I've been told that the alternator for a Jaguar costs $800.
I expect the auto parts store makes a fat profit on that alternator, but
if parts for a car like that are prohibitively expensive, the only
reason someone would want to drive a car like that is to prove to other
people that they can afford the expensive maintenance that goes along
with it. I think most mature people don't care enough about what other
people think to make that a good reason to own a Jag. I for one would
much prefer a car that was easy and cheap to repair.
On Wednesday, July 9, 2014 9:44:29 PM UTC-4, nestork wrote:
I expect that you don't know what you're talking about. I can see
an alternator costing $800 if you take a Jaguar to the dealer, bend over,
and say, let me have it please. Same with a MB, BMW. Most American
brand dealers will charge you whatever they can too.
But if you want to buy an alternator that fits your Jag from an auto
parts store, they generally can be had for a price similar to any
alternator and more like $100 to $200 than $800. I just looked.
They're only prohibitively expensive for you. Anybody that can drop 75+ K
for a XJ isn't worried about a $800 alternator. The social climbing
wannabees may be trying to prove something but the truly wealthy don't even
think about it. Car looks nice, they like its features, they buy it.
Of course, there are a few models where you need to make an appointment with
your mechanic to borrow it when you want to drive it, but there are a few
more options in the garage.
It's the opposite of 'anti-creep' but the Subaru has had a Hill Holding
Clutch system for years. As long as the nose of the car is higher than the
rear end, you can depress the clutch, remove your foot from the brake and
the brake will remain on until you release the clutch. It works even on the
Caddilac was that way a few years ago - several friends had DeVilles
that had their own dedicated space at the dealership. Owners put more
miles on couresy cars than their own in the first 2 years. One had 5
different Caddys in 3 years before he bought a Lexus.
Neighbour had a Mecedes E-Class and a 5 series Bimmer. Both spent an
average of 5 or 6 days a month in the shop. Bought a Toyota Supra and
it didn't have a single breakdown in 300,000km. Just scheduled service
-less than 1 day a month the way he put the miles on
I've never fully agreed with that theory. It's akin to "Anyone that can
afford that big of a lawn can afford to have someone else take care of it."
or "Anyone that can afford that big of a boat can afford to have someone
else drive it."
Maybe the $75k he dropped on the XJ was his last $75k. Maybe the mortgage
on the house that has that huge lawn takes up every last dime the owner
has. Same for the boat.
My only point is that we have no way of knowing if the guy behind the wheel
or the guy sitting in the lawn or the guy out on the lake has any money
left after buying those items. Maybe that big ticket item was all that he
could afford and he's willing to scrimp on other things or do some of the
maintenance himself. We really don't know just by looking.
On Thu, 10 Jul 2014 04:46:59 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
That's why people who really can't afford an item buy it. They are
hoping people will think that they actually can afford it. They need
that to feel good about themselves.
It's a basis of the conspicuous consumption ethic.
Web based forums are like subscribing to 10 different newspapers
and having to visit 10 different news stands to pickup each one.
No, that's not true.
Over the past 3 or 4 years I let it be known that I was thinking of
selling my apartment block. It's got copper water supply plumbing and
copper wiring, I've kept my allowable rent high by raising it by the
allowable guideline each year and it's in an excellent location here in
Winnipeg. That caught the attention of some of the wealthiest land
developers here. They wanted to buy the building and convert it into
condos or renovate it and rent out the units for $1000+ monthly rents.
In either case, they wanted to pour money into the building with the
prospect of getting their money back and more.
And, I found all of those people to be absolutely no different than
anyone else. They all worked for their money and they all wanted the
best value they can get for every dollar they spend. I did find them to
be more generous than most other people. When I said I wouldn't mind
staying on in the building as a caretaker, they were willing to gut all
three rooms with storage lockers in them to allow me to store all my
tools and personal effects that wouldn't fit in my apartment (which I
would live in rent-free).
