Our Modern Jaguar Classics


XK 120
The beginning of the Jaguar Golden age. Took the world by storm when launched in 1948 and initiated the basis of the perennial XK engine. Made a legend (and a Knight) out of Jag chief and design boss William Lyons – and demonstrated that Britain really had won the war.

XK 120 ‘C’ Type
Designated for ‘competition’ the race version of the XK120 had a tuned engine and an aerodynamic shell designed by Malcolm Sayers. Won Le Mans in 1951 at its first attempt and now rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth.

The road going version of the D type is, in our opinion certainly the most magnificent British car ever made: and probably one of the greatest road cars ever. Outrageous body swathes and cuts and carnal proportions for us out-redheads Ferrari’s 250 TR.

Mk 2
Brilliant middle-period creation much loved by blaggers as well as the coppers who’d try to chase them. In white, with red leather interior and wires it’s impossibly English and brutally elegant – but ultimately it’s the pacey mid size saloon format it pioneered forJaguar that is its truly lasting legacy.

XJ12 C
This is the only Leyland Era Jag to make our list…and we’d prefer it with the 5.3 Engine and the Walkinshaw-Broadspeed racing treatment as pictured. It’s incredible that this monster still looks so good. But it does.

images courtesy Mark Lacey


After the mediocre S and X Type, design visionary Ian Callum finally got his chops into the brand and created a winning format. The R version was and is a true challenger to the M5 Supersaloon, with a perfect blend of mentalism and practicability.

The XJ took the refinement and the performance of the XF and clothed it a stretched and sculpted format. The result is a world beating wafter that holds its own in most areas against the Teutonic equivalent – and beats them hands down in terms of pure beauty.

We haven’t driven it yet, but this extreme version of the XKR is a stone cold certainty for future classic. It’s set to be the quickest proper series production Jag ever (no, the XJ220 didn’t count). We’re wondering, though, why did they make the launch cars in French racing blue? What’s wrong with British Racing Green?