About Xclusively Jaguar


Xclusively Jaguar – who are we and what do we do?

 

1961

On the 17th March 1961, with great pomp and ceremony,  Jaguar launched the E-type in Geneva. Obviously this did not come about without adequate preparation, and Chief Test Engineer, Norman Dewis, recorded that on the 8th of February 1961 he had a meeting with Gregor Grant, editor of Autosport, which initiated the comprehensive road test report featuring Coupe No.2 (9600HP).

Norman Dewis and a prelude to the first E-type Test Drive

While Norman was speaking to Gregor Grant about something which would change the way the world viewed sportscars, I was launched into the world, with none of the pomp and ceremony afforded to the E-type!

As a child I probably had more interest in cars than the average girl – I was an only child, and my enlightened parents bestowed me with an equal share of boys and girls toys – possibly intending to have only the one child they wanted to enjoy buying matchbox cars as well as dolls, who knows?

The outcome was that I would happily spend hours building roads in my sand pit and ‘driving’ my collection of matchbox sized cars round, creating pile-ups and rescuing the casualties with my recovery truck. Strange child – maybe I missed my calling? These days, I try to keep my cars on the road!

I spent most of my teenage years riding horses round the roads of Essex and by the time I was learning to drive, I thought I knew every car there was, however, while I was at college I walked past a factory every day and across the other side of the large private car park was a stunning car and one that I could not place. It intrigued me because it was as big as an American car but even to my amateur eye it had real style and oozed quality.

My driving instructor, realising that I was as interested in the cars as I was driving them, gave me a pile of old car magazines and on turning over the pages, voila, there it was …. JENSEN INTERCEPTOR – I fell in love with the name as much as I had the styling of this car, but why I have never owned one, and what cars came before my Jaguars, is another long story – this is about my Jaguar story, so I will fast forward to the relevant year.

 

2003

It was late 2003, and looking for a sensible family estate my husband Nigel and I trudged from sales lot to sales lot, frowning at uninspiring cars in equally uninspiring colours, until suddenly we found ourselves standing either side of a bright red XJ6 with no price on it. “That’s nice!” Nigel commented, to which I replied “If it’s nice we can’t afford it, and if we can afford it, it’s not as nice as it looks!”

A month later, getting desperate, we returned to the same sales lot to see if anything new had come in. The red XJ6 was still there, now with a price tag of £2500 which was just within our budget. Like many people, we had assumed that Jaguars would be expensive, so my comment this time was “I told you it wasn’t as nice as it looks!”

Another fortnight, and we were watching Top Gear when Jeremy Clarkson happened to make the remark “The Jaguar XJ6 is currently the best used car bargain on the market!” Nigel and I just looked at one another, and the next morning we were back at the sales lot arranging a test drive and reassuring each other that you could definitely fit as much in an XJ6 saloon as you could in the average family estate car ….and we later proved it !!

 

2004

So, on the ninth of January 2004 we purchased the first of a long line of Jaguars that came and went, often in rapid succession, interspersed with other notable landmarks.

J256JCP arrived 9th January 2004, left September 2004

‘JCP’ was a 1991 3.2 base spec XJ6, and she opened our eyes to a whole new motoring experience. She fired my enthusiasm to delve more deeply into the marque and reflect on what Jaguar owners had told me in the past. She had potentially been an expensive lesson, but we were lucky, and in less than 3 months she had been replaced by our 2nd Jaguar with my warning “I told you it wasn’t as nice as it looks!” ringing in my ears!

B2YEO arrived 31st March 2004, left 30th April 2006

‘YEO’ was a 1990 XJ40 4 litre Sovereign. I knew his history from day one, he stayed with us for 2 years, and I am still in touch with the man who purchased him from me , back in 2006!
JCP had been purchased with funds set aside for a family estate car  and YEO was originally intended to be a family holiday in France, then just before Christmas the same year, our first 3.6 XJ6 came along and stole the Christmas money before we could think sensibly!

FLY carried the registration E2YEO while I owned her. It was great fun owning E2YEO and B2YEO both on XJ40’s !!

