Anyone who follows our social media feeds, especially Twitter, will know that I have a soft spot for the Jaguar XJ-S. So when the chance to purchase this particular car came up I simply couldn’t resist. This is no ordinary XJ-S, but instead it has been fettled by a few well known names. The engine itself was originally a 5.3l unit purchased specifically for the car at a price of £2,000, then it was stripped, rebuilt and transformed by Ron Beaty of Forward Engineering. The suspension, brakes, exhaust and wheels were uprated with no expense spared. The car is fitted with a ‘Chasseur’ modification and has been subject to many other performance upgrades by TWR, Guy Salmon and others. The car has a large and well kept history folder with it though upon brief inspection I couldn’t find an invoice detailing the work done to the engine in 1996 by Ron Beaty who has since sadly passed away.
The car sounds just as incredible as you would expect, and drives even better than I had hoped, even if not quite how I expected it to. One of the many benefits of a V12 engine is the large torque that is available, and this 6.5 litre unit only builds upon that with a simply huge amount of torque that quite easily overpowers first gear. A manual gearbox has always been a transformative addition to any XJ-S and this car really makes the most of it. This isn’t a car that feels especially fast when you’re driving, but once you look in the mirror at the ground you’ve covered you’ll realise just how much progress you’ve made and make a note to take care and keep an eye on the speedo, for this car really can run away with itself if you let it. All of the upgrades make this car into a faster, more powerful and more muscular edition of an already great car, even if it isn’t the prettiest incarnation of an XJ-S.