Motortrades Insight Magazine Online

Modern Jaguars could become classics in distant future despite being ‘less fun to drive’

Ref:A0516
Published: 23 July 2013

jag xkf


Modern Jaguars are less fun to drive but could well become classics in the distant future, according to one of the world’s leading Jaguar restoration specialists. 


“Less fun to drive? Yes. As far as I’m concerned they are,” explained Nick Goldthorp, Managing Director of Jaguar restoration specialist Classic Motor Cars, based in Shropshire. “If you ask the next generation they’ll probably say they are more fun to drive, but if you get out of any modern car, they’re fast and they go around corners and they stop. 


“You never get out of a modern car feeling ‘well, that was good fun to drive’, whereas with an E-Type or an XK, the driver has to put a lot more effort into making the car go around corners properly. So you get a much greater feeling of driving the car.”


So are there any current Jaguars that have been built in the last decade that could – in 50 or 60 years from now – become known as ‘classic cars’? 


jag


“Yes, I’m sure there will be,” Mr Goldthorp added. “It’s difficult when you’re born in a certain era and you grow up and get to like a certain type or certain period of cars and I think that’s where you are. And then the next generation come along and they’ve moved on a step and they find the later cars more classic than I would. 


“Most of the current Jaguars are just production cars as far as I’m concerned but I can see that some of the convertible XJ-S cars have the following now and probably the XKs but it’s probably going to be some way down the line. 

“And there’s a whole new classic car restorable that comes along that will be much more inclined towards repairing electronics on modern cars because the bodies tend to stay much more rust-free than they were in the ‘50s and ‘60s. So I think they’ll be a new period of engineer putting right all the electronics on the later cars.”


jag classic


Handling ‘electronics’ on a classic car does not sound too glamorous but that is the way the world is heading and while most vintage car engineers are likely to keep to the tradition of restoring ‘true classics’, others may have to adapt and learn all about electronics and modern cars to ensure the supercars of today are still running in decades to come. 


But how hard can it really be to restore a classic Jaguar? Quite challenging, says Nick Goldthorp. 


“The most challenging thing is finding quality of the parts that you have to go out and buy – good quality parts to screw onto a car. If I can give you an example, normally, when we restore a Jaguar E-Type, we anticipate spending 1,500 man hours restoring the car. Now, I’ve worked out over the years that if we could go out and buy good quality parts that we could actually bring into the company and screw onto the car, rather than buy something that you have to fiddle with, we could save about 500 hours on a restoration.”


That is 30 per cent of the cost of labour on a restoration which could be saved – a huge amount of money for cash-strapped customers. 


Responding to a question on if Jaguar recognise the classic car market as having huge potential for them, Mr Goldthorp said: “They do make a few parts and they are trying to make more but they have been very slow in understanding that there is money to be made on the classic car side and they haven’t invested money in retooling, for example. 


“They’re in an ideal position to do that because they still have most of the original drawings available. So at the moment, they are looking at ways of funding the Jaguar heritage side and that would be a great way of doing it.”

TomTom
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