F418YBV arrived 30th November 2004, left 4th November 2005

‘FLY’ was Jaguar Racing Green, in excellent condition, with an impeccable history, and her owners needed rid of her as they were emigrating to South Africa!
Very soon after purchasing Fly I was offered the position of Service Receptionist at Grange of Exeter, Jaguar and Aston Martin Main Dealers. Fly was very special to me – I took her on my training course to Brown’s Lane and drove a hundred mile daily round trip in her for 6 months, when Grange had yet another revamp and put me and the Service Manager out of our jobs in favour of an After-market Manager. I was to discover that this was a recurring theme when 7 years later they wanted to sponsor my website by servicing and maintaining Brucie – 6 months later, the replacement manager was put out of his job in favour of a new plan and the sponsorship ceased.
Fly taught me about the cost of Metric tyres, but I fell completely in love with the 3.6 XJ40 and when Nigel decided it was time to move on to an X300 I cried myself to sleep for weeks after she had gone! As you can see I wasn’t happy in this picture, taken the day Fly was to be sold.

 

2005

N473GLM arrived 4th November 2005, left 30th January 2006

‘Sapphire’ was a 170,000 mile 4 litre Sovereign, mechanically in exemplary condition, with a huge wad of documents for a service history, a saggy headlining and rusty wheel arches, long before these were commonplace X300 problems!

Purchased from Swallows Jaguar and traded back to them for my next X300, below.

A304SDV 1983 XJ-S Coupe November 2005

After purchasing Sapphire I was offered an XJ-S Coupe, known as ‘George’, on the understanding that I rebuilt it. It really was beyond repair so I helped in rehoming it.

George was purchased by someone who was rebuilding an XJ-S Cabriolet and hence the story ‘George – Coupe to Cabriolet’ was my first JEC magazine feature.

 

2006

P763NMB arrived 30th January 2006, left 30th June 2006

3 months after purchasing Sapphire he’d been replaced by ‘Firefly’. Desperately wanting a manual X300 XJR which everyone was raving about, and recently let down on the purchase of a manual 3.6 XJ-S Coupe, I spotted a manual X300 3.2 Sport in Antigua Blue and thought ‘That’ll do!’ but unfortunately, it didn’t !! I very soon realised that I had deluded myself into thinking it would have the same grunt as a 4 litre manual supercharger, but it was a stunning colour !!

N7RTL arrived 30th June 2006, left 28th November 2006

Another 3 months, and Firefly was replaced by ‘RTL’. Stunning in black, but his 3.2 engine didn’t seem to suit him – a long wheel base needs a 4 litre in order to waft!
Despite this, RTL was a legend! His condition reflected his ‘78,000 recorded miles’ and his service history had been lost, but by this time I had contacts within Jaguar and found out that his true mileage was over 265,000 miles when he was ‘clocked’ and that he had an impeccable service history all recorded at Gatwick Jaguar.
After selling RTL I was browsing through the JEC magazine and noticed a feature on an X300 on which all the interior and exterior chrome had been gold plated. I saw the registration number and momentarily thought ‘How odd, we had an N7RTL’ Then the penny dropped and I realised it was my old car!

Public MoT records suggest that RTL died in 2013, by which time his true mileage was circa 283,679.

W274SBC arrived 28th November 2006, left 1st July 2007

‘Frosty’ was my first and only X308 – a 3.2 Executive in Seafrost.
Since buying our 1st XJ40 in 2004 we had gone through a number of Jaguar cars in rapid succession. Frosty was our 8th in 4 years, and many more were to follow!
Learning about a particular model is far easier when you own one.

Esta-jane left home and moved away to Coventry to take up an engineering apprenticeship with Jaguar Cars.

 

2007

W479LDN arrived 1st July 2007, left March 2008

Nigel’s health was deteriorating rapidly by this time so we moved swiftly on to a 3 litre S-type after I finally persuaded Nigel that it would be easier for him to get into and out of a car with no sills! ‘LDN’ as she was known, is the only S-type I personally have ever owned and I wrote a series of articles about her which were published in the JEC magazine.

