Yesterday, I noticed a very small crack in one of the walnut veneers in my Jag. I cannot emphasize enough how much I 1) love walnut interior trim (second only to olive wood) 2) am completely anal about its condition.
So I sent an email to the ridiculously helpful people at SNG Barrat and they told me that I could order a full set of burr walnut veneers (all four doors) for $186. That’s honestly pretty ridiculously cheap for a complete set of OEM wooden inlay for a 15 year old car.
As I see it, these are the pros and cons:
1) Interior trim for fifteen year old Jaguars doesn’t grow on trees, and there will come a time when it becomes difficult to come by in any form, let alone brand new from the factory.
2) $186 is not a lot for a full set. A quick search of eBay shows two listings: a factory set for the XJR with inlay for $700, and a full used set for $50 that has cracks.
3) The trim in the backseat has pretty obviously been exposed to sun, and is cloudy in comparison to the front.
4) Despite the previous owner having had taken very good car of the car, it’s pretty obvious that he opened the door with the keys in his hand, because there are little marks in the wood. There are also some marks from the seatbelt hitting the trim.
5) Not directly a pro per se, but there is something to be said for owning a fifteen year old XJ8 that’s so reliable that you have the luxury of obsessing over wood trim.
1) It’s $186 that I don’t need to spend on a car that has a wiper motor that costs $900 to replace.
2) It’s not that bad, and I know that with time, I’ll come to accept it, just like I’ve made peace with 15 years and 140,000 miles worth of paint blemishes and cracked leather on the center console (which I will replace eventually).
3) Evidently, the PO fitted chrome leaper appliqués to the doors. They’re so professionally fitted that I was positive that they were factory, until Barratt told me they didn’t come with the veneer set. After about 30 minutes of google image searching, I’m positive that there weren’t even a dealer option. But I kind of like them, and don’t necessarily want to lose them if I replace the trims. On the other hand, it isn’t stock, so no big loss, and it isn’t like I can’t keep the old trims tucked away.
Right now, I'm leaning towards buying the set, but what are your thoughts, Oppo?