If you read the very first car story on Tomorrows-Classics.net a few months back, then you know how much I fancy the Jaguar XJ8 (“X308” model). It is the last Jag that has the cool yet classy, stylish looks of a Jag and combines it with fairly modern engine and suspension technology.
However, this story isn’t about the X308 model in general. It is about a specific Jaguar XJ8 Sovereign 4.0 that really belongs to the family. And it didn’t join the family recently – this Jag has been a part of the family since day 1, when dad had bought it.
I inherited this car from my late dad in 2010 – the emotional value of this car couldn’t possibly be any higherQuote of this Jaguar’s owner about his car
And this is what the family member with platinum silver skin looks like:
It now belongs to the family’s son, one of our readers. He thankfully sent in some pictures and I had the chance to ask him a couple of questions about the car’s history. Here we go.
What’s the history of your beautiful Jaguar?
According to the Jaguar VIN, the production date of the car was the 10th of November in 1999. After manufacturing, the car was shipped to our local Jaguar dealer Roger Schweickert and handed over to my dad who became its first owner. By the way, the Schweickert dealership is the only garage to maintain the car up until today!
The car was my dad’s daily driver until he passed away in 2010. I inherited the car and take care of it as good as I possibly can. While I don’t drive the car very frequently anymore, I do still love driving it a lot. The cost of maintaining it has long exceeded its market value; however, the emotional value of this car couldn’t possibly be any higher to me. I am really happy to still own this car!
Why did your dad decide for this car back in 1999?
This car way my dad’s first Jaguar. Back in the days, he used to be a passionate BMW owner. However, he didn’t appreciate that BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Lexus continued to resemble each other more and more. He started looking for something more special. It was then when he encountered the new Jaguar XJ8 (which was launched to the market just in 1997).
Initially, my dad was a litte anxious to buy a Jaguar because it was common sense that you always needed two Jags – one to drive while the other one is being repaired in the workshop. A good salesman and a test drive changed this perception though.
Against this background, how did your dad like the Jaguar?
The whole family quickly fell in love with the new addition: We all found its design, flair and British lifestyle very enjoyable. Agreed, it couldn’t corner as good as the BMW. But it was a car with “soul”, which received more attention and care by the family than any other BMW did before.
I still remember a family vacation in Southern France; we all decided spontaneously that a rental car was needed. We all didn’t want to expose the Jag to local road and traffic conditions!
What’s the specification of your Jaguar XJ8?
As you can see, my dad chose the car in Platinum Silver. Not the classy green or blue, but I think it fits the elegant line of the cassis very well. All outdoor trimming is chrome-plated, which is one of the features that comes with the “Sovereign” line. Another Sovereign feature is the elegant burr walnut veneer inside the car. Actually, the Sovereign package came with a long list of features including leather seats, automatic air conditioning, memory seats and a lot more, justifying its additional price tag of 35,000 Deutsche Mark back in 1999. I also like that the car has the optional “contrast seat piping” (which had cost another 1,430 Deutsche Mark), meaning that the black leather comes with white strips on the edges.
In terms of powertrain, the car came with the new 4.0 liter V8 engine and the 5 speed automatic transmission from ZF. This combination still amazes me with smoothness and power today!
What are your experiences with the car’s reliability?
Really positive. Being more than 20 years of age now, there were some repairs here and there, but really nothing frightening. Except maybe for rust prevention. Since the car encountered a lot of snow and salt on the black forrest winter roads while it was a daily driver, I really needed to take some more significant measures in 2011. Front fenders needed to be freed from rust, and parts of the suspension needed to be replaced. After all rust was gone, the car also received a cavity protection and an under-sealing. For the nearer and longer future, the cat should be fine!
I think this story stands for itself: It’s kind of the ultimate relationship to a car if it has been a part of the family since day 1 and is still loved that much after over 20 years. Actually, this story also reminds me of a rather famous quote:
The car is the closest thing we will ever create to something that is alive.Sir William Lyons, Founder of Jaguar