Jaguar: a car brand which makes you proud to be British. Even though over the years the Coventry-based manufacturer has gone through more ups and downs than The Big Dipper, it has never ceased making amazing cars. It was Enzo Ferrari himself who declared the E-Type the most beautiful car he had ever seen – praise doesn’t come much higher than that.
Not only does Jaguar make great cars, it also knows a thing or two about making limited edition models: cars which are either downright bonkers in terms of performance or immediate collector’s items. Or both. This week Jag treated us to the Heritage Edition F-Type - a special edition of its V8 roadster limited to just 60 examples and painted in the Sherwood Green paintjob of the original E-Type.
That got us thinking about the other limited edition Jaguars which set our pulses racing…
The ultimate super-saloon, the Project 8 is based on the Jaguar XE but is stuffed with a fire-breathing 5-litre supercharged V8 engine which produces 592bhp and 700Nm of torque, making it Jaguar’s most powerful road car to date. With just 300 made, even if you’ve got the £150K to buy one you will probably struggle. An extra £10,000 buys you a track pack which swaps the back seats for a roll cage and adds carbon race seats in the front.
Like the Project 8, the Project 7 is the work of Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division which created the most hardcore version of the F-Type roadster around. Using Jag’s 5-litre supercharged V8 and shaving 45kg from the regular car, the rear wheel drive Project 7 is pretty nippy, knocking of 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds. All of the 250 made were sold immediately, even though it cost £135,000.
The Jaguar D-Type is one of the most beautiful race cars of all time but back in 1957, once the race season was over, Jaguar decided to convert 25 D-Types into roadgoing cars and call it the XKSS. All but nine were completed, with one bought by Steve McQueen, but when the last nine were damaged in a fire Jaguar decided to abandon the project. That was until 2016, when it decided to rescue the remaining cars and turn them into continuation models.
Only 53 models of the Jaguar C-Type were ever built and they were made specifically for racing, with the C standing for competition (it was officially named the XK120-C). The C-Type won at Le Mans twice thanks to its lightweight aluminium body and 3.4-litre straight six engine, and if you can find one of those winning cars for sale today it’ll cost you around £2 million to buy. There are plenty of replicas out there though, which cost a lot less.
To commemorate the 100th birthday of Sir William Lyons, co-founder of Jaguar, 500 special edition XJRs were built, with just 82 of them sold in the UK. They all featured a 4-litre supercharged V8 engine which produced 370bhp - not too shabby for a saloon - and most were finished in black with red stitching throughout the interior. If you see one on the roads today then that’s the day to buy a lottery ticket, they are about as rare as it comes.