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    A MATTER OF A OPINION? #Jaguar / #Jaguar-AJ16

    Why oh why do you employ writers like Skelton?

    His diatribe on the #Jaguar-XJS / #Jaguar-XJ-S is exactly the type of thing that Clarkson would write and puts the classic car industry and hobby back years.

    It’s not the car’s fault that he is too big to fit in it, it’s not the car’s fault that he has chosen a pre-facelift 3.6 car to write about, possibly the worst of the entire breed of XJS. That car was built in the ’80s and he seems to expect it to be as accommodating as a modern Eurobox. He should try driving a facelift from ’1995-’1996 with the sublimely smooth #Jaguar-XJS-AJ16 engine and matching auto box which makes driving one of these fine machines a total pleasure. Note that I said auto box, for yes, the car was badged as a GT! Not a sports car but one to waft down to Monte Carlo with the minimum of fuss and effort.

    I do sometimes wonder why media such as yours, that is clearly aimed at the classic car fraternity write such rubbish and employ such people like Skelton to write it. As my late father used to say, “if you can’t find anything nice to say (write) about someone or something, then don’t say (write) it at all.” Shame on you as well for even agreeing to publish it.

    Thankfully, there is a huge following for this car, and its enthusiasts’ club recognises the importance of the car that saved Jaguar.
    • People - and what they like - are all different. And my experiences of XJ-S’s on a personal level aren’t great. I’ve driven V12 autos, #Jaguar-AJ6 mPeople - and what they like - are all different. And my experiences of XJ-S’s on a personal level aren’t great. I’ve driven V12 autos, #Jaguar-AJ6 manuals, AJ6/16 autos from before and after the facelift, and across all three body styles - and very few have felt like they should.

      That’s not the fault of the breed as a whole, it’s because somewhere down the line someone’s skimped on care - as with any expensive car that could once be bought for peanuts. This 3.6 was one of the good ones. But that night in November 2016, when suffering whiplash, trying to navigate some very tight roads and then being barely able to get out, my dislike of the best XJ-S I’d ever driven tainted them. I wished I hadn’t bothered, and when you’re talking about something as emotive as a British GT, apathy is the quickest way to spoil it.

      If someone wants to give me a late 4.0 and a nice road on a nice day to try to change my mind, please do. I want to like the XJ-S, because were it not for the niggles it’d come close to being the best Jaguar of all time. That’s what makes them frustrating for me, and why I’m so emotive about the things that spoil them.
        More ...
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    If you’re a frequent reader of this magazine then you know of my love for the #Rolls-Royce-Merlin-engine . As a young man, I was fascinated by the people who could take this nation-saving beast and put it in a car. And over 30 years ago, I read about a man named Paul Jameson who had done just that.

    I acquired his phone number through a friend and called him up. He said the engine was in very good shape and had come out of a 1944 De Havilland Mosquito that hadn’t seen much service. It was mounted in a 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II chassis, the two-stage supercharger was no longer on it and it was now running on a Holley four-barrel carburettor, the transmission was an early-’50s four-speed Moss gearbox from a #Jaguar XK120 / #1951-Jaguar-XK120-Hot Rod / #Jaguar / #1951

    ‘IT SOUNDED LIKE BROKEN GLASS DEING CRUSHED. I HAD BROKEN OFF ALL THE TEETH ON SECOND GEAR’

    He tried to put me off the car. It only got about three miles to the gallon, the body was really just a wooden box, and the gearbox couldn’t take the power and usually blew apart whenever you got ‘on it’.
    But, of course, I had to have it.

    Once I got the hybrid Rolls-Royce to LA, I realised I had a project on my hands, one which took me 30 years to get right.

    I remember the first time I gave it a bit of stick in second gear, at about 2400rpm. I heard what sounded like broken glass being crushed, and I realised I had broken off all the teeth on second gear. We took it back to the shop, pulled the gearbox and saw that’s exactly what happened.

    I looked around for another Moss ’box, which were still pretty cheap back then, but of course the same thing happened again. And there were other problems. I could hear what I thought was detonation on one of the cylinders, which turned out to be a loose valve seat, and it was not the only one.

    We had to go back to the beginning and do this project right. We had the wheels re-spoked with spokes twice as thick and strong, the entire engine was rebuilt by Jack Roush, who was quite famous for racing these engines in speedboats as well as aeroplanes.

