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Hello Dolly, Fancy A Spin In My Jag?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Jaguar XF

Hello Dolly, Fancy A Spin In My Jag?

Geoff Maxted
DriveWrite
January 5, 2014


Jaguar XF
Did that ever work, or was it just in old Leslie Phillips movies? Either way, any modern woman is going to run a mile at the sight of a moustachioed middle-aged man wearing a jaunty cap, string-back driving gloves and a leering lascivious smile. Such was the perceived reputation of Jaguar owners of yesteryear. Nevertheless, owning a Jaguar was something for people to aspire to. In the days when Britain made British cars it was seen amongst ordinary folk as an achievable objective, if you worked hard enough. It said you had arrived.

Move on a couple of decades and here we are at the huge motor plant at Longbridge. The company best known to most as British Leyland and a byword for awfulness and catastrophic decision making was building Jaguars to a not very high standard and their reputation began to slide. Things came to a head in 1978/9 when ‘Red Robbo’ Robinson, a union convenor, was behind 523 damaging disputes at the factory. The Jaguar marque suffered. The brand was subsequently bought by Ford - by which time the Jaguar image was gloomy - who then sold it on to Tata Motors of India. Everyone feared the worse and then, in 2008, the company introduced the XF. Well, what a transformation. From ugly ducking to gliding swan in one big step.

Here is a car that was described as ‘a brilliant combination of sporting saloon and luxury limo’ by What Car magazine. It has gone on to win their ‘executive car of the year award’ several times. From it’s inception awards have been festooned upon both the petrol and diesel models, and rightly so. This is especially good for the brand as it is up against some of the finest names in motoring and now rivals some of the best cars on the market. It’s even more astonishing, that for a car costing between £30/60k, depending on your requirements, that you can now find a good used example for under £20k. It’s good to know that a car built in Birmingham can be at the forefront of the resurgent car manufacturing industry in Britain.

Most versions of this car sport not just the expected equipment as standard - leather, climate control and so on but also such delights as touch screen infotainment, stop/start and Xenon headlights. So, quality and value in one package. There’s a good selection of engine options too with a superb 5.0-litre V8 as the high spot.

Once again, after it’s recent chequered history, the name of Jaguar is now back at the top and is a desirable purchase for anyone who loves cars. There’s a leather steering wheel as well so don’t even think about wearing those string gloves!



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