A Mostly British Obsession

Category: ’96 Vanden Plas

Goodbye, Vanden Plas

I sold the Vanden Plas earlier today for just a smidgen more than I paid for it. I like the car and felt it was good value, but I’m going to stick to genuinely old stuff for the time being.

I’ve been doing some long-delayed work on the ’63 MGB–I’ll post a roundup of what’s been happening under that bonnet in the next day or so.

Vanden Plas Update

1996 Jaguar Vanden Plas

Generally speaking, I’m very pleased with the Vanden Plas. I’ve put a few thousand miles on it and it has returned a rock steady 23 MPG — overall. On the highway it gets very close to 30 MPG.
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Vanden Plas: First Day

1996 Jaguar Vanden Plas

I picked this car up on Saturday with the help of my friend Jeff. Seems like a good machine so far, the usual “oh my god, what have I done” moment hasn’t yet arrived (you’ll know when it does). I even got 28 MPG on the trip back!
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Vanden Plas

1996 Jaguar Vanden Plas

Consider: This car was $69,000 new in 1996 (in today’s dollars, that’s about $90,000). I’m paying almost exactly 5% of the 1996 price for this car, in 2008. That depreciation is absolutely mind-boggling; in constant dollars, the car essentially lost 97% of its value in a bit more than a decade. Much as I love Jaguars, I cannot imagine buying one new unless I had chests of gold doubloons.

This Vanden Plas is not absolutely perfect, but it is in very nice condition, with 84,000 miles. I think it’s “Kingfisher Blue,” which is a darkish blue-green, depending on the light. The inside has all the usual excess, including lambswool over-rugs and picnic tables for those carefree afternoons picnicking in wine country gorging on gut bombs at the drive-in. It’s also the long-wheelbase version, which means the rear doors are about ten feet long.


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