: looking at Grand Tourers...



concorso
06-27-12, 04:36 PM
Myself and the better half have been talking about getting a wknd cruiser. The preference is smooth ride and well appointed interior. High hp models are not wanted since they usually suffer in ride quality. V8 is neccessary, manual trans if possible. We both have a soft spot for the last gen Jag XK's. The 2 others interests are the XLR and an SL, the harddroptops are a big selling point. Who has owned any of them? What are your thoughts? How about reliability?

Jesda
06-27-12, 04:57 PM
Timing chain tensioners were an issue on the 97+ XKs. Not sure which years were affected.

creeker
06-27-12, 05:14 PM
I had the Jag bug awhile ago and researched it quite a bit,dont know how much you want to spend etc., the 95-97 XJ6 has a very good reputation
for being a reliable and dependable car, locally they have been selling for around $4 to $6 thousand.

orconn
06-27-12, 05:45 PM
Of the cars you mentioned the Jag XK would be my choice. I know they can be found with relatively low miles. But, of course, the first generation's age make them susceptible to the usual ravages of time!

Jesda
06-27-12, 05:48 PM
The SL has terribly expensive parts. The XLR can be costly to maintain as well... maybe Gizmo can chime in on that.

Submariner409
06-27-12, 06:34 PM
Grand Touring: Find a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (the real GTO: Gran Turismo Omologato). A decent example should come cheap at around $30 million.

Aron9000
06-27-12, 07:48 PM
What's your budget??????

I know not to buy any Jaguar with the AJ V8 engine made during model years 98,99 and 00. High sulpher gas in our country would eat away at the cylinder bores lined with Nikasel, resulting in catostrophic engine failure. I'd avoid the early XK cars even if they have had the engine replaced by the dealer, the later cars had several other quirks fixed on them as well and are cheaper to own.


Also, depreciation on the CLK 4 seat Mercedes is brutal. You could get those with v8's and IMO they are good looking cruisers. I'm not a huge fan of the SL or XLR on principle, 2 seater screams sports car, not grand tourer.

That being said, I do love the styling of the XLR but I just can't help but feel that I got rooked unless I buy the supercharged XLR-V. The base N* had like 320hp, the Corvette had 400hp with the LS2 base engine, it bumped up to the LS3 with 430hp in later years. I also feel like the Vette got better brakes, bigger tires, manual trans, IMO its much more of a driver's car and would be my choice. Styling wise though, the XLR has it all over the Vette.

Jesda
06-28-12, 01:56 AM
Oh yeah... what about the Corvette? Available in several configurations including a convertible.

truckinman
06-28-12, 03:16 AM
Oh yeah... what about the Corvette? Available in several configurations including a convertible.

The vette would be my choice by a long shot! Specially since I drove that LS3. Oh so nice!

Aron9000
06-28-12, 05:46 AM
I thought about buying a base C5 Vette at one time. Then it dawned on me that it had that same damn cheap feeling as a 4th gen fbody, for twice the price. Similar but equally shitty seats, shitty quality leather that wore in a very bad way, same shitty interior plastics, etc. Plus it wasn't any faster, but it did handle better and had better brakes.

But for the 90% of the time I'm just cruising down the road, I felt like it was pretty pathetic for what GM charged for this car when it was new, and for what they went for used.

The C6 was slightly better, but IMO it still feels like you're sitting in a $15,000 Chevy Cobalt, not a $50,000 sports car. Both use the same steering wheel FYI. Although I can kind of overlook the shitty interior on the C5 and C6 Zo6 cars, just because they are fast as hell and absolutely dominate on a road course.

truckinman
06-28-12, 12:36 PM
The cheap interior just doesn't bother me at all in the vette. I think the C6 is much improved over the C5, and the vette I drove didn't have the cobalt steering wheel. I'm not really sure how to describe it, but there are two different steering wheels I've seen in the 6. Hell, GM in general uses cheap interiors. If the interior bugs you that much, buy a BMW or Mercedes. Lol. I like the interior in my STS, but it even has the cheap GM feel that they tried to make it look a little better than a chevys interior. Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly happy with my interior in the STS, but really, the C6 I drove had just about the same quality interior besides the lack of wood trim in the vette. But it's not trying to be a luxury touring car anyway.

But yea, the C5 really is just like the F-bodies. And my buddy with a 2001 WS-6 raced a c5 auto (granted his WS-6 is a 6-spd) and he walked right away from the C5. But yet an 01 C5 with 65-70k miles is still going for 22+ grand, when the 01 WS-6 with same miles, you can find for 12k. much better value with the F-body

orconn
06-28-12, 02:58 PM
As close to an Aston Martin as you going to get at a much lower cost. Let's face if you want a real modern GT the initail price is only a down payment. But if you want the ride and the pride .... as always their ain't no free lunch!


