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Here are some photos taken summer 1999.
When these cars first came out, they were exhalted for their combination of ride quality, performance and handling. With the exception of modern air-bags, safety features are there - crumple zones, door beams, collapsible steering, excellent all-round vision (especially when reversing, compared to modern cars), very strong central body section, head restraints, heated and electric windows, air conditioning, etc.
A Jaguar or Daimler is the easiest of classic cars to get spares for - I've had more trouble finding bits for my Fiat Punto! Jaguar parts are plentiful and many are even back in production. The only part I've been unable to source so far is a badge specific to the Double Six Vanden Plas, but I'm sure I'll be able to rebuild the original! Many parts are common to other models like XJ-S, XJ6, and E-types. New body panels, bumpers, hub caps, grilles, trim, etc., can usually be ordered over the phone and delivered next day. They are not exactly tricky cars to work on, it's just that there is more of it.
Reliability of the basic running gear was never a problem, they used to be let down by things like electrical faults and lack of correct servicing. The electricals are either easy enough for the DIY mechanic to fix or can be replaced with modern alternatives.
Proper servicing by a Jaguar mechanic who knows his stuff makes all the difference. A few little things can cause headaches if you're not in the know. These days, the internet, owners clubs and online forums provide many sources of valuable knowledge that helps keep these cars alive. (see my links page)
A bad example is terrible to drive - almost dangerous. At first my car wandered and wallowed badly. New steering bushes and shock absorbers were fitted. Not much to do, but it totally transformed the car into a delight to drive.
Okay, with a V12 engine I pay more for petrol, but that is offset by the fact that the car is only going to appreciate in value. Add to that considerable insurance savings from classic car insurance specialists (I pay £120 for fully comprehensive and breakdown insurance). If it's used for business, I believe there are tax advantages also.
By the way, speaking of fuel consumption and emissions reminds me of something I read somewhere. It claimed that the manufacturing processes to produce just one new car does more harm to the environment than that car will ever do in it's lifetime. So there you are Jag-lovers (and Daimler-lovers), we're saving the planet by hanging on to our thirty year old, thirsty V12s!!
But it's the admirers that put the cherry on the cake. Nobody gives a second glance when a modern "class" car goes by, but heads turn constantly when mine goes by. Everybody stops and looks.
" What a lovely body", was the remark from a trio of women after I parked outside their shop and entered. Taken slightly off-guard by the remark as I entered, "Oh, thank you! Well... I do try to keep fit." I replied. "Oh no, we meant the car." she said.
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