I sold LDN 1 week before the launch of XF

H117GKF arrived 25th September 2007, left 28th October 2007

Meanwhile, another acquaintance with an XJ-S V12 Coupe passed away and his family, who had no interest in cars, asked Nigel and I to sell the XJ-S on their behalf. Our time with this very nice example was brief, but interesting. She was sold within 6 weeks and then it was time to down-size and move house.

Having successfully raised my family to the point where they had all left home and no longer desired my constant attention, I took stock of my life and realised that my mission was accomplished and aside from the daily grind, there wasn’t really much else required of me. I needed a challenge! At this point we moved to a smaller house, so I decided to get rid of everything I didn’t want or need and become “Xclusively Jaguar” and in an instant I realised that I had just invented a new idea !!

I avidly read all the event reports and wished I could go to Jaguar events.

I wrote about whichever Jaguar I owned at the time and sometimes my articles were even printed in the JEC magazine.

The more I learned, the greater my interest, however, I didn’t want to collect data for its own sake, I wanted to share it with others and sympathetically educate people new to the marque, thus helping them to avoid costly errors, and at the same time keep the legend of Jaguar alive!

Before developing Xclusively Jaguar, my career had revolved around family commitments, and I had always found that passion was the strongest driving force in any venture. The need to succeed for love of something, or someone, and my passion for Jaguar is what kept me going in circumstances that may otherwise have brought me down!

Gradually I became known as someone who could answer questions about Jaguar cars. People would ask me all sorts of questions and offer me cars and parts they were trying to sell, or ask me if I knew where they could buy parts or cars, or where to get their Jaguar fixed.

 

2008

J330CVO arrived 3rd June 2008, left 22nd July 2008

‘Flamenco’

 

 

11th August 2008 – I sent out my very first newsletter as a word document, attached to an email, to 35 Jaguar friends. It was very well received, and one of the first to respond was Matt Jeffery, son of Andrew Jeffery, then Dealer Principal of Hatfield’s Jaguar, Sheffield. Matt was very enthusiastic and suggested that if I put my newsletter on a website it would be a great success. I am therefore indebted to Matt for giving me the confidence to join a web design course and build my first website myself. My eldest daughter, Esta-jane, purhased the domain Xclusively Jaguar for me as an early Christmas gift, so in less than a year the concept of “Xclusively Jaguar” had become a reality!

 

N606SPJ arrived 3rd September 2008, left 2009

‘SPJ’

 

 

2009

L331 TGJ arrived 1st July 2009, left 31st July 2010
B445 YJD arrived 25th July 2009, left 1st September 2009
One year from inception, the newsletter and website looked like this. I had designed the simple oval logo in monochrome.
My first sponsors were SNG Barratt, who still sponsor Xclusively Jaguar to this day, and Jaguar Main Dealers, Holland Brothers.
Esta-jane becomes Jaguar Apprentice of the Year!

 

 

2010

M415CFE arrived 28th May 2010, left December 2010

All of my cars must have a name. Some are derived from a registration, others from their colour. While I was trying to decide on a suitable name for my latest purchase, a Swallow flew into the garage, over the top of my XJ40, landed, then flew out again. Surprised and delighted by his brief visit, I uttered ‘SWALLOW’ then looked at my XJ40 and thought it must be sign from Sir William!
There is a long story as to how and why I purchased this car – my favourite of all colours – gunmetal and saville grey on an XJ40 3.2 Sport with its black chrome and neutral density tail lights made it something special!

Esta was invited by Tony O’keeffe to go to Le Mans with Neil McPherson in an X-type Estate as part of the Jaguar Heritage team selling Jaguar merchandise in their shop at the circuit.

Letitia Mace of Xclusively Jaguar and Brucie (1997 Jaguar X300 4.0 LWB Sovereign) meet Prince Edward at Windsor

For the first time ever I resisted all Nigel’s attempts to get me to change my Jaguar – we viewed at least 3 as I remember and each time I dug my heals in and refused to part with Brucie! I worked steadily away at my website and newsletter, recording the work that was done to Brucie in a new regular monthly feature called ‘Brucie’s Diary’

P468NLN arrived 4th November 2010, still here!

Affectionately known as Brucie, he has his own diary on this website!

