Jaguar XK8 A Brooklands 'Road Test' Limited Edition

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Compiled by R.M.Clarke, Softbound, 91 Pages, A-JXK8X1, ISBN: 9781855203914

Reports from Europe and America on this dynamic new sportscar from Jaguar. Included are road and comparison tests plus articles on the developement and production of both coupe and convertible models.

In this month's Classic and Sportscar is a must. Inside you will find, in order, the top 100 classics of all time as voted by 200 of the industry's most eminent and famous luminaries, plus a few rather less deserving hacks like myself We were asked to submit our top 10 of all time, with the sole proviso that we had to have personal knowledge of every car on our list. The votes were then all counted and the list compiled.

It makes fascinating reading, particularly if you start totting up each country's contribution to the list. If you do this, one extraordinary fact will spring to your attention. Exactly half the cars on the list, including the first and last, are either British or of British extraction. There is more than one way to look at this. You can conclude that, given that C&S is a British magazine fielding a predominately British panel of judges, such a result is hardly surprising. Or you can sleep warm tonight in the belief that when it comes to the business of making great cars, no one does it better than us.

The truth, of course, lies somewhere between the two. Exactly where I don't know but, having gone back and looked at the figures again, it is now the latter view to which I incline. Here's why.

If the'50-British cars in the list had comprised several Jaguars, Astons, Bentleys, plus one or two MGs and Lotuses, then I would have considered that the affection for and popularity of these headline marques would have explained their extraordinary representation.

But the list is not like that. There are 25 British marques on it. Everything from Frazer-Nash to McLaren, from ERA to liRG, and from Land-Rover to Rocket is represented. There are British cars which have not been made since the war and British cars which are still in production today.

The list is all the more fascinating for the cars that aren't on it. There is no Ferrari in the top 10 and, staggeringly, no Lamborghini anywhere on the list at all, a fact which should raise the hackles of more than a few Miura SV drivers. The chaps at Rolls-Royce may be unamused to have half as many entries as Citroen, and I still can't quite believe that Bugatfi earns just two entries, alongside marques sudras Sunbeam, Morgan and Saab.

No single marque runs off with the laurels, with Jaguar, Lancia, Ford and Ferrari splitting the winnings between them with six entries apiece. But if you add up the individual positions of each marque's entry and divide by six, Ford's placings average at 69th, Lancia's at 52nd, Ferrari's at 36th, withJaguar way out in front at 26th. I'm not entirely sure what this proves, apart from suggesting that, in terms of both the quality and quantity of entries, Jaguar came out on top.

This is indeed a timely result for the Coventry marque as it launches the new XK8, its boldest model since the E-type broke cover 35 years ago. And it is the E which the X1C8 seeks to replace in away that the ugly XJS never could. The new XX is indeed a beautiful car and, with an all-new 4-litre V8 engine doing the talking, it should be smooth and swift too. If it is a shame that you will need to be middle aged to have even a misty memory of the time when Jaguar last launched a car this exciting, we should at least thank Heaven, the depth of Ford's pockets, and the dedication of those who work at Browns Lane that this moment has finally come. There are few cars that I have awaited with greater anticipation.

But back to the list. I'll spare you the top 101 put forward and will mention instead only the two that...

AUTOSPORT March 14th 1996

 

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