Reply To: Welcome new Cabriolet member – Craig Shankland

Craig Shankland

    Looking foreword to being apart of this great club. I discovered the club browsing the internet on U tube. Nice to have a separate specific model  club  especially for XJS one of my all time favorite cars. Having owned two award winning XJS convertibles one a 1994 white convertible and the other a 1996 Celebration convertible National Award winner in the USA. Now I own a Cabriolet which has a story and for me is a totally different animal. One owner, woman, bought new in 1987 in Orlando from Collier Jaguar, she got sick in 1995 parked the car in her separate garage on her property, did not allow anyone of her four sons to drive it ever, died in April 2020. 25 years later it was brought by her eldest son on a flat bed truck to her local Jaguar mechanic. Totally covered in dust, rat excrement, and live rats in the engine bay, mold and mildew all over everything, 22k miles on the clock. The mechanic called me, thought I would like to see this car. Oh my goodness what a mess but I could see Underneath all that mess was a brand new car, paint perfect,  navy leather perfect.  It needed mechanical attention of course from all that time. it actually started without anything being done but we quickly turned it off. The rats and some other creatures did a job on the wiring and even chewed along the bottom edges of the soft top, must have tasted  horrible, that’s being redone. Two rats now reside in the  mechanics garage!

    The car has the hard top accessory never used, the bag to put the two Targa tops in, in perfect condition, all the documentation, price when bought etc as well as two perfect Jaguar navy matching lambs wool seat covers in perfect condition and the tonneau in perfect condition. The books and keys and an amazing huge Jaguar Manual on the V12 engine and parts numbers all like new. Her husband was a mechanic but never would touch the car. She had her own mechanic!  Did not trust her husband. She had put brand new Pirrelli tires on the day she got sick, pity as they had such bad flat spots they were unusable, when pumped up they looked perfect, Good enough to drive but not safe, Shame

    The former owner also loved country music and had at least 30 tapes of the very best singers which were in the storage compartments behind the seats.

    I also got the elder son, who restores British Motor bikes in Daytona Beach Florida to document the story for the record about how much his mother loved the Cabriolet and fact that it had sat for that long and why before finally being moved. she had four other cars including a corvette and Cadillac. The four sons did not want anything to do with the car or the expense of restoring it. I made an offer they took it. I never had any intention of buying a V12  or a Cabriolet, but this one got my attention. The more I cleaned it off the more I got to see what a gem this one is. More to come when I finish the detailing and when the  mechanicals are acting as they should. With new tires she rides beautifully, With the Targa tops off it’s special, Its a very different car for me “ an old mans car” it’s not, I Like it because you don’t see many around, its pleasantly different, it’s a head turner. I can’t wait to show it off!

    The crazy thing is, one of our Jacksonville Jag club members had a perfect navy Cabriolet which unfortunately went up in flames by the side of the road. V12 owners know why.  I had saved a beautiful article done by Jaguar Driver Magazine in England, all about the cabriolet for him, alas it did not go there, so I now have some great pictures and a wonderful article all about the wonderful Cabrios to add to the cars records, Devine intervention!

    My question is how many of the Cabriolets were made,I was told 5000,  how many still on the road world wide and how many are in the USA?

    Look foreword to hearing about your stories too, I have had some great Jag stories to go with the 17 I have owned,  one brand new the rest all previously owned cars.