As one of Britain's last V12 powered luxury cars, the Jaguar XJS doesn’t need much of an introduction. After a somewhat incongruous start, Jaguar developed the XJS into one of the finest British roadsters after many years of living under the shadow of the iconic E-Type.
While it seems like the most obvious of product development, the removal of the XJS' roof has allowed the car to become the stylish cruiser it really should have been from the start, but everything happens for a reason. Years of incremental improvement in the brand's build quality, use of materials and engineering has finally honed the XJS into a luxurious grand tourer worthy of Jaguar's illustrious past.
Considered one of the most desirable of the Jaguar XJS models, this 1992 Automatic V12 Japanese import was imported into the UK in late 2018 and has seen one owner since then.
It has to be said, it is rather difficult to pick any significant faults with the presentation of the car, the exterior and interior of the car are amongst the cleanest V12 XJS cabriolets we’ve come across.
It comes with a new MOT, which is currently being organised by the owner in preparation for the sale of the car and shows evidence of being well looked after.
The current owner tends to buy from reliable sources, and picks the best examples of cars he can budget for. As a self-made man, he’s in it strictly for the experience and enjoyment rather than the potential investment novelty - he has owned up to 60 prestige cars over the years.
Bought two years ago to replace his Honda NSX, the car has been kept undercover in his garage and used as a weekend and occasions car, but has seen less use in the last six months. However, it does get started regularly with the car constantly on a trickle charge to help preserve the battery.
During his ownership, the owner has not needed to worry about the car durability and has told us that the car has been reliable. Due to personal circumstances, and with a lot of regrets, he has to sell the big cat.
Somewhat typically for a car that has been privately imported, the XJS doesn’t come with a huge amount of paperwork, having only been in the UK since 2018.
However, we can make basic assumptions by the overall condition to suggest it has seen attention in the hands of its original Japanese owners. The XJS V12's are rare in Japan, so again using our imagination and a little logic, it would be safe to assume that the car has been owned by someone with a few spare yen to spend on servicing and maintenance.
A little investigation also confirms that the car had seen a total respray. The paint code sticker suggests that it would have been manufactured in Kingfisher blue, confirmed by a deeper inspection to suggests that the car has been professionally resprayed at some point in its life. The car was sold to the owner by Kings Road in Berkhampstead who tend to specialise in top-end cars, so this should add another sheen of confidence.
It does come with a few pieces of its Japanese provenance, with its handbook, export document and what appears to be mechanical inspection paperwork. It comes with its DLVA new registration document and a current V5. The car will also come with a 12 Months MOT, which is being sorted out by the current owner as you read this.
The doeskin leather interior really is in excellent condition. Both seats have retained their shape with no significant issues regarding wear. The carpets are excellent throughout, although there are a few areas, such as the rear storage compartment behind the seat needing a little glue to retack the fitting.
All carpets are damp free. The dashboard and centre console are close to perfect, the top of the dashboard is blemish-free with no marks or evidence of sun damage. The door cards are almost scuff-free and all the controls are in excellent condition, there is the lightest of wear on the top of the capping on the passenger door card.
The wood-veneer is good throughout the car with minor scratches observed on the glovebox. All of the dials, controls and switchgear are in good condition, with the exception of the light switch stalk which has a little perishing and a couple of curious cracks on the speedometer plate. All of the controls are said to be fully functional.
The tape player has been replaced by an approximately aged unit, as the original code did not come with the car. The headlining is good, with no rips or significant marks.
The exterior aspect of the bodywork is really in fine fettle, with no issues that would suggest neglect. The panel fittings are pleasingly flush, with no evidence of significant corrosion blemishes observed on the exterior of the body, arches or doors. All doors open and close with no issues, their respective hinges and struts are all able to function well.
The engine bay is delightfully clean, with no major issues observed on the inner wings or chassis rails. The underneath of the floor pan has been treated with underseal which has done a good job in keeping the elements away. Japanese authorities do not coat their roads with salt every winter, which undeniably has helped to keep this car solid.
To finish off the positive news, the metal is free from significant dents and scuffs. The paint is well finished, with a decent shine and deep lustre throughout. The reflections do not show any imperfections to the paint. The car has no stone chips on the front of the car, with just a handful of paint chips observed on the door edges.
The Sonnenland black roof is in very good condition, with no significant marks of note. It is free from rips, with no evidence of outdoor elements and is said not to leak. The electric operation of raising and lowering the roof is faultless, with no staining on the electric motors. The glass, including the rear screen, is excellent throughout, with no scratches or chips.
Both rear windows retracted down automatically when the roof is lowered. The cars visual aesthetics rely on the detailing and it is again all good news, the chrome, plastic and rubber that constitutes the external trim are in remarkably good condition.
Always a pleasure to deep-dive into a car that has been so well preserved, but of course it was not a museum piece and there are the slightest signs of wear but these seem to be limited to a minor scuff on the near-side rear bumper trim and chrome and minor cracking on both of the rear lamp lenses.
Both issues are only really noticeable when close up but eminently fixable if you wanted this car to be 99% perfect. All lights are functional. The Pirelli P600 tyres are in good condition with decent tread, with the off-side front showing light signs of ageing, with what looks like light fracture cracks.
All of the tyres are around 20 years old, so this should be considered but are within the boundary of legality. The handsome 15” multispoke alloys are in excellent shape, with no evidence of the dreaded kerb damage. The spare is good, but of a different alloy design.
Mechanically it runs very well, with the car starting up with no issues - the 5.3-litre engine has a reputation for idling smoother than a sewing machine, and this car is no exception.
No knocking or other unwanted noises were noticed from the engine. Visually, these Jaguar engines, particularly in V12 form look complicated and cluttered but the spaghetti mass of wires, ancillaries and housing also should not daunt potential buyers, they all show a car that has not been neglected and all are in decent and clean condition.
The cooling, fuel injection and ignition systems are all said to be trouble-free and the engine has been reportedly faultless during the two years under the current owner. The exhausts, radiator and gearbox have all behaved themselves too.
While the car was in motion, there were no issues regarding the performance of the steering and suspension components, with the car feeling as tight as the low mileage suggests. The brakes were up to the task, with no squeals or juddering. The fly-off system hand brake is fully functional.
Values have noticeably crept up in recent years as savvy buyers start to snap the V12 convertibles up, this 1992 car signifies an era where the final stages of the rebirth of the Jaguar brand had been completed, with much of the spectres of the past finally banished.
The XJS provides smooth performance, outstanding refinement, and a fantastic all-around driving sophistication but you don't need to sacrifice practicality or quality for the experience.
This well-preserved example houses one of the greatest power plants ever built and matched up to the sartorially elegant manners and its subtle but unmistakable styling, you have a car that has an extraordinary amount of appeal.
The market has certainly recognised this and there cannot be many other ways to obtain a V12 engine touring car for what could be considered a relatively small outlay.
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