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UK-France convoy shows 50 years of driving in luxury

  • Eight historic models on XJ European tour
  • Celebratory fleet included every generation of XJ
  • Unique convoy visited important locations
JAGUARS ON PARADE: 10 Jaguar XJ models from the past five decades reached the 2018 Paris auto show from the UK to celebrate the marque’s history.  Image: Jaguar (See video link in text.)

PARIS, France – A unique convoy representing the past and present of the Jaguar XJ was driven from Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant in England to the 2018 Paris auto show to celebrate 50 years of the flagship luxury sedans’ existence.

The convoy included each of eight generations of Jaguar XJ assembled since 1968, led by the car that started it all, the Series I, the tail-gunner the most recent Jaguar XJ50 special edition, available to order in South Africa now.

Other significant models came from the Series II Coupé and X350 XJR.

SOME IMPORTANT TRIP STOPS

The 840km drive went through a series of important locations in the UK, among them Jaguar Classic, Bicester Heritage Centre and the Goodwood and Le Mans race circuits, each of which has or has had a significant role in the saga of Jaguar and the XJ.

ANNIVERSARY JAGUAR XJ50: Image: Jaguar SA
ANNIVERSARY JAGUAR XJ50: Image: Jaguar SA

Journey’s end was 2018 Paris auto show where the Jaguar XJ Series I had its debut in 1968.

WATCH THE Jaguar XJ evolve through the years

Ian Callum, Jaguar’s UK-based design director, told The Corner in a media release: “The Jaguar XJ story is one of design, desirability and performance. Through five decades it has become a giant in the automotive world – it was only right that we paid homage in this special way.

”The XJ was already an icon of car design when I started at Jaguar. To have been part of this half-century story has been an absolute privilege.”

The cars that took part in the drive:

Jaguar XJ Series I: 1968
Jaguar XJ Series II: 1973
Jaguar XJ Series II Coupé: 1973
Jaguar XJ Series III: 1979
Jaguar XJ XJ40: 1986
Jaguar XJ X300: 1994
Jaguar XJ X308: 1997
Jaguar XJ X350: 2003
Jaguar XJ X351: 2009
Jaguar XJR575: 2017
Jaguar XJ XJ50: 2018

Paris, Jaguar says, has a special significance for the Jaguar XJ. ”In 1968 the cars had their debut at the show with Jaguar’s founder Sir William Lyons revealing his vision for a sedan car with the handling of an E-Type.

”The luxury model was a revelation with its compelling combination of beauty, poise and performance.”

READ MORE Jaguar features on Carman’s Corner

Since then, the company reports, the presentation halls of Paris have frequently played a role in the life of the XJ – the XJ X300 was unveiled at the event in 1994 and the revolutionary XJ X350, with its lightweight aluminium monocoque had its debut there in 2002.

The 50-years celebration started with the introduction of the XJ50 earlier in 2018, a special edition with Autobiography-style front and rear bumpers, 20” Venom wheels, black grille and unique badging.

…AND HERE IN SOUTH AFRICA

The cabin has an embossed leaper (the jaguar) on the head restraints, an XJ50 logo on the centre armrest, unique intaglio branding and XJ50-badged illuminated tread-plates.

The new Jaguar XJ50 is available in South Africa in either standard or long-wheelbase guises, only with a three-litre diesel engine.

ANNIVERSARY JAGUAR XJ50: Image: Jaguar SA
ANNIVERSARY JAGUAR XJ50: Image: Jaguar SA

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