I finally found the car of my dreams and made up my mind to keep it! I’d missed a few X300 long wheel base cars over the years – either too expensive or quickly sold, so when we went to see Brucie I thought ‘This is the one!’ Brucie arrived at the end of 2010 (4th Nov 2010 – exactly 5 years on from my first X300 4.0 Sovereign, ‘Sapphire’!) I left Swallow in the garage hoping that Nigel would not notice him and I could keep both Jaguars, but one day I just couldn’t resist giving Swallow a quick polish and Nigel came out and said ‘And you can put that one up for sale!’ I was very sad to see Swallow go, but Brucie was the model I had always yearned for – a late X300 4 litre LWB Sovereign, and I wanted to get an X300 before the prices rose – everyone raved about the X300, no-one wanted XJ40’s – I hoped I could get another XJ40 later!

Brucie - 1997 Jaguar X300 4.0 Sovereign LWB

In 2009 Esta-jane’s diary of her XJ40 became the first Xclusively Jaguar monthly diary. This was added to by a monthly diary of work done to my own Jaguars, and over the years it included Tiggy, Swallow and latterly Brucie. In 2014 Brucie’s Diary morphed into a diary of the exploits of Rob Jenner and myself as we travelled the country attending all manner of Jaguar related events, after I moved to Scotland and Brucie was joined by a number of other Jaguars, becoming part of what we light-heartedly refer to as ‘The Jenner Collection’ – or should that be ‘The Xclusively Jaguar Collection’?

 

2011

When I wanted to place an advert in a magazine the logo needed to stand out, so I contacted Karam Ramm at Jaguar Heritage and he offered me this picture of an XK8 at Mira. I now hold the licence for this picture which I digitally altered to create a ghost-like image and then made it bright yellow so that it stood out. I then added the text and oval to it, and for January 2012 the newsletter and website featured this new logo  as seen in the updated newsletter and website for 2012, below.

 

2012

From 2010 to 2015 I was contracted by the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club to produce the newsletter on their behalf. This gave me the advantage of pocket money but with restrictions on featuring other clubs etc. The JEC didn’t work with me to develop it further and in 2015 they made the decision that their newsletter needed to be run by a company rather than an individual, in case of sickness or other issues causing delays, so Xclusively Jaguar once again became fully independent which, with hindsight, was probably a bonus!
XJ220 Reunion
Win Percy and a D type owner, Keith Berryman from Australia, were re-united to reminisce over Bathurst. One of many requests – we’re coming to the UK, what can you suggest? I advised on suitable motoring events/museums etc to visit while in the UK and also arranged lunch with Win Percy before they left – a perfect finale !! They owned one of the 3 D-types originally exported to Australia and in the same ownership for many years, used, but preserved in original condition – recently sold after this re-union and now featured in a book by Philip Porter.
I am invited to join the JEC Events Committee
By the end of 2012 a new website featured a refined logo, based on the original, which is still used to this day.
Towards the end of 2012 my husband, Nigel became increasing ill and passed away on 25th December 2012. I had been his carer for 10 years and his mothers carer before that. I had no professional qualifications and no real skills, apart from those I had learnt as a carer and a mother of 3 children.

Looking at the job situation it seemed dire. My IT skills, enthusiasm for Jaguar cars and cleaning them were not enough to win me a job that would support me. I had always wanted to run my own business and be completely independent. I knew if I didn’t do it now I would never have another opportunity. I set myself a target to find one sponsor per month, so as not to stress myself and leave myself enough time to produce my newsletter and work on my website. I had one year to make Xclusively Jaguar work before I ran out of money.

So, on 15th January 2013 Xclusively Jaguar became a business and moved on to a new era! My situation at that time probably did me a favour – I had no time to mourn or feel sorry for myself! I did my first presentation in March 2013 for the JEC Devon Region, and another a week or so later, for the Dorset Region.