    The strongest gearbox we could find was a #Dodge truck #NV5600 six-speed. I didn’t want an automatic; I wanted something that could take the power and still have a proper stick and clutch. Although a 1932 Rolls- Royce rear axle is a robust unit, we didn’t think it could take the 1000bhp-plus of that engine. So we replaced it with a Dana 60 with a limited-slip differential.

    We had a brand-new radiator built and put it in the Rolls-Royce shell, and augmented the mechanical water pump with electric ones. Because the V12 needs 24 volts, and the car electrics are 12 volts, we have a split electrical system. We also have two fuel cells, each holding over 30 gallons of gas with an electric switch to go from one tank to the other, then there’s the pre-oiler. You press and hold a button on the dash for about a minute, to flood the engine with 1001b of oil pressure.

    Finally, the magnetos were completely rebuilt. To start this beast you also have a hand magneto, which sends a shower of sparks to all the cylinders.

    One thing I’m especially proud of is that this is, I believe, the only 27-litre Merlin running on 48 IDA Weber carburettors. Using our 3D printer we designed and made our own intake manifold. We also designed a two-seater roadster body which looks period-correct. To most people it just looks like an oversized Piccadilly Roadster, a US-made Phantom body of the time. I love opening the bonnet and watching people gasp when they see those vast valve covers with Rolls-Royce cast into them.

    The really fun part is the firing- up process. First you flip up the two battery disconnects, then the main dash power switch, then the pre-oiler, then fuel, left mag, right mag and starting mag. All are aircraft switches. Using the handle on the dashboard you spin the starting mag as fast as you can, you hit the start button, and as soon as the engine fires you kill the starting mag.

    The torque of this motor is simply amazing. You can actually pull away in any gear if you so choose. On the open road you feel like a Spitfire pilot taxi-ing down the runway, the combination of power, history and the sheer bravery of the men and women who fought and died for all this come rushing right back.

    Under the right-hand valve cover I placed a silver plaque with the name of my friend’s father who went to England and married a British girl. Two weeks after my friend was born, his father died on the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day invasion.
    Long live the Merlin.

    He is also a true petrolhead, with a huge collection of cars and bikes (www. jaylenosgarage.com). Jay was speaking with Jeremy Hart.
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    Manual XJ-S not hanging around

    If you find a good manual 3.6, pounce on it now before another visionary does

    ‘This was a very bespoke Jag – and it’ll be the next to become collectible’

    / #Jaguar-XJ-S-Cabriolet / #Jaguar-XJ-S-Cabriolet-T-Top / #Jaguar-XJ-S-T-Top / #Jaguar-XJ-S-Manual / #Jaguar-XJS / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-XJ-SC-T-Top / #Jaguar-XJ-SC / #Getrag-265 / #Jaguar-AJ6 / #Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6-Manual / #1987-Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6-Manual / #1987-Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6 / #1987 / #Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6

    VALUE 2010 £7500
    VALUE NOW £10K

    CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    With values of the Jaguar XJ-S now brightening, it’s worth looking at the rarer variants. You’re too late for a bargain ’1975/’1976 manual V12 – only 352 were built and they’re now £40k and rising - but good examples of the ’1985 to ’1987 T-top 3.6 Jaguar XJ S Cabriolet five-speeders are still only in £10k territory. Never sold in America and a slow seller in the UK they’re a rare sight with only around 700 manuals ever produced. I owned an ’1984 for a while and loved the front-end balance and poise from the lighter six-pot AJ6 engine. The #Getrag -265 five-speed is a really sweet unit and you can row the car along like an E-type. Urgent, lithe and quick these manual six-cylinder versions of the XJ-S feel livelier than the V12s and are much underrated.

    A private seller in Hampshire has a Tudor White ’1985 manual XJ-SC with 63,000 miles and ‘excellent service history’ for £11,500 while Julian Brown Ltd in Grantham has one of the last 3.6s built, an ’1987 manual cabriolet in light blue with 82,000 miles, three owners and £7k of recent bills for £11,450.

    Prices are warming up though with really nice XJ-SCs selling well. In March H&H sold an ’1985 ex-Browns Lane TWR development car with 57,000 miles and history for £14,000 and Classic Motor Cars in Bridgnorth is offering a mint 23,000-mile ’1984 Burberry special edition – one of just two made – for £45,000. Understand that the targa XJ-S was a prototype convertible before Jaguar got its act together engineering a full drop-top for the American market, and you’ll understand that this is a rare piece of Jaguar history. Bizarrely, the £20,756 XJ-SC was built on the same production line as a coupé shell – the roof and rear buttresses were then removed and cant rails and a centre bar installed by Park Sheet Metal in Coventry, while Aston Martin’s Tickford division fitted the fabric roof and removable panels. This was a very bespoke Jag that was effectively hand-built and only available to special order. If I had to predict the next XJ-S to become collectable I’d say it’s the manual XJ-SC 3.6. But don’t hang about. The private seller in Lincolnshire currently advertising a Sage Green ’1984 manual cabriolet with 91,000 miles and a ‘good history’ for just £5250 won’t have it for long.
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    / #1993-Jaguar-XJ220 / It’s hard for me to believe I’ve owned my #McLaren-F1 for over 20 years. What’s even harder to believe is that I almost didn’t buy it. #1993 / #Jaguar

