Mar 11, 2013

Salvaged Jaguar Decor

My 1999 Jaguar XJ8 may be gone now, but you wouldn't know it if you came to my place for a visit. Before it had to be abandoned I salvaged what I could from the Jag to sell parts of it online. Not surprisingly, I ended up keeping most of the best bits for myself as mementos - and who could blame me considering what a beautiful car it really was? I think my place is looking especially trendy now that it's decked out in some unique (and somewhat custom) Jaguar decor. 

I have to say that living in a loft space with polished concrete floors, exposed duct work, and 12 foot ceilings really suits the upscale salvage yard aesthetic (I'm not sure that's really a thing, but I can picture it being said on one of those home reno shows). Not everyone can pull off a Jaguar alloy in their living room, but given my eclectic surroundings I think it works. I only wish I would've had space to turn my entire car into a bookshelf like this. On the other hand, with several of the large photo prints I shot of my Jag as a backdrop, I think I'm well on my way to having a personal XJ8 museum in the comfort of my own home.

For starters, I kept the full size spare because of its pristine condition. I doubt anyone ever used it, and so it remained covered for all of those years in the trunk. The alloy has absolutely no scuffs or marks and the original Pirelli tire looks like new. Granted it was a big souvenir to hold onto, but it's so shiny!

Speaking of which, the hood ornament (or leaper) from my Jag was the most obvious of all of the souvenirs to keep. My dad made me a custom base to mount it to, and because I had previously replaced the leaper and made it removable after the original one was stolen, my new leaper hardly spent any time out in the weather. Looking at it on my shelf now, it's not hard to see why they're such a tempting target for thieves.   

On the slim shelf I have next to my front door I decided to get creative. I moved things around and fit each of the Jag's four circular headlights perfectly into their own cubbyholes. I suppose I could have sold them, but I think they look pretty cool like this. I'm still working out what to do with the taillights, but I like the idea of back lighting one of them and creating a novelty lamp for a shelf or something. We'll see.

The parts I saved from my Jaguar were both big and small. The custom gear shift knob I special ordered from a craftsman in Quebec for instance, now sits in a little bowl behind my couch. Compare this to the grill of my Jaguar, which is just slightly more noticeable and is fit snugly into the shelf in my entry way. I also fit a piece of the stained burled walnut dash into the space just below it.

Not all of the parts have a place yet, and I'm not sure all of them ever will. One of the nicest displays I put together though was of my Jaguar badges, the wheel centre caps, and my leaper key chain. They're all in a wooden box with a glass top and they look pretty sweet all laid out together. It's the one memento that seems most nostalgic, not just because the car's make and model is clearly on display, but because I carried that key chain everywhere, I bought that Jaguar badge as a replacement after a long search to find the right one, and the XJ8 badge was a replacement that I asked for as a Christmas present.

Everywhere you look in my place there's a little bit of my old Jag around. I'm still not quite over the car dying on me so suddenly, but at the same time I never would've been able to display and enjoy all of these souvenirs if I had sold the Jag as-is. This way, I'm at least reminded of what a beautiful vehicle it was, and the new decor certainly makes for some entertaining conversation starters.  


Anonymous said...

So, when you start up your new interior decorating side-business, do you want to come and make my house more interesting? I envy your patience and creative eye haha!

Billie Jean

Editing Luke said...

That all depends - do you have spare car parts hanging around? haha.