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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Classic Jaguars in New Zealand by Richard Waugh

Like many people who pick up this book, my mind immediately flashed back to Jaguars I have admired over the years and the one that got away. In my case, it was a 4.2-litre E-Type 2+2 coupe. I had been staying at a Bed and Breakfast, and the elderly lady who was our host took me out to her garage to see the Jaguar her late husband had owned. She was so impressed with how much I admired and knew about the car that she said I could make her an offer and drive it away. She said she would be happy with whatever I was prepared to pay for it.

Sadly, I knew what it was worth, which was more than I could afford, and was not prepared to take it off her hands for anything less. Instead, I put her in touch with somebody who would sell it on her behalf and get her a good price for it.

Although I have never had a Jaguar in my garage, I have often thought ……. what if? Instead, I have settled on collecting several diecast model examples and it was a pleasant surprise to find references to and examples of them in the appendices at the back of the book

On the whole, it is a superb and well-written book with plenty of examples of the marque and appropriate for the 100th Anniversary of Jaguar. The slogan ‘Grace, Pace and Space’ so aptly fits the cars described in this book and is aptly supplemented by the multitude of high-quality photographs throughout. The range of cars goes from the Swallow Sidecar era through to the time when Jaguar was owned by Ford.

There were several highlights for me throughout its pages, with my personal favourites being the underrated XJS, a car that did everything a grand tourer was supposed to do, and the XJ220, an awesome supercar. I had not been aware that there were any XJ220s in New Zealand but the example in the book had been imported in 2008. The XKSS Continuation car was a pleasant surprise too.

The book is a weighty tome and would look perfect on any coffee table for guests to browse and enjoy. It has sufficient detail in the text and photos to satisfy even the most adamant admirer of the Jaguar marque. The appendices at the back of the book are well worth a read too as they give a good introduction to anybody who was thinking about buying a classic Jaguar and what was available in this country to help somebody move into this enthusiastic community.

My only criticism of the book is how each chapter starts with an excellent photograph of the car it is about and it is printed across two pages with the book’s centre gutter cutting the car in half. Invariably the bit of the car that is in the gutter is lost. The pages are calendar sized (290 x 245mm) and in portrait format allowing a large enough picture to be printed that can be enjoyed without the frustration caused by printing them across two pages. That being said at over 300 pages, most full of colour photographs the book is a bargain for any jaguar lover.

Reviewer Patrick Harlow

Classic Jaguars in New Zealand by Richard Waugh


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