The Hendersons       Sophia


Carnival Red 1998 Jaguar XK8 Convertible



That's Sophia In front of our 2 1/2 car garage

Sophia came into our lives in December of 1999.  Mel and I had driven Hondas for years while we put our sons through school.  As I was approaching retirement we talked about getting something more exciting.  A friend had a beautiful XJS convertible, so we went for a drive in one of those.  I just didn't care for it.  I knew about XK8s but never thought I would be willing to spend that much money for a car.  Then one day I saw one 'in the flesh' and went home and told Mel that I was in love.  Her response was, "With that car it isn't love, it's lust."  Retirement arrived in November of '99.  In early December, our younger son sent us an email with a link to something he thought might interest me.  It was an eBay auction for a Carnival Red '98 XK8 convertible with less than 1,500 miles on it.  That was the year and the only color that I really wanted.  The auction was a nail-biter, but I won it and got Sophia for about $10k less than retail book value.

Matt came home for Christmas on December 18th and on the 20th he and I flew to Houston.  Matt was good company for me as I drove Sophia home.  We left Houston the evening of the 20th and drove to San Antonio.  The rest of the trip home was done in just three days, and we got home just before Mel got back from picking Tom up at the airport.  When they pulled in the driveway Sophia was sitting there with her Texas plate on the back.

She's a drop-dead beautiful car that is VERY comfortable and great fun to drive.  The 4.0L V8 engine can propel her from 0 - 60 in about 6.7 seconds and, although I've never driven her quite that fast, her top speed is electronically limited to 155MPH.  All that and she still gets about 24MPG on the highway.  I can't say that she has been trouble-free, like our Hondas have typically been.  But I suppose in fairness I should recognize that it is easier to refine your product when you build hundreds of thousands of them each year rather than the relatively low numbers of XK8s produced.

We've taken her on several road trips down to California, and last summer I took her on a cross-country trip that eventually totaled 11,600 miles.  You can read about that trip in the Travels section of our site.

In April of 2006 I decided that having three cars when we only drive about 12,000 miles a year in all three combined (except for occasional trips) made no sense.  The cost for insurance, etc. was significant.  Siven, our 2006 Accord, was not going to go.  Neither was Moggie, our '91 Morgan.  So Sophia drew the short straw.  I made her look as spectacular as possible (and she looked awesome) and put her on the showroom floor at European Motors, where I still work a few days now and then.  Once the sunny days became more common, she went in a hurry.  The new owners are people I have known for several years and are the type who will take excellent care of her.  So we got a good price and Sophia got a good home.

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