Idle Torque: Big Cat s V12 a complex beast
Idle Torque - The Jaguar V12 engine, shown here in its early quad cam, fuel injected guise, will be celebrated by the Jaguar Car Club tomorrow. Supplied picture

With more eloquence than I can reproduce, an author I admire once compared the smoothness of the Jaguar V12 engine with that of a vacuum cleaner.

That sounds like he was damning it with faint praise given the chief method by which vacuum cleaners clean.

However, the delicacy of his diction made it clear he was talking about this classic engine's creamy turbine-like power.

The production version of the Jaguar V12 first appeared in the E-Type in 1971, following a long gestation during which it was developed as a powerplant for a potential Le Mans car during the 1960s, namely the XJ13.

The original, fuel-injected quad-cam V12 that went into the XJ13 was a complex beast.

For production, it was made simpler and smoother thanks to single-cam cylinder heads and softer valve springs.

After appearing in the E-Type in 1971, the V12 then went on to power the XJS, XJ12 Series I and II and the Daimler-badged XJs known as the Double-Six.

In its day, it was the height of English luxury and sophistication, and to many people, it still is today.

Quite a few of those people will be at Houghton Winery in the Swan Valley tomorrow, where the Jaguar Car Club will be giving special recognition to the marque's big V12.

·See Motor Moments below for details.


Last weekend's classic car auction at Claremont Showground attracted strong interest from automotive enthusiasts around the country but the results reflected a still-tough classic-car auction market.

It could be said that with the exceptions of fine art, boats and mistresses, classic cars are the ultimate discretionary spend and, as such, decisions to parlay money on them can be seriously influenced by general consumer confidence and the state of the economy.

Perth Classic Car Auction spokesman Paul Blank this week said the classic car auction market was tough, and that the same situation was being felt at similar auctions held on the east coast of Australia.

"Nonetheless, we had strong enthusiasm and many people saying they support the idea of a WA collectors' car auction," Mr Blank said.

Despite a slightly depressed market, there were some exceptions to the gloomy outlook, with a 1977 Holden Torana A9X selling for $105,400 and a 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupe going for $35,200.

Mr Blank said six cars and one motorcycle were sold overall, and that the auction team was working on closing deals on three other vehicles.


WA Country Builders Great Southern 500, Perth, York, Albany. Phone 0448 211 411 or
Narrogin Revheads Weekend, 20th Anniversary event. Phone 0428 288 511 or visit

Jaguar Car Club Annual Show, Houghton Winery, Middle Swan.
Phone 0407 797 003.
Porsche Concours d’Elegance, South Perth Foreshore, off Coode Street, 10am to 2pm.
Phone 0417 978 122.

GM Owners Day, Steel Blue Oval, Bassendean.
Visit or
phone 0406 997 177.

FEBRUARY 17, 2013
Northam Vintage Swapmeet, Jubilee Oval, Northam, 7am to noon. Phone 9574 4462 or

Send event details to

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