Home » ShitBox Showdown: The British Are Back In The Cape Fear

ShitBox Showdown: The British Are Back In The Cape Fear

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I was 17 in ‘97 and around that time, British rock group Oasis once ruled the world of Rock n Roll from their tiny island in the North Atlantic. They had just released their 3rd studio album “Be Here “Now” with the hit track ”Don’t Go Away”.

This was a follow up to mega-smash hits off earlier albums such as “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova”, which have been staples on Modern Rock radio for the past 25+ years. The band also famously broke up after founding brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher got into their final, band-ending sibling spat during a concert in France in 2009.

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Sadly “Be Here Now” did not live up to the band’s expectations and Noel Gallagher summed the album up as “the sound of a bunch of guys, on coke, in the studio, not giving a f***”. The album featured a white Rolls-Royce sunken into a pool on the cover.

Ten years before that, I was 7 and another British group by the name of Whitesnake was ripping up the radio waves. This was, understandably, before my time, yet “Here I Go Again” has been heard by my ears hundreds of times in the 36 succeeding years.

The video for that song was just about as popular as the track itself, with a Ms. Tawny Kitaen shooting to stardom whilst dancing upon lead singer David Coverdale’s personal car – a Jaguar XJ6.

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Interestingly enough, both of those above cars are for sale this week in my hometown! Let’s put those two rides into the Showdown today and see which is the better ride to purchase from The Port City of Wilmington, NC!

Note: I’d ask our line British staff member (Goth Uncle Adrian from “Adrian’s Auction Anarchy” fame) to chime in here, but I believe that I can safely assume that he’s not exactly the biggest Oasis or Whitesnake fan.

Let’s See Which Car Won Yesterday, Shall We?

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Well, it looks like the BMW won by 107 votes, which very reluctantly included mine, since there was no option for “neither”. I share my colleague’s admiration for V12 engines, yet will note that I believe there there are none that make any sense to own (the 2 shown above plus the Jag V12).

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I’m currently helping my same friend and neighbor that owns the Exploder featured here fix the myriad of issues he has with his ’07 Passat (bad wiring insulation and electrical shorts, bad fuel pump module, bad/clogged moonroof drains, soaked carpets, etc.). Due to this, I have a first-hand disdain for VW cars of this ilk and BMWs  also don’t exactly have the shiniest reputations either. You couldn’t pay me enough not to sprint in the opposite direction of those 2 cars as fast as my 43yr old ass can move these days.

This is also what makes The Autopian writing staff so great: we all have a widely varying taste in cars! As a 25+yr consumer of auto media, having a staff that all likes the same Porsches, BMWs, Corvettes, Hondas, Subarus, Camaros Mustangs and the rest of the usual suspects gets old.

Anyways, the 34yr old BMW beats out the Piech-era VW, which is a pretty low threshold to beat. Both of these cars have limited miles and limited years ahead of them with massive repair costs around the corner in this guy’s opinion. Go get yourself a $220 Stratus Coupe instead of these two labyrinths of dysfunction and live the good life, like me, your buddy SWG.

Today’s First Contender: 1969 Rolls Royce Shadow $2500

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Engine/Drivetrain: 172 hp 6.2 L V8

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Location: The Cape Fear, Wilmington, NC

Odometer reading: 44,000 miles

Runs/drives? No sir or madam. This ad was found via a Gossin Motors Backyard Shitbox Rescue search.

 

When I came across this car I couldn’t believe that the car that was sunk into the pool on the album cover for “Be Here Now” was for sale locally! Same color and all. Though, that car was a ’72 and was purchased for £1,200 without an engine (but with a fresh re-spray!) for the album photo shoot.

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Fun fact: It appeared on the cover with the number plate SYO 724F – a nod to The Beatles as that was the registration of the police van on the cover of their seminal 1969 album Abbey Road.

