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    THE BIG PICTURE / #Jaguar-Mk2 / #Jaguar / #1967

    Launched in 1967 as a final fling for the highly successful Mk2, the Jaguar 240 and 340 proved to be useful stopgap models prior to the arrival of the next-generation saloons

    WORDS: PAUL GUINNESS PHOTOGRAPHY: JAGUAR LAND-ROVER

    Although the Jaguar-Mk2 had been killed off by September 1967, two re-branded versions – the 240 and 340 – were then launched, with the smaller-engined of the two being featured in this classic promotional photograph of the time. The 240 and 340 featured downgraded interiors thanks to their use of vinyl upholstery and poorer quality carpets in order to keep list prices as low as possible, but in every other sense they were a fitting continuation of the Mk2. Given the age of the design, however, these were only ever intended to be stop-gap models – hence the disappearance of the 340 after just twelve months on sale, achieving sales of 2788 cars during that time. The 240 remained in production through to April 1969, giving Jaguar a useful entry-level saloon (significantly undercutting the new XJ6) that succeeded in attracting 4446 buyers.
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    PAUL WALTON – EDITOR 2000-Jaguar-XK8-4.0 / Jaguar-XK8 / Jaguar / Jaguar-XK8-4.0

    With his XK8 finally back on the road, Paul drives it over to Diss, in Norfolk, where he plans to photograph the Banham XJ-SS featured in this issue.

    / #2000-Jaguar-XK8-4.0-X100 / #2000 / #Jaguar-XK8-4.0 / #Jaguar-XK8 / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-XK8-4.0-X100 / #Jaguar-XK8-X100 / #Jaguar-X100 / #Jaguar

    In the same way that I wouldn’t wear my best suit for gardening or my favourite watch for decorating, I rarely use my XK8 for work. And not just because it has been massively unreliable for most of the last year, but mainly due to the amount of miles I need to drive and the often-isolated locations I use. I want to enjoy my car, not spoil it.

    However, when Andre Ling from Norfolk-based auctioneers TW Gaze invited me to see the rare Banham XJ-SS that we feature on page 38 of this issue, I decided the 73 miles from my house outside Peterborough shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Plus, I’m interested to compare the two cars side-by-side. Although Paul Banham tells me that he didn’t take any inspiration from the XK8 (how could he? The X100 arrived a few years after the XJ-SS), there’s still a similarity between the two.

    Thankfully, the skies are blue on the day of the shoot so, following the car’s successful run to Hunstanton and back, it is with excitement rather than concern that I load the XK8’s large, 307-litre boot with my camera equipment. The rear seats might be useless unless you are chocolate-factory Oompa Loompa-sized, but they do increase the XK8’s storage, making it surprisingly practical for a coupe. Plus, I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can pack for my trip to Le Mans in June. My journey today is a simple one: A1 heading south before taking the A14 eastbound. At Bury St Edmunds, I pick up the A143 that takes me straight to Diss. On the dual carriageway, my car feels fast and strong as if all of its past problems are long behind it. Time will tell, but I hope they are.

    I arrive at TW Gaze a little under two hours later and, after the shoot, park the XJ-SS alongside my XK8. Coming a few years before and with no input from Jaguar, it is amazing how similar the XJ-SS appears, but it’s not identical. The Banham’s grille is too wide and although the Corsa-sourced lights are also a similar shape to my XK8’s, they’re much smaller.

    Yet judging by its voluptuous curves, it’s clear Paul was thinking along the same lines as Jaguar’s own designers. The drive home is as enjoyable as the journey there, proving the XK8 would make a decent work car if I needed it to be – and it’s much easier to clean after its 140- mile round trip than my wool suit would be after a day weeding flower beds.

    “MY CAR FEELS FAST AND STRONG AS IF ALL OF ITS PAST PROBLEMS ARE BEHIND IT”
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    Chris Graham
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    Paul Walton – EDITOR

    / #2000-Jaguar-XK8-4.0-X100 / #2000 / #Jaguar-XK8-4.0 / #Jaguar-XK8 / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-XK8-4.0-X100 / #Jaguar-XK8-X100 / #Jaguar-X100 / #Jaguar

    After suffering yet another setback, Paul finally manages to take his XK8 for a drive to the Norfolk coast, but will he make it back home again?

