Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 |
(Compiled and Edited by Michael Mead)
Just 2 weeks ago I asked the list why they chose their particular XK
and got a lot of good responses. (Caution: Don't ask which XK is best!)
I'm new too and I'm researching the XK history for my future purchase. I
would suggest you read through a few XK books about the mechanical
differences between the XK models, but here are some of the abbreviated
responses I received from members of the List:
Knight: I could justify a thousand ways why it had to be a 120, why it had
to be a roadster, etc. etc., but the truth is the acquisition is a passion.
Just go with your heart. You've already made the right decision in wanting a
Jim: You will discover that each of the variations are equally loved by
their owners. The passion for these car blankets all body styles and
Andy: I wanted to by the original version of the car that Sir William
envisioned. The clean lines, minimal chrome, a pure transformation of
engineering and design into a form that was a revolution in automotive
design. This to me this is the steel wheel 120 OTS.
Bruce: If you think you might end up driving your XK thousands of miles
every year, try taking a test drive in an OTS, DHC, and FHC if you can get a
ride and see which makes your heart beat the fastest. The later versions
have many improvements over the 120 such as more room, more power, better
brakes, better steering, and lots of other stuff too numerous to mention.
I'm passionate about the elegant simplicity of almost no chrome and the
longer bonnet and yes, also the quirkiness of the 120 and the other things.
I'm 6"3" and the 120 is the least comfortable of the options but the
things make the discomfort insignificant if your passion leads you in that
Mad Ludwig: BUY WHAT YOU LIKE AND WHAT PLEASES YOU. THEY ARE ALL WONDERFUL!
Ed Peterson: My Jaguar is an XK120SE OTS. Mechanically, the 150 is the best,
but it doesn't have the delicate, graceful lines of a 120. The 150 just
looks like a heavy car. The 140 is basically a 120 with a lot of chrome
added for the chrome-loving 50's American market. The 140 does have some
improvements such as a better radiator and improved steering, but in order
to get more leg room, the engine was moved forward a few inches. The 140
doesn't handle as well as the 120 because of the engine relocation and the
added weight of the heavy chrome bumpers. The 120 looks more graceful. I
wanted an open Jaguar because a sports car is supposed to be open, and that
is what William Lyons envisioned for a Jaguar sports car. The FHC and DHC
were afterthoughts. I wanted an SE because I wanted wire wheels; they look
better than the solid disc wheels, and an SE has a more powerful engine than
a standard 120.
John M.: High maintenance, you bet, but satisfaction goes on and on. You'll
never be bored and the heads keep turning, there's something about a Jag.
They don't look like any other car and they don't move like any other car.
I'd recommend you let your heart guide your head (and wallet) and if nothing
turns you on, buy a Honda, their much more sensible. Jaguars were NEVER
Bob: Speed? The 150 S roadster is factory rated at 250 hp. Stopping? The
car has 4 wheel disc brakes. Comfort over long distances? Roll up windows.
All of these combine to make the 150 Roadster, in my opinion, a classic open
2 seater sports car that can stand on it's own on a modern highway. All
XK's are great cars, no disputing that. Find one that works for you.
Dave: My decision was quite simple. I took was available!!!!
Ken: The heart should lead the mind
To places the mind would never go
And ride the pulse of life
Against the courses of convention.
Christian: Most importantly, however, you must buy the best example that you
can afford. If you buy a poor XK then it is very easy to put more money into
the car than it is worth. In the end you will have spent the same amount or
more than a good car would have cost in the first place. Do not be in a
rush to buy a car. The right one for you is out there, but it will take time
to find it. It may not be in your immediate area. Do not let distance
automatically determine your search. My XK found me, when I was not looking
for an XK at all.
Len: I went looking for an XK with a fixed roof. I had become sick and tired
of either getting soaked to the skin or burnt to a crisp whilst driving my
Morgan. A fixed lid was the search criteria. As my wife so eloquently put it
"you need an old farts sports car". The only thing you have to bear
mind is that they are all XKs.
B. Shriver: I was looking for the best driver, as I enjoy driving (as
opposed to showing). When I saw mine advertised, listed with the E-type
rear suspension, disc brakes, bigger engine etc. I thought YES!!! THAT'S IT!
entered negotiations with the dealer and had it shipped from St. Louis.
Derek Karsanidi: It is the perfect blend of what the XK design (in my
opinion) was intended to do. Heart-thumping power, a rag top, and that
incredible sounding exhaust. 120's were great and they were the
ground-breakers. But, the refinements of the 140 answered the shortcomings
of the 120's. I personally prefer the OTS which has the aura of a true
British sports car. Additionally, to my knowledge, the 140's were the
rarest of all of the XK series. Not that many produced compared to the
120's and 150's. The C engine offered the additional growl needed to make
your hair stand up when touring at 100mph+. And the overdrive makes me still
gasp when she kicks down to 5th at 70mph! Now, if I could get my clock to
work, life would be perfect.
Charles: The "reason" I bought my DHC was simple.. I needed a "cheap"
I was a "poor starving college student" at the time. I fell in love
the "evil" looks of the car.. it was black, low
slung, had a long hood AND it was a convertible!! It just doesn't get any
better than that.. I bought my '53 XK 120 DropHead Coupe in May '67. I
had to borrow the balance of $250 from my new mother-in-law. I didn't
"pick" my Jag.. it "picked me".. one of those in the right
place at the
right time sort of deals.. However, I wouldn't trade my 120 DHC for any of
the other models or styles.. Others might give reasons like: they like the
pure lines, the spartan body trimmings of the OTS, or the finely appointed
cockpit of the FHC/DHC, or any number of fancy "Are-Teest" sounding
platitudes.. I have my DHC because "it grabbed me"..
Jim: My wife found ours in the car corral at the Auburn Action in 1989 and
spent 2 days begging me to buy it. If I sold all the rest of my cars she
wouldn't notice. But if the Jaguar showed up missing, she'd make herself a
Bill Rooklidge: I picked my XK, an XK120 FHC, because of the body style.
While I recognize we all have our favorites, personally I thought the 120s
the most graceful of the XKs, and the FHC the most beautiful of the 120s.
This, of course, ignores both that the 140 and 150 aficionados prefer the
styling of those cars and that the 140s and 150s are roomier and better
drivers, but if I were buying for practicality I wouldn't buy an XK. What
I've learned on this list has proven invaluable, and high among those
lessons is appreciation for my list colleagues and the works of art that
inhabit their garages. I spent over a year looking, as well as months
lurking on this list, and felt well rewarded by the effort. I hope you are
equally well rewarded by your efforts, and equally enriched by your
interaction with fellow list members.
Dear Reader, if you've read this far you've figured out that it's all about
passion and what moves you visually, mechanically or sonically. Go look at
them in person and then decide.