Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club Western Day

Saturday, September 26, 2015 to Sunday, September 27, 2015

JEC logo

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the XJ-S, The Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club is holding its final major event of the year in the new surroundings of Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales - the first time this venue has been used by the JEC.

In addition to an XJ-S timeline featuring every variant from the model's 21 year production life, more than 700 other Jaguars spanning the decades are expected to be on display - making a fitting tribute in the marque's 80th anniversary year.

Bodelwyddan

Other attractions include an arts & crafts marquee, trade stalls, demonstrations, falconry, dressage, air show display, laser shoot, catering, music & entertainment as well as use of the children's adventure play area on site.

The Jaguar Heritage Trust will be bringing along five examples of the XJ-S model from its collection to join the timeline.  These will include some rare and unique cars, all with very indiviual histories:

First up (and oldest) is the Trust's 1975 XJ-S V12 coupé. This car was the 154th right-hand drive car built. It was finished in a special metallic gold paint for the 1975 London Motor Show at Earls Court. After use as a show car, it was kept as part of the Leyland Historic Vehicle collection.

It was registered in 1977 to participate in the Queens Silver Jubilee celebrations, before being transferred to the Trust. It has only covered a few thousand miles.

OOM 555R

1975 XJ-S V12 Coupé

TWR XJS

1984 TWR XJ-S ETCC winning race car

In the early 1980s, Jaguar Cars new Managing Director John Egan decided to return to the motorsport arena in Europe and invited Tom Walkinshaw to develop the XJ-S to take part in the European Touring Car Championship.

After a good start in 1983, a three-car team ran in the 1984 season, and the Jaguars were unassailable. Of seven race victories, the most memorable was in the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, by Walkinshaw and Win Percy. Walkinshaw won the championship, the first Jaguar driver to do so since Peter Nocker in 1963.  The Trust's car is chassis 007 - the Spa and championship winning car.

In 1985, Jim Randle who was Director of Jaguar Engineering, asked the Styling Studio under Geoff Lawson to look into the feasibility of developing a removable hard top for the planned XJ-S Convertible.

This quickly proved not to be feasible, but some preparatory work had already been done, using an XJ-S Cabriolet as the basis. It was then decided to use the opportunity to explore the possibility of developing a top-of-the range XJ-S based niche model, under the Daimler name - which resulted in this concept car completed in 1986 which now belongs to the Trust.

Sadly, following some poor market research results, the project was abandoned!

Daimler XJS

1986 Daimler XJ-S Concept

XJS Cab

1987 XJ-S V12 Cabriolet

Originally, the XJ-S had only been available with the closed coupé body, but in response to demand for a soft-top version, the Cabriolet model was introduced in 1983. It was at first only offered with the six-cylinder engine, although a V12 Cabriolet followed in 1985.

This particular car was built towards the end of Cabriolet production, and was originally the personal car of Diana, Princess of Wales. Although the Cabriolet was normally offered only as a two-seater, this car was specially fitted with rear seats for the young Princes William and Harry.

The Princess used this car from 1987 to 1991, and it was then acquired by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in return for a contribution to her charity.

Introduced in September 1975 with the 5.3-litre V12 engine, the XJ-S was at that time the most expensive production car Jaguar had ever produced at £8,900. Intended as a prestige Grand Touring coupé, the XJ-S nevertheless had sports car performance with a top speed close to 150mph (240 km/h), and with comfort and refinement to match.

The XJS was in production for twenty-one years during which time a total of 115,413 were made. Production came to an end in April 1996 prior to the introduction of the new XK8 sports car later that year. By that time the list price of the XJS V12 coupé was £50,500. This car is not only the last XJS coupé but also the very last XJS to be built. Together with the last XJS 4-litre convertible, the car was donated to the Trust for preservation.

P60 XJS

1996 XJS V12 Coupé (last of line)


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