I’ve been a Jag-Lovers member for close to 20 years now, having started in the late 90s/early 2000s as a high school kid looking at my first car. That car ended up being a 1982 XJ-S (first planned as a Lump, then I became a solid V12 convert) which received a 5-speed conversion (then Keisler, now The Driven Man I believe) along with many others. I was fortunate enough to be friends with and ride in Bradley Smith’s famed twin-supercharged XJ-S, see and sit in the XJ13 replica commissioned by Paul Straub (he went by RedBaron on the list back then), and see and meet some truly fabulous cars and wonderful people. I spent a few summers working at a Jaguar shop, mostly wrenching on S3 XJ6s, XJ40s, and XJ-Ss, with some X300s, X308s, and the occasional XKR/XJR come in. The XKRs always were striking, and I wanted one.
About 10 years ago I sold my last of 7 or so XJ-Ss, a '92 model with a 5-speed that was a very nice car. I shouldn’t have sold it, but I was at a point where I decided I wanted to do something else with my automotive hobbies for a while, and I enjoyed wrenching on and learning about other cars for a while.
Patience is a virtue, and my wife’s fun car (a 2003 Mercedes E55 AMG - first year of the Kompressor) has been showing its age after 231,000 miles and it was getting time to replace it. I searched around for the right car to get her as a surprise, and looking at XKRs were up towards the top of the list. As luck would have it, I found a 2001 XKR locally with only 59k miles on it. The car was in very good condition, and the owner and I came to an agreement on price. I picked it up on Tuesday, and my wife is over the moon with her first Jaguar.
But as for me, that means I’m back in the Jaguar fold, and it feels good to be back. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.