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Be Here Now Album Cover

Hat-tip to both The Bishop and my good buddy Nick Chinn for the Oasis car-background details assist. Another zany Oasis car story regarding a Mark II Jag can be found here.

Here’s what the seller has to say about this Shadow:

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Seller’s Description (verbatim):

PEASE READ. To many scams on last add This is a complete 1969 shadow. Does not run. What it needs: Wiring Carbs rebuilt Probably a fuel pump Hynautic system rebuilt Interior wood refinished Column repairs Window actuators repaired Paint This is a good restoration project with a cost of around 20,000 for genuine RR parts and depending on your skill set. Could’ve a fun conversion.

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Ok, so if your take on these cars is similar to mine then a Rolls-Royce is super cool as long as it’s Churchill-era old or within-the-past-25 years-new. Everything in between those two bookends is fine, I guess?

This car just screams for an EV conversion or an LS swap to me. Keeping it OEM and pristine will only go so far. The value for running versions shows to be around $20K, which is affordable to the great scores of The Unwashed. That’s not what a Rolls owner wants now, is it? They crave something a cut above and a late-1960s to 1980s Rolls-Royce does not seem to portray Old Money for The Grey Poupon crowd. Your genearationally wealthy contemporaries at the Country Club would never risk any association with the lesser bourgeoisie, so why take a chance with a lesser, age-and-time-diminished Rolls such as this?

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Instead it seems like the kind of car your zany high school or college friend buys (while drunk) to piss off his wife and to be able to claim to the other guys in the bar that he has a Rolls-Royce. Aspirational, in a certain sense, still.

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The interior looks to be in top shape and all the trim is there, so just cleaning up those carbs, grabbing a set of steel coil springs and doing a little wiring work to utilize the existing hardware could also be a solid-ass option. I mean dude, it’s a frickin Rolls-Royce and there aren’t exactly a ton of them out there!

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Also, morbid fact: Charles Rolls was the first Briton to die in a powered aircraft accident when he crashed at Southbourne on July 12, 1910.

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It’s not exactly a car you see for sale everyday.

Note: This car sold in-between the time it was first found by Gossin Motors Backyard Shitbox Auto Rescue and the time this piece was published – bummer! Here’s the ad link regardless, here.

 

1984 Jaguar(e) XJ6: $2,000 “OBO”

Engine/Drivetrain: Chevy 350 Small block!

Location: The Cape Fear, Wilmington, NC

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Odometer reading: 64,656 miles

Runs/drives? Hard nope. No sir. This ad was found via a Gossin Motors Backyard Shitbox Rescue search.

 

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Ok, as the only Jag owner here in the Autopian Writing Crew (actually I have 2!), I will say that newer Jags are far cooler to me than the Ye Olde English Jags of Yore. All that wood and leather is great in the traditional British fashion, but you can only eat so many potted pies with warm beer before yearning for something else. Something a bit less Revolutionary War era.

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I’ve been trying to get David to approve an article on my Jag XK8 now for over 3 years, and I’m still trying. Don’t let his amiable demeanor, trove of kittens, electric car fleet, and general LA-nice-guy persona throw you off as the dude is tough-as-nails. He also doesn’t seem to have much of an interest in broken Jags…yet! I’m here to change that though, so keep you eyes peeled, as I think we may have a breakthrough in ’24.

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Ok, back to the matter at hand! Like I was saying, old Jags aren’t as cool as say, my XK or a new-ish F-type, but they have both of those cars beat in 2 areas: price and wrench-ability. You can get them for wicked cheap and also pull crazy moves such as installing a Chevy truck motor with ease!

Try doing that on an F-type.

Jag 6

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Here;s what the seller says (verbatim) in the ad which is linked here:

Restoration special. 84 XJ6 with 90’s 350 Rebuilt Chevy truck engine. Ran until a month ago. Something is wrong with the wiring.
Has clean title and car cover. light rust around the front and back window. 65,000 miles on rebuilt engine.
Ran great just needs some minor repairs to get it going again and you can cruz in a cool Vintage Antique classic .
2000.00 or best offer.

