As part of a new series of blog posts, we will be inviting a number of XJS owners and Jaguar enthusiasts to contribute to our blog, telling us exactly why they love the XJS.
We spoke to loyal KWE customer, Doug Wilson, about why he’s fond of his XJS, and what makes it better than the modern vehicles in his garage.
Born in Lanark, Scotland
Occupation: Company Director, Power Utility Company
Interests: Music, guitar playing and collecting, whisky collecting and drinking, shooting, reading, sports and international travel
My wife drives a Land Rover Defender. I use a Mercedes GL350 AMG Sport Bluetech as my daily driver. My V12 Jaguar XJS Coupe (1989) is my classic car choice and I also run a modern sports car. For the last ten years or so this has always been a Mercedes SL500 or new SL 400 variant. However, I have recently traded-in my SL400 for a new Mercedes AMG GTS which is due to arrive in April of this year.
The XJS for me is a very rare combination of style, substance and speed. Delivering on the trilogy with aplomb. An XJS stands out from the crowd in a subtle and classy way, it can be elegant, sporty or rakish – it just depends what mood you are in.
Most people drool over the E-Type and yes, it is a beautiful car to ‘look’ at but from a practical perspective it is cramped and drives like a camel with a sore hoof. The XJS just strikes a chord with me on so many levels. The flying buttresses are divine, the long side profile cool and sophisticated and peering over the long bonnet from behind the wheel is as close as we mere mortals get to piloting our own spitfire.
It is a vehicle that delivers on all its promises and more. If there is a better GT of this vintage I have yet to drive it. Inside the cabin you have all the mod-cons, way ahead of its time, great comfort (amazing seats) and the feeling that you are wafting on your very own personal magic carpet.
The engine and gearbox combinations vary from year to year but I like the Borg Warner 3 speed and the 5.3 V12. Okay, from 0-60 it is not as fast as modern GTs but from 60-100 and 100 on up the engine is a sheer delight. You will not burn people off at the lights (well not everybody), but you will catch and fly past them effortlessly in an unhurried and serene manner. You need to try very hard to get an XJS flustered; it has impeccable manners and breeding.
Getting used to a three speed, long geared, automatic box takes a while, but when you master the art of downshift and understand the range of each gear, it is a very relaxing way to drive.
I spent a few months looking for the right car to buy and probably overpaid slightly for the correct provenance and history – one of my better decisions. It was a one-owner car with a genuine 24K miles on the clock. The gentleman who owned the car drove a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow during the week and had the XJS to take him to his golf club at the weekends. A very civilised way to live!
The car was unmolested or modified and came with a history file that would have choked a horse as well as all the original manuals, keys and tools etc. It was obvious that the car had been loved and the original leather was virtually unblemished. I loved the colour too, Arctic Blue with a Saville Grey leather interior. These were the good points.
The drawbacks were that age had taken its toll on the suspension, brakes and steering. It was like driving a burst couch with only a vague idea of where the steering was pointed or would take you. Hence my search for a firm that could modernise and improve the weak points while still retaining and improving on what Jaguar had intended. Enter KWE.
I’ve been fortunate to own and drive a selection of lovely and desirable modern cars. However, never have I owned a car that people liked to talk about more than the XJS. Younger people want to know what it is. Many people want to talk about the one they had or the car that a friend or boss had that they admired. It is impossible to fill the car up with fuel without having some sort of conversation about the vehicle.
Want an XJS for yourself? Find out more about our full range of services and engineering expertise.
If you didn’t think classic car ownership could get any better at the moment, there’s yet more good news for pre-HE Jaguar XJS owners.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rolling cut-off date for historic vehicle tax exemption, means that all cars built before 1st January 1976 will be officially tax-free from April this year.
This means that so-called ‘modern classics’ are now to be described as ‘historic’ in line with the updated rules.
“1975 was undoubtedly a stellar year for new car launches, and their new found tax exemption not only feels overdue, but also inherently right”, comments Classic Car Buyer.
The reduced running costs will help to attract even more eager enthusiasts to the growing classic car market, who will help to preserve these wonderful vehicles, ensuring greater variety on the roads amongst a sea of modern vehicles.
