Lister-Jaguar XJS Le Mans: Spotted

No, your mind isn't playing tricks on you, it was only a couple of weeks ago that we last featured an XJ-S as a Spotted. That car was a 3.6-litre straight-six, though, and this one, well, this one has nearly double the displacement - and twice the cylinders.

In fact, this one isn't really an XJ-S at all, so different is it from the car on which it was based. You see, Lister's cars may seem extreme by today's standards, but long before it was putting 675hp in F-Types, things were wilder still.

The Le Mans took the 5.3-litre V12 of the standard XJ-S, bored it out to 7.0-litres, added four more fuel injectors and throttle bodies, Cosworth conrods and specially forged pistons, and fettled the engine management system, and then bolted on two superchargers. This for a final output of over 600hp. In 1990. Not only is that figure more than double what the standard car produced, it's 120hp more than a Ferrari F40.

The crankshaft was nitride hardened to handle the increased power, and new bearings and an uprated oil system were introduced. With the ratios of the manual(!) gearbox appropriately prepared, a top speed north of 200mph was reported. Obviously, the brakes and suspension required upgrading too, and wider tyres were necessary to keep everything under control.

Then we come to the looks. Inside a - red and cream, in this case - leather cabin added some luxury to the loutishness, but outside it was just brutally beautiful. So ugly that it dropped off the face of the chart, returning around the dark side and reappearing somewhere at the top to sit alongside much more conventionally striking cars. The front end is an abomination, as is the rear, but combine them with those wheel arches, the sills, the rims - and this colour - and from the three-quarter angles it's just perfect.

And the cost of this perfection? Well the conversion alone, sans the donor car, would have set you back £77,000 in 1990 - the equivalent of around 175,000 of your 2018 pounds, or the current value of this 997 GT3 RS. Today, Man Maths tells us it's a snip at just £44,000 - the same as this 718 Boxster. A GT3 RS for the price of a Boxster? You're welcome, internet.

So, while it's for sale in Luxembourg, this is a right-hand drive car. It's a rare curio, a true british bulldog and a bonafide bargain, just waiting for a PHer to return it to its rightful home. Go on, you know you want to.


Engine: 6,995cc twin-supercharged V12
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 612@N/Arpm
Torque (lb ft): Many
MPG: Very few
CO2: Come again?
First registered: 1990
Recorded mileage:12,000
Price new: Well the conversion cost £77,000...
Price now: €50,000

See the original advert here





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Comments (78) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Hairymonster 21 Feb 2018

    Looks like a Turkish brothel on the inside!

  • AndySA 21 Feb 2018

    Wow, have loved these since I 1st read about them as a student back when they were new! Really wish I had the cash available. So stupendously ugly that it is beautiful.

  • Sebastian Tombs 21 Feb 2018

    Mad, and splendid.

    I always wondered what the rear screen was from. Anyone know?

  • BRR 21 Feb 2018

    What an absolute beast, properly ugly but all the more awesome for it

  • generationx 21 Feb 2018

    An absolute monster: Love it!

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