Blog : Saving a Disposable Banger

Benjamin Adams

After my Disposable Cars blog of the other day, I was told of this tale where a car that might have just been ‘disposed of’ has been saved and living to drive another day.

Michael Cooke, Bon Vivant of the Leeds Circuit and Rover Sterling owner, was offered this R-registered Jaguar XJ8, as you can see its had an argument with a tin of paint and a Stanley Knife taken to the tyres. A car that many people would shudder to even look at, let alone buy. However, Michael, tired of the unreliability of his Freelander TD4, took an interest and bought the car for just £150.

Like the 75 I highlighted, it has tax and almost a year’s MoT. It even has a full Jaguar Service History. Michael, realising the potential that still existed under the paint and slashed tyres got straight to work.

The majority of the paint damage was not even dry (British climate helping a car’s bodywork shocker!) and came off with high pressure water. The new rubber cost £100 and £15 for a new scuttle panel and £10 for a wiper arm, still brings the total in for less than £300.

To get that W-reg Rover 75 for £350 was good, but this is a whole different league. Put a private plate on that and people will have no idea what the age is, remember the X308 was available until 2002-’03 and they still look good today.

Having now saved this car from death by scrapping, Michael has no plans to keep it all to himself, he prefers cars of the 1980s, like his Rover Sterling. A Mercedes-Benz 190 or even an Jaguar XJ40 is on the shortlist.

But for now he’s happy in the knowledge that he saved this car.

Keith Adams
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  1. Crumbs!

    Reminded of Alan Partridge’s Rover 800 when it was grafittied!

    Glad he saved it, looks like the paint was emulsion.
    Paint stripper would’ve been worse! £2k+ for a respray!

  2. Its great to see stories like this – good for Michael, and hopefully he will be rewarded with either a nice profit or a great car to drive.

  3. Fantastic! Well done that Man!

    On the plate side of things? I don’t get that? The last of these are, like you say, 8 years old and best.. Don’t see the point in hiding the age of a 13 year old car to make it mayyyyyybe look 8 years old.

    But then, I don’t see the point in hiding any cars age.. Never understood it.

  4. Great to see this Jag has been saved and doesn’t it look good again. I cringe when I see any car that’s been vandalised. Michael’s done a good job and that colour looks glorious.

  5. Thanks chaps, car is all present and correct now and will shortly be moving on as X308’s just ain’t my bag-too new.

  6. I’m very seriously into getting an XJ8 next, but I am a bit worried about the whole timing chain/ Nikasil situation. Am I right in thinking that any Nikasil problems will have already made themselves apparent, and knackered chain tensioners make a telltale ticking sound.
    Also is there any reason to go for a 3.2, the 4.0 gives better fuel economy and 7 sec to 60 sounds right up my street.

  7. The Nikasil issue is interesting – you’d think they’d all be resolved, but I came very close to a Nikasil-blighted BMW 540 – it was woefully low on power, you’d know the instant you drove it if you found one and it was that far gone. I think Jaguar handled it better, but a low miles-but-not-recall-fixed car may well show issues now.

  8. Yeah and it’s the low mile ones I’d be looking at, Jags just don’t seem to cover many miles and paying £200 less for a high miler hardly seems worth it. My 95 BMW 328i hasn’t had any problems in 8 years and 40k, but I might have just been lucky. I test drove a XJ8 4.0 and it seemed about as fast as my 328, so that’s probably about right, a slow 540 would definitely make me suspicious.

  9. Off topic but keep away from the 8 cylinder E39’s – the recirculating ball steering is woefull compared to the rack of a 6 cylinder (and this is from a back to back comparison). However who isn’t a sucker for the sound of a V8!

  10. “the recirculating ball steering is woefull”

    Yep on pretty much any car, Vauxhall Fronteras are like that too. God knows why any manufacturer uses it now!

  11. Well done for getting the car in good order, its a nice colour too, like Rovers its got leather and wood and all the toys. I hope it goed to a gooid home.

  12. “the recirculating ball steering is woeful” i think the steering on my 24V senator is rather good!anyway what a good story that kind of vandalism should be made a capital offence!what a transformation very well done.

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