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jaguar used car junkyard gem spokes

If you’ve ever been behind the wheel of a Jaguar, then you know what it’s like to drive an icon. This 1985 Jaguar XJ6 was an especially classy ride, complete with wire-spoke wheels. Ready for some rich history? Let’s dig in. (Article compliments of AutoBlog.)

The Series III Jaguar XJ was built for the 1979 through 1992 model years, the final chapter of a quarter-century of the iconic original Jaguar XJ (though production of the straight-six model ended in 1987). Thanks to notoriously troublesome electrical systems and rapid depreciation, but blessed by stay-of-execution-obtaining beauty, most of these cars were parked under blue tarps in driveways before the end of the 1990s… awaiting repairs that never came. Here’s one that I spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard over the winter.

If you were serious about driving a Jag during the easy-money 1980s, you needed the optional wire wheels. That showed those rubes in the BMW 735s and Mercedes-Benz 500SELs what real class was all about.

The 4.2-liter version of Jaguar’s legendary straight-six engine made 176 horsepower in 1985. That was six fewer than the 735i’s six and eight fewer than the 500SEL’s V8. However, the XJ6 cost $32,250, versus $36,880 for the BMW and $51,200 for the Benz. Given that the Jag offered at least as much (and maybe more) status on the street, its price tag looks like a pretty good deal.

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