That Jaguar's XJ-S has become an increasingly sought after classic is beyond doubt. Launched in 1975, the excellence of its basic design was ably demonstrated by a twenty-one year production life. Based around a two-door monocoque bodyshell equipped with all-round independent suspension (double wishbone front, lower wishbone / radius arm rear), four-wheel disc brakes and power-assisted rack and pinion steering, some of its underpinnings even found their way into the later Aston Martin DB7 and Jaguar XK8. However, the XJ-S could only cheat time for so long and in 1991 parent company Ford thoroughly reworked the luxury grand tourer at a cost of £50 million. With its sheet metal incorporating some 40 percent new panels, the rejuvenated model range sported a revised grille, headlamps, taillights, bumpers and rear wings. While its cabin gained a new walnut trim fascia and improved sports seats. Powered by either a punchy straight-six (3980cc) or soporific V12 (5343cc) engine, the former DOHC unit was quoted as developing some 223bhp and 283lbft of torque. Featuring five-speed manual transmission as standard, the 4.0 litre XJS could also be had with a four-speed automatic gearbox. Reputedly capable of over 140mph in either case, it proved a refined and relaxing drive.