Crapwagon Outtake: 2002 Jaguar XK8

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

Anyone over 30 years of age reminisces about “the one that got away.” The high school sweetheart. The big fish on the lake. The chance to buy AAPL at $3/share. My dad always talked about the E-Type he let slip through his fingers.

My folks lived in New Jersey at the time, and I was yet to be. Dad spotted an E-Type — I’m guessing BRG, but that’s not important right now. It was the ’70s and the Jag was merely a used car, not the revered classic it is today. The quick loss of power on the test drive followed by the flames from the sidedraft carburetors meant my dad walked back through suburban Cherry Hill without making a deal on the sexy English roadster.

Jaguars are like that. Beautiful to a fault — and then the electrical or mechanical faults. Ford-era cars of the current millennium seem little changed from the Leyland years. How else can one explain this car, and the dozens like it across the web? $12,000 for a luxury convertible, with satellite navigation, and merely eighty thousand miles on the odometer. The Jaguar XK8 has close to 300 horsepower on tap, and by all accounts handles well for a big car. New at $75k, these can be bought all day long for the price of a new Versa.

Let’s hope Jaguar has turned the corner under Tata. Elsewhere on these pages today, you’ll find Aaron’s impressions on the riotous new F-Type, which promises plenty of performance and luxury at a seemingly astronomical price.

Part of me hopes I can buy an F-Type in ten years for pocket change — but, honestly, that would be a shame.
Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

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  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Jul 10, 2015

    When it comes to depreciated out Euro luxury, I would buy the right Ford era AJ equipped Jag. Having worked on a few regularly in the past, they actually aren't as bad as some *other* depreciated high end cars. You might have to hang timing chains and guides on that V8, but it's not uncommon for them to go the distance otherwise. The non R cars had a ZF trans which tended to sh1t the bed as mileage accrued well into six figures, but the R cars had the Mercedes NAG1 unit familiar to the Chrysler LX cars, which is sturdy and serviceable if need be. They finally ditched the pain in the ass inboard rear brakes with this generation too.

    • See 1 previous
    • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Jul 13, 2015

      @thats one fast cat They suffer the reputation of their predecessors. They can nickle and dime you on smaller dealer only items, but are generally decent cars.

  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Jul 10, 2015

    You folks have a touch of the Leyland beauties.. Quick slap some faces these Jags are like sirens beckoning ye to the rocks. And there's no SuperCover or Leycare...

  • Bocatrip Bocatrip on Jul 10, 2015

    Everything is subjective. I personally find the early series XK depicted in this article to look quite dated with the exception of the Coupe. The XK series starting in 2007 was absolutely gorgeous and the closest thing to an Aston I will every be able to afford. In addition they were substantially more reliable since TATA took over. Yes, electrics have and always will be somewhat of an issue with Jaguar as well as British cars and European cars as well. The nose of the latest XKs are not beautiful, but the rest of the car more than makes up for it. Yes, the F Type is also breath taking and yes I'm sure that if any of us live another 20 years, those prices will also be in the teens or very close to it. They will also be old cars with old electronics!

  • Maymar Maymar on Jul 11, 2015

    Close to ten years back, I had to drive a similar XK8 cabrio from one of my company's sites to drop it off at another, about 30km away. It made that entire trip with no electrical failure. Shocking! But yeah, if I had space and spare money, i'd love to pick up one of these as a weekend car. The SC430 is too BenGay and spray tan, and I feel like if I owned a 6-series from the current millenium, I'd be obligated to take up vaping and wearing Axe. And, as a weekend car, I could deal with the (maybe) one repair or so a year a Jag from this era might require - not like they go up in flames just if you look at them funny.