Pretty Purrfect!

Posted: February 12, 2008 by The Car Spy in Classic Cars, General, Jaguar
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Pretty Purrfect!

The Series III XJ seems to have it all. It’s a real Jaguar that perhaps forever will symbolise the ‘space, pace and grace’ principles of Sir William Lyons. The beautiful flowing lines of car design that have made Jaguar so unique and admired the world over.

When the XJ40 appeared in 1986 with its awkward angular looks it seemed that Jaguar had decided that square shoulder pads were the future – to be fair ‘Dynasty’ was the hit TV series at the time. Although why the Jag design team thought that large glass bricks placed either side of the iconic chrome grille would appear more attractive than the traditional round headlights is a tad mysterious. At least they made a welcome comeback on the X300.

Sitting in a Series III is not quite the nostalgic trip back in time you might expect or possibly even hope for. Yes the wood and leather are all there of course but look closely and you will see that climate control, a trip computer, electric mirrors and lumbar support adjustment were very much a part of the car’s specification back then.

Biggest surprise of all is in the ride. We recently had the privilege of sampling the V12 that is currently being advertised on the website. Remember this car was originally launched as the Series I in 1968 when the press lauded the suspension’s ‘magic carpet’ ride. Here we are forty years on and the way the suspension soaks up the bumps is truly astonishing. Maybe it’s because we have been fed on a diet of ‘sport’ suspension settings over the years that we have forgotten what a really comfortable ride should feel like.

And then there is the smoothness of the engine. As soon as the rapid pulsing of the starter motor fires up the 12 cylinders there is a creamy delivery of power that belies the age of the car and tells you what talented chaps they were at Browns Lane to come up with such a masterpiece of engineering. 

They also believed that cars should look good back then. The way the svelte bonnet lines and rear haunches all come together is a triumph of form over function. Lashings of chrome, beautiful alloys, nice big buttons and switches – ah, the good old days. Who wants a big boot and square shoulders anyway?

Take a look at the stunning Sovereign V12 being sold on behalf of the owner on the website – there aren’t many left like this!

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