JAGUAR XJS COUPÉ
Conceived as a stylish, comfortable and long-legged Grand Routier, rather than an out-and-out sports car like the preceding E-Type, the XJ-S made use of the Jaguar XJ6/XJ12 saloon platform and running gear. Shorter in the wheelbase than its saloon siblings, it debuted as a V12-powered Coupe, with six-cylinder and soft-top versions following in the 1980s. It had a lot to live up to and comparisons to its iconic predecessor are dismissed, with hindsight, as unfair whilst Jaguar were sensibly long-sighted with their launch and ambitions for the model. Nippy, impractical British sports cars were difficult to sell during the 1980s as the market segmented. Aston Martin’s V8 Coupé catered for the very wealthy and Lotus’ futuristic Esprit was the car of choice for those who were image concious. The XJS, however, was the perfect car for the successful gentleman of a certain age wanting a stylish, comfortable sports coupe that cut a dash, moreover it was particularly popular with women. By the time production had ceased in 1996, 115,413 coupes, cabriolets and convertibles had found homes.
We are told by our vendor, the daughter-in-law of Mr Miller, the car’s first owner, that this XJS was ordered on the Jaguar stand at the 1989 Paris Motor Show. Resplendent in Signal Red with a Magnolia leather interior, the car was delivered by British Motors of Monte Carlo, who were not just the concessionaires for Jaguar but also Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Aston Martin. Registered ‘7279 MC’ as an official Monaco resident's car, a privilege afforded only to the very wealthy, it was lightly used by Mr Miller, hardly ever in the rare event of rain, and maintained by British Motors’ service department as documented by the historical invoices on file. When the car left Monaco for repatriation to the United Kingdom in 2016, the odometer showed a mere 29,786 kilometres had been covered, as confirmed by the original odometer-unit supplied with the car.
When our vendor and her husband moved back to this country permanently, the Jaguar was registered with the DVLA on 22nd June 2016. The odometer unit was changed by Jaguar main dealers Grange Welwyn to a mileometer unit and the digits updated to match the original kilometres in equivalent miles of 18,508, prior to an MOT the next day at 18,510 miles. Subsequently, the online MOT history shows incremental increases over the years corroborated by Grange Welwyn’s service receipts and, indeed, the car has only travelled some 582 miles since 2016. Whilst in the UK, the car has been maintained, and MOT’d annually, for largely sentimental reasons and as it’s unlikely to be used much by the family, as a left-hand drive car on British roads, it’s now regretfully offered for sale.
At the time of cataloguing, the indicated mileage is 19,100 and the car is presented to auction in superb overall condition having obviously benefited from its time in Monaco. The scuttles are in very good order, however, we note that there are dings to each of the rear bumper chrome quarter blades but the buyer should be able to find replacements with relative ease. There is evidence of wear to the driver’s side seat bolster, common with all XJS and indicative of short journeys, Monaco has only thirty miles of urban roads after all.
In conclusion, it is rare to offer a low mileage, Monaco-delivered Jaguar from single British family ownership, benefiting from little use in a largely dry climate. The history file includes reams of historical and more recent invoices from Jaguar main dealers, a spare key, the Heritage Certificate, the owner’s manual and the current MOT which is valid until 22nd April 2022.
Unlike most of its contemporaries, this venerable XJS has spent twenty-seven years being much admired in Monte Carlo amidst acres of brightly coloured exotica and being offered valet-parking outside the Café de Paris, a rare honour, simply because the Monésgasque appreciate classic British style.
Smart examples of Jaguar’s big coupé, in all its iterations, are becoming increasingly sought-after, and this low-mileage, Signal Red car with a detailed history and lovely provenance is worth a closer look.
- Body typeCoupe
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