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I don’t know about you, but 90s Chevy 350 wiring is about as easy as engine wiring gets. Pick up a Power Probe, dust off your voltmeter, flex some serious patience and give it the ‘ol college try!

Generally you’re going to be looking at alternator voltage, PCM, grounds, cam/crank, TPS, coolant sensor, ignition, O2 and the rest of their merry band of electrical malfeasants.

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Jag 8

Old Jag parts aren’t that easy to get and when you can find them, they’re usually stupid expensive, so chopping up these cars to have a little fun with what’s there/what’s left makes perfect sense. They will not grow in value with time, so concerns about messing up a future classic aren’t present.

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I look at a car like this the same way that I look at my sweet-ass Supercharged Buick: they aren’t worth much and will never be, so go wild and have fun.

Hey, it’s been a blast sitting in for Mark Tucker (who seems to be having a wild time on vacation from the photos he’s shared) and I sincerely hope you liked the guest appearances of Thomas Hundal, Mercedes Streeter, The Bishop and a little SWG flavor today on The Showdown this week. Cheers homies!

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So, my fellow friends and Autopians, which will it be? The immobile album-cover car from Oasis’ 3rd album, or the dance-pad Jag with a Chevy heart that Tawny Kitaen likes to bust a move upon? You choose!

 

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EricTheViking
EricTheViking
8 months ago

As for the Rolls-Royce, I would probably go for the Chevy 454 engine and 4×4 conversion.

Rafael
Rafael
8 months ago

That Rolls is one handsome car. I wish the buyer would let us know their plans for it, because other than keeping the shell and doing a full conversion, I can see no use for it other than a parts donor.

Ana Osato
Ana Osato
8 months ago

“old Jags aren’t as cool as say, my XK or a new-ish F-type”

Yeah, that’s just fundamentally wrong, mate.

Mike F.
Mike F.
8 months ago

Despite the potential issues, it’s the Rolls for me – that would be one cool car to roll in. The Jag might be less work, but it would also be less car.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
8 months ago

There needs to be at third option for these. Some kind of sanity check of “nope, I trust my money will be safer with SVB”

BentleyBoy
BentleyBoy
8 months ago

No such thing as a cheap Rolls, run fast, run far!!!!

Here4thecars
Here4thecars
8 months ago

Please, more SWG!

Sgtyukon
Sgtyukon
8 months ago

If the seller is correct, I can buy the Rolls for $2,500 that doesn’t run, put in $20,000 worth of OEM RR parts, do all the work myself and wind up with a car worth about $20,000. That is if it doesn’t depreciate anymore in the years it will take me to finish. As Arsenio Hall said many years ago, “Hmmmmmmm.”

Or, I can spend $2,000 on a rusted-out Jagrolet that also doesn’t run.

You really do need to add that neither one option, don’t you?

FleetwoodBro
FleetwoodBro
8 months ago

Jag all day every day, even with electrical problems. You, yes you, and maybe even I although I doubt it, can get it to run again with brakes and everything working safely. There may be fewer than fifty people in the USA who could get that Rolls going and stopping again properly and they are not returning the phone call about this one. It’s been in water! Hynautics all over the place!

The series 3 XJ is one of my favorite cars. These things are personal of course, but in terms of suspension tuning, the best compromise between comfort and handling I’ve experienced. Quiet, not thumpy like a Benz. Compliant but planted, not edgy like a BMW or brittle like an Audi.

Reliable? At least they’re still around and running. Go to Hemmings and do a search for Audis built in the ’70s and ’80s, then do one for Jaguars. There aren’t any 4000s or 5000s or 100s or 200s or whatever else they made left. These two brands moved comparable units in North America. What happened? I digress but it’s really interesting that there are no old Audis left.

All I’m saying is people are sleeping on these Jaaaags.

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