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Readers' Cars

Jaguar, 2 Skylines and a Toyota T18.

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Jaguar Junkie

Jan Wikstrom used to be a motoring journo himself and dared to call us "kids" in a recent e-mail. But out of respect, we've let down our guard and included his Jaguar XJ12C on our site for you to admire.

It's a 1977 Series 2 model powered by Jaguar's all-alloy 5.3 litre V12. Originally destined for endurance racing, the bottom end can endure 8,000 rpm all day (not that Jan tests it like that!). The coupe (of which only 90 came to Oz) came with a high 9.0:1 compression ratio engine and produces about 300hp at just shy of 6,000revs. The V12 has "torque that just won't quit" and it's sooo smooth.

The trans is a GM Turbo 400 whose only virtue is great strength, according to Jan. With good power and aerodynamics, the car's alleged top speed is 240km/h with acceleration from 0-100km/h (62.5mph) taking 7.8 seconds. Fuel consumption, is 20-24 l/100km (9.6-11.5mpg!) but as he says, you need to buy an new XR8 to keep up in a current car - and the A$160,000 difference buys a lot of Super!

The coupe is based on the short-wheelbase model's floor plan and so when Jaguar stopped production of the short-wheelbase 4-door, the floor-pan supply dried up and so did the coupe. On Jan's site he dispels myths of the V12's complexity and unreliability. All you need is a shady tree, a jack or ramps, a grease gun and normal tools. The factory Repair Operations manual and Owner's Handbook make life working on a Jag much easier too.

The big cat has some pretty cutting-edge technology in it (from that era, anyway) - four wheel discs, IRS, central locking, power steering, electric windows and a "walnut gentleman's club interior". Just the thing for older people, eh?!

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