XJS & XJ from KWE Cars
Classic Spirit Reborn

classic car restoration

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.

Jaguar XJS: the ‘great grand tourer’

Tony Bray 2

Continuing our series of guest blog posts, we asked loyal customer Tony Bray to tell us why he chose his XJS, and how KWE helped to make it ‘the best car it could be.’ (more…)

Suave and sophisticated – that’s the Jaguar XJC

The Jaguar XJ and XJS are widely acknowledged as one of the most beautiful luxury saloon and all-round accomplished sports cars ever made. So, it’s no surprise that the team at KWE is always on the look out for challenging new projects to work on.

With our engineering expertise and passion for Jaguar cars, we’re able to offer a high-quality restoration service. Our aim is to restore all of our Jaguar XJS and early XJ saloons cars to a ‘better than new’ standard. (more…)

Hold on tight (to your XK8)

Around the same time as the first Jaguar XJ6 (series 1) rolled off the production line, another Great British classic was born. In 1970, the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) entered the music scene with its ambition to create modern rock songs with classical overtones.

In some ways, perhaps this is similar to the Jaguar XK8 – a contemporary twist given to a classic vehicle. Underneath the XK8’s modern curves lies a classic not too dissimilar to its XJS predecessor. (more…)

KWE’s Car of the Year 2015: Saloon from Scandinavia gets the full works

Last year, we worked on many amazing classic Jaguar cars, which makes it difficult to choose our favourites. However, we hold a particular soft spot for this project, and are extremely proud of the finished result – and its owner is delighted, too!

It’s not everyday that we receive a car from Norway, but it goes to show how much some Jaguar enthusiasts are willing to go to get a decent restoration. Our car of the year, an X305 with 6-litre V12 engine, was shipped from Norway with an extremely comprehensive restoration brief – we like a challenge!

As part of a full-scale restoration project, we conducted an expert evaluation for internal and external re-engineering perfection.

X300 Saloon stripped inside and out

Classic car restoration: X300 Saloon stripped inside and out

We fully stripped the vehicle, top to bottom, inside and out. Our expert engineers rebuilt the V12 6-litre engine, as well as suspension, braking and steering systems to ensure maximised driving pleasure.

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We didn’t stop there, as all new leather interior was fitted, with Alcantara headlining and sun visors, complete with an audio system upgrade boasting seven loudspeakers and subwoofer in the boot. All interior and exterior lamps have been converted to LED types, with HID quad headlamps.

The car also had significant rust problems, which were addressed appropriately. The result has to be one of the most luxurious and powerful saloons on the road. The extraordinarily smooth and powerful V12 makes most modern cars feel inadequate.

The finished result!

The finished result!

The interior is now a soft and welcoming abode, with the seductive aroma of fresh leather. A true masterpiece both of Jaguar’s design and our restoration techniques.

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To discover the full extent of our work, have a look at our project build gallery: http://buildgallery.kwecars.com/KWE-Jaguars/DK54657-X305/

And for more information about how we can restore your classic Jaguar back to its former glory, please contact info@KWECars.com.

Six of the best classic car shows in 2016

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 – 18-21 February, ExCel London

London Classic Car Show

London Classic Car Show

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.

http://www.thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk/the-show.

Practical Classics Restoration & Classic Car Show – 5-6 March, NEC Birmingham

Restoration Classic Car Show

Restoration Classic Car Show

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.

http://www.necrestorationshow.com/.

Donington Historic Festival – 30 April – 2 May, Donington Park Derbyshire

Donington Historic Festival

Donington Historic Festival

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.

http://www.doningtonhistoric.com/.

Goodwood Revival – 9-11 September, Chichester

Goodwood Revival

Goodwood Revival

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.

https://grrc.goodwood.com/section/goodwood-revival/.

Footman James Manchester Classic Car Show – 17-18 September, Event City Manchester

Footman James Classic Car Show

Footman James Classic Car Show

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.

http://www.manchesterclassiccarshow.com/.

Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show – 11-13 November, NEC Birmingham

Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show

Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show

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.

http://www.necclassicmotorshow.com/.

Arrive in style in your own classic car

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.

Like our Facebook page or connect with us on Twitter.

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.

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

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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.