The XJS became a symbol of how a once-maligned company faced adversity to vanquish its turbulent past to become a measure of excellence and dependability. The Jaguar brand had successfully shed its British Leyland shackles by the time the XJS V12 Convertible was introduced, and the XJS had developed into a compelling prospect thanks to the sleek and resolved appearance of the drophead roadster.
It was the most expensive Jaguar badged car when it was produced, and it was marketed towards the French Riviera set but was equally at home on the leafy lanes.
With a full-service history, strong paperwork provenance, and evidence of recent maintenance, this beautifully presented V12 painted in an attractive arctic blue metallic paint and magnolia leather interior has lived a charmed existence. With just over 71K recorded miles, it runs beautifully and its well-groomed appearance still attractions plenty of attention.
The current owner has a long history of owning Jaguars and has trusted his mechanic to organise the sale of this car. Interestingly this car was part of a two-car part-ex for a classic XK150 and a considerable amount of change. However, personal reasons pertaining to old age catching up with him and the lack of storage has meant that this XJS is for sale.
The car had seen a succession of keepers in recent years, having been registered under a series of private number plates over its lifetime, with evidence that it was once used as a company car fairly early in its life. The car has been garage stored for much of its life and has recently been subjected to a thorough body polish.
The V12 XJS has something of a feared reputation, but this is often down to poor maintenance. With a thorough service history and a healthy amount of paperwork, any potential purchasers should feel confident in this purchase. Sold new at H.A Fox Jaguar in Guildford, this 1989 example has appeared to be sparingly used throughout its life, with its use being drastically reduced over the last 20 years, but still maintaining a positive record of servicing and maintenance.
Also included with the car is the full information pack, which includes the driver's handbook, supplements and service stamp book. The previous owner has carried out a significant amount of upkeep on the engine, including a new alternator, water pump, thermostat, belt pulley and bearings replaced. In addition, the air conditioning mechanisms have been replaced with a new condenser, drier and has also been re-gassed. A new steering rack has been added too.
Furthermore, it comes with a number of past MOTs and invoices, including a recent service from a Rolls Royce specialist, who also replaced all of the brake pads, the oil pressure transmitter and the added precaution of an HPI check. As final but pleasing touch to this big cat, it also comes with a full original toolkit and two sets of keys.
The XJS does have a positive reputation for tough-wearing interiors, and this one has been well preserved with no suggestion of heavy use. The leather seats still retain their firmness and visually look good, with the only significant issue being the wear noted on the driver's seat bolster and side beading. They could potentially be a candidate for re-connolising but show no significant damage.
The carpets are remarkably clean, with no major wear and all dry as hoped for, with the boot carpet condition suggesting lower than expected use. All four of the cabin mats are good, with the rear deck storage compartment in a very tidy state. The door cards are in good shape, with no sagging or scuffs. The interior headlining is as good as the outside and displays no marks or scuffs. In addition, there is no suggestion of damp storage marks.
The magnolia hide facia is in very good condition, the top of the dashboard is free of cracks or sun damage. The leather, plastic and veneer dashboard finishing is good, with the gearstick centre console area being the only notable area where the veneer has been damaged. The dials and controls are in good condition with a few suggestions of age on some of the switches, but overall above the exceptions of a car of this age.
All the car functions, including the electric windows and air-con which blows icy cold, are said to be working. The steering wheel isn't an original fitting; it's obviously a question of personal preference, but it's in good shape with no wear with very minor screw-head damage.
Structurally the car is solid, a brief inspection of the jacking points and seat belt mounting area look positive and sets off a healthy opinion of the car. The chassis rails, inner wings and tops of suspension turrets are in good condition, with the engine bay not showing any damage or structural issues and the rear subframe appears to be solid too. The rest of the rear section, including the boot well is solid. There’s very little on the bodywork in terms of issues, with minor blemishes noted on the lower section of the inner wheel arches. The top of the front edge of the near-side wing also shows tiny imperfections.
The scuttle and the sections that join the wings to the sills are good with no signs of corrosion. There is a treatable dent noted on the near-side door, which could be resolved by a specialist, along with a light scuff on the near-side rear wing. All doors open and close with no issues, both passenger doors hang well with no obstructions or creaking to their operation. The boot and bonnet operation is up to the task, with no issues with the struts holding up the weight. The panel gaps are generally even throughout the car, with the panels all fitting flush.
The Arctic Blue paint finish has good coverage, with the lustre showing a decent shine and smoothness. The car has seen a repaint at some point of its history, with minor evidence of masking, small spots and the odd flat paint, observed on the near-side wing, door and flat surfaces of the rear but overall the car is in a pleasingly presentable state. There are no significant road wear or chips noted on the car.
The Sonnenland canvas roof is in very good condition, with minor suggestions of wear noted in places but free from rips or tears. The electrical operation of raising and lowering the roof is fault-free, with no straining coming from the hydraulic rams. The car also comes with a tonneau cover and a bag to store it in, both of which have been well preserved.
The 15in lattice-style alloys show a minor amount of wear in line with the age of the car, but are free from kerb damage and still look visually appealing. It’s fitted with Pirelli tyres across the car, with the front items being less than 3 years old and the rear tyres being over 15 years old but all retain a well above the legal tread displaying even wear.
The chrome work has been well maintained, with no significant damage or pitting noted on the brightwork. It is thought that the centre section of the rear bumper is a more recent item. The bumpers hang well, with the odd mark on the front item, but are generally scuff-free and have clearly been spared any careless knocks.
The glass is good throughout, the windscreen has a minor chip repair on the passenger side. The side glass is in good order, with all of the glass and door rubbers in good condition, with the odd sign of age but are remarkably clean with limited wear. All lights and lenses are good, with no damage or cracks. All are said to be functional.
Mechanically, partly due to strong evidence of servicing and maintenance, gives a positive impression of upkeep. This is confirmed by a recent faultless journey, having seen its reliability recently tested during a drive from the South West to Berkshire. The car starts up instantly, with the V12 idling smoothly.
The dashboard warning lights remained off, as the engine ticked over, with the oil pressure said to be healthy. No excessive smoke was observed from the exhaust, once the initial condensation dissipated. There were no rattles from the engine noted, with no suggestion of misfiring or smell of burning oil and no notable signs of coolant or oil leaks. The cooling hoses have all been replaced and the radiator is in good shape.
On the move, the car performs effortlessly and pulls very well with no hesitation. The car is well composed on rougher surfaces, with no suggestion of clonking or knocks from the suspension. The ride was typically absorbent, with the braking not pulling to one side or emitting any unwanted noises. The steering wheel, while the car was in action remained true, with no wobble helpfully suggesting that the bushes are in good order. The three-speed gearbox is slick with no slippage.
Competitive servicing coasts, along with reasonably priced parts are not the only reason why these grand-tourers have seen a surge of interest in recent years. Jaguar had resolved the quality woes, which did much for the car reliability and in turn, highlighted the XJS's gifts of refinement and impressive performance further.
Well equipped for long-distance travel, its talents of covering the ground has not been diminished and offers a tantalising prospect of V12 power with sheer comfort. The car's purposeful proportions and discreet power nevertheless still make it the perfect entrance to any party.
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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.
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1989 Jaguar XJS V12 Convertible
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