Episode 239. Jaguar S-type. W187 BNA. (Part 1).

 I'll be honest, I've not just bought this car, it's been in my possesion for a while now, but with the leaving of the Carlton it was time once again to put my ass into a bit of luxury. Not that the Carlton wasn't luxrious enough, it was, it's just that when you think luxury motoring there can't be many of us out there that think Vauxhall Carlton estate right? So I thought it might be time to dip my toes once more into a Jaguar, this one...

A 2000 Jaguar S-type with a 3.0 litre V6 petrol engine, automatic transmission, and just 83491 miles showing on its odometer. Now then, you may remember that earlier in the year I saw fit to arm myself up with a Jaguar X-type, and amoungst other things I said that my first impressions were that I was a bit disappointed if I was honest. But I felt that however I felt about it I was going to going to stick it out for a month, and hopefully it would grow on me and I would start to enjoy it the more I drove it, I figured that one way or another only time would tell, and so it did. Unfortunately it never did grow on me, and this dissappointed me somewhat, even though as I said I wouldn't exactly consider myself to be a Jaguar man. But, my Dad has always quite fancied one, although he has never owned one, however I do think that he was quite tempted to have my X-type as he seemed to quite like it.
My Uncle, on the other hand had loads of Jaguars, and Daimlers. When we were kids he always seemed to have a different XJS, or XJ6 in his drive, He probably changed his Jaguars as often as I've changed my cars this year. He always said how great they were, and often bought me toy Jags. Infact, in his whole life as far as I can remember he only ever bought one car that wasn't a Jaguar. It was the last car he bought before he died. He'd had Jaguars pretty much all of his life while I was alive, but just before he died he went out to buy a new car, he looked at the X-type, and didn't care for it at all, and so instead of buying a Jaguar he bought himself a Škoda Octavia estate! I couldn't believe it when he told me, it was so out of character for him. I remember asking him why he bought the Škoda, and he said that not only was it was far cheaper than the Jaguar, but it was also far better! Oh the horror! But despite this change of allegiance when my Uncle defected from Jaguar to Škoda the damage to my young mind had been done. So due to all the previous hype that my Uncle, and to a lesser extent my Dad made about the Jaguars, even though I wasn't really a big fan I do still sort of have them on a bit of a pedastool in my mind. 
After my dissappointment with the Jaguar X-type I still kept thinking about my Jaguar experience, and how I couldn't believe that this X-type was as good as it was going to get! Why didn't it seem special? I kept thinking that there must be more to a Jaguar than the X-type delivered, and even while I still had the X-type (if you remember it was proving very difficult to sell so I had it a while!) even then I was quietly hunting for a S-type.

This particular S-type is actually the third one that I've 'won' this year! The first one was 'won' not long after the X-type finally left me, I won for just £410, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get in contact with the seller. I sent him dozens of emails, but I never got a response, so in the end I figured that I was going nowhere, so I gave up, and just bought the Golf Cabriolet instead. The second one was 'won' on ebay while I was still cruising and enjoying the Rav4, and the winning bid was just £537, but after trying to contact the seller for a few days I did finally get a response from him saying that the engine had packed up on the Jaguar. So I asked him what had gone wrong with it, and he just sent me an email saying "dunno mate". So I told him not to worry, I was happy with the price even if the engine had packed up, I'll bring my trailer and come and collect it, then see if I can get my tame mechanic to have a look at it and sort it out for me. I never heard from him again, I even sent him a couple more emails asking where I could collect it from, but I got no response which I thought was a bit rude. So realising I was flogging a dead horse, or should that be cat, I bought the Mercedes 500SEC instead. As luck would have it a couple of weeks later that particular S-type was back on ebay, and with no mention of the engine being broken, but as I figured what would be the point in bidding on it only to get messed about again, I gave that one a miss the second time around. Besides, like I said, I had the Mercedes by then, why would I need a Jaguar? My feeling was however that neither of the previous Jaguar 'winnings' went for enough money for their sellers, and this was the real reason they wouldn't contact me, or let me have them. 
I've got to admit I know how they felt, when my X-type sold for just £1,260, which left me £540 down on my purchase price I wasn't too happy with that myself. But as I'd listed it without reserve, the right thing to do was to let the winning bidder have it, it's how you play the game, sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose... To be honest I am hoping to do some winning at some point soon. But all of this brings me to this one, the third one that I've won on ebay this year, and for just £830.00 it was mine! Stand by for the obligatory petrol station photo because as I bought it from a dealer it barely had a sniff of go-go juice in it...  

