A Very Special Event(er) Indeed

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
a very special event er indeed

My friend, driving instructor, and fellow racer Brian Makse occasionally plays at being a Canadian auto journalist. Being a Canadian autojourno is very possibly the bestest job available, because even the third-tier guys get free cars and first-class flights to Europe. Right now Brian has a new Jaguar XJR in his garage. Unlike Mr. Makse, I owned a Jaguar when the company was British-owned and fiercely independent, not merely a pawn in various Asian financial shell games.

In an effort to write a better article than Makse’s upcoming Jag XKR review, I’ve decided to talk about a car that is so much cooler than the TataJag that a double shot of vodka placed on its bonnet would immediately freeze. I’m referring to a British automobile of such impeccable pedigree that even Bristol owners nod in its general direction with grudging respect. Ladies and gentlemen… the Lynx Eventer.

What, exactly, is a “shooting brake”? Obviously, it is a sporting vehicle which holds sporting firearms and equipment, driven by a sporting sort of fellow. Alternately, if I understand the lower left-hand picture in the above brochure correctly, it is meant to be operated by a man who owns both a private plane and an International House of Pancakes.

The fabrication of bespoke shooting brakes is a wonderful English tradition which encompasses Astons, Bristols, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, and many other gentlemen’s motorcars. The mighty XJ-S was capable of putting virtually all of that old iron in the shade upon its debut, when it could be bothered to start and run for any length of time, so it made perfect sense that someone would eventually make a shooting brake variant.

Still, it took more than five years from the debut of the XJ-S for Lynx Engineering to produce the first Eventer. In many ways, this was the car Jaguar should have built from the start. It lacked the controversial “flying buttresses” of the XJ-S, it was far more accommodating for rear-seat passengers (with 3.5 inches more rear legroom and more headroom as well), and it was reportedly even lighter than the original Coventry cat. I’ve been unable to find reliable pricing information but I would not expect that a new Eventer cost much less than two new XJ-S coupes. The conversion could be done on factory-new automobiles or customer cars.

For those of you who read French, a brief discussion on the wheelbase extension is here. “Mesurée sur l’Eventer 41, la différence avec l’origine est flagrante.” Indeed. It’s more than a simple cut-and-shut job, and the resulting passenger area looks quite comfortable and stylish.

A total of sixty-seven Eventers were built. The very last one, pictured below, is based on the TWR XJR-S six-liter. That makes for a rapid vehicle, even by modern standards. It would also be possible for an independently-minded Eventer owner to do one of John Radovich’s kits. It’s possible to put a ZZ 502 big-block crate engine in the car, yielding over five hundred horsepower in naturally-aspirated form. Such a car would weigh 3800 pounds. It would be more than a match for any mixed-breed XKR Ratan Tata can produce, at least in a straight line.

I regret that I cannot tell you how the Eventer drives; very few have made it to these shores. I can tell you how a stock XJ-S drives, and how it will try to make your wife a widow, and that will be the subject of my next Capsule Review…

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8 of 43 comments
  • Snavehtrebor Snavehtrebor on Nov 02, 2010

    Beautiful version of a great niche vehicle. I thought Porsche should have pursued something similar when they developed the Panamera- take the front end from the 4 door, use a more aero-friendly version of the Cayenne's rear, limit to 2 doors, et voila, the 928 Shooting Brake successor.

    • See 2 previous
    • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Nov 06, 2010

      @Snavehtrebor, Have you been in the back of a Pana? I have (6' 180#) and find them rather roomy (as it goes). No, it isn't an S-Class, but it isn't meant to be. We can kick the Cayenne around for days - I'm rather ambivalent as it is fast as all hell, but larger than I believe a Pooch should be... But it IS fast, and that is the Porker reason for being. Conundrums and all that. Regardless, I find the backseats of a 928 plenty big to take a coupla 110# chicas back to my place. With plenty of room in the hatch for multiple cases of liquor (sorry don't drink beer). Certainly non-optimal for a 100+ mile road trip in that config, but has worked for me dozens of times for 30-ish miles.

  • Herb Herb on Nov 02, 2010

    @porschespeed: Suggested definition for "Shooting Brake": a station wagon for recreational purposes that do not necessarily involve brats or in-laws. "Brake" vs. "Break": Peugeot & Citroen used to call their (4-door) station wagons "Break".

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  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
  • Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.