Choosing an XJS
Choosing an XJS initially seems like a simple enough task, but the more you research the cars, the more you realise there’s a lot of choice out there. The Jaguar XJS like all sporting Jaguars from the XK120, through to the latest XK-F offer the motorist a beautiful mix of sporting appeal in a wonderfully traditional, high performance package…..
The Jaguar XJS is no exception, it is generally regarded as the car that saved Jaguar through the 1980’s and with a production run of more than 20 years it is also the longest serving Jaguar model. As a Classic for today, the Jaguar XJS has a great deal to offer in either coupe, cabriolet or convertible form.
With a choice of high performance 6 or 12 cylinder engines, the XJS offers silky smooth performance, sleek styling, but with traditional Jaguar prestige and as with every previous sporting Jaguar benefits from excellent spares availability and specialist backup.
What a great looking car, with superb low, sleek but powerful styling queues and a traditional long sloping bonnet the XJS has matured into a truly aspirational classic. When you consider that in it’s mid 1980’s heyday, it’s main competition would have been the large Mercedes SEC range and the BMW 6 series both of which are very well respected cars.
However, when you consider their styling the Competition doesn’t really look like competition anymore as the Germans look very much of their time, where as the Jaguar still appears clean, classy and very stylish. Also, the XJS is quite a rare site on the road these days, which guarantees its ongoing kerb appeal now and certainly for the future.
As with all Classic Jaguars, there is massive support from spare parts suppliers, specialists and enthusiasts. The XJS is fast becoming a true Jaguar Classic and as such this support can only increase. There are a large number of Jaguar Specialists in the country who will be more than happy to keep your XJS in tip top condition.
Spare parts are readily available and they don’t cost the earth either. If you are the kind of person who would wish to service your XJS yourself, they are not overly complicated cars, sharing many of their mechanical components with the also long lived XJ6/12 models.
Lets just say, the XJS is the perfect antidote to today’s hectic lifestyle. If you are feeling stressed out, go and jump in your XJS and go for a drive, the more stressed you are the further you will wish to drive, but you will return from your journey refreshed and raring to go. These are beautiful cars that gently stimulate the senses, from the beautiful aroma of the leather trim as you climb in, to the tactile quality of the wood veneers. The engines are quite and unobtrusive, the GM gearboxes change smoothly and you are effortlessly wafted along.
Either 6 and especially the 12 cylinder engines offer refined smoothness and effortless performance, the legendary Jaguar independent rear suspension absorbs any unevenness in the road surface which all adds to feeling of calmness and serenity, so with the sound system playing your favorite tunes and the frequent admiring glances from other road users, every journey in your XJS will make you feel like a million dollars.
The XJS is now on the cusp of a popularity boom and as has happened with every previous sporting Jaguar model these cars values have started increasing significantly over the last few years and have actually doubled during the last decade and this trend is set to continue. Which is great news for the owners, the cars and the specialists.
It seems almost incomprehensible that in the early 80’s you could hardly give away an E-type Jaguar, yet at the end of the 1980’s they commanded astronomical price tags that took them well out of the reach of mere mortals and although prices did return to a more sensible level in the early nineties they have now rocketed again, with the E-type now a dream car for the majority of us. So what of the XJS, well it has been out of production for two decade…
This is a completely individual choice and is also largely dependent on how you intend to use your XJS, if you wish to use it as a daily driver, then a 6 cylinder is both cheaper to fuel and maintain. If however your XJS is a high days and holidays classic, either the 6 or 12 cylinder cars will suit your purpose.
What about higher mileage cars? Well, in our experience mileage is no reflection of condition when purchasing an XJS, it really does come down to the condition of the car in front of you. A low mileage one owner car that is left outside and rarely used by its elderly owner is likely to be in much worse condition than a 150k car that is used regularly and maintained accordingly. That said of course a pampered low mileage car should be just what you expect, but don’t let mileage alone be too much of a deciding factor… The condition of the car is whats important and how its been cared for… In fact just this week I saw an XJS advertised that had covered 287k miles and was still going strong!
Is the number of owners important? Once again, common sense needs to prevail, unless you have to own a 1 owner sub 40k car, then the simple answer is no! it’s not uncommon for 1 or 2 owner cars to become disused and neglected… All classic cars respond best to regular use and maintenance, a low mileage 30k car that has only been serviced 3 times in 30 years could be in poor condition… However, a higher owner car might be fabulous condition… Why? Because every time it receives a new owner it gets a pampering, serviced and has money spent on it to do the little jobs the last owner was happy to “live with”.
The point is when looking at an XJS or any other Jaguar/Daimler model, always judge the condition of the car first, then if you are happy, take into account its providence and if its tally’s up for you.
Just consider for a moment, what other car you could possibly buy that has a sleek 2+2 body, with a large V12 engine and close on 300BHP for under £10K, unless you have the budget for a Ferrari or Aston Martin there is only one…
THE JAGUAR XJS…
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