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CLASSICS Jaguar Classic Works is adept at keeping XJ220s pristine and thriving. Centre: Paul Hegarty considers this rare car a stillappreciating classic. Below: Chris Madden has been servicing XJ220s since the mid 1990s RECOMMISSIONING AN XJ220” any need, but because it seems the right thing to do in someone else’s half-million pound, quarter-century-old hypercar. So I amuse myself seeing how fast it can sweep through the curves, cornering flat and preposterously fast on its vast and brand new Pirelli tyres. And don’t be surprised if there is still a noise in the cabin when you finally switch off: it’ll be coming from you as your heart rate stabilises and breathing returns to some approximation of normal. “We have doubled our XJ220 business in the last couple of years,” says Hegarty, “but I think we can double it again. Of course we buy and sell cars, but we also look after dozens of them and can do anything from the simplest servicing to recommissioning a car that’s been off the road for years.” And plenty have, not least because the original Bridgestone tyres have not been available for years. “I know one customer who bought a car just for its tyres,” says Classic Works’ Chris Madden, who has been servicing and repairing XJ220s for Jaguar for 23 years. “But now Pirelli makes new, bespoke tyres for the XJ220, meaning cars that have been laid up can be returned to the road.” Obviously they are not cheap to maintain, but nor are they bank breakers. Hegarty and Madden agree it’s the ones that are used least that cost most to maintain. An annual service costs £2,000, and a major service – involving removing the engine, changing the clutch and cam-belts – can cost £15,000 every two years. Every six years, the fuel tank needs changing, too, because it’s a perishable bag that needs to be collapsed and pulled out of a hole in the rear bulkhead (“like being a large animal vet,” muses Madden). But even that with everything else including tyres will cost £25,000 – which, as Hegarty points out, you’ll add to the car’s value. For me, it was just a delight not only to be reunited with a car that once meant so much to me, but to discover that, despite the passage of time, it remains as visceral and captivating as ever. THE JAGUAR 73

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