I expect the only people that wouldn't care how much it costs to
maintain a car would be the children of the fabulously wealthy that
never had to work for their money. That is, the Paris Hiltons of the
world. But, even that doesn't cut it because wealthy people are also
generally both responsible and conservative and raise their kids to be
careful with their money. They know that times and fortunes can change
with fashion and technology and they want their kids to be able to
survive such changes on their own. One of the wealthiest Canadians, Mr.
Israel Asper had his children get degrees in law even though only one of
them works as a lawyer. Two others basically work as "philanthropists"
doling out money to charitable organizations and worthy causes. Izzy
Asper owned the Global Television Network here in Canada which was the
3rd largest television network in our country. He made his money from
advertising on his TV network.
The image of someone lighting a cigar using a burning $100 bill is a
myth. The really wealthy people are no different than you or I. They
all want the best value for their money that they can get regardless of
how much money they already have. They're just more generous when it
comes to helping other people.
I'm funny that way. I figure anyone that goes in hock for something they
can't really afford needs a reality check. U do realize, of course, I'm
talking about a sugnificant proportion of US citizens, to say nothing of the
I once worked for a startup and when it finally started to make money, the
CEO decided he'd finally buy a luxury car. He was from the generation when
Cadillac said success. That was about the time when Caddy came out with the
small ones, Cimmaron? He got to know the dealership really well. The final
straw was when his secretary pulled in with her new Pontiac and he realized
it was the same damn car.
Next up was a Merc diesel. He wasn't impressed by the performance and when
his son filled half the tank with Sinclair regular, that took care of the
Next stop was the lincoln dealer. In his words, "If I'm going to be n****r
rich, I'm going to do it right." He finally found his right ride, a Town
Car, and it served him well.
My way of thinking is that if you can afford a car like that, you do not
keep it long enough for anything to wear out.
The dealers do not want people to drive around in the older expensive cars
either , so they make the repair parts expensive so they get a bad
reputation as to repair cost.
Every two years a multi millionare man I know of would trade in his wifes
car usually with less than 10,000 on it. He told his wife that it just
would not look right for someone of their social standing to drive around in
a car older than two years. The car was usually a big Mercury or other
pricey looking car.
That is probably for a rebuilt unit and you often get a core charge if you
turn in the old one for rebuilding. I bet most dealers just put in a new
one, or go to the parts store and get a rebuilt one and charge for a new
I must admit I came to respect Japanese auto engineering when I bought my
first Honda and saw how easy they had made access for routine maintanence
tasks. All except the part where spinning off the oil filter from a hot
engine was guaranteed to get you a nasty burn from the exhaust manifold
unless you wore gloves or were very, VERY careful.
In terms of injuries sustained, building my own PC's drew a lot more blood
than working on cars ever did because the very early clone cases abounded in
super sharp edges. Almost every PC I built has my initials written in my
own blood. Yes. It was a primitive and superstitious thing to do but it
seemed appropriate after a burr on a case edge opened up a deep gash and
left me with all this blood to write with. Eventually even the cheapest
cases (which by that time - 1990 I think - were coming from Vietnam) had
rolled edges and fewer razor sharp edges.
The bloodiest jobs I ever undertook on cars was messing around with exhaust
systems, especially frozen clamps. I remember once (before I learned to
ALWAYS use heavy gloves) cutting myself up so that I needed six stitches and
a tetanus shot. I was pulling one section of exhaust pipe and it suddenly
gave way and by hand shot backwards and right onto to a rusted out but still
"oh so sharp" piece of pipe.
When I finally got around to removing the Mark X's after-market AC (to fix a
water pump, not to change the number one spark plug) the plug was so
incredibly fouled it was clear I had been driving with only five cylinders
for a long, long time. But like the Madden joke (he drops a quarter in a
urinal by accident and then throws a $50 bill in after it, saying "You don't
think I am going in there for a 25 cents?) I didn't "go in" until something
else required taking off all the belt-driven accessories. It was a
remarkable pain in the ass.