93978

Submariner409
06-28-12, 03:42 PM
Hey, ORCONN.............I used your name in vain up in the Catera oil pressure thread...............

orconn
06-28-12, 04:02 PM
Hey, ORCONN.............I used your name in vain up in the Catera oil pressure thread...............

Thanks, Sub, I could use some exposure in some of the weightier Forums. I only drop by the Catera forum when I am really bored, and run out of things to Google!

cadillac kevin
06-28-12, 04:04 PM
Thanks, Sub, I could use some exposure in some of the weightier Forums. I only drop by the Catera forum when I am really bored, and run out of things to Google!

People still drive cateras? The only ones I've seen lately were in the junkyard.

Submariner409
06-28-12, 06:21 PM
People still drive cateras? The only ones I've seen lately were in the junkyard.

Funny (like HaHa !, not like Weird) that you said that............200 yards up the gravel road from me - at my neighbor's, Charlie's Transmission - theres a red/black top Catera that has been in his yard forever - it's a local used car lot fixer-upper and the transmission is toast. Charlie tried to work on it but became disgusted and there it sits. Very raggy car.

Johnxlrv
06-28-12, 08:03 PM
What's your budget??????

I know not to buy any Jaguar with the AJ V8 engine made during model years 98,99 and 00. High sulpher gas in our country would eat away at the cylinder bores lined with Nikasel, resulting in catostrophic engine failure. I'd avoid the early XK cars even if they have had the engine replaced by the dealer, the later cars had several other quirks fixed on them as well and are cheaper to own.

Also, depreciation on the CLK 4 seat Mercedes is brutal. You could get those with v8's and IMO they are good looking cruisers. I'm not a huge fan of the SL or XLR on principle, 2 seater screams sports car, not grand tourer.

That being said, I do love the styling of the XLR but I just can't help but feel that I got rooked unless I buy the supercharged XLR-V. The base N* had like 320hp, the Corvette had 400hp with the LS2 base engine, it bumped up to the LS3 with 430hp in later years. I also feel like the Vette got better brakes, bigger tires, manual trans, IMO its much more of a driver's car and would be my choice. Styling wise though, the XLR has it all over the Vette.

Still waiting for my first big repair bill...at least the V will get you to 2006, where some of the earlier problems were corrected. Personally, I like the car and the comments...though I still get even more comments when I drive a beater '66 six-cylinder mustang!

concorso
06-28-12, 08:48 PM
What's your budget??????
I know not to buy any Jaguar with the AJ V8 engine made during model years 98,99 and 00. High sulpher gas in our country would eat away at the cylinder bores lined with Nikasel, resulting in catostrophic engine failure. I'd avoid the early XK cars even if they have had the engine replaced by the dealer, the later cars had several other quirks fixed on them as well and are cheaper to own. Was this a problem with later XK's, 01-06? Im guessing they used new linings in later engines? We're almost set on a 96-06 Jag XK, and would love an 04 Portfolio in the red, so I gues we should be looking at 01-06's, assuming we cant find an 04 Portfolio? This car is for getting away from everything. We'll use this for summer road trips. Smooth ride, quiet interior, good exhaust note without being obnoxious, comfortable seat...



Also, depreciation on the CLK 4 seat Mercedes is brutal. You could get those with v8's and IMO they are good looking cruisers. I'm not a huge fan of the SL or XLR on principle, 2 seater screams sports car, not grand tourer. I agree with that in my mind, but in reality, we dont need the extra space of a 2+2.


That being said, I do love the styling of the XLR but I just can't help but feel that I got rooked unless I buy the supercharged XLR-V. The base N* had like 320hp, the Corvette had 400hp with the LS2 base engine, it bumped up to the LS3 with 430hp in later years. I also feel like the Vette got better brakes, bigger tires, manual trans, IMO its much more of a driver's car and would be my choice. Styling wise though, the XLR has it all over the Vette.We both love the XLR, both of us own A&S Cadillacs (Ive had a few CTS, she has her SRX). We kinda want a change, tho, a different look....design language. The CLK convertible is one we hadnt considered, thanks!

concorso
06-28-12, 08:51 PM
Oh yeah... what about the Corvette? Available in several configurations including a convertible.The vette is nice, but its just not something shes interested in. Honestly, I think its better looking then the XLR when the tops are down.

