Friday, February 01, 2008


Last May we were in the market for a different car. After searching through a variety of makes and models, we settled on a 1990 Jaguar XJ6. But at one point there was a very real possibility of us purchasing an XJ-S. An Ebay seller was offering a golden V12 model with the steering wheel on the right hand side. But then there was that nasty rumor that any owner over six feet tall might need to have his head examined. Was the rumor true?

I began looking around NE Ohio for an XJ-S to take for a test drive. If I could fit in the car, I would make a bid on the southern car with the funky steering wheel. Shortly thereafter, a gloss black XJ-S appeared in a driveway about a block from my place of employment. Would it be too much to ask the owner to sit in his car? It took me a while to get up the nerve, but I eventually convinced my wife and youngest son to take a walk up the street during lunch break.

The lady who answered the door was very kind and loved talking about her Jaguar. The problem was that she owned a 1999 XJ6 Vanden Plas and insisted that we sit in it before trying the other. It was nice but, as you can understand, my attention was elsewhere. After a few polite compliments, we eventually made our way to the other car. It didn't take long to realize that this car was not built for someone my size. The combination of my head hitting the sunroof and my knees straddling the steering wheel shot down any dreams of owning a two-door Cat. With quite a bit of disappointment, I left wondering why Jaguar had done such a dastardly deed to tall people.

Several months later, I was talking with Earl, the resident Jaguar genius of NE Ohio. The man seems to know anything you want to know about any Jaguar every produced (at least he's convinced me of this fact after four visits to his shop). While paying for repairs to the XJ6, I happened to mention the "fact" that someone my size could never fit in an XJ-S. With chagrin I listened as the professor explained that the stinkin' rumor was entirely due to the addition of aftermarket sunroofs. A man of my size could fit behind the wheel of a factory produced XJ-S and be happy driving it! Guaranteed!

This statement has recently been verified. A local owner is advertising an early model XJ-S for "best reasonable offer." With only 71,000 miles on the car, I began to wonder if this might be a viable option for a daily driver. Thursday evening, my oldest son and I had the privilege of looking over the car. As you have already guessed, one of my first tests was sitting in the front seat. I'm happy to say that the rumors were wrong and Earl was right. And I ... well ... let's just say that I have a smile sneaking across my face again.


Steven said...

Sounds promising.....

Always loved the XJ-S. Ahead of its time.

Andy Rupert said...

1. Sell the XJ6.

2. Research that particular year.

3. Have a mechanic examine the car.

4. Pray about it.

5. Talk it over with my wife.

6. Buy a Prius. :(