A jalopy in Jaguar's clothing...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1990

Dear Tom and Ray:

I'm thinking of getting an older Jaguar in the next year, after my son (16 years old) has his own car so he won't be driving mine. I'd like it to be late '70s or early '80s, cost 5,000-10,000 dollars, and have a Chevy converted engine for easier repair. Do you think this is possible and do you think it's a good idea?

TOM: I can tell what you're doing, Yvonne. You're looking for an easy way to own a Jaguar. You think that by getting one with a Chevy engine in it, you won't have to give it lots of TLC (or CPR!). But you can't cheat like that and still have a true Jaguar experience.

RAY: If you want to own an old Jaguar, you have to be willing to suffer a little. By suffering, I'm referring to the fact that some people think Jaguar has a reputation for making beautiful cars that require a lot of service. Some people even joke that you have to own two Jaguars; that way, at least one would always be out of the shop. Or is it three?

TOM: Yvonne--pay no attention to what my brother says. I happen to think that Jaguars are the most beautiful cars in the world. So you've got my support, Yvonne. I recently drove an XJS V-12 convertible, and everytime I got into that car, I smiled.

RAY: Unfortunately, I can't give you my opinion of the car, Yvonne. My brother never let me near it. He just drove around town all week with a stupid smile on his face.

TOM: My feeling is that if a car can make you feel that good, then it's worth a little suffering. What I think you should do is reconsider your son's role in all of this. Think about cutting a deal with him. Allow him to drive the Jaguar every once in a while if he agrees to come and pick you up in his jalopy whenever the Jag breaks down.

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