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XK8 an Introduction

This is was my 1997 XK8 Convertible. Its been Nicknamed PJ by my wife. There is no connection to PJ & Duncan dispite the era being right. It stands for 'Pride & Joy' and its kind of stuck. This picture was taken at Friskney show in Lincolnshire. I owned PJ for 12 years. When I first bought her it was very much a 'heart' buy. I had wanted one since I saw them at launch as a much younger man. I thought though that it was no more likely than owning the Lamborghini Countach that 50% of lads my age had as a poster on their bedroom wall. When New, PJ cost £65,000! which was more than my first house. Like all old Jags though, their values fall as they leave the main dealer networks and buyers start to become scared of their suposed complexity. Good news for us petrol heads i recon!. I bought her from a small village car dealer who knew less aboy V8 jags than me!. Over those 12 years I have learnt a lot about the XK8 its abilities foibles and weaknesses. With hind sight and this accumulated knowledge, I should sensibly have hung on to find a slightly later 4.2 litre model, but having learnt as i went and resolving each issue as it popped up I have bonded with this cat to the extent that i was offered a straight swap for an Aston Martin DBS and turned it down (I Know, I know!, but its not all about money and badges you know!). As time went by I became more aware of the subtle differences between the various XK8 model years and bow genuinely prefer the earliest mk1 styling. The issues on earlier cars are all well known and fully resolvable. Her weakest point though despite the nice pictures was actually her bodywork, which in 2019 was fast approaching the point where i needed to invest in a respray. Blisters and scatches abound if you know where to look. However the quaity of the original paint job was such that the high gloss of laquered Carnival red with no orange peel at all, diverts the eye from the surface condition.

The cost of the car (£8000) plus all of the tweaks and repairs. means that this car was less and less a 'head' car as time went by.

But how do you put a price on the smile it puts on my face? Every time I buried my right foot in the carpet and watched that E type inspired bonnet bulge rise I forgave it everything. There is no way of valuing the whoop whoop noise that I made while trying to 'out shout' the large bore stainless exhaust system while me and PJ reeled in the horizon😁.

PJ was at a garage with me in 2019 having a quote to put her bodywork back to perfect, when I met her successor called Purdey. A 1996 xk8 that the same garage had already restored.

But thats a story for another day👍

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