It has now been around 3 weeks since I picked up the Jag and I have already clocked up over 1000 miles and to be completely honest, it has not been as terrifying as I had first thought. When I collected the car it was a completely blind purchase, something I have never done before and something I would never recommend, but this time I just had to roll the dice.
I made a long list of parts and fixes that needed to be done to get the old girl back to a respectable standard and even though it was far from a short one, the combination of a very helpful main dealer and the wonders of eBay, I have so far saved a fortune whilst ticking my way down the list. The majority of parts ordered have been purely cosmetic, ranging from a new side reflector to replacement headlight and sidelight bulbs. However, the big one was always going to be that initial service and inspection, as this could be the decider of whether or not I keep the car for a few months.
I had initially wanted to get the car in for this as soon as possible, but I also wanted it to go to the right place and not just any old garage in my village. I ended up choosing Jagutek who are about 5 miles from me as they specialise in, you guessed it, Jaguars. I managed to book the car in for this Tuesday just passed (5th December) and I am glad to say not only was the service itself a very reasonable price, but the inspection report came back much better than expected. Bar a small coolant leak that is being sorted in the new year, everything is tickety-boo. For the first time ever, I think I may have actually made the right choice with a car purchase (fingers crossed this doesn’t come back and bite me in the backside in the coming weeks).
There are still a few items left on the list but none of them are essentials, they are more “nice to haves” instead of “need to haves” so I’m happy to gradually build these bits up over the winter. I am still amazed sometimes by the power of eBay and other similar options as after spending around £150 in total for bits, I checked a few parts specialists and I reckon I have probably already saved around £250. This is good because the main drawback of this car is that even though it only has a little 3.2 litre V8, it’s still a V8 and it drinks more than my old 5.0 litre V8 Cl500… I am averaging at about 22mpg over the last 1100 miles and this has been 2 tanks of Super unleaded with some cleaner thrown in and one tank of regular unleaded (we were running low in the backside of beyond in Suffolk and there was no option for higher octane fuel). I really am not bothered by this though, the little Eunos is still being used for every day short drives into town and I am now trying to keep usage of the Jag down to just long drives.
Speaking of long drives, Monday 4th December was my better half’s birthday so we decided to take the day off and go for a drive to the coast. Being in land-locked Cambridgeshire, it’s about 2 hours to the seaside in any direction and due to the wonderful lack of development on the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts, there are very few dual carriageways. Normally I would moan about this, especially in the summer months when the tailbacks result in hours spent looking at the back of a caravan, but as it’s winter and people really aren’t taking Monday’s off to flock to the beaches, this meant the roads were relatively clear and I could, for the first time, really see how this car manages those winding Suffolk back roads. It really didn’t fail to impress. I have a knack for buying the wrong-engined car and with my old Jag, a 1989 2.9 straight-six Sovereign, this most definitely was the case. It could barely get off the line and there was just nothing happening, no matter how hard to mashed the peddle. The 3.2 V8 in this is different though, it doesn’t even feel slow by modern standards, or heavy. It’s still a bit sluggish off the mark but when the Sport Mode button is pressed and you’re on the move, it’s silky smooth. The steering is wonderful too. Not too heavy, not too light, just enough weight behind it to make you still feel in control. The only real problem is the brakes, or should I say the lack of brakes. Stopping is not quick and you have to really think ahead on the tighter sections of road but hopefully an upgrade of the discs and pads in the new year should at least help this situation. Plus, at the end of the day, this is a big 5-meter long luxury car, not an apex-hugging track weapon. As a man who loves his big heavy wafting cars, it has not disappointed. It actually feels more agile than my W221 S class, which was a great car but very cumbersome.
All in all, the first 1000 miles in the Jag have been exactly what I hoped, comfortable, drama free and always leaving me looking back at it when I park it up. When you’re driving around town you feel like a character from a Guy Ritchie film, and it seems many people look at you like this is the case as well. I love the way it looks with the black exterior and ivory interior. I wish I’d bought one sooner. The only thing that would make this better is a supercharger and bigger brakes…