Answer – just £52.60 in the case of our new long term Jaguar XKR-S, although to be 100 per cent accurate it’s probably a little bit more than that because, as you can see from the picture below, it’s only the R and S that need replacing…
You guessed it, in the end it took just nine days for some neanderthal – probably a yoof, though not necessarily so around these parts – to leave their mark of insignificance on the Jag. And what’s saddest of all is that, for most of the time, and for most observers, the XKR-S is quite clearly a thing to celebrate.
Even though I’ve covered less than 1000 miles in it, I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve given me the big thumbs up in it, either from the pavement or from behind the wheels of other cars. The common reaction towards it seems genuinely to be one of approval, or undiluted joy in some cases. Which is interesting given how ostentatious it must appear within the everyday motoring landscape.
Cars that stand out as obviously as this often attract the wrong sort of attention down my way. As a result, you can sit waiting to not be let out of junctions for hours, sometimes days when behind the wheel of a tricked up Porsche or Mercedes. But the XKR-S is different. You can detect the warm glow of affection it generates from most people, most of the time, pretty much wherever it goes.
Most of the time, but unfortunately not all, and not from everyone it seems, as the state of its badge now clearly illustrates.
A new one has been ordered, though quite how long it will remain in situ I have no idea. A CCTV system may be required. Better still, I could wire the car up to the national grid and wait for the sparks to fly. Either way, I’m not giving up yet – even if 52 quid for a tiny plastic badge that will probably go missing again within minutes does seem like a heroic waste of everything.