Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekend Quickies - Sunday, November 14, 2010 - Station Wagons

1999 BMW 540iT - There is nothing wrong with these cars. A spectacular V8 wrapped in a very slick station wagon body. What's not to like?

This one has just 82,000 miles on it and appears to be in very good shape.

Located in Harvard, MA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood - I like Corvairs. I've owned several, including a 1962 station wagon. They are fun to drive and, yes, despite what Mr. Nader said, safe.

The wagon was only sold for 2 model years, 1961 and 1962. It was not a big seller. There are few of these cars left.

This appears to be an easy restoration project. The seller says it runs and drives. He says the body is "overall straight". The car does have some floorboard rust, which is common. Being a flat floor, it's fairly easy to take care of.

Fix the floors, repaint it or buff it out and bring it to your local cruise night. I guarantee it will get more attention than many of the better known classics.

Located in Oakland, CA, click here to see the Craigslist ad...

2005 Jaguar X-Type Sportwagon - This is not the type of car I usually feature. A car built in 2005 is not a classic and it's not all that unusual or rare. I just had to include one because I was blown away the first time I saw one.

It was at Lime Rock Park in 2009. As my friend and I were leaving, we came over the hill there was an X-Type Sportwagon right in front of us. It stopped me in my tracks. Pictures do not do these cars justice. The Sportwagon is a beautiful car in person.

The Sportwagon is AWD and fast. It's as sporty and luxurious as a Jaguar should be. It's also a high maintenance car. If you buy one, budget some extra money for some expensive repairs.

This car is being offered by one of those "we'll finance you even if you're in prison" type of used car lots. I don't know that it's wise to buy a Jaguar from one of those places, unless you need the financing help. Even if you bring cash you'll pay top dollar. I just chose this car because the seller included some good pictures. Shop around and you might find a better price.

Located in Seattle, WA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

1991 Mercedes 300TE 4-Matic - I was obssesing about these awhile ago. I bought a Peugeot wagon instead, sold it, and I'm now obsessed with the TE again.

This is a high mileage car. In some ways it's better to buy a high mileage 300TE than a lower mileage car. While they're pretty durable cars, they were prone to head-gasket, transmission and electrical failures. A car with this kind of mileage on it (230,000) has most likely had those problems dealt with earlier in its life. Once all that has been addressed, these cars will go on forever (OK, maybe a little less).

The seller says this car "runs like a swiss watch". It looks very cool in red.

Located in Conway, NH, click here to see the Craigslist ad.


pickles said...

Awesome! Wagon day. Really nice. One weird thing about that Jag wagon- it's *extremely* rare. I saw some blurb on it and there are (I'm fudging on this.. but bear with me..) fewer of the X-Type wagons than there Lamborgini Murcilago, rarer than the Maserati Quattroporte or some sort of surprising number.. like maybe only a 100 or so in the country... definitely check my stats- but you get the point.

Blair Russell said...

Yeah, I am not surprised that there would be an all-wagon post considering all the hubbub with that 7-series wagon.

I never realized how rare the Sportwagon actually was. I thought it was neat just because it was a Jaguar wagon with all wheel drive and it was a model that got a lot of hate but I'm sure wasn't *that* bad. I doubt it deserved to be called a Cimarron, despite its Mondeo background.

Speaking of that vehicle, I remember earlier in the year seeing on eBay an X-Type (don't remember if it was a sedan or the wagon) that only had 139 miles on it (!), due to the owners loving the car so much they kept it garaged instead of using it. Sounds bass-ackwards to me, as if I love a car I'd drive it to the ground, even if it was an Aston Martin or a Ferrari F430.

Anyway, I was amused that there'd be a 139 mile X-Type for sale in 2010.

Anonymous said...

The Mercedes - Great car, legendary build quality. Hell, I bet you could mount a plow frame on it and clear your driveway.

Corvair Lakewood - Although I prefer the design of the second series of cars, this one stands out as being a wagon. Interesting (and quirky) in a good way. To use a really old and washed up cliche, "It would make a fine grocery getter."

The Jaguar - I'm not sure where I stand on these cars. It's far too easy to crack the obvious "British Cimarron" jokes.

I think the key with badge engineered platforms is to come up with a final product that has absolutely nothing to do with the underpinnings. What bothers me about the X Type is a quote from Ian Callum claiming that the impetus (and design) behind this car came from Ford headquarters in Detroit, and not the UK.

On the other hand it became an easy target...

Try and find the 2007 New York Times article entitled "Jaguar X-Type: Dud of the Decade?" It's on the net.

An interesting read with well over 200 comments.

Jon said...

Hey - That was me posting above!

enmotors said...

Cool post on the wagons!

The X-Type wagon is rare compared to other X-Types. Something like 5% of total X-Type production. I searched a dealer auction site and see that 17 X-Type Wagons from 2005, 2006, and 2007 have been sold over the past three months. Not very scarce. Just not many on the streets, as most dealers can’t sell them.

When I was buying cars for one of the largest used car dealerships in the country, we would buy every X-Type we could buy. We sold about 80 used Jaguars a month, out of a domestic franchised dealer. Based on this experience… YES THEY ARE THAT BAD. I swore I would never purchase another British car after buying X-Types. I had year old vehicles with less than 10k miles needed transmissions, rack and pinions, abs pumps, and airbags. These were accident free cars. I had one car come in with less than 3k miles that needed a trans. The interiors were just as bad. The interior door panel’s mounts would break off and the leather would peel on multiple places. The only fix for the door panels was full replacement at $1200 for each door panel.

Yes, I’ve got back up on the British horse since then, but these cars left a real bad taste in my mouth for British cars. Too bad as the X-Type looks great and on paper is a nice design.

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