1993 Jaguar XJ220 -Toybox

By: Alex Affat, Photography by: Oldtimer Australia

Presented by

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The zenith of contemporary road-going Jaguar collecting: one of four in the country, and presenting in as-new condition

British firm Jaguar boasts a long line of world-leading sports road cars dating back to the sensational XK120 of the late-40s, a car that first exemplified they very idea of a ‘sports car’ for many motorists around the world who had never seen anything like it.

Jaguar sent shockwaves throughout the car world again in the 60s, with the iconic and classic E-Type which underwent three different series over a 13-year production lifecycle.

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LeMans blue hue seems fitting

Jaguar was once equally as famed on the racetrack, from its iconic C-type and D-type racers of the 50s well into the 1980s with its successful prototype racecars built in conjunction with Tom Walkinshaw.

| Reader Resto: 1991 Jaguar XJR-15

One day in December of 1984; Jim Randle, Jaguar’s Director of Engineering, wondered what sort of car Jaguar would build today that could hark back on its great road and race cars of yore.

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Race inspired and rare

With no official support, the project began with a group of 12 volunteers who quickly earned the nickname ‘The Saturday Club’.

The concept car was completed around 3:00am on October 18, 1988 – which happened to be the same day it was due to be unveiled at the British International Motor Show in Birmingham. The concept was at the Jaguar stand by 6:00am, and unveiled at 11:00am to much fanfare from press. A number of wealthy Jaguar enthusiasts were willing to handover blank cheques should the concept ever go into production.

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The production-spec Jaguar XJ220 would ultimately debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1991 and differed from the original concept rather significantly. The XJ220 concept car was initially presented as a four-wheel drive package powered by a TWR-developed V12, inspired by cars born out of Group B like the Porsche 959.

The production car would ultimately be a rear-wheel drive vehicle, with that TWR V12 replaced by a twin-turbo 3.5lt V6. While this polarised opinion in its day, the XJ220 would prove to be a worthy poster-child for the brand and held the title of the ‘world’s fastest production car’ prior to the McLaren F1.

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Exact build numbers are up for debate; however, it is widely believed that around 270 XJ220s were produced, of which around 70 were factory right-hand drive.

This stunning and rare example, on offer by Oldtimer Australia in Queensland, is one such right-hand drive example whose Heritage Certificate indicates that it was built on June 16 1993, finished from factory in Le Mans Blue with a Smoke Grey Interior. Believed to have originally been destined for the Japanese market, original invoices show that the car was sold on February 1 1995, through Grange Jaguar LTD in the UK to Mr Alan J Finden-Crofts – former CEO of Dunlop Slazenger and the Raleigh Cycle Company.

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Finden-Crofts first registered the XJ220 on April 3 1995.

Between 1995 and 2012, the car swapped hands three times via XJ220 specialists Oakfields, before being sold (again through Oakfields) in 2012 to its fourth and current owners in Sydney.

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Import approval was granted under ‘Display Vehicle’ circumstances and was granted on October 31, 2012, and the car was imported into the country in January 2013. Mark Jansen of Oldtimer points out that import rules have subsequently changed. They have recently gained a new import approval under ‘Vehicles at least 25 years old’, meaning this XJ220 is now fully registerable in Australia.

After many years of storage, the XJ220 has recently been recommissioned by Melbourne Jaguar specialists, Mike Roddy Motors, and is running and ready for its new owners with just 7984 miles covered.

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Shapely cockpit

With original service books and a good history file – this truly represents one of the pinnacles of road-going Jaguar – or even British car – collecting. And while the big cat boasts a big pricetag, when you compare it to contemporaries such as Ferrari’s F40, Porsche’s 959 starts to make more sense.

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1993 Jaguar XJ220

ENGINE: 3498cc twin-turbocharged 24v V6
POWER: 405kW @ 7200rpm
TORQUE: 644Nm @ 4500rpm
GEARBOX: Five-speed H-pattern manual
BRAKES: 330mm disc (f), 300mm disc (r)
SUSPENSION: Independent, wishbone, inboard coil spring and damper, anti-roll (f), Independent, wishbone, inboard coil spring and damper, anti-roll (r)
WEIGHT: 1470kg

 

From Unique Cars #447, December 2020

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