer to sort the car out, so be it.  And if I don't succeed, well, Spring is a better time to sell a convertible anyway!
November 30, 2014 - For Sale - The Jaguar is listed on Craigs List as of today - we'll see what happens.  I put a price of $2500 on it - a big loss, but i would like it out of the way.  The car started right up and ran well today, but as it warmed up it stumbled and died.  I suspect it is running on the cold start circuit and the main circuit is not working.  I pulled and swapped a lot of relays when i was trying to diagnose the problem, and probably put a bad one in it.  I'll get in there next weekend and see about swapping things out again.  I have a bunch of relays.  If I fix it, I'll raise the price.  The oil is right up to the level and clean as new, coolant is fine, no smoke, no leaks.  It would probably be different if I had garage space for it, and/or more time for tinkering.  Oh, well
November 23, 2014 - Success and Failure - I left for a month in Africa right after the previous post, got back for a weekend with blowing rain,  then spent a week in Florida, then finally came back home to stay for a while.  The weather finally cooperated, and I was able to get the Jaguar in the air and get the modulator valve replaced.  On the plus side, the job took less than an hour, and the new part was a perfect replacement.  The car started right up and idled fine, and the smoke cleared up quickly.  BUT it idled rough at high RPM, and when I tried revving the engine to clear the cylinders, it stumbled.  I let it idle again and it stalled.  Now it does not want to start.  :SIGH.  Oh, well.  I'll play with it a bit more - I am pretty sure that the modulator valve was a problem, but something else is not right.  I suspect the Jag will be posted on Craig's List soon.
September 17, 2014 - Engineer de Sade? - I found the modulator valve at Advance Auto for $13 last night, and the factory shop manual showed the vale sitting on the right bottom side of the transmission - easy to get to and only one bolt to remove.  What the manual did NOT show was the resonator which blocks removal of the valve.  In order to remove this $13 part held in by a single half-inch bolt, i will have to remove a good portion of the right exhaust system!  Jaguar makes lovely cars that are fun to drive, but their engineers either got degrees from the British equivalent of 7-11, or the Marguis de Sade.  I'm leaning towards the Marque de Sade.  The Jag will have to sit a while longer until I can get her up in the air enough to remove the exhaust.
September 14, 2014 - HOPE BLOOMS - Talking to Jaguar owners at today's Classics on the Green import car show in New Kent VA (See Wildflower's page for important news!) may have paid off - one fellow with 8 XJSs thinks that the problem lies in a cheap and easy-to-replace transmission modulator valve!  The XJS uses a standard GM 400 Automatic, and parts are available at most auto supply places.  I'll check it out later this week.  Keep your fingers crossed!
August 24, 2014 - AND NOT THE COIL - I was able to locate a correct new coil for the Jaguar - it showed a history of eating coils every 2K miles due to the heat of being mounted in the middle of the cylinder head.  However, the coil makes no difference.  She will start up and run badly, putting out oil smoke, then stall out.  Next guess is the injection module, though it could also be the ignition module or the engine control module in the trunk, or perhaps a sensor.  Lots to check out.  Happily, I can leave the car until one shows up in a local cheapie junkyard and hopefully find some inexpensive parts to swap out.  I knew what I was getting into when I bought the car - at least I got 2500 delightful miles out of her before she decided to act up!
July 21, 2014 - NOT THE PUMP - The first place I looked for trouble as the fuel pump, which is one of the few components that has not been replaced.  Happily, both the fuel pump and the fuel filter are easily accessed inside the trunk.  Unhappily, the fuel pump was not the issue.  It works fine and the relay/start circuit turns it on for a couple of seconds to pressurize the fuel rails just like it is supposed to.  I have gotten the car to start and run (badly) a few times, so it is not anything that is go/no go.  The tune-up is just a few thousand miles old.  All of the electronics for the engine, from the Electronic Control Unit to the ignition amplifier have been replaced more than once!  I'll have to do more research, and hopefully find an XJS in a junkyard that I can get some of the major electronics off of to do some swapping around.
