Why ev­ery­one de­serves to ex­pe­ri­ence the unique and creamy blend of style, han­dling and power of a Jaguar

Classic Cars (UK) - - News - Phil Bell, edi­tor

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

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