 

2013

Just XJS Just XJS was my first new sponsor, in March 2013
Now free to travel as I pleased, I took the opportunity to go to as many events as possible, meeting other Jaguar enthusiasts and potential new sponsors.
The 1st significant event I attended was Norman Dewis Day in May 2013. Organized and funded by Nigel Webb at his Mike Hawthorn Museum.
David Marks Garages In June I went to Newby Hall as part of the JEC Events Team and met David Marks for the first time. David is now a close friend and looks after all of my Jaguars. He also sponsors Xclusively Jaguar.
Longstone Classic Tyres I needed to make everything pay, so returning from Newby Hall I arranged a meeting with Dougal Cawley at Longstone Classic Tyres. Dougal has been a strong and faithful sponsor since that meeting.
In July I arranged to meet Norman Dewis at his home and ask him what was happening at Jaguar on the day I was born, 8th February 1961
SNG Barratt While I was in Shropshire I visited SNG Barratt and they agreed to increase my level of sponsorship
On 1st August 2013 I had been invited to the opening of The Jaguar Gallery in the Coventry Transport Museum.
Rob Jenner was also at the opening of The Jaguar Gallery at Coventry Transport Museum. His father was gravely ill and passed away the following day, so Rob invited me to the funeral, as I had previously met Alan Jenner at a Jaguar event – he had an immense knowledge of Jaguar and I only wish I could have spent more time with him and learnt much more!
JEC Southern Day – I was asked to source some interesting cars, and among those I found were an armoured XJ and an XJR-15

 

2014

Long term friend and Jaguar enthusiast, Rob Jenner (who at the time was Chairman of the JEC) invited me, along with Jaguar Specialist David Marks, to join him on a trip to Shetland for the 2014 Shetland Classic Car Show held at the beginning of June.
We had a fabulous time in Shetland and Orkney, which led me to remaining in Scotland with Rob and joining him at his home in the Scottish Borders, deep in the heart of  Jim Clark country, and very appropriate for two petrol heads whose lives are totally immersed in cars and motoring!The area we live in is steeped in Jim Clark history. We rent the workshop that was once the home of the Border Reivers, with whom Jim Clark raced. Jim Clark’s grave is in the same village as the workshop, and apparently it was once commonplace for D-types to be seen being test driven up and down the high street of Chirnside – truly hallowed ground!
I was asked to create a Jaguar Timeline for the annual JEC event at Thoresby Hall.
In November we (Rob Jenner and Letitia Mace) were invited to the launch of the Jaguar Heritage Driving Experience at Fen End.

 

2015

The current website was launched in 2015, and now in its 7th year and a new home, Xclusively Jaguar continued to grow and I was busier than ever, travelling the country with Rob Jenner in his role as JEC Chairman, preparing our collection of Jaguars for attendance at all manner of events, and preparing features for Xclusively Jaguar News.

The most significant of these events included:

Finally meeting Brucie’s first owner, Andrew Panter, at his home near Windsor and agreeing a plan to have a Jaguar Parade through Windsor Castle!
Being asked to source Mark 1 Jaguars for Nigel Webb’s Mark 1 Day and then to attend this fabulous event
To celebrate Brucie’s 18th birthday Norman Dewis agreed to autograph Brucie while he was at Mark 1 Day
As witnessed by Michael Quinn, Sir William Lyons grandson, who was Service Manager when Brucie was serviced at RA Creamer – Michael recognised Brucie !!
In September Rob’s X300 XJR manual, P760NRW,  won the Edinburgh Concours d’Elegance which were held at Holyrood House
Also in September, sourcing an XJ220 as a wedding car for my eldest daughter’s wedding
At the end of September I was asked to create an XJS Timeline in North Wales – Jaguar Heritage agreed to bring my favourite XJS from their collection …. the one-off prototype Daimler XJS

In November 2015 Rob Jenner handed over the chairmanship of the JEC to the incoming chairman. It is usual for the chairman to have a maximum term of 2 years, but in this case the former chairman stepped down 6 months before the end of his term, in May 2013, so Rob had held the position of chairman for two and half years.

I was very privileged to be able to accompany him as he fulfilled many of his duties in his final year of office. Although a serious vocation, demanding time and dedication, for a true Jaguar enthusiast the reward is that it provides a chance to experience opportunities reserved for the Jaguar elite, and a glimpse of Jaguar’s growing history, which most of us only read about in books and magazines! JEC board meetings and associated correspondence/discussions were all confidential, but being allowed to accompany Rob in his role as JEC Chairman to many of the other events added another dimension to Xclusively Jaguar, and a new viewpoint for Brucie’s Diary.

