XJS & XJ from KWE Cars
Classic Spirit Reborn

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Six signs you’re a true classic car enthusiast

Are you a true classic car enthusiast? If you can recognise three or more of these tell-tale signs then the answer is probably yes!

 

1. You’re a member of a classic car club

You enjoy nothing more than socialising with like-minded motor heads. Joining a classic car club gives you an opportunity to celebrate the life of your vehicle, and the pleasure attached to owning it, with people who care. You regularly attend events where you bond over fond memories of your prized possession, exchanging tips on rust prevention and what makes the best chamois leather.  

 

2. You have a boot-load of classic car memorabilia

Christmases and birthdays have become synonymous with receiving classic car-related memorabilia and merchandise in a variety of forms. Your office has become awash with replica models, mugs, stationery, and various other car-related oddities.

 

3. You have named your car

Your car (an inanimate metal object) has a name. Your vintage vehicle is often mistaken for your significant other, due to the way you like to bring it up in conversation. Someone who isn’t aware of your auto-obsession may not realise that Judy is actually your Jaguar and not your partner. They don’t know that when you say “Judy looked beautiful this morning,” you’re actually referring to your car.

 

4. You like to pamper your car

You love spending your free time meticulously cleaning your car, top to bottom, inside and out. You clean your vehicle after almost every trip on the open road, carefully polishing its chrome detailing and headlights and shining its alloy wheels. Leaving no stone unturned, you like to ensure your vintage vehicle looks as good as the day it was manufactured.

 

5. You relish any opportunity to show it off

Whilst in the company of others, you relish the opportunity to show your car off to anyone who’s interested (and perhaps those who aren’t). Some compare you to a proud parent, boasting about your baby and its achievements. 

 

6. Nothing beats sitting behind the wheel

For you, modern cars simply can’t compete and nothing beats the feeling when you are sitting behind the wheel of your classic car. You’ll never tire of hearing the engine roar on the open road!

 

Feed your obsession at KWE

KWE offers a range of products and services to meet all your classic Jaguar needs. Whether you want to treat your vehicle to a new set of wheels or a full body makeover, we can tailor our skills to meet your requirements. We have become the leading specialist in rebuilding and modernising Jaguar XJ-based cars.

 

Call us on +44 (0)1635 30030, or visit www.kwecars.com for more information.

 

More good news for XJS owners – join the ranks or miss out!

Earlier in 2016, KWE reported on the meteoric rise in the value of classic cars in general, and the Jaguar XJS in particular. The XJS has been widely documented as the next modern classic, with prices set to go up year on year.

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Knight Frank, ‘The Wealth Report’ 2016

We’re happy to report once more that the Jaguar XJS is continuing to rapidly increase in value, from a slow start up to mid-2015 to a rate of 5-25% a year. The big stars are the rare 6 litre convertibles, and the pre-HE (1975-1980) coupés. It would be fair to say that the XJS is ‘doing an E-Type.’ In other words, as good examples decline in availability, the XJS is becoming very sought-after, with prices soaring due to the investment potential.

Although all examples of the XJS are rising in value, it is not too late to grab one at a reasonable price. However, a good un-restored example that cost, say, £5000 two years ago will now be going for £8 to £10k.

Now’s certainly the time to buy, as we don’t anticipate this trend changing for many years!

If you’d like to stay ahead of the curve, check out our current cars for sale, or contact us by calling +44 (0) 1635 30030 or emailing sales@kwecars.com.

Your chance to own a stunning 5.3 V12 Convertible

We’ve got our hands on this XJS convertible in Jaguar Crimson, available for sale now.

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The car is ready to drive off in, but it could also be upgraded to the full KWE specification, offered at cost price. So whether you want it as is, or would like to see some changes made, this car offers plenty of options!

KWE has already assessed and refreshed the car with our usual attention to detail, carrying out what little maintenance it required. With low mileage and only 3 owners, it’s in excellent condition.

You can read the current specification and see the stunning new photographs here.

 

For enquiries, please contact KWE by calling +44 (0) 1635 30030 or emailing sales@kwecars.com.

Avoid Delanaire Disasters

KWE has developed a way of repairing the Delanaire Mark 2 aircon servo amplifier. Delanaire 2 amplifierSpares are unobtainable and the amplifier has a limited life. The symptoms of failure of this device are a lack of temperature and air direction control, even though the heating and cooling systems are working.

Similarly, KWE can now replace or repair the Delanaire Mark 3 frost thermostat, Delanaire frost thermostat sensor which is also unavailable new. This device commonly fails and forces the refrigeration compressor to run all the time. This in turn causes the compressor to fail prematurely and the evaporator matrix to freeze up (like a domestic fridge) and stop air from entering the car. Another symptom is the refrigerant pipes and hoses being covered in frost when the engine is running.

If you’ve been waiting for a solution to these problems, contact KWE to schedule your next service appointment. You can also find out more about the facts, faults and use of Jaguar air con here.

