Episode 78. Jaguar S-type. X667 HLB. (Part 7).

When we last saw the Jaguar it was propped rather precariously on a stack of concrete blocks. After another long and hard look under the Jaguar I still had no idea where the water was coming from. There really was only one thing left to do, as my mechanic originally suggested, sell it!

It was carefully removed from the blocks, cleaned, and then an ad was drawn up. I put in the title of the advert that it had a long MOT, and that it was for spares or repairs. I also mentioned in the ad that the reason why it is being sold as spares or repairs was that when I was out driving it suddenly, and for no apparent reason dumped all of it's coolant out on to the road. I went on to say that as I have no mecahnical skills at all I didn't really know what the problem was, but I have had a look and the coolant would appear to be coming from the back of the engine bay, but I can't see from where. My guess was that I would say that it is possibly either the heater matrix, or maybe the pipes to it. But as I can't actually see where its coming from, I really have no idea. I went on to say that what I could tell you is that when you put coolant in, it pretty quickly runs out at the back of the engine bay again. I sat back and waited for enquiries. While I was waiting for someone to make me an offer I went around and offered it to all of my friends who had expressed an interest in it. I told them what had happened, and what I thought it might be. I also told them that if they wanted it, then they could have it for free on the understanding that I get first dibs to buy it when they come to sell it. Understandably none of them wanted a broken Jaguar S-type. After a little while an offer was made on it, and for £500 less than I paid for it when it was fully functioning, my lovely Jaguar found a new owner. But before we talk about that, lets just take a moment to talk about the Jaguar whilst it was mine...

So, starting at the front, and the reason for the sale, the V8!

From what I have been lead to believe the Jaguar AJ-V8 is perhaps not the finest engine in the Jaguar range, however, from my experience up until it sprang a leak it was pretty damn good. It burbbled along very nicely indeed and wafted the Jaguar along the road without any effort what so ever. A good stamp on the loud pedal and the V8 would roar into life, and propel the big cat at the horizon at an alarming rate. But driven normally it would quietly go about its business, and effortlessly cruise along happily. The biggest suprise for me was not the effortless supply of power, but how little fuel it used. It quite litterally must have just sipped from the fuel tank, and in reality was no worse on fuel than the V6 that I had owned previously.

Inside the cockpit my only complaint would be that I didn't particularly like the colour. I like the shape of the dashboard, and the layout of it, although from what I had heard a lot of people don't like the 'horse shoe' dash, I kind of do. But I would've prefered the 'wood' to be darker, and the dash to be black, but much like the exterior colour, beggars can't be choosers, and in all fairness it's pretty in-offensive.

The seats... Oh my word... The comfort!! With over 200,000 miles the seats, especially the drivers seat was well worn in! But really it only showed on the bolster, the rest of the seat looked in pretty good shape. The front seats were comfortable, supportive, and heated, which was just lovely on the chilly winter mornings, and it was quite nice when my back was a bit bad. It's possibly not the most comfortable car I've ever owned, but really, it must be quite near the top of the list!

In the back my two little monsters also said they enjoyed the comfortable seats, saying that it was almost like driving around while they were sitting on a sofa! Although they did mention that they were not all that pleasant when they got in first thing in the morning when it was cold!

Now, on to the outside...

Look at it!! The funny thing is that I'm not a fan of saloon type cars at all, I always think that they just look a bit unfinished. To me it looks like the designers have always got bored by the time they get to the back of the car, so they just chuck a box on it for luggage and stuff and call it done... 

Almost as though it was more of an after thought than anything else, for me one of the worst examples of this lack of imagination has to be the Ford Sierra Sapphire, if you look at the profile of the Sierra Hatch or even the estate, it's not a bad looking car, but look at the profile of the Sapphire, WTF!! That back end does not belong on that (or any other) car! This is pretty much how I feel about all saloon cars, but it has to be said that the S-type does not suffer from this. The Geoff Lawson designed retro styled bodywork is very pleasing on the eye, much like the Jaguar X-type was which was also styled by Geoff Lawson in 1995 I have to admit that I do like how this looks, and for that matter I liked how the X-type looked as well. But for me the S-type looks far better. I can only hope that if Geoff Lawson is looking down at me from above he has forgiven me for not liking his X-type, because the S-type is quite a good looking car from all angles, and I'm not sure that there would be a lot you could do to it to improve it's looks... 

Maybe make a two-door coupé? Might be nice! But Geoff... I salute you, with this beautiful car, you've nailed it! My only real niggle, if you can call it that is that I'm not a fan of red cars, had this have been green, or blue, then it would've been perfect for me. But like I said, beggars can't be choosers, and a V8 S-type in any colour is a damn cool car!

So that brings us here, back to the begining where I was waiting for the S-type to be collected.

Sitting there infront of the Scorpio I must admit I felt a little sorry that it was going. I am enjoying the Scorpio, it's good, and it's growing on me, but I think there is something about the Jaguar that the Scorpio just doesn't have. But never mind, onwards and upwards!

With just 215,664 miles on it the new owner arrived, and loaded it onto his transporter. We had a bit of a chat, and I asked him what his plans for it where, I had a feeling I knew what they were, but you've got to ask. He told me that he plans to banger race it! I must admit that I was sad to hear that, but not suprised, and once it's his car, frankly he can do whatever he likes with it! But I do feel like I've really let the S-type down. The funny thing is though, how many of my friends have shown their dis-pleasure at me for selling it to a banger racer. I've even been unfriended by a couple of people for selling it to a banger racer! People who were offered it for free, have unfriended me for my hideous crime of selling it to someone who was offering me money for it! Anyway, he was pretty pleased with it, and I asked him how many meets would he get out of it, he told me that he would only get one! Hmm, thats a fair chunk of change for an afternoons fun, but it takes all sorts I guess! Anyway, there it goes...

Off for one last blaze of glory! Now, it has to be said that I am quite sad that it has gone banger racing, and I am quite sad that people have felt so strongly about me selling it to a banger racer that they've had to unfriend me. But as nice as my S-type is or was, it's not a rare car, it's not like it's the last one in the world. It is a shame in my eyes, because the bodywork is good and straight and rust free, and it would probably have been of use to somebody, but those people didn't try to buy it, and this banger racer fella did. Besides, like I said to my friends who are angry about what I have done, and who I have sold it to. They all had the chance of having it for free, and none of them took it, so really, am I to blame? I don't know, but like I said, I am quite sad about it. So where do we go from here? Am I all done now with Jaguar S-types?

Probably not if I'm brutally honest. From what I have read the later facelifted S-type was a better car than the earlier ones like this one. However I don't like how they look so much, I know it's only a minor facelift, but I think something got lost in the styling somehow. Having said that, I think at some point maybe I'll get one of the later ones just to see if it is any better than the earlier ones or not. But at the moment I've got more than enough cars to play with, so I'm not on the hunt for another big cat just yet, well, atleast not unless one comes along that's too cheap to pass up, but until that time I think it's best not to dwell on the future (or lack of it) of the S-type, and instead enjoy the future adventures of the Ford Scorpio!