Sunday, July 26, 2015

Seller Submission: 1988 Jaguar XJS V12 Coupe

Ask any 80s Jaguar owner and they tell you that maintenance costs are somewhere between a Ferrari and a Fiat.  Despite what the pundits might say, the reliability of Britain's greatest grand tourer from the 1980s isn't that bad and you can own/drive one without selling your kids on the black market if you start with a nice example.  Find this 1988 Jaguar XJS V12 Coupe here on eBay currently bidding for $1,225 with 6 days to go, located in Wilton, CT.  Seller submission from Peter.

You won't find the writers here at DT mindlessly promoting British cars like those nitwits on Top Gear, but I will say that we like a good looking 2+2 sports coupe.  And the Jaguar XJS (1975-1996) is still as stunning in appearance as the day its Doug Thorpe designed shape hit the showrooms.  

Under the hood is a 5.3 liter version of Jaguar's high efficiency (HE) V12 that is rated at 262 horsepower and 290 ft-lbs of torque for the US market. Performance isn't exactly breathtaking because of the porky 4000 lb curb weight, but freeway acceleration is superb and smooth. 

The interior features supple leather, real wood, and a spindly shifter attached to an automatic gearbox.  From the UK KWEcars website: Cars can be converted to 5 speed manual transmission (clutch, gearbox, propeller shaft, differential, pedal box, console modifications) – circa £8000 ($13,000!)

 See a cooler cat for sale?


  1. One light year is the distance something would go if it was travelling at the speed of light for one year. I think there is one light year of vacuum tubing and wiring under that hood. These are nice looking cars, there is one in our neighborhood that has an LSX motor in it (goes fast looks good)

  2. My personal solution was to buy the 4.0 instead. Glad I did, it served me well.

    1. Which is, of course, not exactly from the 80s. But most people can't tell the difference as it glides by. Taking a quick look online at the I6 Coupes for sale, I'm surprised at how few are out there. Here's one of the few I found.

      1993 Jaguar XJS 4.0 for $7K with 107K miles


    2. 5- and 6-speed transmission kits are available here in the States for considerably less money than ~$13K.

  3. This is one of those cars that requires a certain frustration-tolerance threshold. By modern standards they are simple cars, at the time they were regarded as a big steaming mess of stuff but most of the problems descend from the fact that British labor (or is that labour, or Labour) of the '70s and what remnant of it stumbled on into the '80s wasn't remotely interested in building anything to the tolerances of, say, a Toyota Starlet, and the management wasn't willing to engage in open warfare* to correct this, so what went out the door was a whole lot of hit-and-miss.

    I've never been a huge fan of the XJS but I'm mellowing a bit, please note this is one of the unfortunate robot-belt years and you'll probably want to source some parts to backdate it to sane seatbelts.

    * I believe it was even after Rover had been saved by BMW, and then the Land Rover end bought out by Ford, that the unions were doing the full restless-natives thing over Ford wanting workers not to smoke on the production line, lest their butts end up soiling the product they're building.

    If I were Ford management I'd have had the bulldozers rolling to knock down the Solihull plant the next day.

    1. Mrkwong, please don't stop writing in this site. Purely selfish reasons, I have, since you learn me sumthin new each time.

  4. Are you guys writing from Colorado these days? Gee willikers.....Strap a charge to the bottom of this thing and send its ignominious existence into oblivion.

  5. What? The COOLEST 80s British GT?
    Bristol 412


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