How we found the right Jaguar, Mr Big

The January issue of Jaguar Enthusiasts landed on members doorsteps recently and one of the stories that caught my eye was from member Marc Timmer explaining how he found his perfect Jaguar. So we thought that it was a great article to upload and share with the wider audience.

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Love at first sight.

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with a gorgeous car? Well, I do! It was a beautiful day in early spring 1990 and I was 12 years old. At that time my parents ran a dealership for Audi and Volkswagen but also did repairs and service works for exclusive cars like Jaguar and Porsche and Mercedes. That was unusual for a non-franchised dealer but perfect for me because on this sunny spring day I first saw an amazing limousine called a Jaguar XJ12 Series III. It was built in the mid 1980s, glossy black paint with cream coloured leather interior and shiny spoke wheels. The shape of this car got me from the first glimpse and wouldn’t let go of my mind. Although I was too young to drive at that time I made an instant plan, “When I’m a grown up, I’ll have one of these Jags to own myself!”.

Do you remember the lovely Jaguar XJ advertisement published in the early 1970s? It showed a school boy standing in front of a Jaguar dealer’s shop window adoring the green XJ inside. The boy was saying “someday, someday”? Obviously they sketched me in to the story even though I wasn’t born at the time! What foresight?

But the problem of referring to childhood dreams is that they usually don’t work out in the way you planned them. A few years after daydreaming about owning an XJ someday, when I was close to 18 and getting a driving licence, my dad passed away without any warning. He was just 42 so it was a great shock. And as well as that it became a really hard slog for my mum and me because we lost nearly everything. Not only out beloved dad but also the house, the company and the cars...

But we learned to never give up and we rose again. I Finished school and University, did apprenticeships and got a well-paid job. The perfect base to finance the toys that big boys love most: cars. And then the best thing that happened to me when it was my great good fortune to meet the woman of my dreams, the girl who is now my wife Michaela, (called Micki). She is perfect; not only because she is awfully pretty, smart and the love of my life, but she also shares my passion for everything on four wheels. For example, when I decided to buy an old Audi A8 quattro, the last car my dad drove before he was gone, she encouraged me “don’t just plan it, do it!” So I did and bought my first car, back in 2009 and  I still own it.

But now I have caught a kind of  “automobile-polygamy”. The Audi has not been the only car that has taken its place in our garage. In the following years a few cars that I also adored in childhood and youth have crossed my way: an Audi TT, Mercedes 190 and a Mini Cooper S, and they all share the space in our garage. But one special and unique car was still missing, a pretty British limousine with a simultaneously slim and muscular shape called a Jaguar XJ.

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What about the XJ?

Fortunately, over the years the XJ model was developed from the character of Sir William Lyons classic and elegant limousine so that the car of my childhood dreams evolved slowly, but still with the same lines as when I first met that earlier XJ.. Although it progressed through the X300 or X308 instead of that original Series III the lineage was still there to see.  So now, I could fall in love all over again, but with an XJR of the X308 series.

 This all happened five or six years ago. Micki and I had been for a night out with a couple of friends when I spotted an amazing black XJR standing by the curb in front of a club we left a few minutes earlier. That first sight got me instantly. The elegant black and shiny paint, spoked wheels and fine leather interior. “Wow, what an amazing car!” I said to myself, remembering the XJ12 that came to our garage, 20 years ago. And my old plan, “when I’m a grown up I’d like to drive a Jaguar”. So, I thought, “ let’s do it!”.

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The search begins

It took a while to save up the cash for my new  project, but by 2013 I started looking for the perfect car. In preparation for this I took lots of lessons in Jag-history. Papers, internet sites and chats with Jag owners helped me a lot in my search. It was hard work to be honest, and it took me nearly three years of intensive and daily research through all available media channels. I was close to giving up because most of the cars offered here in Germany were just rubbish. Some were rusty, some in a bad condition and some with too high a mileage far too high or the well known hanging roof lining. 

You must know the kind of conversations I had:  “…oh yes, my Jag is a really special, its in perfect condition. All services done, no rust!”. But when I saw them they weren’t like that at all. Obviously these guys have a really  colourful imagination. Due to all of this I nearly gave up, so I decided to go in a more unconventional way. I expanded my search for a Jaguar XJ or XJR to Ebay’s small-ad-service. The German version of an online flea market. And here, after just one week, I spotted a really nice XJR. It was built in 2000. with low mileage, shiny anthracite bodywork and oatmeal leather interior, and all for a really fair price. And then a big surprise, the owner was a friend’s father! I didn’t know that before, because my friend was into that bad taste Porsche thing.

Love at first sight

Fully motivated, I took Micki for the first examination of the Jag. But she wasn’t really into the whole XJ thing before. “This limousine stuff isn’t my cup of tea!”, was her first comment on the Jag, until she saw this amazing black car in the garage. Like me she fell in love instantly with the XJR. So the deal was made for both of us before anyone could say a single word.

 And so from January 2016 we became the proud owners of our first Jaguar XJR. Perfect timing, we think, not only because it was just in time to prepare the Jag for the upcoming summer season, but also for Micki and me as wedding carriage. We married in September 2016.

And the second most exciting event for our new family member was without any doubt “The Royal Windsor Jaguar Festival” in May 2017.   

I had been looking forward to this amazing event since 2016, and Micki and me greatly enjoyed our days in Windsor together with “Mr. Big”. “Who is Mr. Big?”  you might ask? Well, that’s the name we’ve chosen for our new family member, the Jaguar.  “So why did you choose that name?” some of the Windsor guests asked us. Well, as my wife and me like to watch the American TV-series “Sex and the city”, one of the characters, John James Preston, is also known as “Mr. Big”. His character is also an owner of a really beautiful  black XJR. So we decided “hey, let’s call our Jag Mr. Big!”

So that’s our story and we do hope that you enjoy reading about how a small boy’s dream became a grown up reality.

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What lengths did you go to to find your true Jaguar love?

If you have an interesting tale of how you found your perfect Jaguar we would love to hear it and maybe we can share it for all to read and enjoy too!

Email: [email protected] with your stories.

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