Frugal Friday

To those who have political reasons to “wish” for a recession, they don’t occur with jobless claims at their current level. For the most recent reporting week, initial jobless claims fell to 204,000, which was the lowest level since April. The four-week “moving” average fell to 212,500.

I have lost track of how many consecutive weeks claims have been below 300,000; that number is in the hundreds. In general, the 400,000 level is often described as the dividing line between good and bad labor markets.

Of course, situations can change quickly and, indeed, a sharp spike in the weekly initial jobless claims figure could be a sign of a downturn. However, that is not happening now.


On this day in 1991, which was also a Friday the 13th, I was driving in the downtown area of a large city when the belt that drives all of the engine accessories (power steering, fan, alternator) snapped. I couldn’t drive the vehicle especially since it was a hot day and I couldn’t risk having the engine overheat.

This was before car phones, cell phones, and membership in AAA. I don’t really remember how, but I managed to call a garage near my office who sent a tow truck. During the trip to the garage a bottle of grape juice exploded on the passenger seat. I owned that vehicle for almost four more years, but the juice stain was never fully removed. So, I am a little wary of Friday the 13th. Oh, that’s not the only bad thing that has happened to me on a Friday the 13th, either.


My wonderful wife suggested a car for this edition of Frugal Friday.

Say you want an exotic V-12 convertible, say you don’t have more than $10,000 to spend. Tell you what I’m going to do…



From this Hemmings ad is a picture of a 1992 Jaguar XJS. The seller is asking $6,900. According to Hagerty, the average value of such a car is $14,500.

Part of the ad does read, “The engine needs tuning and the car needs minor work. We do not have time to finish this car to our standards. This is a good project for the Jaguar enthusiast.”

I believe and have probably written before that the XJS (XJ-S) is one of the least respected successful cars in history. Sometimes I think it would have had to have been a flying car to escape the shadow of its predecessor, the legendary E-Type. However, the XJS was manufactured for more than 20 years with about 115,000 produced.

For 1992 a larger 6-liter/365 cubic-inch V-12 engine was introduced, but in Europe only. The bigger motor produced 326 HP/357 LB-FT of torque. The North American V-12 remained the 5.3 liter/326 cubic-inch that generated 263 HP/288 LB-FT. The car was also available with a 4-liter six-cylinder engine.

I can’t seem to find the price of this year of Jaguar XJS when new, but I can tell you that a 1990 XJ-S convertible had a POE price of $57,000. Even if you buy this car for the asking price and spend another $10,000 to “restore” the car, you will have a beautiful, V-12 convertible for about $17,000.







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4 thoughts on “Frugal Friday

  1. That Jag is just plain beautiful… love it… my father had a 1996 SL600 MB, V12 engine, 400 HP, red, removable hardtop and convertible. It was over $120K new in 1996. KBB was $13.5K when we sold it a few years back with only 20K miles and the brand new smell intact. We had just spend several thousand getting that weird hydraulic suspension fixed.. so, no issues… we found someone willing to give us $19K for it and then it was expensive for them to keep to they sold it about year or two later. Side note… It had four digit Delaware tag on that we kept and it was worth as much as the car when we sold it.


  2. Thanks for thanking me for sharing… I feel like I’m back in an AA meeting… lol… 😀 I realize you probably don’t care for MBs, either, right? It was an “old man’s” sports car to me… I always felt a little creepy when I drove it.. especially with the top off at the beach cruisin’ for chicks… ha, ha.. I did get stopped in it once, doing, probably very close to 100 mph… the cop just told me to have a nice day and walked away.. probably didn’t want to deal with that kind of paperwork and I had an, otherwise, clean record…


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