July 12, 2014 - HAIRBALL! - The Jaguar has been flawless for months, but of course, all good things must come to an end.  She coughed up a hairball tonight as I was heading out for a short fun drive and died a block from the house.  I thought he car was idling a bit oddly, but it was doing OK as I pulled out fo the driveway.  I got a block from the house and she died.  Probably a fuel issue, as I was able to get the car to fire and run at high RPM briefly.  I am very grateful this happened a block from the house and not way out at the horse show a few weeks ago.  Even so, my neighbors were gone and I had to push the car by myself back to the house.  Got her partway up the initial slope of the driveway and then enlisted the Studebaker to pull her up the rest of the way using a tie-down strap.  The Studebaker barely felt the Jag, and by taking it easy I was able to get the Jag well positioned in the driveway.  I'll have to start diagnostics now to figure if it is fuel or spark.
June 28, 2014 - BUSY DAY - A friend (Wildflower, the World's Most Perfect Filly) took her human out to their first horse show today out in Suffolk, so I rolled out in the Jaguar to enjoy the sunny day.  Both horse and rider did great, as did the Jaguar, though it got rather dusty driving across the field a few times.  That took up most of the afternoon, but when we got back home there was time enough to give her a quick bath before heading out to Landsdale Commons in Virginia Beach for the weekly Summer Car Display.  Entry is $2 and goes to benefit the Children's Hospital.  There were some nice cars out there - The car next to the Jaguar was a 2004 Thunderbird 'Pacific Coast' limited edition.  Only 1,000 were built, and I know that at least two are in this area, because  bud Richard's wife has one just like it!  Anyway, well over 2,000 miles on the Jaguar as of today.  Oil is down about a third of a quart and I added a half-pint of power steering fluid (I had never checked the fluid level before).  I am getting about 14 mpg, and the car runs and drives super.
June 23, 2014 - SALES FOLDER! - I got a nice surprise in the mail today - Bob and Pam Bond (TC 0469's humans) sent me a huge 1987 Jaguar XJS prestige sales folder that Bob got from the dealership back when the car was new.  It's a beautiful piece with several pages on the XJ-SC.  Oh, the overhead light fix did work - hasn't slipped a bit.
June 15, 2014 - TRUE GRIT - The center overhead light on the Jaguar is press-fit, and kept falling down.  I seem to have solved the issue by super-gluing strips of 100-grit sandpaper to each side.  The light can still be pulled out, but the grit of the sandpaper provides the extra resistance needed to keep it in place.
May 24, 2014 - JB WELD TO THE RESCUE - I got my drill charged up and finished drilling out the broken-off nipple.  Then I put the metal tube in place and secured with a ring of JB Weld Epoxy - great stuff!  While the repaired until did not cure the cruise control, it did smooth out the idle.  I took the car out to Isle of Wight today, a nice 100-mile round trip.  She ran great.
May 21, 2014 - UNCOOL CAT - It was a lot warmer today, but when I started the car and let it run a while, the air never got cold.  The compressor is running, so I suspect whatever sensor triggers the gate valve is not working.  Something to track down later.  However, while I was searching for A/C/ issues, I think I found the problem with the cruise control.  The arrow is pointing to where a vacuum hose fitting should be - it is broken off, creating a vacuum leak.  There are wires leading from it to the cruise control bellows.  So I am going to try making a new fitting using a section of metal tubing I got out of a ballpoint pen.  I plan to drill out the broken fitting and then glue the metal tube in place.  Unfortunately, my cordless drill battery was dead, so I have to wait for it to charge up. 
May 18, 2014 - COOL CAT - A friend in the antique car club is an A/C specialist, and he checked out the Jaguar's non-functioning climate control system.  The lines held pressure, but not a vacuum, which he suspects is a dry shaft seal on t he compressor.  However, since the system is under pressure, he decided it would be worth charging.  He had a tank of reclaimed R-12 which he charged the system with.  The air blew nice and cold for about 10 seconds, then the cooling stopped even though the compressor continued working.  It was a cool day, and we think the climate control triggered a bypass valve.  I'll find out on the next hot day!
