Friday, May 11, 2007

My (Saab) Days are Numbered

Monday is the final day I'll have with the Turbo. I'll be picking up the new owner at the airport Monday morning and then transferring ownership shortly thereafter. Most of the parts I have accumulated have either been trashed, given away, or included in the sale of the car. But despite my declining interest, we saw about six Classic Saab 900s. No doubt "Eggs" will equate this with me making the biggest mistake of my life. Oh well. After owning and enjoying three 900s, I feel good about moving on to something different.

So, what will my new ride be? That is not certain as of yet, but I do have my eye on three Jaguars — all are XJ6 models. Each seems to be a good deal and each auction ends two days after the other. That gives me three opportunities between Saturday and Wednesday to win one of the auctions. My current bid is on a light blue on tan 1990 Jaguar XJ6 with about 115,000 miles. It looks good in pictures and has passed the Pennsylvania inspection until 2008. I'll let you know what happens.

For those of you who are not familiar with the XJ6, you may want to read this report by Consumer Guide. Here are a few tidbits about an XJ6/12 Sovereign:
In spring 1987, the British firm turned out its first new sedan in two decades. Offered in base or elegant Vanden Plas trim, complete with such traditional comforts as fold-down burl walnut picnic tables, the new models rode the same 113-inch wheelbase as before. However, the restyled 4-doors were 3.2 inches shorter, 9.3 inches wider, and 1.5 inches taller. By 1990, a 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine and 4-speed automatic transmission was the only powertrain. In addition to the XJ6 and Vanden Plas, the lineup now included a Sovereign sedan and a Vanden Plas Majestic. all had motorized front shoulder belts, manual lap belts, and 4-wheel-disc antilock brakes.

ENGINE: dohc I6 4.0 l. (243 c.i.d.)
TRANSMISSION: 4-speed automatic
0-60 MPH: 7.9 sec.

The 6-cylinder engine is smooth as can be, and passing ability is fine. Despite the V12 version's power advantage, it's too heavy to show any benefits over the newer, much lighter 6-cylinder engine. A test XJ12 sedan did 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds, which was just 0.2-second quicker than an XJ6. Gas mileage was just about the same, too: in the dismal 15-mpg neighborhood. [However, the XJ6 avereaged 18.5 mpg] Sedans do uphold the Jaguar tradition of a velvet ride and quiet cruising. Twisty 2-lanes reveal capable handling, with only modest body lean. Brakes are terrific, with short and true stopping distances. But, passenger room isn't the best. Cozy cabins have been a Jaguar hallmark, so don't expect as much interior space as the outside dimensions might suggest. Also, the dashboard has small gauges and hard-to-understand controls.
I like the idea of a quiet, comfortable ride. But the rear passenger room surprises me. I looked in the window of an early 90's XJ6 Thursday and thought it had plenty. Compared to the rear accommodations of the 1999 Saab 9-3, 2007 9-5 wagon, 1997 Cadillac SLS, 1999 Jaguar XJ6, and 1995 Buick Riviera I've attempted to fit in, this one seems to provide more than them all. So, unless I purchase an SUV or another mini-van (please, no!), the kids will have to live with what we find. At least it will be comfortable. And just for old time's sake, at least the hood opens the right way!

1 comment:

Andy Rupert said...

If we do acquire a Jaguar, what should I name the blog? Any ideas? Perhaps "High Maintenance" or "View from a Tow Truck?" I kinda like that last one.