    You couldn’t make it up. Just two days after collecting my now legal XK8 from the bodyshop (to repair a small rusty hole close to the offside sill so it could pass the #MOT test, which it had failed the week before – see #Drive-My ), it has suffered from more bad luck.

    Due to visit friends who live an hour away in the Lincolnshire countryside, I figure this is an excellent opportunity to drive my now rejuvenated XK8. So, while my wife changes for the umpteenth time, I go into the garage and start the car. It fires normally, but soon falters, eventually stalling. When I turn the key again, the engine cranks unevenly, starts hesitantly, then idles awkwardly before stalling again. The big V8 eventually runs smoothly, but only after I give the throttle the beans, something I hate doing when the engine is still cold. I grudgingly leave the car at home and take my less-stylish Nissan SUV.

    After the problem persists all week – eventually resulting in an amber engine warning light – I finally cave in and contact Nene Jags Specialists (www.nenejags.co.uk).

    Even proprietor Clive Kirton is surprised to see me back so quickly, joking the car must be on a piece of elastic. He soon diagnoses the air mass flow meter is at fault and also discovers the air filter is incorrect, meaning it doesn’t fit correctly.

    With typically poor timing, as soon as the car is fixed and ready for action, the weather takes a seasonal downturn and, frustratingly, I have to leave the XK8 in the garage.

    Waking to an unusually warm and sunny December morning a few days later, I decide to blow caution to the wind and take the green Jaguar for a drive. With little time on my hands due to our hectic Christmas schedule, I choose Hunstanton, on the Norfolk coast, as my destination. The 100-mile round trip is enough to test the car and I can also be there and back in an afternoon. That I know an excellent chip shop on the seafront isn’t a factor at all.

    As I start my journey along the eastbound A47 that cuts through the flat, empty, but still beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside, I swear my XK8 feels a little faster, the engine slightly more responsive than it was before. I’m guessing this improvement is because the car can now breathe properly thanks to Clive fitting the correct air filter. More importantly, as I reach King’s Lynn 40 minutes later there are still no warning lights.

    As most of my recent long journeys (and some short ones) have ended in a dashboard filled with more flashing warnings than a Boeing 747’s console after a wing drops off, I’m constantly expecting something bad to happen. But nothing does, not even when I turn onto the tree-lined A149 that passes through the Sandringham Estate. Or even when I enter the outskirts of Hunstanton 20 minutes later and make my way down to the town’s pretty seafront. It might be just 50 miles from home, but I feel a real sense of accomplishment as I park the XK8; it hasn’t put itself into limp mode, broken down or blown up. Although that could still happen. Even though it is a glorious afternoon, Hunstanton’s seafront is deserted as I go for a stroll. The amusements are empty, the beach is quiet and, even worse, my favourite chip shop is closed. My run of bad luck continues.

    My journey back home, though, is enjoyable and trouble-free, and, with the Jaguar’s immediate issues taken care of, I return my attention to a most pressing task – replacing the original plastic tensioners with metal ones from the 4.2 #V8 . When Leeds specialist Tasker & Lacy removed the head to inspect them in 2016 they were in good condition, but knowing that the engine could still self-grenade at any minute, should the tensioners snap, is never far from my mind. I plan to drive the XK8 to Le Mans for the 24-hour race in June, so it’s something I need to get looked at, and sharpish. Other jobs for 2019 include having the increasingly crusty rear wheelarches tidied, and repairing the worn driver’s side seat bolster.

    But that’s for the future; today, I’m simply enjoying the warm sensation of my XK8 getting me to Hunstanton and home again in one piece.

    The XK8 beneath Hunstanton’s famous red-striped cliffs.

    Paul cuts through the desolate Cambridgeshire countryside using the A47.
    The amusements are empty. Well, it is December and Hunstanton is deserted
    The view down Hunstanton’s beach in bright sun is gorgeous.
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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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