This isn’t an article about Jaguars, but I have been thinking a lot recently about them. Specifically a pre-2005 XK8. I need an adult daily-driver car with a bit of style and an XK8 seems like it would fit the bill nicely. As I do my research and price out the different years and models I inevitably began pondering the question of what else that same money might buy. In short order that led me to talk with some car buddies about the relative merits of the different choices. A variation on the “if I won the lottery” theme.
Let’s stay that you had $10K to spend on a British car. The rules are that you must buy a British car with it that you will drive every day – both sun and rain, summer and winter. Of course, you could spend less, but you can spend all of that $10K. You also have no money for big time repairs or restoration. Sure, you will have money for oil changes, wiper blades, tire air and such, but have to plan on zero budget for repairs. The car can be of any age, but must be legal right now in the US. This means you could buy something that wasn’t marketed here, as long as it is over 25 years old so legal now. For $10K you could get a top of the line MGB, a middle of that road TR6, a solid Jaguar XJ6, a nice XK8, a very sold 2002 to 2006 or so MINI Cooper, or ??
That “??” is the big question. What would you buy? This isn’t the time to buy a project or a one-time bargain you found, it is time to go out and get something within the next few days for the money a lot of people spend on a second hand Honda or Toyota.
I mentioned this quest to a few friends and some leaned towards something with a bit of investment potential. You know, something that may fit the $10K question right now but will be double that in the next decade or so. Some I talked to went towards sheer practicality and comfort for the daily commute. These are the folks who worry more about creatures comforts than style and fun – wait, I have those kind of friends? Oh yes, accountants.
Again, think to the list of potential cars. New MINIs fall within all the guidelines and certainly are an attractive option. I still miss the 2002 Cooper S that I had – one of the earliest in the US. But would now be a 13-year-old modern car out of warranty. This is the same line of thinking as the XK8. Modern Range Rovers and Land Rovers would fall in there as well.