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Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
4/11/19 8:46 a.m.

Here's the thought: Buy a classic car (this one happens to be from the year I was born, which I haven't owned a car from that year yet so that's an added bonus) that is nice. Drive it. Enjoy it. Keep it nice. Do road rallyes. Get ice cream. Park it at the airport when I go on work trips. Specifically make sure it is not a big project.

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/cto/d/libertyville-1987-jaguar-xj6-van-plas/6850652043.html

Maybe even work to try and do like the mag has been doing to the alfa (or fiat?) roadster they drove cross country. See if I can move it up from a #4 car to a #3 car. Etc. 

I'm scheduled to go look at it Saturday.

02Pilot
02Pilot SuperDork
4/11/19 8:58 a.m.

I love the idea, and the car looks very nice, but why is the seller willing to take a 50% loss on the claimed purchase price? I would inspect very, very carefully to make sure you're not buying a bunch of problems from someone who had a plan similar to yours, only to have it fail as the car turned into a project.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/11/19 8:59 a.m.

Hmmm... that car looks familiar. Texting my brother to see if he knows anything about it.

 

As to are you nuts, I don't think so. Maybe if you were born in 1957, but an 87 jag is modern by most of my requirements. Only missing an airbag and OBDII.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/11/19 9:00 a.m.
02Pilot said:

I love the idea, and the car looks very nice, but why is the seller willing to take a 50% loss on the claimed purchase price? I would inspect very, very carefully to make sure you're not buying a bunch of problems from someone who had a plan similar to yours, only to have it fail as the car turned into a project.

My guess is that it was overvalued at the Mecum auction and folks emotions got the best of them.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
4/11/19 9:10 a.m.

Gah, this thread mostly makes me realize that I was in high school when Robbie was a baby. 

The big issue with doing this is that it's a gamble. You buy a new, or newer car, and the liklihood of a significant time down repair is mimimal. You trade that confidence for depreciation. If you drive a series of cars like this, most of them will be fine, but every now and again you'll get something like the R63. 

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
4/11/19 9:10 a.m.

Yes you can as long as you put the time required into the maintenance. Most of the reasons that these older classics are deemed unreliable is because previous owners gave up on the maintenance expense/effort. For example, if that thing hs inboard disc brakes in the rear, go look up the cost to do a brake-job.

Since a large part of the maintenance expense is labour, and lots of it, you should be able to keep one on the road for a reasonable outlay of $$$ if you are using your free labour. The previous is assuming that there is no major mechanical apocalipse to strat with.

 

It is too bad that your taste in classics are not Japanese based. Japanese cars were on the upswing in terms of reliability by that era, while the Brits were at the end of pre-historic designs that may or may not have benefited from continuous product development cycles. For example, I would not hesitate for a second to drive a well maintained 1990 Miata across the country, but a 1980 MGB would make me want to pack a lot more than a small travel bag.

 

Pete

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
4/11/19 9:10 a.m.
02Pilot said:

I love the idea, and the car looks very nice, but why is the seller willing to take a 50% loss on the claimed purchase price? I would inspect very, very carefully to make sure you're not buying a bunch of problems from someone who had a plan similar to yours, only to have it fail as the car turned into a project.

Yes, I'll absolutely be looking at it closely. The seller may not be the purchaser, or the auction may not have been recent. Challenge budget means the risk is low either way, however.

and yes, when I'm done with it if I've managed to keep it nice, I would entertain selling it at a mecum auction cheeky 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/11/19 9:11 a.m.

I like where you're going.... 

For me, I pulled the Q45 out of its winter slumber in the InLaws pole barn at 6:30pm30pm Saturday night. 

I hit with a Jumper pack to back it out then put in a previous, fully charged battery from my other Q45. From there I took to a quarter car wash for a vac and rinse then a short drive. 

The next morning with 38 miles on the tripometer since the battery install, I autocrossed it Sunday! 

yupididit
yupididit UltraDork
4/11/19 9:18 a.m.

I DD'd a 79 benz I bought from a GRM'r for $2014 in 2014 for 2 years. Just needed a few things over the years. I say do it! 

