Jaguar XJS

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Eight-17mpg – XJS V12’s real-world gasoline consumption vary
Regardless of a tough delivery within the mid-1970s, this grand tourer earned its spurs as one in every of Jag’s most iconic fashions and is now an honest used purchase

Neglect the rust, the peeling veneers and the often optimistic asking costs – the XJS’s greatest drawback is, absolutely, its successor: the better-made, better-to-drive and better-value XK8.

To resolve the controversy, let’s take into account the view of 1 XJS proprietor: “The XJS is like little else on the street. If you find yourself sitting within the automotive, you’re feeling like you might be driving a Rolls or a Bentley. Its low, extensive stance oozes sportiness, class and magnificence. Rattling, I like my XJS.”

Downside solved: the XJS it’s. Extra particularly, by way of this information, the facelifted coupé and convertible produced from 1991 to 1996, the latter being the yr the mannequin’s 21-year reign got here to an finish. In fact, starting in 1991 is to disregard 16 years of XJS manufacturing, as a result of the mannequin was launched in 1975. The primary 2+2 coupé was powered by a 5.Three-litre V12 driving the rear wheels by means of a handbook or automated gearbox. In 1981, the engine turned the 5.Three HE, that includes combustion chambers that swirled the gasoline round earlier than ignition for larger effectivity.

After which, in 1983, the seeds of the next-generation XJS have been sown with the introduction of the three.6-litre AJ6 straight-six engine mated to a handbook gearbox (an automated adopted in 1987). Additionally in 1983, the XJ-SC cabriolet was launched, to get replaced by the convertible in 1988.

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Discover a used Jaguar XJS on PistonHeads

As we speak, late-1980s Three.6s and 5.3s rub shoulders with post-1991 vehicles, the most costly commanding costs effectively into 5 figures. Purchase one for those who should however, actually, your cash is best lavished on a cherished, post-1991 facelifted XJS and, particularly, a four.Zero Celebration convertible.

Put up-1991 XJSs are fascinating, not least as a result of they use galvanised metal physique components. Nevertheless, solely the main physique components that rusted to mud on the outdated mannequin, such because the wings, sills and floorpan, have been galvanised.

On the identical time, Jaguar simplified the physique’s development, so lowering the chance for corrosion to interrupt out. All that mentioned, even with these better-protected vehicles, it’s best to nonetheless verify for corrosion within the cabin and boot flooring, the bottoms of the wheel arches and the suspension mounts.

One other factor that units the facelifted vehicles aside is a sleeker look, which options tasteful wraparound back lights and fewer chrome and plastic adornments. Additionally, the mannequin acquired an enlarged, four.Zero-litre model of the AJ6 engine that powered first the coupé after which the convertible. It’s a element, however the rear disc brakes turned outboard sorts as a substitute of inboard, enormously simplifying their upkeep.

In 1994, the AJ6 engine gained coil-on-plug ignition to turn out to be the AJ16. It’s maybe probably the most rounded and satisfying engine of all. With the tip in sight, the XJS Celebration four.Zero was launched the followingyear with diamond-turned wheels, Jaguar monogrammed seats and a standard wood steering wheel. Costs begin at round £9500 for high-milers with a full service historical past. Purchase earlier than they get any dearer.

Easy methods to get one in your storage: 

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An knowledgeable’s view, Martin Gliddon, XJS membership: “Now values of the E-Kind have hit the roof, these for XJSs are beginning to rise. Probably the most sought-after model is the four.Zero Celebration convertible of 1995-96. When shopping for an XJS, don’t be impressed by a low mileage because the engine must be used commonly. It must be clean, and idle with out noticeable motion. It actually shouldn’t blow any smoke when beginning up or operating. Coolant must be blue in color, energy steering fluid pink, engine oil honey and gearbox oil a pleasant reddy-pink. If they’re none of those, stroll away. Most underside knocks or rattles can normally be attributed to worn suspension and radius armbushes. Rust is the killer.”

Purchaser beware…

ENGINE – Test situation of cooling fan blades, hoses, the radiator and the air-con condenser. A rattle on start-up might be the timing chain. Looking from chilly after 20-30 seconds might be the auxiliary air valve (costly). Test for misfires on the V12 by holding a financial institution observe over the exhaust pipes and looking ahead to uneven fluttering. Additionally search for oil leaks from the cam cowl gaskets and oil strain sensor.

TRANSMISSION – Pay attention for the rear diff whining (about £500 to interchange) and fluid leaks. It could spray fluid on to the inboard brakes on pre-1991 vehicles. Really feel for clean auto gearchanges and check the kickdown.

SUSPENSION AND BRAKES – Pay attention for knocks and bangs (worn shocks and bushes). Test the automotive pulls up straight underneath braking; brake calipers can seize. The handbrake calipers seize too.

BODY – Test jacking factors, subframes and crossmembers for rust. Test the doorways haven’t sagged on their hinges. On ungalvanised pre-’91 vehicles, verify for rust on backside of entrance wings and doorways, bootlid edge, sills, entrance window scuttles, rear buttresses and rear window (normally terminal), and rear wheel arches. Test backs of chrome bumpers for heavy corrosion.

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INTERIOR – Seatbelt mountings rust, headlining sags, water ingress wrecks management modules, veneers peel off, and air-con flaps and motors stick.

Additionally price understanding:

A division of JLR referred to as Jaguar Basic Components (jaguarclassicparts.com) supplies components for XJS fashions from 1987 to 1996. Additionally strive unbiased suppliers such because the XJS Membership.

How a lot to spend:

£1500-£4995 – Selection of runners and venture vehicles.

£5000-£8995 – Some respectable post-1991 coupés in addition to 1980s Three.6s and 5.3s.

£9000-£11,995 – Extra post-1991 four.0s with cheap mileages and good histories, together with Celebrations. Additionally bullishly priced late-1980s Three.6s.

£12,000-£14,995 – Low-mileage late-1980s Three.6 coupés plus clear post-1991 four.Zero coupés, but additionally the most affordable late four.Zero AJ16 and final 5.Three-litre convertibles.

£15,000-£16,995 – Extra late four.Zero and 6.Zero-litre convertibles with highish mileages.

£17,000-ON – Pre-facelift and refreshed examples buying and selling on mannequin’s ‘traditional’ standing.

One we discovered:

JAGUAR XJS four.Zero, 1991, 82Okay MILES, £5500 – A uncommon instance of a pleasant, post-1991 XJS with out a ‘traditional’ premium. Solely two earlier keepers and totally restored 5 years in the past by a personal vendor, who labored on every thing from new gasoline tank to new roof lining, plus main mechanicals in between.

John Evans

Learn extra

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