Why everyone deserves to experience the unique and creamy blend of style, handling and power of a Jaguar
New or old, Jaguars have always offered a generous dollop of style and performance for the money, and while many continue to do so as classics, the most iconic models have become no-one’s idea of a bargain. But over-familiarity has kept the rest helpfully suppressed, until now. Yet, from S-type to XKR, our favourite stalwarts of affordable power and poise have also been quietly creeping up in price.
Time for our trawler of the classic car market, Russ Smith, to fish out the models that are best bought now before they move too much – it would be a crime for anyone to miss out on the uniquely lifeenriching experience of Jaguar ownership. I once ran a Daimler Sovereign Series III. I grew to love its uncanny blend of serenity and capability more with each journey, particularly on some memorable trips where it cosseted in town and on motorway, then proved an enthusiastic accomplice to some spirited progress on twisting A-roads. It was a handsome thing with a lithe form that disguised its size and an interior that never failed to make me feel good about life. Any of Russ’s choices will do the same but it’s the pictures of the XJ5.3C that I keep returning to.
My affections are divided between a diverse range of cars in this issue. There’s the subtly handsome BMW E34 that brings a flood of memories of the faithful 525i SE manual that over a ten-year period I took from 82,000 to 315,000 miles, and the even more impressive M5 that I had on test for a day. I adore the Austin-healey Sprite in our 60th anniversary road trip for its cheerful simplicity; a chirpy reminder that you don’t need lots of cylinders, camshafts and cubic centimetres to have a thrilling drive. And when I read about the Aston DBS in our epic restoration feature, I savour the bittersweet memory of the lovely example I could have bought for £18k, but didn’t. Silly boy.
Enjoy the issue. And if classic temptation comes your way in a form that you can somehow, just about, afford – go for it.
Jaguars have always had the inherent ability to iron out a motorway and then go on an A-road rampage