Jaguar XJ12L auto saloon (Series 2)
White (250) – 1976– 67500 miles – 2 owners – some service – some history
This Series 2 XJ12 5.3 4 door long wheel-base saloon drives like it left the factory a month ago. Haig covered just 67,000 miles, it is quite extraordinary how good this car feels on the road. It is powerful, quiet and super smooth. Having undergone a recent and exhaustive recommission by Miles Classic, the car is nothing short of mechanically perfect. The often tricky fuel delivery system is faultless, the engine simply does not miss a beat, oil pressure is excellent, the gearbox is imperceptible, the ride is silky and the brakes beautifully balanced. The new bushes and bearings deliver direct and confidence inspiring steering, though if you do leave your toe in you will have to be quick with the hands as there is plenty potential to get the back wheels spinning! The notoriously suspect panel fit is excellent and the body is rot free.
The interior is in dark blue leather and is in wonderful condition, the headlining is original and intact the carpets are largely original with just front footwell replacements. Windows are smooth and fast, all lights, switches and heater controls work. The original radio is fitted although the 8 track needs attention. The air con has been ignored on this recommission.
There has been paint in the past as is identified in some of the cars documentation, and this looks very much like the work of the 1970s – it is not the best and there are some very minor signs of surface rust – storage style blemishes. The car is by no means shabby in appearance and quite presentable, but it will not win any awards on this finish. If this car had a professional repaint, it could well double its value.
PLD 500R was purchased new by James Adams in August 1976. Mr Adams used the vehicle as his company car and did limited mileage throughout his ownership. On his death in 1994 the V5 was transferred into his wife’s name, Mavis Adams when the mileage was in the region of 58,000 miles. The car was then used sparingly by the family until in 2004 when it was parked in Mrs Adams’ garage and stored. During the Adams’ ownership, some minor accident damage has occurred and some bodywork and paintwork has been undertaken.
In 2017, the car was purchased by Miles Classic and after simply fitting a new battery, the car fired up and was transported back to the workshop. The car was then further stored with the intention of recommissioning at a later date.
In October 2019, PLD 500R was retrieved from storage, starting with only minor effort, it was brought back to Miles Classic where the recommissioning work began in earnest. Although the car ran, it was intermittent, failing to run on one tank and missing quite badly. There was a knock on the front suspension, a knock on the gearbox mount and the capacity of the brakes was unknown.
The fuel in the tanks was ancient and bad and it was drained out. Both tanks were closely inspected on the car, the left-hand tank was in excellent shiny condition, but the right hand tank was showing signs of rust and debris. The right-hand tank was then filled with a rust treatment solution, left overnight, drained and then further washed out with solvent based chemicals. On final inspection the right hand tank was now in very useable condition.
A new fuel injection fuel pump was fitted.
The reason the right hand tank wasn’t able to fuel the car was as a result of faulty change over valves. These were all renewed and the wiring to each one checked and tested thoroughly. Following this work, the fuel being delivered to the engine was clean, consistent and flowing correctly.
The rear subframe was removed from the car and both front and rear subframes underwent full recommissioning. This included:
Remove all brake discs and replace with new
Removal of all brake callipers and refit with reconditioned sets all round
Fit new brake pads all round
Remove all shock absorbers and springs and refit with good used parts
Fit new wheel bearings all round
Fit new top and bottom ball joints
Fit new bushes
Fit new subframe mounts
Check and test UJs on drive shafts and prop shaft.
After recommissioning the fuel delivery, PLD 500R was given a complete and extended service. This included:
New spark plugs
New parts for the ignition system
Check and test injectors and replace where necessary
Drain and refill with new engine oil
Drain and refil with new gearbox oil
Drain and refill with new diff oil
Drain and refill with new anti-freeze coolant
Drain and refill new windscreen washer fluid
Fit new windscreen wipers
Check and test lighting system and replace bulbs where necessary
The bodywork is showing signs of age and the paintwork carried out in the 70s is not to standard. However, the panelwork is straight, the gaps are good, there is no rot and rust blemishes are limited and minor. Areas of paintwork have been touched in and the whole car has been professionally buffed and polished and presents well from where it started. The car would benefit from a full A surfaces repaint but at this stage of the recommission it has been decided to enjoy the car as it is.
The interior is in truly fabulous patina style. The headlining has been refitted where it had sagged, the blue leather is gloriously soft and in excellent condition, the front footwell mats have been renewed, but all other carpet is original and a little threadbare but suits the car beautifully. All the clocks and dials work, all the interior lighting, the radio, balance and fader, though sadly not the 8 track as yet. Dashboard is not cracked, screen is clear, all the switches, windows, heated rear screen and the heater blows hot. It is a fabulous place to be.
PLD 500R has been a well loved and cherished family and effectively 1 owner car. As a magnificent starting point, it has now been sympathetically though thoroughly recommissioned and presents as a reliable, smooth, powerful and charismatic Jaguar XJ12 series 2 saloon. Simply wonderful.