I’m about to purchase a new car, and the owner says it needs a few things?

Hi! So I’m about to purchase an 85 Jaguar Coupe…I am really excited because it’s such a pretty car! I think it’s a really good price too, but the owner says it just needs a new battery and for the old gasoline to be flushed out? Are these fairly inexpensive?

So you can’t start it before you buy it?

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Every thing on an old Jaguar will be expensive even if the parts can be found. Don’t even think about this being a daily driver . Batteries are not that expensive so why did the owner not put one in ? Dropping the tank and clearing the fuel lines will not be a 100.00 dollar job.

I get the impression that this is also a non-running vehicle and if that is correct I would ask the owner to get it running then see what the price is.


This is dangerous…

When I see this or hear of this my first thought is, “Well, if this person is selling a car and if it needs these basic things done and they aren’t being done, why not?”

Unless you are a very good mechanic or have this vehicle thoroughly inspected by one prior to purchase… Run away from it!

Find a pretty one that’s all there.


Do NOT BUY THIS CAR! If this is a serious question, there are few cars cars worse than a non-running old Jaguar as far as problems go. If it was easy to fix, the current owner would have done it.

Just curious: what’s the price?

It’s an XJS, right? 6 or V12?


I hope you don’t want to use this as a daily driver. If it needs a new battery and the gasoline has to be drained, that implies the car sat for a long time, like at least 6 months, and probably more than a year. It probably was not driven because there is something that makes it undriveable. As a project car for occasional weekend driving, this might work if the price is right. You probably should look at something else, especially if you don’t know much about automobile mechanics.

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I agree with others. If you were GIVEN this car it would still be very expensive to own. Years ago a colleague who liked things British retired and bought a used Jaguar (this one running) as a project car.

He spent a bundle, but his wife saw it as a way to keep him out of the bars.

If you just got an inheritance it would be a good way to prove that the posters here are right. If you like the looks so much just park it in your backyard as a ;lawn ornament.


If the car sat long enough that the gas has gone stale there are going to be many more things that need attention.

From what you’ve described (which isn’t much), if you brought the car to the shop I would charge you $200 to do a complete vehicle inspection just to determine what the car needs to start and run.


If you are not a mechanic who is just toying around with problematic vehicles just to see if you can sort them out…then do not even ponder buying this vehicle. I know some professional mechanics that wouldn’t touch this vehicle under any circumstances.

You can easily find a more user friendly vehicle to buy and drive. This is NOT that vehicle. You cannot handle it on your own and you cannot afford to repair its many quirks… Unless you are a seasoned pro in the mechanical realm you should not walk, but RUN away from this purchase.


I always get a kick out of reading “cars for sale” ads on Craigslist where the owner claims that the car “just needs a _________” to get it running, or to pass emissions. Especially when _________ is some relatively inexpensive part or procedure compared to the asking price of the car.

For example, there was someone on our local Craigslist trying to sell a mid-1990s Honda Civic where they supposedly did a head gasket and a bunch of other major engine work, but now all it supposedly needed to get running again was a new “main relay”–a part that’s readily available for less than $40. I saw this car on there for more than a year; I don’t know if the person finally gave up, or if some sucker bought it.

Likewise, I frequently see cars for sale, often at the higher end of Blue Book value, with the Check Engine light on, and the seller claims it “just needs” some inexpensive sensor replaced. We have emissions testing here, and any model year from 1996 or newer cannot pass with the light on for any reason. (1995 and older can pass, regardless of any warning lights illuminated, as long as the actual pollutant levels meet state standards.)

My point is that anytime you are considering any used vehicle that costs more than $800, and the seller claims it “just needs a _________”, you should assume it needs way more than that to make it road-worthy again! You should also ask the seller “Since the car only needs _________, and since _________ is so inexpensive, how come you’re not replacing the _________ so you can sell the car for more money?” BTW, people commonly replace such things as batteries and tires, even on cars that they’re planning to sell for $800-1000.

If you really like the looks of the 1985 Jaguar coupe . . . buy one that is currently insured, registered and driven at least several times a year

You’re going to be paying a LOT more money for such a vehicle, though

I suggest getting in touch with a local Jaguar owners club and/or perusing the Hemmings listings


Run! Run far, run fast away from this financial disaster!!


I like how most Craigslist ads for older trucks state that the “ac works, just needs a charge of freon”. Obviously the freon leaked out somewhere, so the ac system will need more than “just a charge of freon”.


Look at hemmings.com for the Jaguar XJS. There are four pages of them. One convertible with 77,000 miles has an asking price of $9900 from a classic car dealer. If you can buy one for ten grand in decent condition, why look at anything that needs something?

A friend had one, terrible in snow.

why are you giving me this advice . . . ?

I’m not the one that’s looking to buy a used Jaguar

If any of you are actually recommending this vehicle purchase it seems that you are not familiar with Lucas… The Prince of Darkness. I’ve met him many times… Nice guy and all but a little “Flaky” as they say, but to each his own.

There are decades of old jokes still floating over service stations all over the world as proof… Here are just some of them… My personal fav is the Replacement Lucas Wiring Harness Smoke…



Reminds me, several decades ago, a friend had a very nice MG-B white convertible. We were talking and he said that although he knew I didn’t think that much of British cars or Lucas electrics, etcetera, insisted I take a ride around an airport where we both worked and I would see the light.

It was dark out, the airport had no airplane traffic, warm summer evening and not too far into the top down ride, he was turning from one taxi-way onto another, cut it a little tight, and the right rear wheel barely fell into a little dip where the two taxi-ways intersected. At the exact moment of the minor bump all the lights on the car went dark.

He glanced over in my direction. I had all I could do (trying to be polite) to try and hold it together and not burst out in laughter. :grin:



That era jaguar is notoriously unreliable. Run…don’t walk away from that vehicle.

Run, run and keep running away. That thing is going to cost You a fortune. I wouldn’t buy it if the price was 50 cents. Nothing on a Jaguar is cheap - not to mention that a Jaguar is a Ford.