One of my very bestest WP people asked to see the car mentioned in the Reflection post.
So here she is.
She wasn’t with us for very long but she did get to be a wedding car for a couple of young friends who were saving their pennies.
5.3 litres of pure V12 grunt. Built in 1986 one year after Jaguar stopped making the series Three. The XJ40 that replaced her could not fit the massive V12 engine so they kept on making the Series Threes just for their V12 customers until the XJ40 was updated. The back doors on this model open wider than on previous models to make it easier to get in and out of the back seat [especially in a wedding dress].
She looked magnificent but she had not been well maintained. In short she cost me a lot of money to bring up to scratch.
The air con packed it in on a particularly hot trip back from Adelaide and V12s generate an enormous amount of heat and a lot of it travels under the floor through the exhaust pipes…… it can get unpleasant! The cruise control stopped working on this same trip also.
A couple of days before Christmas I had all of the water hoses replaced [there are a lot of them on a V12]. We got to Ballarat on the way to Adelaide and the Big Cat emptied the contents of her radiator into the carpark at McDonalds. It’s a long ride back to Melbourne on the back of a tow truck. I managed to get the mechanics to repair the brand new burst hose and my son and I tried again. This time we did not get as far as Ballarat. We stopped at a roadhouse to eat and when I put my son behind the wheel he turned the key and engine made a strange noise and dropped a valve.
The cost of rebuilding the engine was close to half of the cost of the car and I had spent a small fortune up till then so I sold it to my mechanic who put a second hand engine in it and sold it to someone else.
A few weeks later I found the Jag I have owned ever since and she has not missed a beat.
I suppose you are wondering why I bought a car with so many expensive faults?
Good question. I know a fair bit about cars so there is really no excuse except that I bought her in haste, which is probably the worst way to buy a car. Also I trusted someone………. don’t say it, I know.
The person who sold her to me also sold my first Jag to me and that had been a very happy event. In my mind I figured that he would work out that if he looked after me I would buy a series of cars from him over time, whereas he was only interested in selling a car.
I was in pain when I bought her having been involved in a high speed freeway accident from which I had not fully recovered. Never buy anything when you are in pain!
It was not all bad, the V12 was an experience to drive. It’s the only car I have ever owned that did not notice if the car was full of people. The gearbox never kicked down because the engine had so much grunt that it didn’t need to.
She was only in my life briefly but she is fondly remembered. Money aside, I loved that car, but all love affairs must end.
BTW she was exactly red, the official name was Cranberry.