∙Ex-Jaguar Cars Ltd company car ∙Jaguar service history ∙TWR body styling ∙Low mileage
The Jaguar XJS was devised to be a grand cruiser but it took some convincing to inform the public that it was never an out-and-out white knuckle ride, despite the near 300 bhp V12 power plant. Early examples did much to confirm that Jaguars previous owners, British Leyland, not only eroded the brand's reputation but also placed the illustrious Jaguar brand on a precarious cliff edge. However, by the start of the '80s, starting with the introduction of the High-Efficiency models, the big cat clawed its way back into contention. More frugal than the original, the improved mechanical dependency aided by better quality control saw the brand become a force again as the Jaguar name broke free from its BL shackles.
Perhaps the visuals are a matter of personal taste, but there's a clear logic for the very period body kit on this very clean 1986 car. The Tom Walkinshaw Racing Team (TWR) transformed the XJS’s previously sedate image from a mere cocktail cruiser into a bona fide racing car. TWR sanctioned a body kit as a dealer option to celebrate the team's success, as the car's reputation started to build both on the race track and the public roads. The two-tone finish and lattice alloys are complemented by the US-Spec twin headlamps, which still looks arresting to this day. This well-kept example has a recorded mileage of just 47,208 miles, which is confirmed by its main dealer Jaguar service history.
The current owner has a genuine passion for Jaguars and is in an enviable position to buy cars on a whim, enjoy them and then move on to the next interesting distraction. While his cars are in his care, he will ask his trusted mechanic to give the cars a once over and make sure that they’re usable, as he tends to use and enjoy them. This very distinctive car is believed to have been a company car for an employee of the Jaguar car company. The car was in long term ownership until it was believed to have been put in storage in 2009. Since the car has been returned to the road, it has seen attention to the alternator, fuel injectors, brake pads as well as regular servicing needs.
The car has received main dealer Jaguar servicing, all of which have been recorded in the service manual, including its first stamp at Jaguar Cars Ltd. In addition, it comes with its owner's handbook wallet and booklets, several tax discs from twenty years ago, and its original tool kit. The car has seen a fair amount of work carried out over the years for its MOT, mostly focused on its mechanical upkeep. There is also evidence of recent service invoices carried out in 2014 and at the beginning of 2020, meaning that it has seen two major servicing over 4,000 miles. It comes with an MOT until August 2021.
Thanks to the benefit of a combination of careful ownership and low miles, the interior is still very welcoming and appealing with no major issues that would require immediate attention. The Connolly leather seats are in good condition, with the driver's seat typically showing the most significant amount of wear - perhaps it might benefit from some elbow grease to restore back to its former glory but the wear is not unsightly. The main distraction is a little loose stitching on the bench of the seat. Overall all seats have been looked after and show no rips or damage.
The door cards are in good condition, with just the lacquer on the wood trim on the passenger door card showing any form of age.
Carpets and mats are in good condition, including the fully carpeted boot which shows very little signs of use.
The headlining is in decent order, with no damage observed.
The nicely presented dashboard is in good condition, with no cracks or damage. The switches, controls and dials have worn the years well and are well in line with the age and mileage of the car. The car also comes with its original Jaguar Clarion tape player. All of the other internal dashboard items are said to be functional, including the electric windows. The top of the fascia has no evidence of damage or cracks, although the veneer lacquer would benefit from some attention in places.
The body is remarkably straight, with even panel gaps throughout. The underside is good, with only one notable area of corrosion, namely on the near-side front section of the floor pan. Very minor bubbling is also evident on the off-side lowest section of the B-Pillar and the areas around the outer sills show signs of age too. The car shows very little in terms of dent damage, with doors, roof and the big panels all in good condition. The doors and bonnet open and close with no issues. The engine bay is solid, with no immediate signs of structural corrosion and the boot well is in a similarly decent state.
The TWR Specification body kit was believed to have been applied early in the car life, with the TWR bumpers, side skirts and rear spoiler appearing to be genuine items. The plastic panels are in good condition with no cracks or significant blemishes, just the odd sign of age here and there.
The distinctive two-tone paint has aged well, as it catches the light and reveals a decent lustre but could look very presentable following some detailing. The paint application is even throughout, with no evidence of thinning or fade. The car has age-related wear on the paint, with tiny chips here and there and just one minor paint blemish on the bonnet that would benefit from some attention. The glass is in good condition, with no issues with hazing observed and no issues with the laminate. No cracks or chips could be seen. The window rubbers are in decent condition, with no significant evidence of perishing or damage. The rubber trim around the body kit is in good condition, with minor signs of ageing.
The chrome work is in super condition, with the lightest of pitting observed on the attractive headlamps bezels. The chrome around the windows is in very good condition. The car has retained all of its correct external trim, with the larger items such as the black plastic C-pillar sections and metal door frames in good condition, the badges and emblems are good too. No issues with the tail and headlamps. The lattice alloy wheels are in good condition, showing minor signs of age but no major kerb damage. The Pirelli tyres are likely to be no older than 7 years old, and are in good condition and have well above the legal tread.
The engine runs well, and on start up fired up with no issues. The car would probably benefit from a really good run to clear the cobwebs, but the owner stated that a recent Sunday drive evened out much of the ‘lumpiness’ of the engine and it ticked over nicely after it had the opportunity to stretch its legs. The engine is in physically good condition, with evidence of maintenance and no significant issues with hoses or pipework noted. The exhaust is in good condition, performing with no blowing or excessive smoke. It is said not to produce any unwanted knocking suspension or steering noises.
The Jaguar XJS’s time has finally come, after years of living in the shadow of the E-Type. It is now understood that this is a different but equally rewarding experience. As one is sat in the cabin, with its never-ending bonnet, you relax into the sumptuous seats knowing that the mix of the presence of leather and wood, with the near-silent ride and comfort powered by that silky V12 power, is just at the end of a pedal. Coupled with its fascinating Jaguar history, with the benefit of an up to date service book, this finely bottled XJS is a rare opportunity to experience ‘80s sophistication for such a modest outlay.
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