SOTW: Jaguar XJS V12

The Jag that got away was the price of this tired one...
The Jag that got away was the price of this tired one...
On the face of it a Jaguar XJS does not seem like the ideal Shed of the Week. After all, a fearsome reputation for unreliability, a dauntingly complex - and expensive to fix - V12 and the likelihood of frilly bodywork are not the best combination for budget motoring.

...but closer to this in condition...
...but closer to this in condition...
But, as has been said many times before, Shed isn't necessarily about making rational choices - it would be a thoroughly boring weekly feature if it was. Which is why the idea of 5.3 litres and 12 cylinders of majestic Jaguar coupe for £995 is such an appealing prospect.

Sure, it's definitely-not-an-E-Type looks aren't the prettiest of lines, but there's an undeniable grace and presence to the XJS shape that makes it stand out from the crowd - it's aged distinctively if not necessarily well, shall we say.

Unfortunately, the car ad we had targeted as Today's SOTW - spotted by PHer RP1 - is no longer live, so we presume that some lucky/brave punter has already snatched it up. And it's a measure of how rare it is to find a clean, cheap V12 XJS HE (this one had tax and ticket, old MoTs, some history and looked clean, despite the seller admitting to a few rust blisters) that a thorough rummage around the UK's classifieds turned up nothing to remotely compare with it.

...from the sound of things at least...
...from the sound of things at least...
The best we could come up with was this 1986 V12 which, apart from the colour and the absence of cross-spoke wheels is pretty much identical to that mythical near-miss car that originally caught our eye on Gumtree. Except that the seller of this Jersey-registered car (actually the one we've used in most of the pictures) wants a full thousand pounds more.

In fact, the only V12 XJS we found that was comparable on price was this distinctly ratty F-plate example with neither tax nor MoT, up for £790, curiously - and we suspect erroneously - described in the advert headline as 'supercharged'.

So what's the moral of the story? (I didn't know SOTW had to have a moral - Ed.) Well, we suppose it's that you can find shed-price V12 Jaguar XJSes out there, but boy are they rare. And boy do they get snapped up quickly. Although given the model's potential to become a money pit, perhaps it's a good thing they don't come along all that often...


Advert for the original find is reproduced below

11 MONTHS MOT, 6 MONTHS TAX, NICE GENUINE CAR, SOME SERVICE HISTORY, ALL PREVIOUS MOTS, HANDBOOKS, ENGINE AND GEAR BOX BOTH GOOD, BODYWORK GOOD FEW BLISTERS,

LEATHER INTERIOR, CROSS SPOKE ALLOY WHEELS,ELECTRIC WINDOWS, CENTRAL LOCKING, POWERED STEERING,

DRIVES SPOT ON

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (161) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Clayton 07 May 2014

    If you look in the Oxford English Dictionary under 'Sleek' the definition should be 'Jaguar XJ-S'

  • MycroftWard 03 Aug 2012

    geeman237 said:
    A bit late into the game with this one. Had to post some photos of my 1994 XJS 4.0 with a manual gearbox, v v rare here in the US. I just had it repainted, original black, new badges/trim and changed the headlight surrounds from chrome to satin black, new upper grille with satin black strip and I had a set of Jaguar wheels powder coated a non-original scheme.







    Thanks
    Loving that, looks great in black.

  • mikey77 03 Aug 2012

    >>Very tempted but have to go up to GB to get one, a long way (drive to) from Geneva in a shed car... But I'm expecting XJS to be reliable<<

    Brought ours down to SW France from Huddersfield, no problems - but it isn't a shed.

  • XJSJohn 03 Aug 2012

    ClaphamGT3 said:
    Its now done 330k miles

    I did once try and work out his cost of fuel...
    If you do, for God's sake don't tell your mother, she will probably kill your father hehe

  • ClaphamGT3 03 Aug 2012

    On the topic of reliability, my father has a pre-HE XJ-S V12 that he's had from almost new. Its now done 330k miles and never had a major mechanical component let go. It was his every day car from 1980 - 1994.

    I did once try and work out his cost of fuel...

View all comments in the forums Make a comment