It wasn't until some time later when I had to pull the head and do a valve
job that I saw how badly fouled the valves for that first cylinder were.
It's really hard to understand how *anyone* thought blocking the first
cylinder with an attachment point for the AC was a good idea. To be fair,
there weren't really any other good options considering how closely packed
things were under the hood.
Funny thing. Even though I am losing a lot of other memories, I spent so
much time under the hood of that car I can still see things very clearly in
The 1963 Mark X I bought used in 1971 cost me $500. I eventually sold it
for $5,000 after I restored it to doctor who worked in terminal pediatrics
at Johns Hopkins because he needed something (unlike his poor little
patients) that he could fix by throwing enough money and effort at it.
There are certainly other reasons. I wanted to restore a car and the Jaguar
seemed to offer the most bang for the buck. I really wanted an XK-E but
even back then you wouldn't find anything restorable in that model for $500.
While that was my first and last Jaguar, but I can see why people spend huge
sums on restored XK-E roadsters. There was nothing else like it on the road
at the time. My wife and I attend a lot of classic car rallies and the XK-E
still turns heads. It's not about what it costs, it's about what it looks
like and how it performs on the track. And its place in automotive history.
The Mark X's speedometer went to 140mph and I can confirm that when fully
restored it was capable of those speeds even though the driver (me) wasn't
(-: I only drove that fast *once* though because a 2 ton car really isn't a
sportscar and tends to leave the ground when going over dips in the road at
It was a really beautiful care with a burled walnut dashboard, twin fuel
tanks, twin walnut fold-down picnic tables in the back, an instrument panel
that made it look more like a plane than a car and a remarkable quiet
exhaust system. In short it was a car unlike any American car I had ever
seen. So it wasn't really the cost or the status of the car, it was its
uniqueness that attracted me.
Yep. A wealthy friend once bought a brand new XK-E V-12 in the year they
stopped making them. They are not so much cars as they are works of
automotive art. The thing ran so quietly that I didn't even realize it was
running while standing next to it until the wind shifted and I could feel
the heat of the engine.
At a recent car show my wife and I were looking at a collection of
Dusenbergs and Bugattis. There's a reason these cars command millions of
dollars at auctions. I can't think of a way to say it other than that there
are very pretty women and then there are movie stars. It's a question of
rarity. These cars are movie stars. Very few can match them for sheer
looks. So it goes way beyond status consciousness:
That one sold for $4M and this one sold for $30M:
That's why guys like Jay Leno have such huge garages and so many cars.
*One* of them is bound to be driveable at any particular moment in time.
I'd say the odds are a trillion to one that ALL of them would be driveable
at any one moment.
The anti-creep would do that, too because I remember a fellow Jaguar club
member described how he stopped once on a hill because there was an accident
ahead, forgot to set the brake (or take the car out of drive!!!!) and
suddenly found his car chasing him down the hill. (Those three carbs were
notoriously bad at supporting a steady idle and they conked out often
sitting at a light.)
The question is: "What happened to the "hill holder" if the engine died?" I
remember my Dad and Uncle convincing me to disconnect the system. It was
the first time I had really understood the concept of "failing safe." The
anti-creep system certainly didn't operate under that principle. Obviously
designed as a gimmick by engineers who probably never conceived of the idea
that their car would stall often enough after aging for anti-creep to
actually come to mean "unguided missile."
At least SOME are. Then there are the real tightwads who still have
the first dollar they ever earned. They are rich because they never
buy anything without wringing the last cent out of the deal, and never
replace anything if there is another 10 minutes use left in it. They
buy their clothes at the Sally Anne and drive clunkers, and live in a
little war-time house with 10 cats. ( a war-time house is an upscale
version of a "redneck bungalow" - about the same size but it never had
wheels or a hitch)
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