How not to sell an XJ!
"Uncle Joe", a name used to protect the innocent (and not-so-innocent,) has kindly volunteered his own motorcar and motorcycle memories. A series of stories will be featured here at oldclassiccar, all of which are true, based on the vehicles that Joe has owned, driven, or worked on, over the years.
Story about Jaguar's then-new saloon.
If you have similar stories that you'd be willing to share with the world, I'd be happy to feature them here too, using an alias if you'd prefer!!
I've always enjoyed reading people's firsthand recollections of cars, and their foibles, in years gone by. Stories similar to this can be found on the main Motoring Memories Project page, which can be found here.
No-one at oldclassiccar necessarily agrees with, or condones, the events in these stories, and opinions given are not those of the site editor, but of the contributor!
The Jaguar Salesman
- or 'how not to sell a new car'
Upon leaving the Army at the end of World War II, one of my Uncles bought a lorry, and became a Haulage Contractor. The business grew, and by the sixties had quite a large business, almost two hundred vehicles, I believe, though I may be wrong. There were two things about him that I always remember. One was that I never saw him in a suit, only overalls or other working clothes, and the other was that for him, the only car in the world was a Jaguar. One day, just after Jaguar launched the (Series 1) XJ6, he came to my house.
“I´m going to buy a new XJ 6” he said “Would you like to come with me?”
Would I. No sooner said than done, we were both on the way to the dealership. Soon, we were inside the car showrooms. I suppose that appearance wise, we were not the usual clientele. He was wearing his overalls, as usual, and even I was wearing oily jeans, as I had been working on some vehicle or other when he had arrived. We went up to an XJ6, and my Uncle started to inspect it, pointing out some of the finer details to me. It didn´t take long before a salesman came up to us.
“Can I help you, Sir?”
“Yes, you can. You can tell me the price of this vehicle.”
The salesman quoted a price that was almost double list, adding “But you couldn´t afford it anyway,and I think that you should leave the premises immediately!” The price was, in itself, not unusual. In the first few months of production, these cars were selling for double, even from dealers. They were, after all, very desirable. However, the salesmans attitude was. I was very surprised with my Uncles reaction. Normally, within a few seconds he would have bit off the persons head. But this time, he didn´t. “Come on,” he said to me “lets go.”
We left the showrooms, but instead of going to his car, my Uncle went to a telephone kiosk. He told me to wait outside, and went in to make a phone call. After a few minutes, he came out.
“Are we going home?” I asked
“No, we are going back to the showrooms!”
We returned. As we entered, we could see the salesman in his office. He was talking in the telephone. When he replaced the receiver, he came out, and made a beeline for us. I expected the worst, but was surprised.
“Do you know what you are going to do?” asked my Uncle.
“Yes,” said the salesman “I´m going to sell you the Jaguar!”
“At what price?”
“And then what are you going to do?”
“Clear out my desk, and go home. I´ve just got the sack!”
The XJ's papers were signed, and we left. I asked my Uncle if he had anything to do with the salesman getting sacked.
“Yes, I have,” he answered “The phone call that I made was to the owner of the garage. I told him that the salesman was rude to me.”
“But thats not enough reason for someone to get the sack.” I replied.
“It is when I buy all my wagons from them!”
Life can be so sweet at times!
Thanks for the story Uncle Joe. Jaguar's swish XJ appears in a number of places across this website, including this XJ6 & XJ12 Buyers Guide and a great set of XJ Press photographs.