Arden Automobilbau GmbH was founded by Jochem Arden in the German town Kleve. Arden, who already owned a car dealership since the 1970s, took over a local Jaguar / Daimler dealership in 1981. The new Arden dealership was to become one of the largest in Germany in a few years. A year later, in 1982, Arden introduced his first modified Jaguar, based on an XJ V12.
In the 1980s and early 1990s Arden offered performance modifications on all Jaguar and Daimler models. But performance is not all and so Arden also offered exterior parts and interior upgrades. As offered by many other tuning-companies in those days, the interior-modifications available ranged from Recaro-seats and new steeringwheels, to complete new leather upholstery and wooden centreconsoles fitted with TVs and telephones.
The Arden-showroom in Kleve in the early 1980s.
Interestingly, in the 1980s Arden made some coachbuilt conversions as well. These were all based on the Jaguar XJS. There were the Arden AJ2 of 1985 (Jaguar XJS convertible prior to Jaguar's own XJS convertible introduced in 1988), the Arden AJ3 of 1987 (Jaguar XJS-based Stationcar) and the Arden AJ6 of 1989 (Jaguar XJS modified to a 2+2 seater). All modifications were very stylish and didn't embarrass the Jaguar-brand.
Arden Automobilbau GmbH still exists and they still tune Jaguars. The company is now based in Krefeld, Germany. They moverd to this new location in 1992.
Text: copyright Bram Corts 2013