As the Jaguar XJS turned 40 last September, it continues to pick up momentum as a desirable classic car, and the newfound tax-free status of the 1975-76 models is more than likely to strengthen its position as an affordable alternative to modern marques.
Although the majority of XJS owners will not benefit right away, here’s hoping that the exemption will roll on, and more classic Jaguar enthusiasts will continue to benefit year on year.
If you’d like to find out more about the Jaguar XJS, or to arrange a test drive, get in touch with one of our engineering experts. Sample the true driving pleasure of a classic car and stand out on the roads.
As 2016 has been named World Motoring Heritage Year by FIVA, classic cars are to be celebrated around the world, with the UK being no exception. Planning a year of motoring-based merriments to celebrate this landmark? Look no further than our definitive guide to the best classic car shows in 2016.
The London Classic Car Show is the must attend event for any discerning classic car owner, expert or enthusiast. Bringing together an international celebration of the very best dealers, manufacturers, car clubs and products, it’s the perfect day out for all. This year’s event is set to be double the size of the inaugural 2015 show, with more cars than ever being showcased. The show will also feature cars from world’s top six car-producing nations.
Officially the UK’s fastest growing classic car event, over 19,000 enthusiasts attended last year’s show, bringing together all aspects of classic motoring under one roof. From barn finds and project cars, to restorations and pristine marques, the Restoration Classic Car Show boasts an impressive selection of the finest classic cars in the UK. The NEC will be filled with over 350 specialist exhibitors and around 700 classic cars from clubs up and down the country.
The Donington Historic Festival is one of the biggest fixtures on the international historical racing calendar. Join the thousands of spectators as your favourite classic sports cars battle it out on the track, and get up close and personal with free access to the paddock. There will also be huge numbers of classic car club displays, auto jumble and memorabilia stalls.
The Goodwood Revival is set to be as popular as ever this year, as this year’s theme will be ‘Full Throttle – The Endless Pursuit of Power’. The Revival features classic cars from 1948-1966, with visitors encouraged to dress up in era-appropriate clothing. This year’s Goodwood Revival will honour the late Sir Jack Brabham, on the 50th anniversary of his becoming the only driver in F1 history to claim the World Championship in a car bearing his own name.
The Footman James Classic Car Show is one of the largest in the country. The exhibition space will be crammed full with hundreds of motoring icons ranging right through the ages, from some of the earliest vehicles ever made, through to pre-war cars, 50s, 60s, and 70s classics, as well as modern classics from the 80s and 90s. The classic car show will also include trade stands, auto jumble, restoration demonstrations, and dream rides.
There’s a mouth-watering array of classic cars on display at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show. Whether you’ve a passion for traditional British classics, vintage motors, historic motorsport, European exotica, American muscle, or prefer the more modern retro classics, you won’t be disappointed. Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and enjoy the cars from years gone by.
Make a bold impression, as you turn up to events in this year’s most desirable classic car – the Jaguar XJS. At KWE Cars we have many years’ experience restoring and reengineering classic cars to better than new quality. For more information, please contact us on info@KWECars.com.
Looking for a list of Jaguar-specific events happening near you? Visit the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club’s website: http://www.jec.org.uk/events.html.
Happy New Year from all at KWE Cars! To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of the top classic car news stories from the last couple of months… Still good news for classic car owners!
Classic cars have been one of the best performing alternative assets in the past year and going back further than that. Investors and enthusiasts have seen returns of up to 487% on classic motors such as Ferraris and Jaguars over the past decade.
The returns can be miles ahead of shares and property, but what are the best ways to invest and how can you make sure your investment doesn’t breakdown?
Classic and Vintage cars are proving to be excellent investments. Classic cars were the top-performing asset class in property consultancy Knight Frank’s Luxury Investment Index in Y2015, and they rose by 16% in Y2014.
The index rose overall by 10% last year, growing by a very healthy 205% over the past 10 years. Classic and Vintage cars have been the strongest performer over both the long and short term.