May 15, 2014 - HAPPY OWNER - Hard to believe I have only had the Jaguar for two months.  I've put about 1500 miles on the car thanks to a lot of club activities and pleasure driving.  While that may not sound like a lot, the previous owner only put 3,000 miles on the car in six years!  I still have a lot of little stuff to fix, but so far the car has been very reliable and a blast to drive.  It is getting about 14 MPG per tank, which is the top end of the EPA rating in 1987, so I can't complain.
May 11, 2014 - HAPPY CAT - I took the Jaguar out for a long ride today for the first time with the new tires, and WOW!  Any regrets I had about ditching the dry-rotted Pirellis vanished.  It's almost a different car - silent on the road and with a wonderfully smooth ride.  It had a harsh edge to it before that seemed a little out of character - all gone now.  The car still feels tight and responsive, but it doesn't transmit every tar strip and road uneveness.  And I am really enjoying the convertible setup.  Now that I am used to it, putting the top up and down and getting the cover on is pretty quick and easy.  I still need to get the rear window replaced, but I don't plan to drive it in the rain.  Still, you never know when plans will change.
May 10, 2014 - AND RE-FUSED - The only thing keeping the Jaguar from passing VA state inspection was the non-functioning emergency flashers.  I replaced the fuse, and they started working fine - BUT in another perverse stroke of British engineering, the seatbelt warning buzzer came on as soon as I put the key in the ignition.  And wouldn't go off.  Not even with the ignition off, keys in my hand, and standing outside the car.  So I ended up removing the right side dash access panel and unplugging the seatbelt logic module.  That solved the problem, and the car should now be ready.  The next item on the list was the A/C.  Given the fuse-related solutions of most other Jaguar ills, I discovered that the 50-amp AGC fuse used for the A/C is not available locally.  Now, I am a sucker for anything on eBay that is cheap and goes to one of my cars.  So when I found the fuses I needed for $6 for a pack of 5 including postage, I bought them.  And figuring that troubleshooting the A/C system might be a difficult process, I found another vendor selling the fuses and got two more packs for a total of $8.84.  Fifteen fuses would be enough to get me through even a Lucas A/C system.  However, when the five-pack arrived, I discovered that I had made an incorrect assumption.  The original Lucas 50-AMP fuse was fine.  The Freon is probably just low, as it has not been charged in 17 years.  Then the two-pack arrived the next day.  Ummmm, make that two BOXES.  Instead of buying ten fuses from the second vendor, he had sent me FIFTY!  I figure the total of 55 50-AMP fuses should be a lifetime supply, especially considering that the first one is still good after 27 years.
May 9, 2014 - RE-TIRED - One of the reasons I got the Jaguar so cheap was that the expensive Pirelli tires with 3K miles on them had extensive sidewall cracking from age.  This kind of dry rot occurs more often when  vehicle is not used and the tire rubber doesn't get stretched out. As painful as it was to get rid of the otherwise beautiful radials, the risk of a  blowout on the highway was very real.   I did wait until I put some miles on the car and made reasonably sure that there were no serious issues before investing in new rubber.  However, I dropped her off early this morning at the WalMart across the street and picked her up a few hours later with new Goodyears mounted and balanced for $340 total.  I took the car on the interstate, and it is actually quieter and feels a lot smoother. 
April 27, 2014 - CONVERTED - More cleaning with very little results on the rear window - but I was amazed to find that the top boot cover fit and cleaned up great.  I drove about 100 miles today, and the top-down ride is nice.  Almost  no wind buffeting at all.  And I got a bit over 15 mpg this last tank - not bad at all for a car with an EPA top rating of 14.  Of course, I went through all the headaches of getting the convertible top on just in time for a week of rain starting tomorrow. 
