The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Lyons formed SS Cars Limited to effectively take over the operation from Walmsley. The SS brand was quite successful, though they had a reputation for having ‘more show than go’. The Jaguar name first appeared as a model name on an SS 2½ Litre Sports Saloon introduced in 1936. For political reasons, Lyons changed the name of his company to Jaguar Cars in 1945.
Whilst the SS100 is indeed a fabulous car, it was the launch of the legendary Jaguar XK120 at the London Motor Show in 1948 that really put Jaguar on the map. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The XK120 morphed into the XK140 and ultimately the XK150 and in total, just over 30,000 cars were built over 15 years of production.
In 1961 at the Geneva Motor Show Jaguar introduced the E-Type, which like the XK120 all those years ago, took the motoring world by storm. The body styling was simply gorgeous and technologically the E-Type was an engineering masterpiece and it set new standards in all areas.
Whilst automotive styling is somewhat subjective the E-Type is often ranked atop lists of ‘the most beautiful cars’ and in fact it has been described by Enzo Ferrari as ‘the most beautiful car ever made’. And it’s not just about the looks as the E-Type is often at the top of other lists such as ‘The best sports car ever built’ or ‘The most significant cars’. It is truly a motoring icon. As a testament to the success of the E-Type, production evolved through three series from 1961 until 1974 during which time circa 70,000 cars were built.
The E-Type was always going to be a hard act to follow. Jaguar introduced the XJ-S at the 1975 Frankfurt Motor Show. The world was expecting an F-Type, rather than a grand tourer, so unsurprisingly the reception to the new Jaguar was lukewarm. As a car the new Jaguar was technically advanced, it was luxurious and it was powered by a 12 cylinder engine (which only Ferrari and Lamborghini used at the time) . . . but it was not a ‘beautiful car’ like its predecessors the E-Type and XK model range. Many were also disappointed that the car was only available as a coupe. So the XJ-S got off to a rocky start but in reality it was a great success for Jaguar. XJ-S production spanned an incredible 21 years and during that time in excess of 115,000 cars were built. As is often written the XJ-S became better and better as the model evolved where as many would argue the E-Type did the opposite.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a very unique 1988 Jaguar XJ-S. The car was sold new in the UK and first registered on the 1st of August 1988 in the name of Brian Miller from Reston, Eyemouth UK with the registration F355 LSL. The car passed through two additional owners before being imported in to Victoria, Australia in 2008. There is an import approval on file dated 26th May 2008. The car found its way to Queensland in 2013 and in 2016 the car was rebuilt to how it is presented today.
The inspiration for this car was the Tom Walkinshaw Racing John Player Special that won at Macau in 1984. The engine is the heart and soul of any car and this XJ-S is powered by a 4.0 litre supercharged engine from a Jaguar XJR that is fitted with a Haltech engine management system. The gearbox is the original Getrag 5 speed unit. Following is a summary of work done to the car:
- Custom made exhaust and extractors by Fat Pipes
- Ceramic coated extractors
- PWR alloy hi-flow radiator
- High volume water intercooler
- High flow intercooler pump
- High volume oil cooler
- Jaguar X300 outboard rear brakes
- Drilled and slotted front and rear brake rotors
- 75 litre fuel tank with 1.5 litre surge tank
- Twin high flow fuel pumps
- Upgraded sway bars
- 4 point roll cage
- 2 inch harness and race seats
- Koya custom made alloy wheels with twin valves
- Tyre monitoring pressure and temperature alarm and read out
- Custom made dash/console
- Moderately stripped and lightened
- Paint by Paisley Drive Paint and panel work by Wayne Bartel
Today this Jaguar XJ-S presents really well. The jet black paintwork is vibrant with a high gloss and strong depth of colour. There are a few minor imperfections, the most noticeable being a few scrapes to the front spoiler. All of the exterior trim, glass and the decals are in good condition. Inside the car is very minimalistic, though everything is clean, neat and tidy. This car has a presence no doubt, but it is all about the drive! This XJ-S makes a noise like no other . . . it means business. In fact it is somewhat of a ‘beast’ and it goes like one would expect . . . hard! The car is surprisingly easy to drive and relatively smooth on road. The brakes are good and pull the ‘big cat’ up as and when required with no questions asked.
The car has full Queensland compliance and it has the blue modification plate in place.
The current owner has chosen to use his XJ-S as a street car and as an occasional ‘happy laps’ track day car. It is not a fully fledged race car as such and it does not have a Cams log book.
This car presents a unique opportunity for the Jaguar enthusiast looking for that something ‘a little bit different’ or someone looking for a fun track day car that can be legally driven on the road.
The car has just been given a Queensland Roadworthy Certificate and it is now offered for sale.
Price: AUD $35,000.
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