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SSO: MY JAGUAR XJR-15 STORY
SSO: My Jaguar XJR-15 Story
September 13, 2012 7:38 AM  |  Posted By: Secret Supercar Owner
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by 4 members  |  10 Comments  |  6973 Views
Related Categories: Supercars

Earlier this year I came close to parting with the Jaguar XJR-15.  I am now glad I did not.  Of all the cars I have owned to date, it is by far the most unique and rare.  To be honest, I can't remember when the XJR-15 first caught my attention but it was roughly about five years ago.  Once it had entered my conscious, it then took another three years of looking to finally find the right one.  Given that only 50 in total were produced and probably only 20 of those were fitted with the 5 speed synchromesh gear box, finding any XJR-15 for sale was difficult, and finding one that ticked all the right boxes an exercise in patience. 

During my extended search for an XJR-15, I only saw three cars.  The one I bought plus two others.  The first one I saw and drove briefly was a complete basket case.  It was a car that would have been cheap to buy but very expensive to then own.  In general I try to avoid restoration projects, and this would have been a major one.  The second car was in significantly better shape and even had a bit of history with it.  It was a car that had travelled around the world and been a part of several major private collections.  The downside was that it had never been driven, information on maintenance was non-existent, and it lacked any official documentation which would have resulted plenty of headaches plus a large tax bill.  The one I purchased was the most expensive of the three but both the condition and history warranted the price. 

When I first acquired the XJR-15, I knew of one other owner in the UK.  This gentleman was both a delight to talk to and very helpful answering a lot of my early basic questions about the car.  Since that time, I have made contact with five other XJR-15 owners and there is now even talk of trying to get all our cars together early next year.  Most of these owners have acquired their XJR-15's in the last year and are deeply engulfed right now with getting them road ready again.  Hence the target of an early 2013 gathering.

With more XJR-15s coming back out into circulation again, my impression is that this very unique road racer is finally beginning to get its due.  In the tiny XJR-15 market, prices also seem to have jumped quite a bit as well.  In just the last month, I have had 3 large events send invitations for the XJR-15.  As a result, it is getting a lot of use these days and is in great running condition.  Two years ago when I told someone which model Jaguar I owned, I would get either a blank look or a polite nod with a comment about how elegant and comfortable car the XJR series is. Clearly the person had the four door sedan in mind.  Elegant and comfortable are not the first two words I would ever use to describe an XJR-15.  Instead, raw, mad, loud, focused, exquisitely engineered come to mind.  On a real positive note, today there seems to be a much wider knowledge of both the car and its place in Jaguar history as Jaguar's first V12 supercar.

 

In case anyone is interested, my Twitter account is @SupercarOwner . I will send out a message when the latest blog is posted.

 

 

 
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Secret Supercar Owner at 7:51 AM December 21, 2012

Very nice article on the Jaguar XJR-15 in the latest issue of Octane (#116).

Secret Supercar Owner at 4:35 PM September 22, 2012

I hope it all goes well. Great to have another XJR-15 back on the road.

steveo220 at 2:29 PM September 21, 2012

SSO - great article and thanks to you for 're-discovering' what for many will be a forgotten masterpiece. As a 'road-going' XJR-9 group C racing car, it offers a unique driving experience. And as the first carbon-fibre road car, it occupies an important place in history. As well as being a great looking machine, loud and phenomenally rare. The engine on mine should be started for the first time in 4 years today...will let you know how we get along.

Secret Supercar Owner at 10:40 PM September 20, 2012

Consider, definitely.

davelowery at 9:03 AM September 20, 2012

Given that you've seen the McLaren P1 at the MTC, would you consider one of those - especially as you missed out on the F1?

Zonda_F_50 at 12:29 PM September 16, 2012

Yeah, I think you're right but I'm also not 100% sure... What I know is that the turning circle is 12.6 metres (41 feet). I've also read that the car offers enough space even for people above 6 feet of height and that the carbon fiber parts are very well made. It really must be an event to start an XJR-15! Not only because of the terrific noise but because of the whole starting procedure with electronic master switch, ignition, fuel pumps and all that stuff like with a Mclaren F1 LM or GTR road conversion.  I heard the sound in several yt-videos and on the dvd "the 200 mph jaguar"  One is offered right now on mobile.de...

ilmostro at 6:51 AM September 16, 2012

I also remember the limited steering lock. I think I have a photo in an old magazine somewhere - about 22 degrees - IIRC?

Zonda_F_50 at 3:00 PM September 15, 2012

Hello SSO! Supercars are my life and I enjoy reading your blog so much! The XJR-15 was always a car I adored even if some journalists called it a "pig to drive". I don't think it really is in the right hands... I've read that there could be some trouble with sudden oversteering and the limited steering lock when trying to correct it. As you mentioned earlier about the F50 a supercar is not only about whats written on the spec sheet but emotion and fun to drive. I believe that if you put some new and sticky tires on an XJR-15 this would improve the handling a lot and with its lightness and that fabolous engine it really is outrageous. I bought almost every magazine with the XJR-15 in it but I can't find more information about that car, so I would be really happy to read some of your detailed inside information and experiences about that car in the future and I also hope EVO will join you when you meet up with the other owners in 2013! warmest regards, Severin

Secret Supercar Owner at 10:10 PM September 13, 2012

The Linfox XJR-15 was the 2nd one I saw during my search.

RobYob at 5:53 PM September 13, 2012

Great to read about an XJR-15 out in the world not locked up in a collection. Undoubtably the best looking car I've ever seen. I remember one at the Linfox collection in the same room as an XJ220, 959 and every hyper Ferrari from 288gto to Enzo, it made them all seem very ordinary.

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