    There had been a number of other supercars on the market that turned out to be disappointing. There was the #Jaguar-XJ220 , meant to have a V12 engine but later changed to a twin-turbo V6. There was also the Vector, an American supercar using a large #twin-turbo V8 and also not quite what was promised. So when the F1 finally came out, with the price tag more than double that of some other supercars, a lot of people thought, well, how good could it be? I was one of those sceptical people. Back in 1992, $810,000 for a car seemed crazy.

    You could get a Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari and a Lamborghini for that much money. #McLaren hoped to sell 300 cars but that scepticism, plus a worldwide recession, forced them to shut down after just 64 road cars, 28 race cars and a handful of prototypes. Just 106 cars in total. Another reason I didn’t pursue the F1 was because, at the time, it couldn’t be sold in America. The driving position was not legal, it hadn’t been Federalised and it didn’t pass California smog tests.

    In a classic case of not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone, stories started appearing about the greatest car that nobody bought. Then a white knight appeared in the form of billionaire Bill Gates. After having trouble registering his Porsche 959, he helped introduce a law called Show And Display. What this law said was, any vehicle no longer in production, and considered to be of historical or technical interest, could be privately imported and driven in America no more than 2500 miles a year. That’s when I started looking. I called McLaren and spoke to a gentleman called Harold Dermott. ‘Any F1s for sale?’ I asked.

    He said: ‘Yes, we have a very nice one here; black with black interior, and it’s $800,000.’

    ‘But that’s what it is new! It’s a second-hand car!’ ‘Well, there aren’t any new ones,’ Harold said. ‘And we think they’ll hold their value.’

    I knew the car had been at McLaren about a month, with no takers. So I said to Harold, ‘Look, I’ll call you back in two weeks,’ secretly hoping the car would be sold by then and I would be stopped from making the biggest financial mistake of my life. Which was buying a car I’d never seen, let alone driven, in a foreign country with no guarantee I could bring it into the US. After two weeks I called Harold back. He said they still had it, although they’d had an enquiry that day.

    Sensing that this was the oldest car-salesman trick in the book, I quickly fell for it. ‘I’ll take it,’ I said. I then naively asked Harold if the car had air-conditioning. ‘It does’, Harold replied, before adding in that classic understated English way, ‘but if you want the good airconditioning, it’s $25,000 extra.’

    I don’t need to tell you that it was the most brilliant financial decision I ever made. When I purchased the F1 it seemed like the most complicated thing in the world. Imagine a car you hooked up to a computer, and a guy in England could look at a screen and tell you what’s wrong! Now, compared with modern supercars it seems almost simple, and in some ways it is. It even has a tool kit.

    On my website, Jay Leno’s Garage, you might have seen us removing the engine from the F1 to replace the fuel cell. We did it in 2013 and we did it again a week ago. It made me fall in love with the car all over again.

    Fixing even the simplest things on the F1, like replacing the battery, makes you feel like the mouse who took the thorn out of the lion’s paw. Is working on an F1 intimidating? Of course it is. But when you see it laid out on the garage floor, you realise it’s still a car and should be used as such.

    There may be modern supercars that are faster, but none is more seductive and intoxicating. The induction noise, the manual gearbox, the lack of driver aids such as #ABS and stability control, really make it the ultimate driving experience. I’m proud of the 12,000 miles I’ve put on my F1, and I like to think I’ll put a lot more than that on it in the next 20 years. Investment be damned! The downside is they’ve become incredibly valuable and a lot of people are afraid to drive them. The upside is they’re so valuable they can almost never be totalled. If the only piece you have left after a horrible accident is the chassis plate, just take it to Woking and they’ll repair it. And, just like your Mustang or your MG, it even seems to run better right after you wash it.