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
4/11/19 9:19 a.m.
NOHOME said:

It is too bad that your taste in classics are not Japanese based. Japanese cars were on the upswing in terms of reliability by that era, while the Brits were at the end of pre-historic designs that may or may not have benefited from continuous product development cycles. For example, I would not hesitate for a second to drive a well maintained 1990 Miata across the country, but a 1980 MGB would make me want to pack a lot more than a small travel bag.

I agree. The problem, however: japanese cars from the 80's don't feel like classics. They feel like econoboxes. (please submit examples to prove me wrong). The jag is actually neat since this body style was produced from 68-92. A QUARTER CENTURY. The engine is maybe 2x as old as that. So you get a classic car that isn't actually that old. I realize that many people would see this as a negative.  

and if you put "well-maintained" in front of 1980 MGB as well, it does change the feeling. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/11/19 9:21 a.m.

Here is another idea that I have not executed on yet.  This idea combines your want of an "ice cream run" car with the forum postings of "what car should I buy my 16yr old?"

 

I am think of buying my 4.5 yr old her first car, now.  Since she was born in 2014, I think I would like a 2014 model.  If I buy a '14 Mustang V6 manual trans now we can have that car as a "fun in the sun" and "ice cream" car now.  Being in the north, this car will get put away every winter.  So, expect less than 10k miles per year.  

If we then fast forward 12 more years to the age of 16 for my daughter I should have a fully depreciated, full service history car that could be hers.  Maybe it would have 100k-150k miles on it.  

Other 4 seat convertibles could be VW Bettle or Mini Cooper (but Im not sure I want to own a 16 yt old version of either)

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
4/11/19 9:21 a.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Gah, this thread mostly makes me realize that I was in high school when Robbie was a baby. 

The big issue with doing this is that it's a gamble. You buy a new, or newer car, and the liklihood of a significant time down repair is mimimal. You trade that confidence for depreciation. If you drive a series of cars like this, most of them will be fine, but every now and again you'll get something like the R63. 

I'll take that gamble - what's the worst that could happen? another thread like the R63?

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
4/11/19 9:23 a.m.

In reply to mtn :

absolutely let me know if you hear anything! I haven't been able to track down any history on it yet. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
4/11/19 9:23 a.m.
Robbie said:
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Gah, this thread mostly makes me realize that I was in high school when Robbie was a baby. 

The big issue with doing this is that it's a gamble. You buy a new, or newer car, and the liklihood of a significant time down repair is mimimal. You trade that confidence for depreciation. If you drive a series of cars like this, most of them will be fine, but every now and again you'll get something like the R63. 

I'll take that gamble - what's the worst that could happen? another thread like the R63?

As long as you're in that place mentally, rock and roll, go get it, have a great time. laugh

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
4/11/19 9:32 a.m.

Maybe it was sold twice at Mecum, no pics so hard to say, but both are IL auctions and both list the car as burgundy with tan/beige interior.

2012: https://www.mecum.com/lots/FP0912-145802/1987-jaguar-xj6/

2010: https://www.mecum.com/lots/CH1010-98563/1987-jaguar-xj6-vanden-plas/

rattfink81
rattfink81 New Reader
4/11/19 9:33 a.m.

I say do it as long as you have a back up car. I did it from the time I was 16 till 31. I now drive cars that are roughly 10 years old instead of 20-30. I do miss the character of the old cars but having a family and a real job mean I need safe dependable transportation.  I still own a fleet of older cars but there a hobby not my daily.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
4/11/19 9:34 a.m.

It's possible to get an old car cheaply and put it back into good shape cheaply, as long as you aren't putting a dollar figure on your time and don't need it to be operational 100% of the time. 

I'm an experienced auto tech with a bunch of experience with 80s cars (older are worse, have experience with those too) and at this point I would say the main factor on whether owning that type of car is a good idea is your temperament. 

