Today’s Post by Joe Farace
Jaguar’s XJ-S was re-launched May 1991 and under Ford’s ownership they dropped the model name’s hyphen, marketing it as the XJS. The rear side windows appeared enlarged despite having identical glass apertures as the earlier cars and the trademark flying buttresses remained—my favorite design feature—but was minimized by new side window trim. In May 1992, the V12 engine my car had was enlarged to 6.0 liters. Outboard rear brakes replaced the very Jaguar inboard brakes found on previous models. After 21 years in production, the XJS was discontinued in 1996.
Mary and I found our XJS in Florida In 2006 when we were visiting her relatives. We negotiated what we thought was a fair price. It cost us $1200 to ship the to Colorado and we had it delivered to a local Jaguar specialist for a once-over that cost us another $1200 but he was kind enough to have the VIN inspected (a Colorado requirement for cars purchased out-of-state) and an emissions test, which it passed. Little do I know that these additional expenses were only the beginning but you probably already knew that; it’s a Jaguar.
I loved the way this car looked. I was British Racing Green with a sumptuous Heritage Tan leather interior and automatic transmission, albeit, not the cooler J-pattern shifter of later models. And it was pleasant to cruise in, but not so much to drive hard. Once we took in on a drive for English cars and in trying to keep up with cars like Austin-Healys on the twisty bits it was exhausting. We entered it in a few car shows, didn’t win anything; Our XJ-6 was more successful that way. But over time Jaguar fatigue set in and by that time Mary was into racing her Miata and I was drag racing my Golf GTI 337 and so we traded the car in for Mary’s first Mercedes Benz SLK, the good blue one, not the bad silver one.
Sadly I miss both of those Jaguars. It seems that to be a Jaguar owner you need to have other cars in your stable to take a break from Jaguar Fatigue Syndrome and when it comes to cars, sometimes a pretty face is just not enough.
How I made this shot: I photographed my former 1992 Jaguar XJS using a Pentax K100D, while I was working on the Magic Lantern Guide for this camera. Lens used was the affordable ($196.95) smc Pentax-DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED at 180mm. The Av exposure was 1/350 sec at f/8 and ISO 200.
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Along with photographer Barry Staver, Joe is co-author of Better Available Light Digital Photography that’s now out-of-print but new copies are available from Amazon for $21.73 and used copies at giveaway prices—around five bucks.