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What's the better purchase - XJ81 or XJ40 Vanden Plas?

Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:42 am
Location: San Marino, CA USA

What's the better purchase - XJ81 or XJ40 Vanden Plas?

Postby dpj1 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:26 am

I would appreciate assistance walking through my purchase options. Which of these is the better purchase?

1994 XJ12
-6.0L V12
-Morrocan Red/Magnolia leather
-30,000 miles
-effectively immaculate, but very little use by elderly couple
-all records since new (one owner)
-mechanical condition unknown at this time (inspection required)
-2500 miles away (shipping required)

1990 Vanden Plas
-4.0L I6
-Diamond Blue/Grey leather
-97,000 miles
-VERY well maintained, garaged, superficial scratches on paint, ski slope requires refurbishing, but that is all it is lacking
-18 years of records, only two owners since new
-nearby, no shipping required, already inspected by my Jag mechanic

Shall I just go with the bird in the hand (XJ40)?
Or is the XJ81 worth the extra money and effort?
What are the negatives of owning the XJ81?

Daniel Jett
San Marino, California USA
1989 XJ-S TWR Sport coupe 5.3L V-12 5-speed manual (Getrag 265) Rosso Corso/Biscuit
1990 XJ40 Vanden Plas Diamond Blue/Saville Grey
2017 F-Type S coupe Storm Grey/extended Red

Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:07 am

Re: What's the better purchase - XJ81 or XJ40 Vanden Plas?

Postby Lightweight » Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:28 am

My only experience is of a rather broken XJ81 but even in that state she pulled like a train and was faster than she had any right to be. Other than fuel costs the only other negative is the ever harder challenge of finding parts. Being made in what was relatively small numbers some parts are like hens teeth. Rubber parts and hoses will still breakdown and harden over time even (or should that really best especially) with low mileage.
However she is in the garage and one day she will run again and I won't swap for anything else!
So get a good, trusted inspection on the 80, be ready for moments of WTF when looking at the engine trying to work out what's gone wrong this time, any enjoy the knowledge of keeping this rare elegant, bruiser in a ball gown going.
I.e. get the V12 !
1993 (94-MY) XJ81 VIN - 67xxxx
Salt Lake City, Utah.