Why you shouldn't be frightened of an early V12 Jaguar XJ-S
Early Jaguar XJ-S V12s are unreliable and rife with problems, right? Only if neglected, making healthy Series 1 examples one of the hottest collector cars of 2019
Be still my beating heart. Regardless of what the marque snobs may tell you, Jaguar’s XJ-S remains exquisite from all angles. Early models are often criticised for being too clunky and – depending on colour – vulgar; although the appreciative enthusiast finds further excitement with those early styling cues and curvaceous cambers. This is the design in raw form. David Bowie before he became all sensible. Red Velvet Cake before Weight Watchers changed the formula. A full-fat GT cruiser.
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Besides lashings of oh-so-1970s detailing, the major difference between early and later XJ-S models lurks beneath the conservative bodywork. Examples rolling off the production line after 1981 boasted improved performance and economy, greater dependability and the ability to cover 50 miles without going on fire – courtesy of an improved HE V12 engine.
However, for a true taste of Jaguar V12 magnificence, the improved 1980s design diluted the twelve-cylinder’s velvety gruffness. There is no doubt that the re-invented XJ-S HE remains an impressive machine, but it’s the original design that radiates Jaguar’s trademark blend of gentleman racer with out-and-out cad.
Examples such as this 1979 pre-HE XJ-S are a rare beast on today’s market, with the majority of Series 1 cars having been gifted to the crusher after one failed MOT too many.
Now that the XJ-S is rightfully claiming its place alongside the E-type as one of Britain’s greatest automotive achievements, collectors are sourcing the earliest vehicle possible for preservation – meaning that 1975/6 model year vehicles command eye-watering premiums.
As Jaguar’s first-year XJ-S becomes increasingly scarce on the open market, later Series 1 examples are slowly spiralling upwards into serious money. Although this one is almost perfect in every way – having been stripped back and restored after years of modifying and neglect – the £17,995 ($23,000) asking price is somewhat hard to swallow when given the drawbacks of early XJ-S ownership.
We won’t kid you on, these 5.3-litre V12s do not suffer fools gladly. Nor do they appreciate long periods of hard use without a thorough service. Yet, treat your big cat with respect and you’ve got the perfect tonic for a modern world where simplification and streamlining rule. Fork out the £18k ($23k) for this healthy XJ-S and you’ve got a prime investment that’ll reignite your passion for driving.
There’s no touch screen or bright lights upon entering the cabin, only good ol’ fashioned wood and leather, illuminated by the faded glow of an upper-class Westminster social club. You aren’t greeted by a soulless push start button, but rather you get the unadulterated sensation of turning the key and igniting all twelve cylinders on a riotous crest of revs.
Growling away on tick over, the engine makes all the right sounds. Blip the throttle and you’ll be warmed by the whipped snarl fed back through your right leg. The powertrain isn’t muscle car fast, but whereas the Ford Mustang driver will be deaf and frightened breaching 130mph, you’ll be relaxed and tranquil upon passing them by. At 150mph. Without a slip of caviar from your blini.
Ready to take the plunge and enter the world of XJ-S ownership? Get a closer look at the Jaguar for sale here.
Classic Cars for Sale
Presented in 1975, the XJ-S replaced the legendary E-type in Jaguar’s range. As well as being great to drive, it introduced new standards of passenger safety, with impact-absorbing bumpers on special struts, side-impact barriers built into the doors and a fuel tank mounted directly behind the rear seats to protect it from rear damage. ABOUT THIS CAR Comes with Walkinshaw Kit Only 5 owner
Always Portuguese in impeccable condition. Completely revised in every detail by Targa Florio. Automatic, equipped with central locking and the original radio. Leather upholstery, power steering and four electric windows. Dunlop Sport tires and the original Jaguar books. For 1974, Jaguar made a restyle of the XJ model that would be known for the Series II. The main differences were th
Sold new in December 9 1972 to I. Barget LTD in Witham, Essex. Sold to new owner in Sweden in June 27, 1975. New owner in February 13th 1978. Owned it for 37 years and stood on jack stands from 1982 to October 2015. Resprayed in the early 70s. The tires are from the 70s. Never been repaired for rust or crash damaged. 30.500 miles since new. Newly serviced by Joe`s Garage (Jaguar) in
Das Fahrzeug kommt aus einer privaten Sammlung, in der es sich seit 1989 befand. Es befindet sich im unfallfreien neuwertigen Zustand und wird aus Altersgründen verkauft. Dabei handelt es sich um eines der letzten 100 produzierten Coupés. Nähere Auskünfte gerne persönlich. Eventuell ist eine Inzahlungnahme möglich.