Category Archives: Cars

Mid-life Crisis

Other than homebrewing beer, my other passion is old cars, specifically the British classic, the Jaguar. I fell in love with these when I was around 10 years old. I used to sneak and watch episodes of The Equalizer on the small black and white portable TV in my bedroom. In the show Edward Woodward, in his role as Robert McCall an ex British secret service agent, would take on jobs from people who were unfairly treated (Hence the name of the show). His chosen method of transport, a series 3 Jaguar XJ6.

Jaguar Series 3 XJ6
Jaguar Series 3 XJ6

A thing of beauty.

I decided that my quickly depreciating modern car would need to be sold before I lost any more money on it, and I had fretted about fuel economy and maintenance, the usual sensible things any self-respecting person would consider when looking for a daily mode of transport.


What did I find for less than my car was sold for…

Jaguar X308 XJR Supercharged V8
Jaguar X308 XJR Supercharged V8


A 4.0 litre Supercharged V8 XJR from the year 2000 (I dare you to not read “The year 2000” in some sort of movie trailer voice in your head)

This car has been referred to as a “Thug in a sharp suit”. I couldn’t put it better, having owned this for a month now I can’t begin to tell you how much power this car can offer.  Delivering 370 bhp, and a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds. This car is scary quick, but with the styling of a well-dressed city gent.

Under the bonnet you find the last of the true British Jaguar designed engines (but built at the Ford plant), the AJ-V8 SC. Here it is in all its glory…

Jaguar AJ-V8
Jaguar AJ-V8


So far so good. Well like I say I have owned this for a month and have loved every minute of it. I have noticed the fuel consumption, I’ve only got to open the car door and it seems to have used a gallon of petrol. My average is about 20mpg, although I have taken it on a couple of long runs now and I am getting 31mpg. Around town it is awful and this drops to 16mpg. I’m not complaining however because SUPERCHARGED V8.

There’s a bit of rust, the rear driver’s side window goes down but not up, one of the dashboard bulbs has gone, the CD changer in the boot loads the discs but doesn’t play them and the rear windscreen de-mister only clears the top half. But that’s the joy of owning an old car. These are minor things that I can live with and will get round to sorting. One thing I did have was the car continually reporting that the coolant was low. The previous owner had the whole coolant system replaced as well as the head gaskets and water pump at the beginning of the year so I was dreading what it could be. Turns out it was two pipes that needed swapping.

Here’s a spot the difference for you…

Picture depicting pipes in the wrong place
Spot the difference

(Hint: The one on the left is wrong)

What was happening was that in the wrong position it would suck all the coolant out of the expansion tank, and dump it out on to the road. Not Ideal.

Also there was a pipe that went from the air filter to the throttle body. This had split and was repaired with gaffer tape. Good if you’re the A-team, bad if you want reliability. Off to eBay I went and found a replacement for less than £40. Fitted and works perfectly.

I’m looking forward to sorting out all the niggles and keeping this for as long as it lasts (and is economically viable!)