The Jaguar XJ220 took the breath away when it was launched and it still has star quality, turning heads wherever it is seen.
After being launched as a concept to great acclaim in 1988, Jaguar took the plunge to put it into production.
A dedicated JaguarSport joint venture was set up with the company’s then competition partner, Tom Walkinshaw Racing, and soon afterwards an XJ220 factory was opened by Princess Diana in Bloxham.
Customer sales started in June 1992 – hence the 25-year milestone – with the mid-engined, two-seater supercar being not only Jaguar’s fastest ever production car (an accolade it still holds today) but also at the time the fastest production car on earth, officially clocked at 212.3 mph.
Over the next two years, 271 XJ220s were created at Bloxham, 41 of which gathered at the Silverstone Classic during the last weekend of July for the landmark anniversary.
Now more than 50 staff from Bloxham will be reunited this Saturday at Don Law Racing in Staffordshire, the family-run organisation that has assumed global responsibility for the XJ220, having taken over the business from JaguarSport. Don and his son Justin were also behind the Silverstone Classic showcase.
Don said: “Graham Cooling, who was JaguarSport’s senior buyer at Bloxham, approached me in the build-up to the Classic looking to arrange a private staff reunion.
“With more than 20 of the XJ220s that they hand-built in our workshops, it was clearly the perfect place to host such an evocative gathering.”
Representatives from suppliers to the Bloxham operation are also invited, as well as a host of special guests.
These include Jim Randle, Keith Helfet and Elizabeth Walkinshaw. As engineering director at Jaguar, Randle was the inspiration behind the XJ220. Helfet was responsible for its styling, while Walkinshaw is the widow of JaguarSport supremo Tom Walkinshaw.