 

 

 

‘This is a man’s world’ – or is it? Why women love classic cars too

The world of classic car ownership is often presumed to be a bit of a boys’ club. One woman who owns several classic cars, Carolyn Aylmer, has said that her Ferrari 348 ‘attracts a lot of attention from men, who of course assume it isn’t mine.’ There is an increasing number of women in the industry, however, who prove that women enjoy owning and driving classic cars just as much as men do. Nadine Katz, who specialises in insuring classic cars, is one of them, saying that ‘a lot of women own their own cars… some even build cars; they know so much about the mechanics.’. A recent survey has revealed that a quarter of the UK’s classics are owned by women.

Car dealer Joe Macari has said that, in his experience, ‘women buyers’ tastes are very different to men’s… pretty cars will always sell.’ Are they so very different, though? We wanted to learn more about why women enjoy owning and driving classic cars. Many of our customers are women, so we turned to them to find out. We invited Jaguar enthusiasts Rachal McHale and Jeannette Hartley to tell us what they love about their classic cars.

Rachal McHale XK8 #2

Rachal McHale with her Jaguar

The overall look of classic Jaguars was one of the most important features for Rachal. She loves the styling, describing them as ‘gorgeous, elegant and sleek’ with ‘curvy cat-like lines.’ The fact that they are ‘quintessentially British’ is also important to her. One of Jeannette’s favourite things about her Jaguar XJS is its British engineering, and the fact that Jaguar creates jobs for people as the UK’s largest automotive employer.

Both of them agreed that the driving experience was another key factor in their decision to buy a Jaguar XJS. Rachal loves the ‘smooth, easy drive,’ and the fact that the car has ‘the ability to really fly if required.’ Jeannette appreciates that her Jaguar is ‘lovely to drive, comfortable.’

They would both choose a classic car over a contemporary car any day of the week. Rachal notes that classic cars have ‘a strong sense of personality and style – you don’t get that with a Vauxhall Astra…’ and Jeannette appreciates the superior quality and comfort of a classic car.

Furthermore, they both recognise the excellent investment opportunities offered by the Jaguar XJ and XK series. Not only are these models holding their value, but with the right care and attention from a reputable classic car restorer, owners will benefit from rising prices.

Interestingly, both of them think of their Jaguars as feminine. Rachal said that, for her, ‘Jaguars are most definitely feminine,’ although she feels that overall, the brand is male-orientated. Jeannette describes her car as ‘a real lady’ and has fondly nicknamed ‘her’ Lady G. Perhaps this is a reflection of the strong bond and identification between a classic car owner and their treasured car.

It seems that women choose classic cars, particularly the Jaguar XJS, for the same reasons that men do – the beautiful design, excellent engineering, and phenomenal driving experience. It is not a man’s car, or a woman’s car – it is a driver’s car. Rachal and Jeanette’s experiences with their re-engineered Jaguars demonstrate the universal joy of driving a classic car.

What is your favourite thing about your classic Jaguar? Let us know!

KWE currently has a selection of classic Jaguar XJs for sale. See here for more information.

A real head turner – Low-mileage V12 XJS convertible for sale

Jaguar XJS V12 convertible (1992)

The roof is down, the wind is in your hair and all that lies in front of you is the open road and the perfectly tuned V12 engine of our latest Jaguar XJS offered for sale.

Solent Blue with a cream leather interior and American Walnut veneers. DSCF2849-S

We’re selling this superb example of a 1992 V12 XJS convertible on behalf of one of our clients. It’s been given the full KWE treatment with our full suspension, brakes and steering renewal and upgrade package, providing that familiar smooth and comfortable ride you’d expect from all of our fully-restored classic Jaguar cars.

With only four previous owners, this low-mileage XJS has just over 40,000 genuine miles on the clock. Its exterior is matched by the quality of workmanship and time spent on its interior. Finished in Jaguar Solent Blue with a cream leather interior and American Walnut wood veneers, this superb convertible sports car is guaranteed to turn heads whenever and wherever it’s driven.

For a full suite of pictures please click here.

For pricing and detailed service information, visit our website here.

You can see the full range of our cars for sale here.

Guest blog post vol. 1: What makes the Jaguar XJ-S special?

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. This week, we’ve gone across the pond and asked California-based, Rhett Redelings what makes the car so special to him.

About Rhett

Location: San Francisco Bay area, California, U.S.A.
Occupation: IT Manager, City of Sausalito

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 09.39.36

Which cars do you currently own?

  • 1988 Jaguar XJ-S coupe in Glacier White with a Mulberry interior, an HE V12 engine with the stock GM Turbo 400 3-speed automatic transmission, and a very early ABS braking system. This was our first Jaguar, and easily the one we’ve invested the most time, money and love in.
  • 1984 Jaguar XJ6 series 3 with the Vanden Plas trim in Maraschino Black with tan interior. The “series 3” is my daily driver.
  • 1995 Jaguar X300 (XJ6), also with the Vanden Plas trim. This magnificent beast of a car is what my wife drives when she doesn’t need the Subaru for errands not befitting a Jag.

What makes the Jaguar XJ-S special to you?

