Yesterday I collected yet another project, and this time its a non-running Series 3 Jaguar XJ12. I haven’t bought a car so far this year, so I’ve been pretty good. However this car was about to be broken for parts, which seems like a shame given that it looks like a solid old car. It has been off of the road since around 2005, and from what I’ve learned, its only been run once since then (though I did know that the engine is free and turned over before I bought it). The car wasn’t too far away in Suffolk and was caked in dust and filth from the trees it had evidently been sitting under.
As you can see in the video above, washing off the filth revealed a few dents along the nearside of the car, and also a reasonable amount of rust in the usual places, some of which I had hoped to avoid. Either way I’m still happy with my purchase and I’d hope people can understand why I’m trying to save it.
Next cam the point at which we wanted to try and get the car running. I’d like to think I know these Jag V12s pretty well, and I do believe that they’re a hardy engine that are quite reliable when looked after properly. This one hadn’t run in fifteen years, and I didn’t know if the car had been taken off of the road due to engine trouble, though the seller did mention something about a possible immobiliser issue, which isn’t too unusual for cars of this generation which had aftermarket alarms and immobilisers fitted. We drained the old fuel out of the car, checked the oil and water and attached a jump pack to the battery leads (as it had no battery of its own), added some fresh fuel and decided to give it a go. With only a couple of turns of the key the Jaguar fired into life and produced a huge amount of noise. Up until this point I was the only one who knew that one of the exhausts had been ripped off at the base of the downpipe, so it makes quite a lot of noise. It sounds silly, but it really does seem like a car that wants to live, and it sat and ran smoothly on all twelve cylinders. Hopefully we’ll have it in the air shortly so we can get a look at the underside and see how solid it all is.
I may sell the car on once its at a point where it is a viable project for someone to save, but I’m being increasingly tempted to try and create something interesting out of it. When I found out the exhaust was broken, I wanted to add a new exhaust that would allow all that V12 sound to come through, but then the car would need throttle bodies to match, and then a manual gearbox, upgraded suspension and brakes…..and it all spiralled out of control from there – so we’ll see what happens.