• Special edition last of the six-cylinder XJSs
• Original bill of sale and stacks of history
• Original jack and toolkit
• Incredible history file
By the mid-1990s, the Jaguar XJS was getting a bit long-in-the tooth – yet it remained a beautiful anachronism. A grand tourer in the truest tradition, and a Jaguar stalwart of over 20 years. It’s an often overlooked fact that the XJS lasted seven years longer than the E-Type ever did; a fact that many Jaguar purists don’t wish to think about.
Towards the end, though, Jaguar had to load the XJS to the gunwales to keep it selling, making the last cars off the line the absolute best.
Among them was the Celebration, launched to mark 60 years of Jaguar Cars in 1995. Instead of the 6.0 V12 it got the AJ16 4.0-litre straight six engine from the new ‘X300’ XJ saloon, and as such was the most reliable XJS variant ever, as well as a pretty eager performer. It produced 238bhp, with a 150mph top speed and 0-60 in seven seconds, so wasn’t notably slower than the V12. It also got a new four-speed auto transmission and partially galvanised bodywork, making it arguably the best-ever XJS.
Inside, a selection of high quality hides were offered along with a modernised dash and centre console, while exterior colours included Turquoise, Sapphire Blue and Regency Red, all carried over from the X300 saloon and initially unique to the model.
Sure, it’s not V12, but it’s a wonderful package, and represents the XJS in its most dependable and enjoyable form. As such, a good Celebration is a highly sought-after car today.
This one is a remarkable car – it has covered an astonishing 231,000 miles, has been supremely well looked after, and has stacks of bills and receipts to back up its history.
The XJS has had four long-term owners in its life – the first a company, after which it appears to have become the private property of the company’s managing director.
It then passed on to a third owner who kept it for 11 years, and a subsequent owner for a further eight.
The present keeper bought it earlier this year as he’d always wanted to try one, but an imminent loss of storage means he’s having to thin down his incredible car collection.
It’s a well-used but also well-loved example, which has never been left wanting for repairs or servicing.
As well as the UK V5C and an MOT valid until March 2022, the XJS comes with its original Jaguar book pack and a pile of receipts relating to servicing and repair over 26 years of use.
There are stacks of old papers and MOTs, receipts for repairs and general servicing and some old tax discs.
Because the car has been so well serviced, the previous owner has stapled extra pages into the service book, with the car’s maintenance record covering services way beyond 200,000 miles – you’ll struggle to find a history like it.
There’s also the original bill of sale for £38,500, along with a used car receipt from a few years later where the XJS changed hands for £28,000 – that was a lot of money in the 1990s!
Jaguar’s Turquoise Metallic polarises opinion, with some people hating it and others absolutely adoring it – but that was the whole point.
To our eyes, it looks absolutely fantastic. So many XJSs are finished in traditional colours such as dark green or dark blue, so this one truly stands out.
It’s in very smart order overall – the paint is mostly good, and the general condition is very solid. In the past, it has had both rear arches replaced and the driver’s side front wing, while there have also been some localised paint repairs over the years. Overall, it’s a fine-looking car.
There are one or two areas you’ll want to sort if you’re picky. There’s some paint deterioration on the boot lid, some small rust bubbles on one sill end and on the front scuttle panel, but nothing substantial or alarming.
The registration number – N300 CAN – is included, while the owner has also had all four alloy wheels refurbished, which really gives the car a lift.
Open the door and the XJS’s gentleman’s club interior is hugely inviting, with its walnut veneers and supple doeskin hide.
The seats, carpets and veneers are in good, serviceable condition, while the dials and controls all work as Jaguar intended.
It’s not perfect – there’s wear to the seats commensurate with the age and mileage, there’s a slight droop to the headlining, and the centre armrest is a bit tired, but it’s all very presentable and functional.
The 4.0-litre AJ16 is one of the all-time great Jaguar engines and is renowned for its reliability, so even with 231,000 on the clock there’s nothing to be scared of.
The owner reports that it runs very well, holding good temperature and oil pressure, while the four-speed auto box works as it should throughout the gears, as do the brakes and steering.
It fires up on the button and runs sweetly, with no obvious leaks or untoward noises.
This is a terrific example of what’s arguably the best iteration of the XJS. It’s a great spec and a fantastic colour, and the 4.0 is a rare and sought-after beast.
As a run-out model in an extremely rare and unusual colour, this is a fascinating and extraordinary XJS that has lived quite a life and has a hell of a story to tell. It has plenty of life left in it, too.
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