I would argue that the Jaguar XJ-S is a work of modern art. Just standing still, before you know anything about the car, the lines of the bonnet, that subtle hint of a power bulge and those flying buttresses make the XJ-S look like it’s already moving so fast that it’s pulling ahead of itself and stretching out of its own skin. As onlookers, we are about to witness a transformation or climax and, like the car, we are forever suspended, right at the edge of that forever-unresolved moment.

There is a subtle tension in the design that seems also to reflect the times in which the car was created. Everything works, visually, ergonomically and technically, but only just. Depending which angle you view it from, the XJ-S either looks old and elegant or oddly modern and vital. Sharing the XJ platform is wonderful of ride and handling but makes the car, viewed from the profile, seem slightly too long, and yet perfect when viewed from any other angle.

Rhett's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S coupé in Glacier White

Rhett’s 1988 Jaguar XJ-S coupé in Glacier White

Released in the mid 1970’s, but with a design language from the 1960’s, the XJ-S probably looked old fashioned the day it was revealed, but it’s this very quality that makes the car look timeless today.

Everything is held in a delicate balance and, depending who you are, all that tension and unresolvable anticipation makes the car either uncomfortable to behold or infinitely captivating. In my case, I find the XJ-S irresistibly and enduringly desirable in all its forms but never more so than in the original, pre-facelift coupé body style.

Beyond the styling of the car, a well-sorted XJ-S is just an incredibly capable Grand Tourer. The performance, road manners, ride, and comfort are all excellent, even by modern standards.

While the underpinnings are shared with the XJ saloons, and the transmission made by GM, much of the car is bespoke. The door handles, for instance, are somewhat unintuitive but beautiful in their own way and feel very satisfying and sophisticated when, with a slight squeeze, they click the doors open. The headlamp surrounds, the grille, the steering wheel, seats and so forth, are exclusive to the Jaguar XJ-S. The level of trim exceeds that on my ’84 XJ6 Vanden Plas.

Upon opening the car door, a gentle squeezing motion and the sweet, sophisticated aroma of Connolly leather greets me. When I get in the car, I am insulated in what feels like a very exclusive space; the Recaro-style seat firmly cradling me with exactly the right lumbar support and firmness.

Everything about the car inspires confidence, from the feel of the seats to the sound of the ignition, the power of the acceleration and the way the car can take a fast corner without ever breaking traction. When I do sometimes take a corner too fast, the independent rear suspension has a kind of magical way of bearing down, keeping the car on the surface of the road, defying physics.

I have driven faster cars but never a car so smoothly, consistently powerful. For instance, 80 mph in second gear, the engine is at 3500 rpm and feels like it would let me take it over the red line before it would run out of available power. And then there’s 3rd gear…

Driving it is exhilarating but not effortless, not mindless. It absolutely rewards the skilled driver but it is not forgiving. Almost like a living thing, the XJ-S needs me to drive it as much as I need it. In a way, this is part of what I love about it and, in my opinion, part of its ‘Jag-ness’. Driving it demands that I be fully present in the moment, not absently thinking about projects I left unfinished at work or the pressures that lie ahead.

Driving my XJ-S is a kind of meditation. I feel rejuvenated after driving it, never exhausted. I have never ended a day with it without wishing I could get back in the car and just keep going.

The Legacy

The XJ-S is a car crying out to be understood. For the owner of one, it is essential. But it’s impossible to understand the XJ-S without having at least passing awareness of what came before and what came after. To love the XJ-S is to love all Jaguars, to some degree, but mostly it is to know the XJ-S in its context.

In part, I think the Jaguar XJ-S is special to me because it’s a bit of an underdog. Plenty of other cars in its class, Ferraris, Astons, the beloved E-Type etc., require more than average upkeep, suffer reliability issues, inconsistent build quality and so forth, but the XJ-S seems uniquely dogged by these criticisms.

Despite some initially poorly conceived engineering choices, the XJ-S is, at its core, a brilliant example of automotive craftsmanship. Faster than the MBZ 450 SL, more comfortable than a Porsche 911, and considerably more refined than the Ferrari 308 GTB and very nearly as fast, the Jaguar XJ-S, built under better circumstances, would have been the world-beater it was meant to be.

The XJS is a hugely important car. Not only is it magnificent to drive, sumptuously refined and strikingly beautiful, if somewhat unconventionally so, it’s arguable that we wouldn’t still have either Jaguar or Aston Martin without it.

Jaguar XJ-S

V12 1988 XJ-S – Rhett’s very first Jaguar

Both companies, then essentially divisions of the Ford Motor Company, leveraged the XJS as a shortcut to developing both the Aston Martin DB7 and the Jaguar XK8, two Grand Tourers credited with saving their respective companies. In fact, I’d go even further to say that the Aston Martin DB9 and Jaguar F-Type both drive and feel very much like modern interpretations of the XJS.

The technologies and underpinnings have certainly evolved but our fundamental expectation of what a premier Grand Tourer is, how it should handle, how to blend the luxurious character with its sporting nature, is all built on the example of the XJ-S; a Grand Tourer that was so good at being just that, that it lives on, at least in spirit, in two of the most desirable British car marques today.

Not bad for a car initially regarded as a poor follow up to the E-Type.