The other day, when Shed was shambling aimlessly around the village wondering where it had all gone wrong for him, he saw a well-dressed elderly gent helping what Shed took to be his good lady wife into a beautifully clean S-Type Jaguar with not one but two of those silver horse ornament things nailed onto the bonnet. The Jag's bonnet, that is.
Shed has never had much time for horses ever since the one Mrs Shed had just been riding trod on his foot, deliberately so in his opinion. He could hardly blame it for being narked. A 16-hand Welsh cob should be more than big enough for most normal human beings but even the Budweiser Clydesdales would have looked sideways at Mrs Shed. The fork lift eventually used to hoist her into the saddle had to be scrapped immediately afterwards, while the poor nag is making a few bob on more obscure talk show circuits.
Anyway, aside from butchering a bonnet for horsey ornamentation, the old geezer obviously loved his S-Type. Shed didn't have the heart to tell him that it was only worth a tenth of what he probably thought it was worth. That's the thing with old Jags. The gap between perceived and actual value is wider than it is for any other brand.
Old Jag owners also believe that gentler treatment will result in fewer things going wrong. They fear the stutter of a rev limiter and are revolted by the stench of frazzled tyres and clutches. When, despite all their kindnesses, things do go wrong, they'll curse the car to all damnation just like everyone else does, but then they'll shrug philosophically and pay the repair bill. This kind of unconditional love can make cars like the S-Type a canny purchase for a smart PHer, especially when you take into account the prices they go for.
Which brings us to today's offering, a 3.0 S-Type in the correct hue of British Racing Green and fitted with the rare 5-speed manual gearbox. Jag fans will say 'what's the point of a Jag without an auto box?'. That was certainly a good point when they were new. Now, not so good given the reputation of the auto. From 2003 the manual was a Getrag 221 unit. Shed isn't sure what it was on 2000-model S-Types like this one. Whatever it is, it's not a quick-action unit, but more than a few Jaguar drivers brought up on Moss boxes would enjoy that, sneering at the slickness of (say) a Focus shift.
Old Jags are nowhere near as unreliable as most folk think. Having said that, when they do go wrong, they can do so in a big way. In the case of the 3.0 V6 models one of those ways is big end failure, something Shed knows all too well from his long years sharing a reinforced bed with Mrs Shed. Other S-Type areas where you might expect trouble include: air con compressor, suspension parts, coils, non-latching bonnet catches, leaks in the boot, electrical problems knocking on from that, differential and automatic transmission woes, and electronic handbrakes that don't work.
With this 2000MY car you can scratch the last two items off your headache list because it doesn't have either, but in fairness you'd also have to deduct the steering improvements brought in on 2001 cars and the other improvements brought in for the 2002 and 2004 facelifts. Interestingly the bonnet was made of aluminium on S-Types from 2005 to the end of the line in 2007, so if your equine statuettes were made of steel could you escape the effects of galvanic corrosion at the joining surfaces? Neigh lad.
When they're in good fettle these 240hp Duratec 3.0 V6 S-Types hum along pretty sweetly. They'll hit 145mph and do the 0-60 in seven and a bit seconds, irrespective of transmission, with an official average fuel consumption figure of 27mpg. Shed has never quite got the hang of working out annual tax rates and will doubtless get this one wrong as well, but he's going to have a stab at £265 pa based on it being a pre-March 2001 car, which means the CO2 value is irrelevant. Maybe.
The interior on this one could do with a clean but the full year's worth of MOT is nice to see, the only advisories being slight corrosion to rear brake hose ferrules and some wear to a couple of brake discs. No S-Type story appearing in SOTW would be complete without this classic clip of one-time Jaguar F1 driver Antonio Pizzonia spectacularly binning an S-Type R at Donington with Steve 'Iceman' Sutcliffe in the passenger seat. In case you're wondering, V8 S-Types are between £6k and £8.5k when they wear the 'R' badge, with non-Rs being generally less than half that. Decent money in either case. At this time when we all need a spot of peace and understanding it's good to see that there's still no shortage of love for these old Jags.
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