Sunday, January 17, 2016

Shift It Yourself: 1984 Jaguar XJS

The Jaguar XJS was a luxury grand tourer that survived with only a few changes over an impressive 20 year lifespan.  Production of the Malcolm Sayer and Doug Thorpe designed 2+2 started in 1976, had a minor makeover in 1982, and a more significant re-design in 1992 and the last cars left the factory in 1996.  Today's example isn't your average North American XJS.  Find this 1984 Jaguar XJS with 5-speed manual transmission offered for an undisclosed price in Waldwick, NJ via craigslist.  Tip from Cory.

 This is no swapped Jag or a grey market import -- according to the seller: I'm assisting my father with the sale of his very unusual 1984 Jaguar XJS, factory-built with Jaguar's 6 cylinder AJ6 engine and a Getrag 5-speed manual transmission. Jaguar shipped only about 24 demo cars of this version to the US, of which this is one. They were used exclusively by Jaguar staff and never sold in the US except by auction to Jaguar employees.

Under the "distinctive, muscular bonnet bulge" is a 3.6 liter Jaguar AJ6 DOHC inline-6 that puts out 221 horsepower and 240 ft-lbs of torque.  This are expensive engines when something goes wrong, but are generally not considered a weak point in the XJS.

A quick look inside confirms the presence of a manual gear shifter that is attached to a  Getrag 5-speed box.  The combination of manual transmission and healthy inline-6 should make for a fantastic alternative to even the best V12-slushbox XJS.  This one needs some mechanical investigation (turns over but doesn't start) and some rust repair before you are cruising around, but would be a great find at the right price.

See another manually shifted Jag?



  1. It also has the advantage of predating the advent of those ridiculous electric seatbelts that blighted late '80s Jaguars.

  2. Seller updated ad with $6000 price.

  3. I would have thought that a rare Jag 5 speed would be worth more than this....Guess not so, drive it until the 3.6 makes an expensive Lucas flambe' noise then transplant an LS1 into it. If the Getrag won't handle the extra power at least the clutch pedal and shifter/ console are already there for your Tremec trans.

  4. I fear the seller will have a long uphill battle to sell this for the asking price ($6K). He admits that other XJSs sell for $5-6K, but I bet most of those ones RUN. It is almost impossible to sell a car that doesn't run, since everything is a possible problem. I think he will need to spend the few hundred dollars to sort out the fuel delivery problem.

    I don't know how the structure on these Jags stands up, but that rust-through on the trunk lid would make me want to be sure to bring a long screwdriver for the inspection.

  5. Yeah, the rust through makes it tough. This is one of those data - plate specials. It could prove to be a labor of love, but who isn't really curious about what the driving experience would be like?

  6. Mercedes dealer in Calgary had one (5-sp, 6 cyl) on the lot about 20 years ago. Sweet driving, but no buyers. Was finally sent to auction.

  7. My favorite XJS configuration. Almost bought one a while back but a higher offer got it.

    None running makes this a high price and the rust makes it more of a risk than I want in an XJS.

  8. Yikes. Thats bad rust. The body shell and unibody will likely need some serious work. I think you'd be better off starting with a solid car and swapping in an new transmission via DrivenMan or one of the multiple companies who specialize in getting non-Jaguar bits into your Jaguar...says the guy with a Jaguar with non-Jaguar bits in it.

  9. Sadly the values on these have not started up enough to carry this very rare stick car out of the CL bottom feeder range.

    $6K for an apparently well taken care of, rust free, healthy runner would be acceptable, but this is still <$2000 fodder all day long.

    IF there were more than 5 guys with a deep hankering for one of these nationwide, it could top $2000, on a good day. Warm and sunny.

    1. Yea, I think those prices are reasonable. I follow this market pretty closely in my local area. Super clean, great looking, solid running cars are all selling under 10k. Project type stuff, 2k and down. For me, the rust really kills it. He might, just maybe, see 3k out of it. The history, if real, is worth a few bucks as is the 4.2 5 speed combo.

      Hell, I passed on a $500 complete non runner last spring. Interior was a little rough and there was a little clear coat oxidation but both were presentable enough for a tatty but interesting daily. Still, couldn't pop on it and I love Jaguars.


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