The Historic Automobile Group (HAGI) known for its classic car indexes, has shown that the market for the very rarest of classic cars has risen by 487% over the past 10 years, and grew 16% last year, following the index’s 47% rise the year before.
As we enter a new year, our thoughts turn to the 2016 events season. So grab that calendar, and prepare to note down the ‘must-attend’ meetings this year…
So-called passion investing — allocating wealth toward high-value collectibles — has been around for about 10 years and is now expanding into the classic car arena.
Classic cars are gaining attention due to their nearly 500% returns over the past decade, outpacing art and wine by more than 100%, as reported by the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index.
It’s been a year seemingly crammed with auctions and, while some trends are in line with those from last year, overall it’s a fairly different picture. Have a look at the top 10 most expensive cars sold at auction in 2015…
If you’re looking to get your 2016 off to a flyer, get in touch with the classic car engineering experts at KWE Cars. We’re experts in restoring Jaguar XJ-based models back to ‘better than new’ quality. Call us on 01635 30030, ‘like’ us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
As another great year draws to a close, we’ve taken a look back at some of our highlights over the last 12-months…
It’s been a big year for the Jaguar XJS, as it celebrated its 40th birthday in September. To commemorate this landmark, we held an event at our Newbury-based workshop. We were delighted to welcome customers old and new who joined in the birthday celebrations, many bringing along their prized XJS cars.
Classic car and Jaguar enthusiasts from across the country were treated to a motoring spectacle, as Greenham Business Park was awash with an array of stunning Jaguar XJS models. You may have also read about the event in the Newbury Weekly News.
View the full Facebook album here.
As more and more customers recognise the classic Jaguar XJS as a good investment opportunity, we are pleased to report that business is booming here at KWE. To meet growing demand, we’ve expanded our operations on Greenham Business Park and taken on three new recruits. In January we welcomed Andy Banning and in March both Phil Alexander and Bishwa Shah joined the KWE family.
Earlier this year, we also acquired an additional plot of land next to the existing premises. The new plot has been designed so that we can park customer cars while restoration work is waiting to be carried out or is in progress – ensuring maximum workshop efficiency.
We’ve worked on many fantastic cars this year, doing what we love the most – restoring classic cars back to ‘better than new’ quality. Particular highlights from the 60+ projects we’ve completed, include:
Prior to its full-scale makeover, this classic had been sitting in the sidelines at KWE for several years, awaiting a client to commission its restoration.
The body has been completely stripped and repainted in gloss black, with ‘biscuit’ Connolly hide throughout, full interior makeover, and new KWE suspension, making this classic a real head-turner.
The client spotted Theresa’s car and said he wanted one just like it, but with a V12 engine. We repainted the coupé in Jaguar Meteor Red, rebuilt the engine, fitted new KWE suspension, brakes and steering, with new interior trim throughout.
The car we found was actually Solent blue (a mid-metallic blue). It was stripped back and repainted in Jaguar Westminster blue (a gorgeous dark navy). The engine was removed for an intensive KWE overhaul, we also gave the car new suspension, brakes and a steering renewal and upgrade. The interior has been fully refurbished. It now boasts brand new Connolly hide, European walnut woods and dark blue carpet.
The client had one more special request – he likes to take his dog out with him when he drives his car, so needed somewhere flat in the back for him to sit. We took out the convertible luggage box in the back of the cabin and replaced it with a flat floor. Thankfully we succeeded and now Pops sits in full wool-trimmed luxury.
It’s been a brilliant year for the classic car market, as it is now worth more than £6bn in the UK, employing thousands across the country as demand increases. This growing market falls in line with the fact that more motorists are turning to classic cars as their vehicle of choice.
The Knight Frank Luxury Investment index recently noted that classic cars have beaten everything from art, watches, gold and coins over the past one, five, and 10 years.
The Jaguar XJS is no exception, as it continues to prove its investment potential as a modern classic. Earlier this year, we compiled a table, using data from Classic Car Buyer, illustrating more clearly the rising values of all XJS models, no matter what the condition (see below).
On the back of this news, managing director, Chris Knowles wrote an article for Investment Week looking at which classic cars to invest in.
