Riding around in Jaguar based splendour has made me reminisce somewhat. I met up with Mark at the park and he was surprised at the XJ-S as, although he knew I'd bought a Jaguar, he thought it was a big saloon. I don't know why it's taken me so long to get a Jaguar as I was utterly addicted to them for decades but the Mercs happened. Don't get me wrong, I do love Mercs but they feel very different to our dear old British bruisers
My first one was a 1964 'S' type 3,8 manual. This was when I was 15 and the car cost me £50! Bear in mind, the car was then only ten years old and already a worthless old banger! I never did drive it with any degree of legality but I did drive it quite a bit, it was a wonderful old heap with 4 bald tyres, a blowing exhaust and rampant rust underneath though the pale blue bodywork was remarkably good. Dark blue leather was nice as well and apart from the bald tyres, rust, exhaust, the wire wheels with worn out splines its galloping desire to use the world's supply of 20/50 on a daily basis, it was a good car. I got home from school one day and there it was, gone! My beloved Mother had sold it. Worse she kept the cash she got for it for 'driveway rent'. No wonder I was never that fond of the old dear.
The second one was my 1965 MK X 4.2 auto (FJU 99C) I had that car for nearly a decade and it was on the road all the time apart from one year when it got pretty comprehensively restored - it needed it as the rear suspension was falling out and the sills, which looked fine, were rotten, which explains why the scar across my forehead exists after the damn thing fell on my head! It was a really reliable car and did galactic mileage in my care and even after it lost 1st gear it carried on for another year or two using 'D2' on the selector.
While I had the MK X I lived in a place called Shepshed and 50 yards up the road was a garage/showroom that had been a Jaguar dealer before BL took them over. They had declined to have anything to do with BL but still dealt with Jaguars. I got on really well with the head mechanic there and on my days off, used to help out doing the running around, usually in a selection of series one XJ 6s. They had a really nice pale yellow series one 2.8 manual with red leather and I drove that car miles, it was a cracker and went well though I was under instructions to 'cane the arse off it' as otherwise, they burn out pistons if burbled and then caned down the motorway.
In about 1981 I bought a Squadron blue XJ 4.2 (that's how it was badged) a series two car but really, a series two and threequarters car! Apart from the bodywork and the fuel injection, it was all Series three which caused endless problems when it needed spares - it took H A Fox 5 attempts to get the correct water pump for it as it was an S3 part on an S2 car. Bloody BL sticking any old bits on their heaps! It was a 'T' reg car and came from the Ford main dealers in Plymouth where it had been traded in for a Granada. I loved that car with a passion, my first car bought on finance and only a couple of years old, I felt like 'Billy Big Bollocks' with that car! It was really reliable as well, granted the water pump went and one of the tanks played up but other than that, it was spot on.
I traded it in for a white 1980 XJ-S V12. It was coming up to 4 years old, came from H A Fox (the Jaguar main dealers in Plymouth) and even though it was a pre H.E. and therefore the worst car Jaguar ever built, I never had a single problem with it, other than the rear seat area filling up with water (rear screen seals TADTS) and a flat battery once in the snow and the fact it would really have liked to dissolve back to ferrous oxide rather than remain shiny steel, it was great. Fuel consumption was entirely bloody awful and it cost about a tenner a day in petrol and a tenner a day back then was a lot of fuel! Incidentally, I didn't go to the garage for fuel every day, that's just what it averaged out at.
More if anyone cares