Repairing and Maintaining Jaguar XJ220s is a Family Affair

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XJ220 2

The XJ220s from the early 1990s are not just any Jaguars. They’re more dramatically styled, more exotic, and more powerful than their fellow felines of the time and many of their successors.

In fact, the 540-horsepower curvaceous cats are so special that back in the ’90s, Jaguar itself couldn’t keep up with repairing and maintaining them in northern Europe.

They turned to a third party business, Don Law Racing. Over the years, the father and son team of Don and Justin has learned just how special the XJ220 is – for better or for worse – while working on customer cars from all over world. They have spare Ricardo gearboxes, TWR engines, and even the original CAD model of the 217-mph masterpiece.

XJ220

Of course, the Laws not only know how to fix XJ220s; they also know how to make them better. They’ve produced their own version of the car that’s effectively a Le Mans racer for the road with a high-performance suspension designed to competently handle the engine’s 800 bhp. It’s highly likely that DLR’s available exhaust, turbo, and ECU mods had something to do with that substantial jump in output.

Don Law Racing also offers upgrades that increase the XJ220’s useability, such as GPS and in-car entertainment systems and parking sensors. It also has an enhancement that improves the car’s luggage space by 260 percent.

The company’s knowledge of Jaguars extends past the XJ220. According to Don Law Racing’s website, Justin Law managed to nail down “the outright fastest time of the [Goodwood] Festival of Speed behind the wheel of the Don Law Racing prepared Jaguar XJR’s in 2003, 2005, 2008 & 2009.”

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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