Episode 68. Jaguar S-type. X667 HLB. (Part 5).

A decision has been made, and that decision is that I am going to sell the Jaguar. This decision has not been made lightly, I bought it to scratch an itch, an itch to have a Jaguar S-type with the V8 engine. I was going to buy it, drive it for a couple of months, it would by then be out of my system and I would then sell it. Simple. Well, over a year later, and thousands of miles and it's still not really out of my system. I like it. I like it a lot! I figured that I would sell it sooner rather than later because lets face it, I've got the Ford Scorpio to explore. The other night I was discussing this with a friend of mine who then said that he'd not yet been in the S-type, and infact he never got a ride in my original one either. We decided that as we were both free on Sundae then we would head out for a bit of a drive in it. I got up this morning to this scene...

Snowy! I called my friend up and asked him what time he would be ready? His respose was, "What are you, NUTS?! It's snowing!!" I said that it wasn't snowing, it had snowed, and now it has stopped. Not only that, but it was only a dusting, and the roads looked pretty clear to me, so lets go! To be honest I was going whether he wanted to or not. There was a short pause on the phone, and then he said "OK, I'll grab my coat."

Once outside it may well not have been snowing, but it was plenty cold. My friend looked at me, shivering, and asked me why I had dragged him out of his warm flat to stand out in the street in the full force of the Beast From The East part two! I told him that in no way was this the Beast From The East part two, it was chilly, but not as cold. I said what we are dealing with here is just the Gremlin From The Kremlin! It was going to be fine once we're inside the car!

Although it was pretty obvious that with six inches of snow sitting on the Jag, it was going to need sweeping off before we went anywhere, I grabbed a couple of brushes from Mrs Clints cupboard, started the engine to get it warming up, and several minutes later we were ready to rock 'n' roll!

As luck would have it the snow had also frozen so we had to put in extra effort to shift it from the car, which was good in a way as it warmed my friend and I right up quite nicely. By the time we were sitting in the Jaguar the interior had warmed up too, so no cold seats to worry about! I always prefer to remove all the snow from my cars before heading out onto the road. I see a lot of people driving around with their windscreens cleared, but the rest of the car is still covered in snow. I personally don't like big chunks of snow blowing off my bonnet and onto my windscreen, and I don't like it when cars ahead of me have big chunks of snow blow off their car onto mine. Therefore I completely clear the car before heading off, I'm not sure if its illegal to drive your car covered in snow, but in my head it's pretty irresponsible to not clear it from your car, and even a bit inconsiderate. So, pretty soon we were sitting in the warmth and comfort of the Jaguars cockpit. I reached down to the gear stick...

Hit the two buttons that sit just behined the gear lever. My friend asked me what they were for, and if th 'S' was for the snow mode? I'm gonna let that slide, becuase he can't, and doesn't drive. Not exactly, I said. The 'S' button gives greater acceleration by holding the car in each gear longer so using the power of the higher revs in each gear, a more noisy and exciting drive but of course it uses more fuel! The other button is the Dynamic Stability Control switch. The DSC system continually monitors the steering wheel angle, master cylinder brake pressure, front and rear wheel speeds, vehicle yaw and lateral rate acceleration. Basically, I said, its the traction control which continually monitors the driven wheels for wheel spin relative to the calculated reference speed and to each other. If wheel spin is detected, the traction control function intervenes independently of the driver, applying brake pressure to the slipping wheel and reducing the engine drive torque supply. Meanwhile, brake pressure is modulated by the traction control until traction is re-established. In a nutshell, it will help to keep us on the road when I have run out of driving talent!

 So, have you turned the sport mode off and the traction control on he asked. Not quite I said. What I have done is turned the traction control off, and the sport mode on!! Nervously he said, "why have you done that?" There was a brief pause and I looked at him, and with a big cheesy grin I just said, "For Fun!" I'm not really sure how he took that as we pulled out onto the road.

Gotta give it to Hampshire Highways, this mornings light dusting of snow was cleared from the roads! I said to my friend that I thought we might head out to the New Forest just to get a few pictures of the Jaguar in the snow if I can. He was thrilled by the prospect of driving on snow covered roads in the middle of nowhere, but before long we were in the New Forest, and the drive there was pretty qiuet as pretty much everyone else had either decided that it was too snowy out there to go driving, or they were all at the supermarket stocking up for another apocalypse as southern England turned into Hoth.

If anything by the time we had got to the New Forest there was even less snow than there was at home. But I found a bit and drove into it, determind to atleast get a coule of photos. There may not have been too much of the white stuff, but that Gremiln From The Kremlin wind was still bitterly cold and biting at my ears that were poking out from either side of my hat. Snaps taken, and I headed off for the warmth of the Jaguars cockpit to get out of the wind, and indulge in a Victory V. Did the Jaguar then want to drive off? No it did not! It sat there happily spinning the rear wheels. I turned the sport mode off, and the traction control back on. Will that help? My friend asked. I said it will help, but it still might not want to go anywhere. I was right, it didn't, it still wanted to just spin the rear wheels. The problem I think was not so much the snow, but the very soft wet mud that was beneath it. Now what? My friend said. Well, I said, If I have learned anything about off road driving from Fred Williams' show Dirt Every Day it is that for off road driving you need to lower the tyre pressure to give you a larger footprint. I got out and let 7 psi out of the rear tyres until they both looked quite squashy. I got back in, and gently eased off the wet snowy mud and onto the tarmac! Once back on hard ground I was out with the footpump, and ten minutes later I had pumped up both tyres, and I was feeling quite warm again despite the cold wind.

Back on the road again, and we were soon approaching BelongaClint, I'd left the buttons alone this time which pleased my friend!

I asked him what he thought about the S-type, and he thought it was a good car, and really couldn't understand why I want to sell it. I told him that I don't want to sell it, infact I had thought about moth-balling it for a few years and bringing it out again further on down the line. But because they don't seem to be held in very high regard (by those who have never owned one) they are a very cheap car to get hold of. Therefore when I want one again I should be able to pick one up quite cheaply, or atleast, cheaper than the price of storing one for a couple of years. As we pulled back up to where I have been parking my cars outside of where I work I said, besides, I've got the Scorpio to experience.

So due to lack of space as much as anything before I can get too into the Scorpio something has to go, and that something is my beautiful S-type. He asked me if I thought that the Scorpio was going to be as good as the S-type. I said that I very much doubted that the Scorpio was going to be anywhere near as good as the S-type, but that's not really the point. It doesn't matter if the Scorpio isn't as good as the S-type. It doesn't even matter if the S-type is the best car I've ever had... It is the fastest car I've ever had! What it's all about is the experience, and if your hobby (like mine is) is to drive and own different cars then you have to sell both the cars that you love to drive, and the cars that you hate to drive in order to move through a list of cars. My list is HUGE, and it gets added to every day, it's ever growing and ever evolving! Therefore after over a year of owning my Jaguar S-type it has to go. It's been fun, a lot of fun actually, and I like it a lot, but before the Spring actually arrives, the S-type will be for sale.

Will I get another one in the future? Well, after a lot of thought and probably far too much procrastination I was told by my littlest monster to consult that fountain of knowledge that is her Magic 8-Ball. To the delight of my littlest monster I took the Magic 8-Ball in my hands and shook it furiously while asking it if I will ever own another Jaguars S-type.

 Well you can't argue with that!