concorso
06-28-12, 08:53 PM
Funny (like HaHa !, not like Weird) that you said that............200 yards up the gravel road from me - at my neighbor's, Charlie's Transmission - theres a red/black top Catera that has been in his yard forever - it's a local used car lot fixer-upper and the transmission is toast. Charlie tried to work on it but became disgusted and there it sits. Very raggy car.Ive seen 4 or 5 Cateras around here. 1 is running and looks to be in great shape. The others have all been in scrap yards... odd

orconn
06-29-12, 12:16 AM
Best of luck in finding the XK of your dreams! If I were in the market for a "real" GT automobile a Jaguar XK would be my first choice. For the last 50 years Jag Gran Turismo automobiles have been the ultimate in value for money. Will be looking forward to seeing of the car you choose!

Playdrv4me
06-30-12, 03:03 AM
The R129 SLs are can be tricky to navigate through and own. Avoid 1992 to 1995 model years. These were noteworthy for having biodegradable upper engine wiring harnesses that are expensive to replace. The Inline Six models are in general the most robust of the R129 line with the earliest ones ('90, '91) being highly desired for the rare stick-shift transmission, but ALL of the I6s will need the cylinder head gasket replaced eventually. Mercedes switched to a new design which no longer has this problem so if it has been done (and on most of them still driving around today it will be) then it generally will be done for good. Skipping 92 to 95 means the only modern years available are 1996 and 1997 with the facelifted bodies and the 722.6 5 speed electronic trans in 1997, these are the ones to get if you want the appearance to be on par with the latest R129s. If you must have a V8, stick with 1999-2002 iterations with the M113 V8. The M119 has slightly more power and is a more advanced design, but is also prone to timing chain tensioner and upper guide rail failures, cam oiler failures and other very annoying problems.

Watch out for leaks in the 722.6/NAG1 automatic transmission. They tend to leak from the electrical connector and they all do it eventually. Not a terribly expensive fix, but something to watch out for as all of your trans fluid can leak eventually, and fluid can also weep its way up inside the connection and cause other problems.

Problems that affect ALL model years are leaking hydraulic top cylinders (there are a dozen of them if I remember right, the R129's top was a masterpiece for its time) and A/C evaporator coils. If you are handy with a wrench you can usually pull the cylinders yourself and send them to specialists that do nothing but rebuild these things for very little money. Dennis Ficken in Overland Park, KS and Klaus with Top Hydraulics, Inc. in Oregon are the most well known in the industry. If you buy the parts through a dealer it can cost 8-10k easily to rehab the entire top mechanism. A/C evaporator failure runs about the same labor time as a Northstar headgasket and thus usually costs between 2500 on the low end and 5500 on the high end to repair. Avoid all cars with the hydraulic suspension (this means V12s are generally out of the picture, though the V12 itself is not a bad engine) as you are just asking for trouble and the ride isn't that much better. These are extremely rewarding cars to own and drive, but do require meticulous upkeep or they will get out of hand fast.

I second the CLK recommendation (a car I only took note of just recently as I search for convertibles) but the E46 drop top is a actually a much better balanced car overall, despite the lack of a V8. The CLK also has the same leaky top cylinders prevalent in all of the other Merc drop tops. I have yet to own an XK, but I go back and forth as to whether the design is beginning to look dated or not, primarily because the current XK is so much more modern and muscular.

I know nothing about R230 SLs other than that the top cylinders for the hard top still leak (though being much newer, generally won't be an issue for a while), and the early years can be nightmarish to own.

Aron9000
06-30-12, 03:37 AM
^ I personally think Mercedes is run by a bunch of arrogant, greedy bastards. What they charge for parts and repairs is absurd, but what really pisses me off is they act like their cars never break down, have design faults, or quality issues. IMO their cars were built to a higher standard back in the 60's/70's/80's, but they were pretty spartan and uncomplicated back then.

Playdrv4me
06-30-12, 03:46 AM
^ I personally think Mercedes is run by a bunch of arrogant, greedy bastards. What they charge for parts and repairs is absurd, but what really pisses me off is they act like their cars never break down, have design faults, or quality issues. IMO their cars were built to a higher standard back in the 60's/70's/80's, but they were pretty spartan and uncomplicated back then.

