- Nov 26, 2007
- Atomic toaster
Here it is, the journey-proven stalwart bought from eBay for a grand.
Ever since the UK roadtrip idea started brewing amongst us, there was a thought of buying something random from the classifieds and using that to do the trip. Obviously for the longest time there really wasn?t a clear-cut idea what to buy and who would buy it, but as the trip drew closer the core group of me, Lastsoul and MXM assembled together a vague budget and assigned Dave and Arron to go see something affordable within a decent range. Lots of Jags were looked at and they seemed just about on the wrong side of ropey: rampant rust, non-functional switchgear and lapsed MOT.
But then, with roughly a week to go, we found this: a 1994 Daimler Six with the 4.0 engine, advertised 114 000 miles and strict asking price of ?1000 ? and a month?s valid MOT. Underbody shots made us feel as much confident as the chrome arches scared us, and the guys, nice enough to drop all other plans and go see the vehicle, reported that it seemed certainly sound enough to buy. We did the deal over intense whatsapping, and as the car was purchased and driven to its temporary home, each of us poured a celebratory beer. Over the next days the D was given a once-over, with its bottom poked and plugs and oils changed.
At the start of the trip, MXM flew to get the car and drove it to Edinburgh. There, me and my GF joined the tour, and it took until Oban, Scotland for Lastsoul to join in. At that point we had already deflated one of the 2004 Pirellis, and ended up buying two new tires for the front in Scotland and two new rear tires when we got to Germany. They are all the same nBlues, but fronts bear Roadstone badging and rears Nexen. One of the fronts also has a manufacturing defect, meaning it?s not perfectly round, only black.
After 6500 km and 800 litres of fuel, the car is now in Finland. It proved to be insanely reliable for a quickly bought 1200 euro Brexitmobile: the only actual real breakdown was a brakedown, as a brake line had corroded under a clamp and crumbled in MXM?s hands after a leak was discovered. The car was driven very, very carefully to a garage near Manchester, and we rented a pint-sized Seat for the night. There are a host of little issues, some exterior imperfections and a manageable amount of rot, but thanks to a decent undersealing at an early enough point it all looks repairable at this point. Service history is there up to 100k or so, and for the last decade there are MOT records to prove the odo reading. Interior is damn near excellent and the headliner sag is not terrible. And it?s Brooklands Green over tan, a combo that really only works on a car like this. Even the chrome arches can almost be justified.
I had never really considered the X300/X308 to be as great a car as this turned out to be, as previous years of keyboard warrioring had nearly rendered the car unsalvageably uncool on this forum ? XJ40 notwithstanding, as those have retained their wacky, wood-laden ?80s technoyuppie luxury appearance and have a great underdog feel to them at this point in history. But since this is pretty much just an XJ40 facelift and shares much of the interior with one, I was ready to lump it together with the quirky older cars. And ? note ? it?s not a Jaguar
But the driving experience is something to be treasured even with completely shot rear shocks, the engine note is a joy with the bastardized exhausts, the handling makes the car feel a lot more nimble than it should be, and the rear seat can almost accommodate a person old enough to drink whisky.
It?s a ?Grand tourer, one that has lost 99% of its value but gained something invaluable: our affection.