Abandoned, lost classics are everywhere. Many of those old-timers go into 'the melt'. They are reborn as a table frame or coat hangers. But if you see three of those lost specimens standing on a neatly paved yard behind a fine farmhouse? That is mildly surprising.
Norbert Jansens is the recent proud owner of say 'the cadavers' of the Rover SD, the Beetle and the Renault Estafette in the photos. And he bought them because otherwise they would be thrown away. Norbert sees it differently. “I would feel sorry for them if they went into the blast furnaces. Because there is still all kinds of stuff on it that people are looking for. They didn't cost me much. And if I sell some parts of it, I have a few euros extra for my dream project. My normal work - Norbert makes stickers for motocross and the like - is very quiet because of the Corona fads. So I mess around and don't count my hours. And actually I find that relaxing, despite the fact that some serious money will have to come in soon.
There is another challenge in the barn where Norbert will not count his hours. He looks with satisfaction at 'the mothest Jaguar in the Netherlands. Whatever else the Jag proves, he proves that exuberant rusting does not only occur on cars from the seventies.
The XKR, neo classic or young timer?
Chic lines, burly eight cylinders and generous standard equipment with all the leather and wood veneer you could wish for: the XKR has everything you would expect from a real English sports car. That even applies a bit to the build quality, because despite the influence of then owner Ford, the cats were not really bulletproof. From the money side, healthy technology and proof of correct maintenance * are more important than minor cosmetic shortcomings.
However, it's the major cosmetic / technical issues that can break you down. A regularly driven and well-maintained car is often a better choice than a car with fewer kilometers that has been stationary for longer periods. Finding a 'correct' XKR isn't that easy, but even a good one doesn't have to cost the world. That in turn is an advantage.
A predatory cat? A cash cow!
In the meantime, it is true that the 400+ hp, turbo V8 from the first owner was 'on the market'. And the trader who was impressed by the seller, the first owner and a huge pile of invoices where, among other things, 'body restoration work' was written with four figures, had to take a loss. The older, first owner had been in good faith. But the dearly paid 'body sheet metal restoration work'? That was simply the highest paid polyester filler stucco of all time.
Norbert adopted the predatory cat with his moth-eaten coat for little and radiates with uninhibited joy that everything will be all right. And so it takes a few more hours, but then there is a nice Jaguar in front of the famous 'little'. So if you don't count those hours ...
Don't shit, but brush. And welding
That stopping grumbling and continuing with what is possible is typical of many small entrepreneurs in these strange times. Also in our area of interest. That is why we have also adjusted our purchasing strategy: We buy locally or at least in the Netherlands. And sometimes that takes a bit more effort than shopping via Ali or Ebay, but we keep money and 'work' with it in the Netherlands. And you will barely be in front of your Relay without a front bumper.
* feel free to be critical of that though.