The XJS continues to be featured in the press, with many motoring journalists shortlisting the XJS as one of the top classic cars to invest in right now.
To all our customers old and new – Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from everyone at KWE cars. We look forward to working together in 2016.
If you would like to find out more about our services, please call 01635 30030.
Classic cars have excelled as an investment asset class, with the value of the Historic Automobile Group International index rising by 16% in 2014. Yet it is more ‘modern’ vehicles that are able to grow in value and are attracting investors’ attention. Managing director, Chris Knowles spoke to the editor of Investment Week about which classic cars are best to invest in.
The full article can also be viewed here.
The classic car market is now worth more than £6bn in the UK, employing thousands across the country as demand increases. This growing market falls in line with the fact that more motorists are turning to classic cars as their vehicle of choice.
Owning a modern car can be frustrating, as its value depreciates rapidly within the first 12 months of ownership. Comparatively, a classic car is more likely to retain its value – it may actually increase if restored and maintained to a high standard. For some, the decision is driven by nostalgia, while for others it may be the desire to stand out from the crowd.
The Knight Frank Luxury Investment index recently noted that classic cars have beaten everything from art, watches, gold and coins over the past one, five, and 10 years (see chart, below).
The group noted that the value of the Historic Automobile Group International index has risen by an astounding 487% over the past 10 years and grew by 16% in 2014.
These strong returns have pricked the ears of many eager investors looking to benefit, but which classics are leading the way?
Choosing which classic car to invest in can prove costly – particularly as the market is becoming increasingly lucrative. Big name Ferraris and Lamborghinis are likely to set you back a hefty sum. Last year, for example, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $34.65m at auction – making it the most expensive car in history.
Owning such a pricey vehicle takes the fun out of classic car ownership, as there is no way you can take this million dollar supercar for a quick spin without instantly depreciating its value.
Yet classic car investment need not be so costly, as current market trends point favourably in the direction of more affordable ‘modern classics’.
Cars from the 1970s to the 1990s are beginning to make up ground on their predecessors, with classic Aston Martins, Ferraris and Porsches inevitably holding their own. If you are looking for a solid, long-term investment, however, one marque stands out among the sea of its competitors: Jaguar (see table, below).
When thinking of a classic Jaguar, we arguably think of the iconic E-Type, which continues to set investors back a large sum, without much of a return on investment. Its somewhat lesser known, younger siblings – the XJ-based models of the 1970s-1990s – are making a well-deserved resurgence, as their value begins to increase in line with growing demand.
The stand out investment of the moment would have to be the Jaguar XJS, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Throughout its life, the XJS was a car that confounded critics, but won over enthusiasts and succeeded in returning its investment to the company.
Considered by many as an unworthy successor to the E-Type, it proved its worth by achieving a longer production run and outselling its predecessor by 43,000 cars. In recent times, the XJS has arguably become more desirable than ever, and even at 40, its price continues to soar.
Taking into account data collected from Classic Car Buyer, many XJS models in A1 condition have increased in value by up to five times since 2013, as seen below, and the XJS continues to be named as one of the hottest modern classics to invest in right now.
It is firstly important to consider that sellers – in particular garages and dealers – will have gone to some trouble to make the car look pristine on the outside. A perfect-looking car is often in much worse condition than one with visible rust, which has not yet been ‘tarted-up’.
As with all cars made of steel, the most important area to consider is rust, both the less visible painted areas and, more importantly, the hard-to-see underside and hidden cavities. The most expensive part of a restoration is usually the stripped re-spray. If you are careful in selecting a low-rust car, you could save around £10,000.
City cars are often in worse condition, as they are usually only used for shorter journeys. A seemingly low mileage vehicle may have completed a lot of shorter journeys, which can lead to worn out brakes, door hinges, leather and carpets.
If you need help sourcing a classic car or Jaguar XJS, or would like expert engineering advice, feel free to give us a call on 01635 30030. We have many years of experience restoring classic cars back to ‘better than new’ quality.