April 26, 2014 - SOFT TOP - I had a busy day today, mostly with work on the Jaguar.  I started off visiting a local junkyard that I had tracked through an online parts source as having an XJS.  When I called, they said they only had some XJ sedans, but I was welcome to look.  Hidden between the XJ6s was a pewter XJS coupe, which provided another courtesy light (I had one missing in the cargo area) and a seatback release knob for the passenger seat (also missing). Both parts were a big $5!   I fixed and installed the light, and then decided it was time to try the convertible top.  The swap from hard shell to soft top is not for the faint of heart, especially after what has probably been many years.  However, about 3 hours later I had the job done.  The top fits well, but the window is discolored from age.  I'll work on cleaning it - if that fails, I'll have to get the window replaced.  Still, it will be fun to have the Jag able to 'convert'.
April 25, 2014 - THE LIGHT STUFF - When I put the repaired T-top on, I noticed that I have a center dome light between the visors.  A light that doesn't work.  When I pulled it out, I found out why.  The plastic base on the positive side had crumbled some time in the past and the contact was hanging loose.  I was able to get the contact back in place by building up JB Weld epoxy, and it now comes on fine with the floor lights.  It doesn't tilt on any more, but that's not a big deal. The same lamp was used in the XJS coupes, so I may be able to find a good one in the future.
April 24, 2014 - SWAP - I had time tonight after work to pull out the new Targa panel and swap out the broken latch in the Jaguar's driver side panel.   I also switched the surround, since the original part was worn.  It took longer than expected, of course, but the new part works great and the panel will now unlatch and latch like it was meant to.
April 23, 2014 - T FOR 1 - The NOS Targa panel arrived in its original Jaguar factory bag and box.  Pretty neat, even if it is brown instead of black.  I'll be taking the latches and mechanisms out so I can fix the driver's side on the car. I also got a factory XJS parts catalog printed like a glossy magazine from the same people.  Drove the car tonight again - so far she is doing great.
April 19, 2014 - NICK AT NIGHT - The LED conversion is out, as the third brake light assembly is one-piece.  However, it did not take long to find the problem.  The positive and negative leads to the first bulb are on splitters that allow leads to the rest of the bulbs.  This puts them close together - in this case, too close.  The unshielded metal negative contact rubbed a tiny nick into the insulation covering the positive lead, which caused the short.  I moved the leads apart and put shrink tubing insulation around the positive lead and electrical tape around the negative lead.  Everything is working properly now.  And I passed 1,000 miles on the Jaguar today with a drive out to Richard's and my parents'.  With the exception of the minor wiring issue, the car has done very well.
April 19, 2014 - LET THERE BE (BRAKE) LIGHT! - I checked the Internet today and found a post about someone with an XJS Jaguar whose brake lights had stopped working - every time he hit the pedal the fuse blew.  And the problem started when he had the car repainted, and the third brake light on the trunk lid had been removed and reinstalled - that started the issue.  Hmmm.  My car was repainted in the recent past, and it looked like the third brake light had been removed for the job.  It stopped raining this afternoon long enough for me to go out and disconnect the plug in the trunk and insert a new fuse.  Bingo!  Or should I say Brake Lights!  I'll see what is shorting out the third brake light assembly - I may convert it to LED.  But the car is safe to drive again.
April 18, 2014 - LUCAS - PRINCE OF DARKNESS! - And in this case, it was rather literal.  I drove the Jaguar to work today and then went to visit my friends in Isle of Wight country - about 35 miles from the office.  On the way, I noticed the turn signal wasn't working and remembered the turn signal/brake light issue when I bought the car.  Sure enough, the fuse was blown.  I replaced it twice, only to have it pop the first time I used the brakes.  At least the issue is the brake system, which is relatively simple.  However, it made for a tense drive home on the Interstate - naturally I hit bumper-to-bumper traffic at the tunnel.  It was a great relief to get her home.  I'll troubleshoot the issue when the rain stops.  I also plan to swap the turn signals over to a separate fuse so I don't lost both signals and brake lights with one fuse.  I bought what is purported to be the last NOS targa panel in the world off eBay - I have been unable to find a replacement for the broken front latch on the driver's side panel on my car, and this passenger side has two of the latches plus a critical center seal.  Plus, I had a nice chat with Jeremy at Paul's jaguar Parts in Florida.  They used to specialize in the XJ-SCs - I ended up buying a printed factory parts manual from them as well.  The car is running great - just some annoying stuff to work out.
