I was particularly interested in Mr. Jago’s letter about his Citroen Safari since I have done the reverse swap—from Citroen to Jaguar, and my feelings about both cars are almost identical to his.
However, there is one big difference and that is that the Jaguar is an infinitely better-trade car than the Citroen. Like Mr. Jago I was bitten by the Citroen bug and for five years I could contemplate no other. I bought a new ID in 1959, and the trouble I had with those judderirg, chattering drive-shafts was endless. And here’s another point about Foreign versus English : the Citroen was only guaranteed for six months, and that for new parts only, so that in the first month I was presented with a bill of about £35 for labour on the transmission and brakes.
I had exactly the same love-hate relationship as Mr. Jago, and spent a lot of money trying to get more power out of that stoneage engine, with disappointing results, however. Still obsessed with Citroenitis, I swapped the 1959 model for a 1962 version, which was better in sonic respects but the engine was just as noisy, and accelerating in 1st and 2nd a nerve-jarring affair—I had a Silent Travel kit fitted, which was a big improvement. Iike Mr. Jago, I had several visits to Slough, and whereas they were politeness itself, that was about all I ever got from them. After two years I found the car was going rusty all over, and so at last was cured of this, mental derangement which affects all Citroen owners, making them blind to its many defects, and only recognising its virtues, which are superb steering, roadholding and suspension, and amazing economy of petrol and tyres.
So I bought a 2.4 Jaguar and have never regretted the change, the smoothness, silence and power of the engine being immeasurably superior to the Citroen as is also the complete freedom from rattles and rust. One thing however that I bitterly regretted was the much inferior steering, the front wheels being deflected by every irregularity of the road, such as raised white lines, etc. This could be disconcerting on a greasy road and once more I contemplated a change, but jaguars advised me to fit Dunlop SP41s and this I have now done, and can only say that the improvement is quite fantastic. I now feel almost as safe as I did in the Citroen, and would advise other Jaguar owners to scrap the RS5s and fit SP41s, unfortunately not a cheap recommendation.
Finally, I agree that the heaters on both Citroen and Jaguar are feeble, as also are the lights. I also have a Ford Anglia Super on which the heater would roast potatoes, and one can motor comfortably at 50 m.p.h. on dipped headlamps, whereas I have to drop to about 20 on the Jaguar. Why expensive cars should be so inferior to cheap ones in this respect is a mystery to me.
Sevenoaks. L. Davy