Much like the previous S-types that I had 'won' on ebay, the seller wasn't too thrilled at letting it go for just £830 either, and said that he thought, and hoped that it would go for much more. However he told me where to collect it from, and we arranged a time and a date to collect it. I must admit it was with some trepidation that I went to collect the Jag, all I kept thinking was what if it's no better than the X-type... What if its worse? But 83 Crisp new £10 notes were placed into the sellers hands, the ink barely dry, and the keys to the S-type were dropped into mine. It was mine... All mine... What have I done? Well, too late to back out now, no matter from here on in, it's part of the story. I opened the door, and dropped into the seat. So, first impressions? 

Yes, yes, YES!! This is what I'm talking about, I've not even turned the key yet, and already it feels so much better than the X-type. This is how I imagined a Jaguar should feel! Right, turn the key, the engine fires straight up with a flick of the key in the ignition, and settles into a soft muffled V6 burble. Already I'm feeling so much better, I put it into 'DRIVE' and ease out onto the dark, cold, wet, and rainy Bristol streets looking for a petrol station. I've never really paid much attention to S-type Jaguars before, but it is bigger than I thought they were, and it feels noticeably bigger to drive than the X-type. I feel like its going to handle like a big ole barge, but it doesn't, it feels sharp, and crisp, almost point and squirt! Onto the M4 and it's pretty empty, I thought I'd let the cat out of the bag and just have a quick stab at the loud pedal, I stamp on it and bury the thing into the Axmister, the big cat leaps forward into action and I'm away, storming down the M4 accelerating to warp factor nine! Make no mistake, for a big executive cruiser this things got some serious get up and go. 

For over fifteen years now my gorgeous old 1984 Ford Sierra XR4i has been the fastest car in my automotive back catalogue, but it would seem that finally it's day in the sun was over, and it will now be regarded as the second fastest car I've ever owned! Damn I miss that car... Just looking at photographs of it makes me wish I'd never got rid of it in the first place, perhaps it's about time I had a re-visit!

Anyway, inside the Jag it does have a very exective feel, with dead cow on just about everything that is soft, and plastic wood adorning everything that was hard. I must admit that I don't care for the light colour of the plastic wood, however despite this it is still a very nice place to sit, and look at the world blur by. But most of all, above everything else, it feels special, it feels like you have acheived something. Whatever it is that makes it feel this way, was definately lacking from the X-type, but the S-type has it in spades. But as I said at the beginning, I've not just bought this car, it's been in my possesion for a while now, and this is because I was planning a trip to Germany over Christmas. I'd actually bought this car not too long after buying the Carlton so that hopefully this time I would get the documents back from the DVLA in time for my trip (that obviously I'm now not going on), and even though while I was driving the Mercedes and the Carlton I didn't drive it, other than when I collected it. But I think that just driving it that one time took the edge off the Mercedes I was driving at the time. I loved the Mercedes, and I still do, but the Jaguar S-type, despite it not being a beautiful two-door pillarless coupé just seemed far better. I even think that it jaded the Carlton for me, it just made the Carlton feel a little bit lack-lustre. For the remaining weeks I had with the Mercedes, and the whole month that I drove the Carlton around I just couldn't wait to plonk my bum back into this Jaguar, it's been playing on my mind, and I kept thinking about it the whole time. This was a shame, as the Mercedes was a great car, and one of my all time favourite cars that Mercedes ever made in my opinion, and also my Carlton was a fabulous car, and I think that had I not bought the S-type I know I would've enjoyed it more. Still, I guess that it's best not to dwell on it, I've left the Mercedes and Carlton behind, they have been consigned to my own automotive history, and I've moved on, and this my friends, this lovely Jaguar S-type is where we are at right now, and this is really quite good!