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HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 2000 Jaguar XJ8 Vanden Plas

Pick of the Day: 2000 Jaguar XJ8 Vanden Plas

Big cat is back on the prowl

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As special as they may be, flagship luxury sedans share a lot of similarities. They typically have leather seats, wood veneer trim, and all-encompassing comfort and convenience features – and eye-poppingly high MSRPs as the price of admission to such exclusive quarters. If you’ve ever passed a W140 Mercedes-Benz S-Class or a third-generation Lexus LS in traffic, you’ll know range-topping sedans also have presence. Those two models have it primarily because of their size and proportions.

The X308 Jaguar XJ, which ran from the 1998 model year until 2003, is a rare site amongst its contemporaries because it stands out for being sleeker, visually lower and leaner, and feline. Our Pick of the Day, this 2000 Jaguar XJ8 currently available on ClassicCars.com, is even more distinctive because it comes in the long-wheelbase Vanden Plas configuration.

If those two words don’t exactly bring images of the Union Jack and London to mind, there’s a good reason for that. According to the Vanden Plas Owners’ Club, the original Vanden Plas company started in 1870 as an axle manufacturer in Brussels, Belgium. Over the next several decades, it changed industries and worked with a variety of aircraft and automotive companies.

To make a long story short, when it comes to North American Jaguars, Vanden Plas is synonymous with a higher level of visual distinction and interior luxury. Aside from the extended wheelbase, the most recognizable signs of an XJ8 VDP are the fluted grille and trunk lid plinth. That extra space between the front and rear axles benefits rear passengers as do heated seats and the wood picnic tables integrated into the backs of the heated front seats.

Whoever spec’d this car chose well. Those special exterior touches and the regal 16-inch wheels highlight the subtle beauty of the Sapphire Metallic paint. Unfortunately, the original owner’s time behind the wood- and leather-trimmed wheel, surrounded by Ivory Connolly leather and glossy Burl Walnut accents, was short-lived. The selling dealer reports the second owner purchased this XJ from the first owner’s estate after it had been in storage for 14 years. Given that gap, it makes sense that this cat has only slinked its way through 72,652 miles of city and highway traffic. To prepare it for more frequent driving, the dealer recently tuned up the 290-horsepower 4.0-liter V8 and had new Continental tires installed in May. Thanks in part to those updates, this XJ reportedly runs “beautifully and smooth.” In fact, the Qualcomm car phone to the right of the J-gate shifter for the five-speed automatic transmission still works, too.

It took nearly a decade and a half, but someone eventually pulled this XJ out from the shrouds of obscurity. After existing in absence for so many years, it can once again show in the light of day what it’s always had: presence. You can drive it through the twists and turns of its second life for $11,900.

Click here to view the listing for this Pick of the Day on ClassicCars.com.

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Derek Shiekhi
Derek Shiekhi
Derek Shiekhi is the Editor and Lead Writer at ClassicCars.com’s sister site AutoHunter.com. He was previously a freelance automotive writer who won numerous awards from the Texas Auto Writers Association for his coverage of events and vehicle reviews. He has been lucky enough to drive Lamborghinis on a track, go off-roading over sand dunes in a Land Rover Discovery, haul a BMW M Roadster with a Ford F-450 Limited, and perform several 55-mph jumps in the Ram 1500 TRX. These days, he’s learning a lot of interesting facts about the vintage and collector vehicles auctioned on Auto Hunter.

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