I'm driving my 1987 Montero to work right now and getting my 1982 Lebaron ready to drive through the summer. The Montero wouldn't start last weekend due to a battery wiring issue, and the Lebaron recently left me on the side of the road when the ignition module failed. So, they've both technically broken down while i was out somewhere in the last two weeks. Good thing i don't need them.  If i get tired of either one I can hop into my newer cars and ignore them for as long as i want. If that weren't true, some of the fun would be gone. I can also recover them myself because i have tow vehicle and tow dolley. As far as using them for events and such, statistically speaking there is a low chance i will break down in any given mile, but just picture the car breaking down anywhere you want to take it, and if that possibility is so annoying that it would ruin that whole day or the entire ownership experience, don't do it. You can talk about maintenance and all that but unless you're pre-emptively replacing the whole car there will always be non-new parts on it waiting to challenge your mental state. Obviously i still do it and haven't given up but it's a labor of love and i spend a fair amount of time annoyed to go with the good times. 

docwyte
docwyte UltraDork
4/11/19 9:35 a.m.

As long as you expect to spend a lot of time wrenching on it and perhaps some time stuck on the side of the road, go for it.  I think to expect it to be a reliable daily driver is probably a big stretch. 

Old cars need constant attention, even more so if you plan on using them as a real car vs a fun weekend ice cream car.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
4/11/19 9:37 a.m.

If anyone in the metro Detroit area wants to try the exact same experiment- there's this car- https://www.anthonysallcarandtrucksales.com/cars-for-sale?PageNumber=1&BodyStyle=&Make=Jaguar&Model=&MaxPrice=&Condition=&SoldStatus=AllVehicles&Mileage=&StockNumber=&PageSize=25  The big difference between this and Robbie's car is that it's two years earlier- the year I graduated from HS.... 

It's been sitting on the lot for well over a year, now.  I suspect that it can be gotten for less than the asking price.

I see it every day on my drive home.

In terms of reliability...  Seems like the #1 issue, by far, is electronics.  Which can be fixed using a modern harness.  And the engine controls of the era are, well, questionable.  Which makes them a perfect candidate for MS- which is way more than capable of running one of these engines.  In terms of the trans, given it's a GM 3 speed, I would openly wonder if there's a modern hot rod version that would bolt in and be a big improvement.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/11/19 9:41 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Wouldn't something like a 4L60 bolt right up? They probably have a Turbo 350 in there or something similar.

And in reply to Robbie, if you weren't a bit nuts you probably wouldn't be on this forum .

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
4/11/19 9:47 a.m.

The 4.2l 6 cylinder cars got a borg warner 3 speed. the 12's got the th400 (but with a jag-specific bellhousing). 

and of course I have pondered MS conversions and the like, but initially the goal would be to stay original as much as possible (remember not making it a project).

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
4/11/19 9:49 a.m.
BoxheadTim said:

And in reply to Robbie, if you weren't a bit nuts you probably wouldn't be on this forum .

You'll notice I posted here rather than firing off a similar email to my coworkers...

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/11/19 9:52 a.m.

In reply to Robbie :

Well, if your coworkers are anything like mine, they already have a preconceived notion when it comes to the answer to your question.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
4/11/19 10:29 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I was already out of college. . ..   I feel old now. . .

Tom1200
Tom1200 HalfDork
4/11/19 10:34 a.m.

About 15 years ago I was daily driving a Volvo 142, so I see nothing wrong with daily driving a cheap 80s classic as long as you check it out thoroughly before you buy.

In reply to Robbie on prove me wrong:

Toyota Supra & 300ZX, there are also the oddballs such as the Galant VR4.  Toyota Cressidas are really good, Supra motor, nice seats and they could be had in a 5 speed. Also loads of Toyota hop up parts bolt on.

While they qualify by age I'm not sure we'd consider Nissan 810/Maxima & Mazda 929 classics, these are very nice cars but they kinda fall into the appliance category. Same goes for Acura Legend.

Now as for 80s classics feeling like econoboxes I think that's true for many brands not just Japanese. The 80s was the age of the hot hatch boy racer car; Golf GTI, Corolla GTS, CRX et al. BMW &  Mercedes even got in on the act. Fox body Mustangs don't exactly waft across the roadway. IROC-Zs cheap plastic interiors don't really have a "bespoke" feel and really do scream Cavalier, plus they're slow & fat (note I do consider them an 80s icon). While I love 70s & 80s cars I'm the first to admit they're not particularly good. Cars got much better in the 90s as manufacturers figured out how to make good handling cars that rode nice and got decent gas mileage.

Back to the Jag.................it's cheap enough that if it goes off the rails you can walk away.

 

 

 

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