April 13, 2014 - BRITS FOR 2 - I took the Jag out to Richard's today - front tops removed.  I haven't tried to fit the convertible section yet.   TC508 is running great, and we took her out for a short drive.  The cars are both 2-passenger Brits, but with a lot of differences over 4 decades and two different levels of clientele.  One thing that is surprising is how big the TC looks compared to the land yacht Jag - she sits taller, though the Jag is bigger in every other dimension.  The Jag did 14 MPG on this tank as well - not great, but upper register for its type.  Oh, I found more receipts for repairs, bringing the current total up to $40,138 - not counting the repaint, tires, sound system, or 6-year battery.  I found an XJS modification site online today that recommends removing the four (4) resonators and leaving just the mufflers to gain 10-15 HP and a nicer exhaust note.  There is a muffler shop in my future!
April 12, 2014 - RUST REMOVED - There was only one spot of rust on the Jaguar - curiously, the finger well for the driver's door handle!  It apparently had not been prepped when the car was painted.  I taped off the area, then used a Dremel tool to clean the inside down to bare metal.  A coat of primer and then some black auto paint finished it out pretty well.

I checked under the car and also checked various fluid levels.  No leaks or drips so far.  I plan to take her for a good run tomorrow - out to Isle of Wight, then to Richard's in Chesapeake, then my parents, then home.  Should end up about 150 miles or more round trip.

April 10, 2014 - BRIGHT LIGHTS - The Jaguar came with factory Bosch fog/driving lights that had suffered over the years.  The left one had a shattered lens and the other had turned milky inside.  I was able to get a really nice set off eBay for $40 - they were exact replacements, so I just swapped out the lens assemblies and retainers.  They look great and work perfect.  I've driven the car several times now, including another run to Richard's and two runs to work.  I got caught in traffic one time and spent 45 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic with no ill effects!
April 1, 2014 - NO FOOLIN'! - I know the Jaguar is a convertible, but I haven't touched the tops since I bought the car.  However, it is a beautiful day today, and I plan to drive the car to my MG club meeting later on.  So I pulled the T-tops.  Incredibly easy, and the panels stored perfectly in their bag in the trunk.  The car cover stayed on in a lot of wind, and kept the car pretty much spotless.  That's saying something with a black car.  I drove her around the block - totally smooth and quiet.  Almost makes me want to put glass packs on her to hear those 12 cylinders rumble, but I suppose that would be heresy.
March 30, 2014 - Wall-to-Wall Engine! - Opening the hood of a V-12 Jaguar can be both awe-inspiring and terrifying.  The terrifying part is the thought of eventually having to dig into it to find things like spark plugs and fan belts.  The actual opening is easier now that I have installed a fresh set of OEM hood struts - the first cheaper set died after one opening closing.  Happily, the vendor is refunding the cost in full and even sent a shipping label to pay for the return.
March 29, 2014 - MORE RECEIPTS - The man I bought the Jaguar from had most of his work done by Abacus Racing, the premier local British car specialist in our area.  They did most of the rebuild work on my 1948 MG TC (Eleanor).  While the car had all of the receipts from the previous owner, there were none from the second owner, so I contacted Abacus to see if I could get a rough idea of what work had been done to the car recently.  They offered to let me look at the Jaguar's service records, and I went over this morning.  They actually printed off the entire set of receipts so I could have a full record.  The receipts started at 77K miles, apparently when the car was purchased.  I just finished looking over them - HOLY SH...  uh, Holy Cow, Batman!  New brakes and rotors, new water pump, new window motors, regulators, and switches, all hoses and belts, power steering pump, engine and transmission seals, sub-frame bushings, etc.  The total from Abacus was $7,035 - again, not including the repaint, tires, battery and other stuff.  That brings the repairs total up to $38,518.90, or roughly $2.36 per mile repair costs.  The crazy thing is none of that is what I would consider serious.  The engine and transmission are original and strong.  The repairs do underscore what many friends in both car clubs have told me - run away!  However, I have a huge advantage over the previous owners in that I can do my own work.  The repairs I have made so far would have probably cost $600 or more if I had paid to have them done - instead, I spent about $120 in parts.  We'll see.
