1988 Jaguar Sovereign S3 V12

MODELSovereign S3 5.3L V12
COLOURMoorland Green
INTERIORCream Doeskin

1988 Jaguar Sovereign S3 V12

  • 5.3-litre V12 EFI engine
  • Huge history folder
  • Original sales invoice
  • Detailed history of ownership
  • Mileage believed to be accurate
  • Air con upgraded and recently re-gassed
  • Please scroll down the page to see the bidding and to read a full description for this lot

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  • 5.3-litre V12 EFI engine
  • Huge history folder
  • Original sales invoice
  • Detailed history of ownership
  • Mileage believed to be accurate
  • Air con upgraded and recently re-gassed


The Jaguar XJ series began production in 1968 and continued until 1992. It underwent various upgrades in its life, from the early S1 models through to the S2 and finally to the very best of them all, which was the Pininfarina sculptured S3.  This Sovereign S3 comes with the very best engine too, the thunderous 5.3-litre V12.

In 2018, a university survey of DVLA records found that there were only 30 Sovereign V12 models left on UK roads.


This Sovereign S3 was first registered in January 1988 and has been with our vendor since 2011.

Although the V5 shows five registered keepers that does not tell the whole story, originally purchased by a company who only kept the vehicle for a short amount of time amassing 14,177 miles, the second owner was a Mr Pitt who purchased the car on the 26th October 1988 from Caffyns of Eastbourne for the princely sum of £25,950.

Mr Pitt kept the car until he passed away, at this time it passed to his daughter Mrs Sara Hurst who did not find such a big sporty car suitable so reluctantly passed the car to the Classic Jaguar specialist Robert Hughes to sell, the mileage at this point had reached 33,000. This is all substantiated by a letter from Mrs Sara Hurst and will be supplied to the winning bidder.  We can also confirm that there had been seven main dealer stamps added to the service book within this time, one by Willmoths and the six times by Harwoods Jaguar.

The second long term owner, Paul Hannah from Glasgow then purchased the car from Robert Hughes – using the car sparingly but not scrimping on the servicing as he had it regularly serviced by G&W Jaguar.  Being used less and less, after fourteen years and in November 2010, Classic Car Specialist, Duncan Ellison was tasked with reselling the car, it then had 49,036 miles on the clock and had been serviced 17 times.

It was at this point our vendor took ownership, collecting the car in January 2011 and owning it since.


Wonderfully, all the documentation including the original and first bill of sale, the service record and all the MOTs from 1994 will be present. This classic Sovereign S3 also comes complete with detailed paperwork, including several folders of invoices, statutory forms, written comments & log of its history. This provides a comprehensive picture of the past 30+ years of what, in its day, was a very expensive car.

Unable to list every invoice here our vendor has compiled a list of works undertaken since he took ownership of the Sovereign S3 in 2011:


The Sovereign was the flagship XJ for Jaguar. Looking at that sumptuous interior you can definitely see why. This one is terrifically well preserved. We rarely see them in this kind of condition.

Please take the time to look through the images in the gallery so that you can judge for yourself the quality of the interior:

  • Finished in beautiful cream leather doeskin
  • Electric adjustable front seats
  • With insulated and moulded headlining
  • Fully functional electric sunroof
  • The aircon has been upgraded and re-gassed to current standards
  • The light brown carpeting, considering its age, remains a stately place in which to spend some quality road time and has clearly benefitted from the presence of over-mats
  • The burr walnut is generally in good condition
  • As is usual the high traffic area around the gear lever, where owners leave keys and phones and all sorts, has some age deterioration
  • The door cards are operational
  • Sony radio & CD player plus trip computer and cruise control
  • A new bonded, laminated windscreen was installed in 2014
  • The boot space is fully carpeted and clean and houses the vendor’s boxed tool kit, wheel changing tools, jack and “proper” spare wheel


The Jaguar Sovereign S3’s Moorland Green coachwork we are told is in generally good condition.

Our vendor advises “there are one or two age related marks commensurate with a classic of  this vintage. The leading front edge of the NS rear wheel arch is suffering from some tin-worm. There is a  small layer of ready-mix concrete under the OS front bumper caused by a ready-mix truck in Lancashire accidentally deploying its chute into the traffic on a wet day some years ago. (Did a lot of damage to a lot of vehicles in a few seconds.)”

  • The bumper brightwork is good
  • 5 Original Pepperpot alloys all round
  • New under bonnet insulated liner fitted in 2020 following mice taking the original liner for bedding
  • There is an operational immobilizer  with the central  locking and a Sigma intruder alarm, which currently is out of action
  • Front, rear and side sills are in good order and no visible damage is evident apart from the tin-worm already mentioned above


What makes this Sovereign S3 so special is that mellifluous 5.3-litre V12 engine. With nearly 300bhp it was capable of 150mph. It produces that without fuss or faff in a silky smooth turbine like delivery, whilst at the other end of the scale, is subtle and silent. All you’ll hear at tickover is the whirring of the fans. It is without doubt the best engine Jaguar ever produced.  Mated to an automatic gearbox plus the assistance of the well- balanced PAS,  it really is effortless to drive.

  • The suspension and brakes are in good shape
  • The tyres are good
  • The gearbox changes smoothly
  • New alternator and oil cooler fitted 2019 and 2018 respectively
  • The current MOT expires in February 2023

Our view

The S3 Jaguar XJ was the development of the XJ Series from the early sixties. By a country mile it is recognised as the one to have and own. In Sovereign S3 V12 form it was the pinnacle of the model line-up, setting the standards for other manufacturers to follow. In its day, no-one could get near it.

There were produced in limited numbers, around 10,000.

This is a rare, well preserved survivor that has been cherished and looked after. We have no doubt, as time passes, models like this will only increase in scarcity and value.


Vehicle Location: Northants NN11  – it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor

Have a question about this Fiat 20V Turbo Coupe? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

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Well, everyone knows the broad value of classic, let’s all be honest. So we don’t need to tell you what you already know, do we.

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
w**********1 £5,500.00 2022-09-08 21:27:13
b***********e £5,000.00 2022-09-06 01:10:11
b***********e £4,500.00 2022-09-06 01:09:47
w**********1 £4,500.00 2022-09-08 21:26:53
e*********s £3,500.00 2022-09-05 21:30:57
b***********e £3,000.00 2022-09-04 21:38:45
Start auction £3,000.00 29/08/2022 11:00 PM


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