Our final monthly meeting for the year was well-attended and those in attendance were pleasantly surprised with a beautiful meal that was a notch or two up on the fare to which we have become accustomed. Not sure if it was a Christmas special or whether they have a new chef on board, but our gratitude was conveyed to the kitchen.
Our display car in the dining room this month was John Cobbledick’s recently purchased Jaguar V12 XJ-SC or XJ-S Cabriolet to the uninitiated. The first of the 3865 V12 cabriolets to be built was delivered in February 1985. Most of the production were left-hand-drive cars and destined for the American Market. Of the 950 right-hand-drive cars, one went to Princess Diana and 191 were sent to Australia. 88 of those are still known to be around.
The Cabriolet was a surprising sensation for Jaguar at a time when it really needed a lift, but it could never come near to meeting the demand due to them being virtually hand-made modified versions of the XJ-S coupe.
John’s XJ-SC is in remarkable condition and looks as though it has been very-well looked after. The V12 is a beautiful motor, silky smooth and powerful, but I dare say not one of the easiest engines to work on. All the V12s were mated to automatic gearboxes, although a manual gearbox was available on the 6-cylinder version. John expected the car to go a bit harder than it does, but the tall gearing probably takes the edge of acceleration. Nevertheless, it’s a great looking car and nice to drive. John is spoilt for choice, however, and believes that his other recent Jaguar purchase, a 1995 XJ-R is the better of the two on the road. Perhaps we’ll be seeing that car at one of our monthly meetings in 2017.