March 26, 2014 - LICENSE STUFF - First the good news - the new license plate light assemblies I ordered Sunday night arrived today, along with the license plates.  I got them both installed.  The bad news is the third in a string of eBay disappointments - a CD factory shop manual set was so bad the pages were hard to read.  One new hood strut was shot, and the other is weaker than the one good old one I removed Saturday.  And the car cover I bought for the Jag has two issues - it's too big and blows off, and the napped lining leaves residue on the fabric top!  So I am back to using the extra cover I already had, which may be just fine as it is.  Oh, I got a new steering wheel cover to replace the worn and dirty one on the car, only to have the old one break apart coming off and the new one tear going on!  I got my money back for the new one, and was pleased to find that the original leather wheels was in good shape underneath and didn't need a cover after all!  I drove the car tonight to play 'computer geek' for some car club friends.  However, I am a much better class nerd - the 'real' Geek Squad uses VW beetles. In any case, the car ran perfect!
March 24, 2014 - KEYS - The Jaguar only had one set of keys, which is a bit risky.  So I stopped by Cuffey's Locksmith in Newport News - they are an old shop with pretty much every key imaginable, and they even had a Jaguar key fob for $4.85!  I also fixed a back-up light that wasn't working, but made the unhappy discovery that my 2 day-old hood struts had already gone bad!  Looks like the prop rod Richard made me will get some use after all.  Hopefully the vendor will make good.
March 23, 2014 - TOURING - My antique car club had a tour to Gloucester VA today, and thanks to staying up to midnight last night fixing the tail lights, I was able to drive the Jaguar.  The car club folks were of divided opinions - while all of them agreed it was beautiful, half thought I was crazy for buying a V12 Jaguar, and the other half figured I got a great deal.  The car it amazing to drive - rock solid and smooth, with a seemingly endless supply of power.  You don't hear the engine - it's like being in an electric car.  And today's 102 mile run was flawless - no glitches or issues.  Best I can tell, the car is getting about 15 miles per gallon, which is better than expected.  I was able to locate and order new Jaguar license plate light assemblies this morning, which will take care of potential future tail light fuses.
March 22, 2014 - FIRST DRIVE - Today was the big day for the Jag.  I started off clay-barring and waxing the paint.  Then it was off to Richard's, about 30 miles away.  The car ran super, smooth and strong.  The new oil did take care of the oil pressure issue.  When I got to Richard's the brake light had come on.  Turns out that the new brake reservoir hose on one side had slipped off and all the fluid had drained out. Richard found some hose and I put a new piece on with clamps and refilled the reservoir.  All fixed.  Sandy went for a ride, and Richard drove it.  They were both impressed.  Then off to Mom and Dad's - they did not know about the car either and really liked it.  As I started to go home, I noticed that the license plate lights were out.  I messed with them, and promptly burned out a fuse to the right tail light.  It took two hours of searching the trunk when I got home, but I finally found the %$#@! fuse - it was a separate fuse hidden up in the right side.  And the hood struts were waiting for me, so I installed them as well.  The glitches were operator error, so I chalk the first drive of close to 100 miles today as a rousing success!
March 21, 2014 - THE JAGUAR VALDEZ? - One of the first things I do when I get a car is change the oil and filter.  Not usually a big job, but on a V-12 Jaguar that means 12 quarts of oil!!  However, I think she needed it - the oil filter was very dirty and even had rust, leading me to believe it has not been changed in a very long time.  Not many miles, but years take their toll as well.  I cleaned the interior, which looks very nice.  Tomorrow she will get her first real drive out to Richard's (of course).  I finished up listing the repair receipts in a table and discovered why so few of these cars survived.  No one could afford them!  I am not talking about the $45K purchase price.  In the first decade of life, this Jaguar cost the original owner an additional $31,483.30 in repairs!!  That's three-quarters of the purchase price!    I have to say that looking through the many repeated repairs, the dealer must have had an incompetent or crooked repair shop - and the original owner must not have looked too hard at the work being done.  And the $31K does not include work past 1997 - since then the car has received a nice total repaint, new Pirelli tires, a new Pioneer stereo, and a good bit of maintenance work from Abacus Racing!
