Friday, March 28, 2014

5k: Who Donated This? 1997 Jaguar XK8

Throughout the dead of winter, you diligently stashed away your pennies and dimes for an open-air sports car. Good on you. You have $6,000 saved, which would put you in just about the best NA Miata on the market, or an Alfa Spider but not quite Boxster territory - yet. Here, for your consideration, is a luxury sports convertible with 2.2x the horsepower, undeniable class, and room in the trunk for two golf bags. Find this low-mile 1997 Jaguar XK8 Convertible for $5,700 via Blok Charity Auto Clearance in Gardena, CAWords by DT contributor slowcarSLOW-MPGlol.

Introduced in 1996, the sultry XK was lauded as the sexiest Jag since the E-Type. It's a vixen of a car that probably has erotic fan fiction written about it somewhere (50 Shades of British Racing Green?). Seductive, with centerfold lines, you won't put a leather front bumper cover on it and call it a "bra" because you would blush. It's so good-looking, you might be ashamed to drive it. People look at a Miata and smile. The same people might look at you in this XK8 and scowl. "Look at that one-percenter," they'll say.
Some XK8s were available with a manual, but this one has J-gate, which might have been unconventional for the sake of being unconventional. Kind of like "Jaguar ergonomics." That may have been a dealbreaker when it was $70,000, but for this money, you can just shut your mouth and deal with it. Really, how many complaints can you have in a car with fully independent suspension, 290 horsepower (not the 375 of the supercharged and twin-intercooled XKR), 80 percent of its torque available just off idle, and 51/49 weight distribution? Maybe a 3900-lb curb weight and a back seat that's only good for a punch line.  

Of the particular car in this listing, you could find a few complaints. Boring triple beige color combination. A description that doesn't say anything. Rear quarter windows that are down in every picture. But it's still a 93,000-mile Jaguar for dirt cheap. The only other one that comes close has webbed torque-thrusts and a rebuilt title. For the money, you could get more horsepower from a Mustang convertible, but that just doesn't have the same effect when you drop off your wife at the front door of Red Lobster.

It isn't clear to us if a car purchased from Blok Auto Charity would come with a clean or salvage title, but if someone decided to donate a car, we can't imagine that would be a good omen for its gets the salvage badge!  And there was much rejoicing!  See another poorly colored convertible? Email us at

slowcarSLOW-MPGlol knows how many licks it takes to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop, and he's not telling. As someone with a B+ blood type, he considers himself an optimist. Unless it has structural rust.


  1. Perfect for the budding Playboy bunny daughter

  2. Same bland color combo, but seven years newer, and 60 more hp (according to the listing). Not sure if the stated mileage is a typo or not: 12,300. Unfortunately, no third pedal.

    All for under $14k. Let's see if I can get this HTML copy/paste thing right like the kids do:

    2004 XK8 on Seattle CL

  3. I am stunned that--even at 13.5k--this is all these are worth now. My mother-in-law bought one new. Fun as hell to drive, but I always felt like an a-hole climbing out of it. The first time I was pulled over in it, the dialogue began with the cop saying "I know that thing must handle like it's on rails, but..."


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