There are certain myths and stigmas attached to classic car ownership; however, we believe these assumptions are uncalled for, with no real evidence to back them up. In this post, we aim to dispel some of these niggling doubts, and hope to show you what makes classic cars so great – better than modern vehicles in many cases…
Driving a classic car can be perceived negatively – particularly when it comes to the environment. Environmentalists sometimes view classic cars as being gas guzzling planet destroyers, due to their poor fuel efficiency. In reality, salvaging a classic car is in fact an excellent example of recycling – maximising the use of something rather than just disposing of it.
Keeping an old motor running, rather than just replacing it at the nearest opportunity, is sustainable and limits the amount of waste in our scrapheaps.
Some prospective classic car owners are put off by the thought of their car’s value rapidly depreciating – especially if driven regularly. In some cases this may be true, as with the ‘flashier’ marques, such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis, which don’t fare that well off the racetrack – particularly on uneven road surfaces and when confronted with speed bumps. These cars are more of an investment than a usable vehicle.
This needn’t be the case, however. Vehicles labelled as ‘modern classics’ are more driveable, and can indeed prove excellent vehicles for modern, day-to-day life. Classic cars like the Jaguar XJS are versatile, practical and, best of all, fun to drive. They’re also proving excellent investments, as this article by Yahoo Autos recently pointed out.
Find out more about the XJS and its investment potential.
In some cases this can most certainly be the case, as shoddy workmanship will no doubt markedly decrease your vehicle’s value. Distasteful or bad quality restoration is likely to be frowned upon by those within the classic car community, who favour in keeping, high quality restoration.
At KWE we have many years’ experience restoring classic Jaguars while keeping the appearance and ride characteristics as factory-new and wholeheartedly believe that high quality re-engineering can actually increase your car’s value. We can also of course make further improvements – both cosmetic and mechanical – to the client’s requirements.
We have worked on a number of bespoke projects: Manual gearbox conversions, power enhancement, modernised engine management, custom sound systems, revised electronics and even wine racks for James May and making room for our client’s dog, Pops!
This is one of the biggest fears associated with classic car ownership, and puts doubt in the minds of many potential owners. Rust can indeed cause a lot of damage, and make your vehicle unfit to drive. With some TLC and expert engineering advice, rust can be avoided and kept at bay.
To ensure that you aren’t leaving the rusting of your classic car to chance, why not speak to the experts? KWE are experienced in preventing and remedying rust, and have developed techniques which make our cars last a lot longer than average. We know where to look for rust, and offer both cavity wax injection for box sections, and full under body sealant renewal.
We recommend repeating this inspection and proofing process every second year. This regime vastly reduces the chance of further rusting. If the customer specifies a bare metal re-spray it is then possible to inspect any previous topside problems and rectify them if necessary.
Read our post on rust prevention for more information.
Perceived rarity isn’t everything when it comes to classic cars. It’s not all about initial value, but rate of growth. The XJS is growing in esteem and sales value in leaps and bounds – more in percentage terms than Italian exotics. Cars dubbed ‘modern classics’ are reaching new heights, and proving affordable investments for those looking not only to achieve excellent returns, but also to enjoy their investment in real-life situations.
Highly desirable cars are not necessarily rare. The Jaguar XJS is a fine example of this, and as it becomes increasingly popular, its investment potential is growing also. Now’s the time to invest before prices sky rocket!
If well maintained, higher mileage classic cars are more likely to be reliable, simply because they are driven more regularly. Parts that may have been faulty have long since been replaced with new ones. Cars that have lower-mileage, on the other hand, may look good on paper, but in reality can be riddled with issues that haven’t been resolved.
A driven car is a car that has been known and understood by someone.
Winter can be a difficult time for any car owner, as the cold weather and icy conditions put an extra strain on the vehicle. And this links to the earlier point about rust, as salty roads speed up the dreaded rusting process. Again, this needn’t be the case, as with appropriate care and attention, your classic car can be just as comfortable in the winter months as any other modern vehicle. Check out our top tips for running your classic car in the winter.
If you have any other myths you’d like us to dispel, feel free to give us a call on +44 1635 30030 or visit our showroom at Greenham Business Park in Newbury.