I tend to find BMW much more down to earth with their attitude toward repairs than Merc. Parts are much more plentiful on the aftermarket, and there's a lot of aftermarket support. Even parts through the dealership aren't absurd. It's a whole different culture. Or at least, it has been. Unfortunately, you can't put a price on timelessness, and some of Merc's designs, regardless of what they cost to fix, are near impossible to beat.

orconn
07-02-12, 11:52 AM
Concorso, you might like to check out Peter Egan's column in the latest Road & Track. Faced with the same decision you are talking about he chose the Jag .... and he gives the reasons why!

talismandave
07-02-12, 10:22 PM
If Peter Egan says it you can believe it. He is a "common sense" local boy! Lives down the road about 15 miles and comes in the store from time to time. Very nice guy.

96Fleetwood
07-03-12, 02:52 PM
My Father has owned both, I had the enjoyment of driving both his 2004 SL600 and 2009 XKR from the auction in Alabama to his home in Virginia. Both would make excellent grand tourers... but the SL is worlds above the Jaguar IMO, especially the 2005+ models.

The SL is smaller and does not give you a rear seat.. but the SL is a hardtop convertible while the XK remains a softop. The power difference is huge, but depends on which model of each you buy. My Father's SL600 had the stage I Renntech upgrade and was faster than his Viper and Z06. The XKR had a big power bump in 2011. Both cars were comfortable and I didn't feel tired behind the wheel of either after a 400 mile trip. The Navigation system in the Jaguar was far more advanced than the SL.. but the Jag did lack cooled/massaging seats. As far as reliability... well, I can't tell you. My Father tends to go through cars like I go through shoes. Both cars were under warranty when owned and neither saw enough drive-time to warrant a service. I can tell you that their S63 has been flawless after 2 years and 18k miles.

... then you have the C6 Vette. My Father had three of these; 2005 'Vert, 2007 Z06; and 2009 'Vert pace car. You can't beat the comfort, performance, and reliability for the money. The LS motors are strong and proven to be durable.

Goodluck with your decision!!

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r247/wmu37/IMG_9771.jpg

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r247/wmu37/9233_144408575835_503855835_3097470_5301145_n.jpg

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r247/wmu37/37359_405209970835_503855835_4876550_3993629_n.jpg

Jesda
07-03-12, 09:30 PM
I strongly prefer ragtops to hardtops, but the shape of the XLR would be impossible with a fabric roof.

A ragtop preserves trunk space and when it rains you hear the pitter-patter of falling droplets. It's a truly unique experience that adds to the joy of owning a topless car. As someone who leaves his top open 95% of the time, having usable trunk space is important.


Concorso, you might like to check out Peter Egan's column in the latest Road & Track. Faced with the same decision you are talking about he chose the Jag .... and he gives the reasons why!


If Peter Egan says it you can believe it. He is a "common sense" local boy! Lives down the road about 15 miles and comes in the store from time to time. Very nice guy.

I have a copy of his book, "Side Glances". I love his writing style.

concorso
09-12-12, 10:58 AM
Concorso, you might like to check out Peter Egan's column in the latest Road & Track. Faced with the same decision you are talking about he chose the Jag .... and he gives the reasons why!Any chance you can tell me the month of the issue or show me the article?

Also, does anyone have experience with the 8-series?

talismandave
09-12-12, 12:08 PM
I strongly prefer ragtops to hardtops, but the shape of the XLR would be impossible with a fabric roof.

A ragtop preserves trunk space and when it rains you hear the pitter-patter of falling droplets. It's a truly unique experience that adds to the joy of owning a topless car. As someone who leaves his top open 95% of the time, having usable trunk space is important.





I have a copy of his book, "Side Glances". I love his writing style.

I agree on having a cloth top. Having grown up in a 66 VW convertible I never understood why people complained about convertible tops until I bought a 70 Olds with a drop top. Now that all manufacturer have mastered what the European make have done for decades with insulation and soundproofing I can't understand what the draw of the drop hardtop is. I guess if you parked in bad neighborhoods maybe, but with a nice car why would you do that anyway? I love the look of a cloth top when up, as much as I love the top down experience itself.

I subscribed to Cycle World and R & T years longer than I otherwise would have because of Peter Egan. That was years before I met him, and he is as nice in person as you would imagine him to be from his writing.

orconn
09-12-12, 01:29 PM
Any chance you can tell me the month of the issue or show me the article?

Also, does anyone have experience with the 8-series?

Yes, Peter Egan's column on his purchasing the Jag XK8 was in the August 2012 issue.

Jesda
09-13-12, 02:05 PM
Ragtops are light, dependable, and space-efficient. Unless the car is decades old, they hold up well and insulate wind and weather very nicely.

Bonus: Hearing the pitter-patter of rain drops.



