Your XJS as a daily driver
As a collector, I chose to make every car I own a daily driver. I never was one for trailer queens that collect awards that mainly serve two purposes. Increased value if sold but by not that much to compensate for the missed opportunity that the joy of driving it brings and bragging rights. I decided in 2004 when I bought my 1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible that it will be the newest car I would own. I did however for a while I feel, downgrade my standard of style to own a 96 Mercedes S600 V12 Coupe as anything with a V12 was of interest to me and a 98 Mercedes wagon for carting things around. Sort of the feeling of walking into an orphanage and voluntarily signing up. Or, as in Oliver twist where he asked for more of the poor excuss for a meal, that was being served while the head of the dastardly hell whole, Mr. Bumble was feasting on food fit for a Jester. Notice I did not say, king.
I believe that the key to a meaningful life is to learn to enjoy it. Yes you can choose to set your TV on a news channel then throw out the remote but then that choice will lead you to a world where every time a leaf falls on your well-manicured lawn, you will have to get therapy or you can learn to live each and every day as it is your last. As Quincy Jones said, Frank Sinatra would say to him at the end of their studio sessions “Q live every day as it is your last because one day you will be right”. Now I have always enjoyed the adventure of buying a one-way ticket to pick up a classic that I had purchased when I had the time to do so and I can tell you it is very liberating. I was living on Hilton Head Island in 2004 when I purchased my first XJS with 18,000 miles always garaged. I flew into Detroit Metro with an overnight bag and a very small one by the way because I got a room at the Marriot in Charleston WV where I could see the car in the garage and every time you look at it is the similar feeling a guy gets after an evening of passion. I’m talking about the type of woman that when she finishes with you have to look at your ID because you forgot your name! And if she is your wife, man what a way to go!
I know many of you would rather buy into the idea that the XJS being at least 24 years old and if you listen to some people they will have you shaking in your boots just at the thought of driving beyond the 100-mile towing limit you have with AAA but I am here to tell you that there is nothing like it. Let’s face it, as human beings we naturally love to see and hear beautiful things, and driving an XJS will for sure render such returns. I made many trips from my home in Hilton Head Island, SC to my home in Greenwich, CT in my 95 Convertible and the compliments are endless. And as for on the road dependability, I only had two issues with two of them. My Bonnet cable snapped on my 95 at a fuel stop one early morning in NC heading north on 95. Because the cable starts in the car then feeds thought the firewall into the engine bay and has a fitting end which you cannot buy at your local auto parts, I drove around the corner to Lowes and figured it out and bought some clamp fittings and a cable cutter and a couple of hours later I was on my way.
The other issue was a trip back up north in my 87 XJSC where I lost my interior lights and as it was getting dark after having dinner with some folks in Roanoke, VA and fueling up I had plans to allow my V12 to flex its muscles but now I could not see the dash. So I walked into the truck stop where I was getting the fuel and found a pair of microlights with a long enough wire from the lighter where it plugged into and the double-sided tape allowed me to sit them right in front of the temperature gauge and the speed and my V12 motor was as happy as a baby when it first walks. Now anyone who knows anything about Greenwich knows that on any given day on Greenwich Ave you will see every type of supercar made and several Rolls and Bentleys as all of the dealerships are just a half-mile away on post road. But when I would park at a store, get fuel or stop by Bentley Greenwich to check in on one of my cars in service, people would walk out of the showroom or service area of Aston Martin which was in the same building and part of Miller Motors, to look and compliment. You all who drive XJS if in superb condition know what I am talking about. Therefore, go for it and enjoy driving your XJS as a daily driver and live like never before.