Properly towing an XJS
So you have a trip planned for an unbelievably beautiful 70-degree day in your Convertible XJS, you walk out to your garage and open the door, start the car top already down as you normally leave it since you choose to only drive it on these type of days. You pull out close the door driving to the street, everything seems to be fine, you wave to your wife and dog that she is holding, you turn on your music start your drive and the car makes sounds like a horse in pain while bucking to throw you off its back!
Well now in no way are you driving this car anywhere accept back into the garage and grab another car for the trip. So about a week later you have a little time so you call the Jaguar dealer who services your Jags to see if your guy there can look it over, he schedules you in and plans you give you the whole day if needed. Now you have to get there which is about 120 mi away in Charleston, SC so you have that gold color AAA card in your wallet and you call for a tow. They seem to always come through so you wait thinking the company they sent the last time will know what they are doing and come prepared to take you and your car to the dealer.
Well about an hour later this very old truck pulls in the gate and drives up to the garage where the car is out and ready but the truck looks like it is from one of those 1980’s horror movies where the truck terrorizes the whole town by running cars off the road with windows so dirty and dark you think they are covered with residue from the rust all over the body and smokestacks that looked as old as the chimneys on my 1925 house.
Oh yes, one of those looking trucks. The ones when you see it coming you first get as far away from it as possible then you ask can this thing even be legally on the road and who would ensure such a thing? The truck was so old that the controls were located at the driver side rear. You know the type, about ten of them protruding out of a box with no labels, 15 feet tall with a round black ball on each and you have to be 98 years old to know what each is for as you were taught how to operate it as a child. So I call AAA and ask what happened to the company that came the last time I had a tow? The answer was they are no longer a contractor with them and no one else could do it that day.
So now the owner of the tow company shows up with wooden boards on a nice new-looking truck but that was for my eyes only as he was just making sure all went well by giving his guy instructions to load a luxury car. Older tow trucks should always carry wooden boards since most cars today have a lower front bumper cover which gives the car that sporty look as well as making the car more aerodynamic. Without these boards, the XJS from late 93 to 96 will scrape the bed of the truck while loading.
Well he lays the boards down then starts to pull the car up until the rear wheels are on the bed then he tilts the bed back down to level position, pulls forward a little more then puts the car into park. He returns to the controls and continues to pull forward. I see the car lowering in the front, his hand still on the controls as the two of them have lunch drink a beer or two, and share family photos. So I walk around to the passenger front where the tow hook is located on the XJS only to see that the chain and hook were stretching the steel tow hook out so I yelled to them stop! It’s pulling the hook!
So now he has to make it appear to me that he knows what he is doing. So now he opens these huge boxes that reveal these huge chains that you would use to put around my brick house with 13-inch bearing walls if you were trying to pull the house down. Now he starts wrapping these things around my suspension as if he is trying to contain it so if it wakes up, it will not harm innocent bystanders I mean this was proving he was protecting all humanity from the beast!
I asked a question I should have known by now was senseless to ask but I did nevertheless, you do not use wheel straps? No, the owner says this is much safer. My response was yes if you are towing an 18-wheeler! So now it's time to leave so I grab a large trash bag so I could sit on and some hand wipes for pulling the door on the truck closed. Now we pull out and my neighbors are watching this big production and covering their ears as the smokestacks on the truck were vibrating through the street. I dare not call them exhaust pipes no these were smokestacks making a loud noise that set off alarms, frighten children and make animals run and hide while poisoning everything in sight. It took my newly planted trees a month to recover from the shock. Along this two-hour trip, I saw people looking with that what in the World looks on their faces. Well we arrive at the dealer and I get in the car to drive it off the truck and into the shop as I am pulling the hood/bonnet handle, nothing happens. The hood did not budge and the tech that is standing there ready to open it then walked to the front of the car then asked what happened to the front? Well, you could see that the front of the car was twisted to the lower right. Well, I ran out to get the driver but he was off to tackle grizzly bears with chains in hand.
The towing insurance you have most likely is the same as what I found with AAA. I was always referred to the towing company which led me to call my insurance to pay for the repair then let them recover their cost from the towing company insurance They are much better at this than you, and you get to maintain a little sanity. You would think that the companies who sell you the coverage for towing would be responsible but not the case. So now if ever I need a tow, I just pay the tow company direct and ask if they use wheel straps and carry wooden boards. Then when they come make sure they inspect your car by walking around and making note of any existing damage should there be or none. This way if something happens you will not have the owner or driver tell you that your car was already damaged. I know it was long but hope it helps while also being somewhat entertaining.