    ‘I ASKED IF THE F1 HAD AIR-CON. “IT DOES,” HAROLD REPLIED, “BUT THE GOOD AIR-CON IS $25,000 EXTRA”’
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    CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    Jaguar XJ-S / XJS leaves the bargain basement E-type replacement finally unlocks the wallets of a new generation of Jaguar lovers

    / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar-XJS / #Jaguar / #1985-Jaguar-XJ-SC-V12-Cabriolet / #1985 / #1977

    VALUE 2010 UK £6250

    VALUE NOW 2018 UK £13k

    Finally, after years of false dawns and flat values things are looking up for Jaguar’s XJ-S. There’s clear evidence that a new demand is moving prices higher and anything low mileage, rare or special has comfortably broken the £20k threshold. Maybe a new generation of Jaguar fanciers has come of age or we’ve just all suddenly realised that Coventry’s slinky GT has been too cheap for too long, but a fresh sentiment is definitely stirring out there. In Anglia’s May sale a 1989 5.3 convertible with 54,000 miles and eight stamps in the book made £18,550 and a ’1992 facelift 4.0 coupé with 62,000 and 15 dealer stamps made a solid £18,020. Slades Garage in Buckinghamshire has a rare ’ 1985-Jaguar-XJ-S-V12-SC-Cabriolet with just 14,000 miles for £39,950 while UK Sports and Prestige in Harrogate has a ’1995 4.0 litre Celebration coupé with 70k for £29,900. These figures are all significantly up on last year.

    Compared to Italian supercars such prices look bargain basement and perhaps that’s the reason for this renaissance – a light bulb moment where enthusiasts recognise a new value and desirability in low-mileage cosseted examples.

    But while the general market catches up with this shift there will be opportunities such as the red ’1977 V12 coupé with 59,000 miles that slipped under the radar in Barons’ May sale, knocked down for a very cheap £5610. And it’s the pre-HE cars that I reckon have the greatest long-term potential. Launch year ’1975s are the purest and rarest with their Kent alloys, Seventies colours and unadorned bodies. Find an ultra-rare V12 manual (only 300-odd were built) and you’ll have a Jag coupé that’s actually more exclusive than a 1961 flat-floor outside bonnet lock E-type. And remember those first cars starred in TV series such as Return of The Saint and The New Avengers, so there’s a great retro Seventies heritage bubbling away too.

    Already I’m seeing signs that early cars are attracting strong attention and selling quickly, so don’t hang about – the 1975-1977 XJ-S is definitely one to buy right now.

    ‘Coventry’s slinky GT has been too cheap for too long’
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    Paul Walton
    Just as there are dog people and cat people there are two varieties

    of Jaguar owner – those who prefer their cars totally standard and those who like to modify them. Although neither principle is better than the other, and it comes down to personal choice, modifying can offer some benefits, which were made clear to me when I compared my 2000 XK8 with Graham Wood’s outrageous 1998 XKR Badcat . Not only is it the fastest X100 I’ve driven, but its huge rear wing, front splitter and aggressive image also make it unique.

    The same can be said of the supercharged #Jaguar-420G on. I’ve been messing around with Jaguars full time for six years now, but I’ve never seen such an extreme version of Jaguar’s big saloon.

    Of course, it’s not just classic models that can benefit from modifications, as Viezu’s extreme F-TYPE Predator on shows. Even though the performance mods cost a fraction of the price of Jaguar’s own SVR, it is as fast. And even by bonkers F-TYPE standards, its radical body kit and carbon fibre wheels make the car one of a kind.

    And so, to celebrate the art of modification, this issue is filled with unique Jaguars. From the monstrous Badcat and Predator to a gentler #Jaguar-XJ12 / #Jaguar with fuel injection, every car is very different to how it left the factory. We also explain how you can change your own car, and offer suggestions from a simple power upgrade to a visual transformation. You might not like modifying and prefer cats over dogs, but every car has room for a little improvement.

    Love or loathe the XKR Badcat, it’s more conspicuous than Paul’s standard XK8
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    XJS upgr ades / MODIFICATIONS

    Independent #Jaguar-Specialist-KWE has developed and tested a range of modifications for the Jaguar XJS. It recommends renewing the steering rack bushes with polyurethane, which helps to tighten up the steering considerably without losing ride quality and they seem to last forever. It charges £220 to fit these bushes to the XJS.

    KWE also recommends replacing the gearbox mounting bush on the 5.3-litre #V12 XJS with polyurethane because the standard rubber mount is known to wear. Total cost supplied and fitted comes to £180.

    KWE’s favoured size of wheel and rubber is 16in genuine Jaguar wheels with 225/55 x R16 #Falken-ZE914 or Michelin Sport tyres.

