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This XJ220 is as far from a garage queen as you can get

Published Thu, Jan 14, 2021 12:00 PM

The Jaguar XJ220 is one of THE ‘90s poster cars and without doubt one of the coolest cars ever to come to fruition on our sceptred isle. This particular one is enjoyed to the full by its owners and is as far from a garage queen as you can get. 


Jaguar is a staple name in the world of British car manufacturers. They’ve been around since the dawn of time, building brutish sports cars, whilst their big saloons have been driven by everyone from East End Gangsters to politicians over the years. But some good people have driven them too… 
Well, that’s almost all true. Jaguar actually started as the Swallow (sniggers) sidecar company in 1922, before becoming the S.S. Car Company. In 1935, they built a sports saloon called the Jaguar, and following some less than positive connotations with a German military unit, in 1945 the S.S. Car Company became Jaguar Cars.  
Famously headed by Sir. William Lyons, the brand became synonymous with luxury and speed, producing what are undoubtedly some of the coolest cars to ever exist. 


As a child in the early ‘90s, if you had even a passing interest in cars, it was guaranteed you had a poster of either a Ferrari F40, Porsche 959, or an XJ220 on the wall. If you were “into” cars, you had a couple. Me? I had all 3. And a problem, apparently. 
The XJ220 is, without a doubt, the ultimate early ‘90s British supercar. It’s big and brash, without being in your face, and is as happy cruising at 200mph (on a private road, officer) as it is cruising Mayfair, looking suave. 
But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, the twin-turbo V6 (which isn’t taken directly from a Metro 6R4, as so many people think) and rear-wheel drive that make the 220 so ludicrous, were never actually meant to be there. 
When the XJ220 debuted at the British Motor Show in 1988, it was actually intended to be a concept car. It wowed the crowds, however, and after more than a few enquiries by wealthy petrolheads, Jaguar decided to put it into production. It would be priced at £290,000, and require a minimum £50k deposit to get your name on the list. It would be powered by a normally aspirated V12 engine, with 4-wheel-drive making sure it kept traction on even the slippiest surface. 
“Hang on, didn’t you just say the 220 had a twin-turbo V6 and rear-wheel-drive?” Err, yeah, about that. It was a bit of a surprise to the 1,500 people that had put deposits down too when the car was released in 1992. 
In the end, just 275 were built by race car manufacturer Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), which should give you an idea of just how annoyed the prospective owners were. To add insult to injury, only one person actually received their not-insignificant deposit back! 
This particular car was order number 058, which doesn’t actually mean it was the 58th built, bizarrely. It was rejected by its original “owner” and was sent to Ireland, where it languished in the showroom for quite a while. Feeling sorry for it, as you do, a local millionaire decided to buy the car, which were going for a fraction of their retail price by the mid-90s, and it sat in his hangar, next to his helicopter, where it did a grand total of 400 miles in the many years he owned it. 
In 2007, 220 specialist Oakfields got hold of the car, recommissioning it down to the last nut and bolt, and the current owner took it home in 2008. She’s covered 17,000 miles in that time, with every single one described as “glorious”, many of which have been doing charity rides, raising money for sick and disadvantaged children. 


I mean, who doesn’t want an XJ220? Long gone are the days of them being an unloved has-been, wallowing unsold in showrooms. Today, they’re one of the coolest and most sought-after cars on the planet, although values haven’t quite reached those of their peers yet, such as the F40. Nowadays, you can pick up an XJ220 for around £400-450k, although prices are steadily on the rise, and it seems that they are a popular car to be used and driven properly by their owners-as they should be! 


This particular XJ220 forms an integral part of the JHW Classics Collection and has been owned by Jane Weitzmann since 2008. It’s available for TV and promotional work, as every car in the collection is, and if you’re interested in finding out more, you can contact Jane on her website jhwclassics.com.  


Manufacturer: Jaguar 
Model: XJ220 
Powertrain: Mid-mounted 3.5 V6 twin turbo  
Construction: Aluminium panels, monocoque cabin, spaceframe rear 
Weight: 1,470kg (dry) 
Power: 542bhp, 475 lb/ft 
Performance: 0-60mph 3.6 seconds, 217.1mph 
Price: £450k upwards 
Exclusivity: 275 total built