Rob Jenner had predicted that once he was nolonger Chairman of the JEC things would quieten down however, as I suspected, this was not the case and we were just as busy in 2016 and thereafter as we were in 2015; preparing cars, attending events, answering queries, giving advice, and preparing material for the newsletter.

Rob’s final entry of Chairman’s Chat, which appeared in the November 2015 issue of the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ magazine, and sums up his two and half years in the chair, along with a list of all the events he attended as Chairman, can be seen HERE

 

2016

E264OMP arrived

Known affectionately as ‘Opium’

Opium is voted ‘Car of the Event’ at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Launch of XJ40 at Dunkeld in Scotland
Jim Randle presents Rob Jenner with a Lifetime achievement award for Services to XJ40 at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Launch of XJ40 at Dunkeld in Scotland

 

2017

Royal Windsor Jaguar Festival and Parade
Brucie’s former owner, Andrew Panter, a Prince Philip Trust committee member, first approached me about involving Jaguars in this event in 2015. I put this idea to the board of the JEC via Rob Jenner and Ray Searles and was then asked to select the cars for the parade.Brucie was one of the Jaguars that took part in the parade through Windsor Castle and Rob Jenner did the commentary along with Tony O’keeffe.
We celebrate the Dash to Turkey Reunion

 

2018

E604JJU arrived

Known affectionately as Juno

11th August 2018 – we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Xclusively Jaguar!
Rob Jenner was invited to be Clerk of the Course for the Grand Prix de Farnham which celebrated the 60th anniversary of Mike Hawthorn winning the Formula 1 World Championship in 1958

 

2019

The Norsk Jaguar Klubb invited us, at their expense, to fly to Norway for a 400 road trip from Oslo to Alesund to do a presentation at the Norsk Jaguar Klubb Annual Assembly. A great honour, indeed!
Xclusively Jaguar Mark 2 Diamond Jubilee Concours d’Elegance
Jaguar XJR Manual Day
Presentation to West Sussex JEC
Jaguar Mark 1 Day

 

2020

Presentation to South Yorkshire JEC

This will be an interesting year to look back on in time to come, as none of what has happened could have been foreseen!

 

Other Landmarks

Rob Jenner’s Triumph Herald has attended 3 events in the last 6 years and been Car of the Day each time out!

In 2016 Rob Jenner presented the second of two cheques to the RNLI at St Agnes, Cornwall, this being the funds raised for the JEC charity chosen by Rob Jenner when he was chairman of the club.

Rob Jenner and Letitia Mace were invited to the Re-launch of British Motor Museum at Gaydon

Rob Jenner and Letitia Mace were invited to the XJ220 25th Anniversary at Silverstone in July 2017

 

Evolution of the Logo and Website

One year from inception, the newsletter and website looked like this. I had designed the simple oval logo in monochrome.

My first sponsors were SNG Barratt, who still sponsor Xclusively Jaguar to this day, and Jaguar Main Dealers, Holland Brothers.

When I wanted to place an advert in a magazine the logo needed to stand out, so I contacted Karam Ramm at Jaguar Heritage and as I was on a budget he said I could have this picture of an XK8 at Mira, gratis. I digitally altered the picture to create a ghost-like image and then made it bright yellow so that it stood out, then added the text and oval to it.
For January 2012 the newsletter and website had developed into this, and featured the new logo
By the end of 2012 a new website featured a refined logo, based on the original, which is still used to this day.
The current website was launched in 2015

 

Xclusively Jaguar continues to grow and sometimes I wonder why I am slaving over a hot computer when all I wanted to do was slave over a hot Jaguar V12, but the website forms the backbone of what we do, providing us with opportunities to grow and our followers the opportunity to learn more about their Jaguars.

In the majority of cases (Unlike forums, where even a sensible question elicits at best a rash of contradicting advice and at worst an offensive repost), we will know the correct answer to your Jaguar related questions, or we will know someone that does!

To be continued ……

 

 

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