    For the best power and economy, #KWE fits a #Hayward-and-Scott exhaust system with tubular exhaust manifolds (around £3,500). It has also found AJ6 Engineering’s TT exhaust or large-bore system (£2,000-£3,500) provides a noticeable increase in power. It favours #AJ6 Engineering’s Plus Torque kits (around £3,000, fitted) for better power and torque, which includes a super-enhanced (SE) modified ECU, larger throttle bodies and upgraded air filters. KWE also offers cold air intakes for the 5.3-litre V12 (£700 fitted).

    For the optimum engine performance, KWE recommends changing the #ECU for a programmable unit to make the most of other engine modifications. Budget for around £8,000 for this conversion, which, in some cases, includes upgrading the engine wiring and sensors.

    On the exterior, KWE recommends upgrading the headlamps to HID or gen 2 LEDs (£220 to £340). Inside, it can fit LEDs with green filters for the main dashboard illumination (£80), and fit a modern stereo system with a DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity for around £400 (speaker upgrades using JL Audio components and KWE door skin speaker mounts cost around £450). To make the most of the stereo upgrades, or to simply reduce road and engine noise, KWE can replace the sound deadening material in the floors with a modern material from the likes of Dynamat (around £450). Other areas, including the roof and rear bulkhead can also be soundproofed. And the air conditioning can be brought up-to-date witha more modern compressor (around £500).


    / #Jaguar-XJS-V12 / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-V12 / #V12 / #1989-Jaguar-XJ-S-V12 / #Jaguar-XJS / #Modifications / #Jaguar-XJS-Modifications / #Jaguar-XJS-upgrades
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    Ben Barry
    / #Jaguar-D-type / #Jaguar / 'On the Road to Victory' #Jim-Clark drives through the snowy streets of Newcastle, on his way to a race meeting at Full Sutton. Based on an extract from the book 'Jim Clark at the Wheel'.
    Giclee on paper, image size 56cm x 42cm, limited edition of 100.
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    CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    / #Jaguar-XK8 / #Jaguar-XK / #Jaguar-XKR / #Jaguar-XKR-X100 / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-XKR-Convertible-X100 / #Jaguar-XKR-Convertible / #Jaguar-XK8-Convertible-X100
    is gaining a following

    For around £10k Ian Callum’s capable and elegant coupé is looking a great buy

    I see opportunities in the 1998 to 2005 X100 XKRs. The trade has been squeezing prices up over the last couple of years and there are lots of low-milers up at £25k-plus, but last month H&H hammed down two of the supercharged Jags at very reasonable money. A blue ’1999 convertible with 46,000 miles and three owners made £12,365 and a black 2003 coupé with 76k made just £8437. For a get-in-and-go neo classic that you could use every day this is no money at all. And we’ve forgotten just how good the old-shape XKR is. Top end is a limited 155mph, 60mph comes up in less than six seconds and the burble from the V8 is narcotic. I remember driving across Italy in a 4.2 R convertible and slip-streaming a Ferrari 456GT for miles on the autostrada at 140mph without any fuss at all.

    Convertibles are the most desirable with the 2003-on 406bhp 4.2 #V8 the best engine. Early launch-year 1998 4.0 cars are worth watching along with special editions including the Silverstone, XKR 100, 400 and the final edition XKR-S.

    There were issues with the #Nikasil bore liners on the pre-2000 4.0-litre engines but most will have been changed by Jaguar under warranty. Upper timing chain tensioners and water pump impellers were revised after 2001, so make sure these have been done too. The six-speed #ZF autos are better on the 4.2s than the earlier Mercedes ’box but always chose an XKR that has a long history and try for a sub-50,000 miler.

    Prices are wobbling quite seriously and a private seller in Ashington is advertising a ’ #1999 blue convertible with 75k, history and all old MoTs for only £6400. Dip into those online ads and you’ll see cheap XKRs popping up regularly now.

    Think of the XKR as a much faster Mercedes-Benz SL and you’ll understand the appeal. They may feel nose heavy on B-roads but their straight-line heave is remarkable.

    As long as they’ve been serviced properly they’re also refreshingly reliable and rust-resistant. The XKR may not be investment quality quite yet but their performance-for-value index is compelling and those curvy lines are maturing nicely. For less than ten grand this is a rapid classic Jag worth taking seriously.

    ‘We’ve forgotten how good old-shape XKRs are – their straight-line heave is quite remarkable’

    VALUE 2010 £18k
    VALUE NOW £15k
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