RE: Peter Egan -- I own one of his books, "Side Glances," a collection of articles from Road and Track. Great writer, great personality. My all-time favorite was the story about how he drove an E-type to a far point North in Canada (before having to drive on the ice road). He saw bears, had wiper failures, and met some interesting characters. I want to duplicate that drive.

He sold that Jaguar a few years ago:
http://bringatrailer.com/2008/10/05/well-documented-peter-egan-1967-jaguar-e-type/

talismandave
09-13-12, 06:40 PM
I followed monthly his restoration of that car in R&T for about a year. Was fun to see it around town from time to time afterward.

ryannel2003
09-15-12, 12:01 PM
Any chance you can tell me the month of the issue or show me the article?

Also, does anyone have experience with the 8-series?

I hear the 8-Series are very, very expensive to maintain. I read somewhere that the spark plug wires were $1k? I don't know too much about them, but I love the styling. Still, I'd prefer the Jag.

concorso
09-15-12, 10:39 PM
Ragtops are light, dependable, and space-efficient. Unless the car is decades old, they hold up well and insulate wind and weather very nicely.

Bonus: Hearing the pitter-patter of rain drops.


The downside is neither of us like the look of soft tops, unless the fabric color matches the paint color. Id never thought about the noise of rain on the top tho, that sounds enjoyable.

concorso
09-15-12, 10:40 PM
I hear the 8-Series are very, very expensive to maintain. I read somewhere that the spark plug wires were $1k? I don't know too much about them, but I love the styling. Still, I'd prefer the Jag.I love the looks of the 8...I remember a thread on here earlier this summer about the 8 series. There was one example that was truly gorgeous.

concorso
09-15-12, 10:57 PM
The R129 SLs are can be tricky to navigate through and own. Avoid 1992 to 1995 model years. These were noteworthy for having biodegradable upper engine wiring harnesses that are expensive to replace. The Inline Six models are in general the most robust of the R129 line with the earliest ones ('90, '91) being highly desired for the rare stick-shift transmission, but ALL of the I6s will need the cylinder head gasket replaced eventually. Mercedes switched to a new design which no longer has this problem so if it has been done (and on most of them still driving around today it will be) then it generally will be done for good. Skipping 92 to 95 means the only modern years available are 1996 and 1997 with the facelifted bodies and the 722.6 5 speed electronic trans in 1997, these are the ones to get if you want the appearance to be on par with the latest R129s. If you must have a V8, stick with 1999-2002 iterations with the M113 V8. The M119 has slightly more power and is a more advanced design, but is also prone to timing chain tensioner and upper guide rail failures, cam oiler failures and other very annoying problems.

Watch out for leaks in the 722.6/NAG1 automatic transmission. They tend to leak from the electrical connector and they all do it eventually. Not a terribly expensive fix, but something to watch out for as all of your trans fluid can leak eventually, and fluid can also weep its way up inside the connection and cause other problems.

Problems that affect ALL model years are leaking hydraulic top cylinders (there are a dozen of them if I remember right, the R129's top was a masterpiece for its time) and A/C evaporator coils. If you are handy with a wrench you can usually pull the cylinders yourself and send them to specialists that do nothing but rebuild these things for very little money. Dennis Ficken in Overland Park, KS and Klaus with Top Hydraulics, Inc. in Oregon are the most well known in the industry. If you buy the parts through a dealer it can cost 8-10k easily to rehab the entire top mechanism. A/C evaporator failure runs about the same labor time as a Northstar headgasket and thus usually costs between 2500 on the low end and 5500 on the high end to repair. Avoid all cars with the hydraulic suspension (this means V12s are generally out of the picture, though the V12 itself is not a bad engine) as you are just asking for trouble and the ride isn't that much better. These are extremely rewarding cars to own and drive, but do require meticulous upkeep or they will get out of hand fast.

I second the CLK recommendation (a car I only took note of just recently as I search for convertibles) but the E46 drop top is a actually a much better balanced car overall, despite the lack of a V8. The CLK also has the same leaky top cylinders prevalent in all of the other Merc drop tops. I have yet to own an XK, but I go back and forth as to whether the design is beginning to look dated or not, primarily because the current XK is so much more modern and muscular.

I know nothing about R230 SLs other than that the top cylinders for the hard top still leak (though being much newer, generally won't be an issue for a while), and the early years can be nightmarish to own.Informative post that I enjoyed reading. We just prefer the R230 with the 2006 facelift. Its a look we both love and the 500's are in our price range. I also prefer the X100 XK's over the newer XK's. I love the big curves of the X100.... We will see what happens...we wont have a need for this car until spring '13 at the earliest.