Ok, so now we know you are looking for something quite specific, which kind of changes things. As its not simply a matter of "find the best car for the money". This is about fulfilling a set criteria, putting right a past error. etc. Morocco Red cars are not common, but they are out there if you can wait. But theres nothing to say the next one will be all that much better (or worse). Worst case scenario, you could still buy this one. drive it until a better one comes along. though chances are by the time you have invested in it along the way, you will be loath to get shot of it.
On a budget whichever car you buy will require work, so the simple toss up is down to choosing where to make the compromises.
Most of the cars I have bought have been against the standard advice most will give, of buying "the best car you can afford". I nearly alway buy on spec, colour combination, or specific transmission, i.e. Manual. Regardless of condition. But thats me. I would never advice that sort of wreckless way to anyone else.
I think you and I speak the same language, Naki. I've been a Jaguar fan ever since I came to know what a car was, and used to peer inside rare and seductive XJ6's as a young boy in South Africa.
Every Jag since the Series 1 XJ6 has been a superb design in my eyes (X350 excepted because I think Jaguar tried to clothe too much revolutionary modernity inside an evolutionary design, with the result that it looked like a Series 1 on steroids, but I digress). So the Moroccan XJ Sport just clicked for me. It's rare, but that's not why I like it. It really is just the aesthetics of the paint colour, the subtle colour coding and the combination of that with the interior colour scheme and slightly lower stance. It all just works on a very primal level. Plus there is the weird issue of the X300's seats which my wife's back can't tolerate and which I find are not as comfy as a 40's. Now, I should be very cautious with my cash. Our personal circumstances have changed since moving house so I was thinking of using my savings to buy something economical, like a diesel Rover 75 Tourer, but like all used cars they aren't fault free. I don't really enjoy diesels as they are clattery things, plus our government has realised it's "gaffe" and decided that instead of taxing petrol cars to death get us to drive diesels, they really meant to tax diesel cars to death to get us to drive electrics. So I feel a raft of gentle prods coming from our superiors to ecourage us to "do the right thing" again.
We already have one diesel, our XC90, and it's a superbly adaptable, practical and comfortable car, even if it's a bit clattery. So it didn't take much to push me away from diesels. Using the XC90 on the school run isn't cheap, but it's considerably cheaper than my Jag. So I was thinking of getting a small petrol car... and then some XJ Sports cropped up. First one turns out was owned by a member on here - Hendo, I think - which sold yesterday. Flamenco red is a great colour for Sports, too. But then this Moroccan one made an appearance and I just had to investigate. I believe that any 40 bought now, that isn't a cosseted concours example for huge money, will have some sort of issues to contend with.
From what I've read on this forum, bulkhead rust needn't be terminal if you are determined not to let it be. As I now have the benefit of a somewhat cramped garage, and will be building a carport as well, I think I'm in a positon to make a go of looking after a Jag that doesn't put us both in traction after a long drive. But it'll be a second car as the fuel costs prevent it from being a daily driver. I think that by having two sound cars, I can maintain each one in turn and save on labour costs as I'm doing it. The two cars can share the load, so to speak. I'm even considering learning how to weld so I can tackle out of sight areas like bulkheads etc. myself where final finish isn't super critical. I don't even know which system to use; MIG, arc, TIG etc. etc. but I'll figure it out.
So I've got the damn 40 bug again, and a Moroccan 3.2S would tick all the boxes, if I could get it for a good price. I don't think your advice is reckless. It's horses for courses, really. I like your idea of hot wax and the grinding wheel treatment to get it through MOT's, and you're right that one has to choose one's compromises. I envision myself only owning one Jag and putting my energy and effort into making it as good as I can, not owning the 15 or so that you seem to have at any one time!!! Hopefully I can make one good one out of some parts from your 15 or so
You may receive a PM from me from time to time. I'm already drawing up a shopping list of parts...