10k: Unicorn Hunter: Find The Best $8-12k Four-Door Daily Driver

Last week we asked you to find us the best $2k-4k car for your sweetie for Valentine’s day and the response was well…excellent…which is what we have come to expect from the talented craigslist junkies who frequent this website.  A particular favorite was the ’74 Ford 4X4 Hi-Boy F250 suggested by AbnMike for his Siberian lady friend.  The F250 is covered in nicely patina’d blue paint and looks totally at home covered in snow somewhere near Anaconda or Butte…which sounds like a Sir Mix-a-Lot song now that I think about it.  Anyway, we continue the tradition of asking our readers to find us the best cars, this time we are looking for the best $10k 4-door daily driver.  My money would be on this 1999 Jaguar XJ8 with fuel injected Chevy LS1 V8 swap for sale in Okaloosa, FL for $10,500 via craigslist.

The internet is full of Chevy V8 powered Jaguar “conversions” but typically consist of older Jags with blown engines sporting ancient carburetor-fed Chevy 350s.  In contrast this car started with a Jaguar X303 generation XJ8 and now is powered by a Chevy LS1 V8 from a Camaro or Corvette.  Power should be at least 325 horsepower, but more is easily available with tuning, cams, intake & exhaust mods.

The nice thing about swapping a V8 into the XJ8 is that the folks who say “you should have left the V12 or inline six in it” can pound sand because the XJ8 was powered by a Jaguar V8 that was assembled at a Ford plant in the UK.  The LS1 is worlds better than the AJ series V8, more powerful, lighter, lower CG…basically no reason to NOT swap an LS1 into every XJ8 on the planet. Now you can safely drive your family around without worrying that you won’t be able to pass safely on a two-lane road or do a fork-lift style turn into a parking space. 

What would you get for your family driver for $10k?  Comment below or send us a tip.