March 20, 2014 - MAKING PROGRESS - I had to come home early for a Verizon phone service repair to get the house phone working, but since it was a beautiful day, I didn't mind taking the vacation time at all.  I spent last night changing rotten brake reservoir hoses in the rain, but it was too cold and wet to do anything else.  I got the car cleaned up today, including emptying the trunk and vacuuming the interior.  The trunk was full of things - two convertible boot covers, the rear folding convertible section, the original tools in the matching carpet bag (on the left side), fill-sized spare on a mag wheel plus a spare center cap, and the remote for the Pioneer AM-FM CD player.  I also discovered that the battery, which I thought was 6 years-old, is a high-end battery just a year ago!  The trunk carpet is in excellent shape, as is the spare tire cover and the special bag that holds the T-tops when they are removed.  I gave the car a bath, and cleaned the wheels and tires.  Then I started attacking the electronic issues and made some more happy discoveries.  The turn signals and brake lights all go through one fuse, which was blown.  It was also an original Lucas fuse, which means the electrical system is in pretty good shape.  I had to also replace a bad stop light bulb, but the car now has all her lights working.  Also, the brakes have come up, and I discovered that an issue with the radio losing power was due to its power wire being simply stuck under a fuse rather than actually being installed.  Oh, the passenger side mirror, which I thought was broken, had just popped out of its mount.  Once I pushed the glass back onto its swivel ball, it worked great (dual power, of course).  Maybe I wasn't so crazy adopting this cat after all!
March 18, 2014 - MINE! - Cold, wet, and windy weather is keeping me from doing anything to the Jaguar, although I did manage to get her titled and tagged today.  Temporary tags until the personalized 'V12 XJS' permanent plates arrive.  And of course, I have been busy on eBay, getting repair manuals, hood struts, a period road test, a showroom sales folder, and a car cover.  Hoping to get some diagnostics done later this week when the rain is expected to go away and temperatures rise to 60.
March 17, 2014 - HOME! - Chip gave me a ride over tonight to pick up the Jaguar.  Cold, windy and rainy, but I wanted her paid for and in my driveway.  The trip home was uneventful, though Chip noted the brake lights and turn signals were not working.    Turns out both are run through a single fuse, so it is likely to be an easy fix.  I started ordering things as soon as I got home, most notably repair manuals, a car cover, and some hood support struts.  Going through the paperwork is daunting - the original owner spent a huge amount on the car with dealer service.  No receipts from work the man I bought it from had done, but I can see most of it.  Fuel injector hoses and clamps are all new, and the paint job is also obviously recent.  He apparently had a lot of work done at Abacus Racing, the local import specialty shop - that is where Eleanor (my former 1948 TC) got a total mechanical overhaul.  I am hoping for some better weather so I can start cleaning and tinkering!
March 16, 2014 - ANOTHER JAG - Almost 7 years to the day since I bought my first Jaguar, I bought my second!   This black coupe was on Craig's List and looked really pretty.  Though I had no business looking at another car, I decided to check it out.  This is a very unusual model - a Targa-style coupe with removable panels.  The back and top come off and can be replaced with convertible pieces, or left open.  With the solid parts on it is like a closed coupe, otherwise it is a convertible with a built-in roll bar.  This one has just 80K miles and looks great.  No dings, dents, or rust, the interior is really sharp, and it has a 2-inch stack of receipts from new that include the original window sticker ($45K in 1987 = $94K 2014 dollars!).  It has some issues, of course.  The turn signals don't work, the interior fans blow but no air comes out anywhere, and the brakes are low.  However, it started right up and drove really well.  Most of the issues are probably minor.  I got the car for $3200, so troubles are expected.  Still, it's a pretty cool-looking set of wheels!  I'll be picking the car up tomorrow.

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