One of the very first cars to leave the works, this particular example was delivered new in 1992 by the Jaguar main agent in St. Helier, Jersey. There it resided until it was sold back to the UK in 2002.
Serviced initially by Jaguar Sport and then by marque specialists J.D. Classics, this particular example boasts a mechanical service record to far eclipse that of most XJ 220s to have entered the market in recent times.
Albeit well famed for their ferocious power and stratospheric top speed, the Jaguar XJ 220 often draws criticism for the a lack of low-speed driveability and surprisingly poor brakes. In mid-2001 it received a full and thorough service to resolve these maladies.
Fitment of a considerably softer clutch along with modifications to the hydraulics makes parking and town driving much less of a chore, but the work carried out to the brakes is particularly commendable.
The master cylinder has been re-engineered and the front and rear callipers have had the valves re-rated, thus resulting in considerably more brake pressure. Along with the brake pad upgrade the car seems transformed and makes for a far more reassuring driving experience.
Additional work carried out included changing the cam-belt, driveshaft bearings and a full service. Important to note is that during its annual service in August 2005 the bag tanks were also changed (an expensive process required every 10 years) and a new set of tyres were fitted.
Commensurate with its low mileage of 5.500 km and fastidious service record, the car is in extremely good condition overall. Included is the original factory tool kit, service and handbooks and invoices relating to the vehicle's maintenance.
There are very few production cars that can claim to be have been born out of a spare-time project, but the Jaguar XJ 220 is the most famous of all.
Jaguars chief engineer, Jim Randle, dreamt up the idea of creating the ultimate supercar on Christmas and fired up enough enthusiasm with colleagues to start a - Saturday club - to work on the project.
At first not even the Jaguar board knew about the secret tinkering going at its Engineering Department at Whitley in the West Midlands of Britain. When it did find out, the enthusiasm bubbled over, and the new XJ 220 was wheeled out at the 1988 Birmingham Motor Show as an official Jaguar concept car.
The prototype XJ 220 was an immense beast, mainly because it had to be accomodated around TWR racing components and Jaguars massive V-Twelve engine mounted in a central position. Still, Keith Helfets aluminium bodywork design was a sublime piece of sculpture.
The response at the 1988 show was rapturous, and the affluence of the times persuaded Jaguar to embark on a production run. However, because of production practicalities the design was substantially modified.
It was decided that the V-twelve engine was too bulky and so a race-derived 3.5 liter V-six engine from the Metro 6R4 was installed instead.
Its state-of-the-art specifications included four camsafts, twin injectors, twin turbochargers, four valves per cylinder and dry sump lubrication, and it was capable of pumping out 542 [bhp].
The smaller engine meant that overal length could be trimmed down by a sizeable 25 [cm], but there was no escaping the massive width of this sportscar, with more than 2 meters wide, this was the broadest British car ever made.
The specification sheet of the XJ 220 read like a sportscar-drivers dream. Its bodywork was an aerospace-type bonded-aluminium honeycomb with Group C racing inspired aerodynamics, The five speed transaxle was mated to a racing AP clutch.
There were centre-lock alloy wheels, massive brakes with four-piston calipers and racing-derived wishbone/inboard suspension. Jaguars performance claims were equally exciting. Its top speed of 220 mph and 0-100 km/h time of 3.5 seconds made it easily the fastest road car on earth at the time.
In-gear acceleration was absolutely brutal. To match that explosive power, the racing suspension made the XJ 220 probably the best handling supercar ever.
A joint Jaguar-TWR venture called JaguarSport set up a brand new production facility in Bloxham, Oxfordshire, to make a stricly limited run of cars, each priced at well over 650.000 US Dollars.
At first, the order book was over-subscribed by speculators but, when it became odvious that the market for supercars had collapsed, legal proceeding ensued as buyers tried to pull out- an ignominious end to an amazing story.
Contact me via email
or by telephone:
We buy, sell, broker, locate, consign and appraise exceptional classic, sports and collector automobiles.
Jaguar, Ferrari and Maserati expertise, though we can offer a wide variety of superior motor cars for sale.
Contact us when you are serious about buying or selling a fine antique, vintage, prewar or race car. Geneva, Switzerland-based, we serve clients world-wide.