Jaguar XJS HE Auto Sport V12 1987
When a car stays in production almost unaltered for 21 years it genuinely is a classic car. With the last E-types rolling off the production line in 1974 Jaguar needed to be ready with a worthy successor.
As early as 1968 Jaguar was thinking ahead. It designated the initial project a codename; XJ21. This morphed in to the XJ 27/28 and after many internal discussions Jaguar finally settled on XJ-S.
On the 10 September 1975 Jaguar revealed the XJS to the world. With a production run of over 115,000 cars this made it the longest lived Jaguar ever.
The car was aimed squarely at the Mercedes SL & SLC customers and to help was priced at nearly £2,000 less on launch.
The British motoring press including Motor, Autocar & Motorsport loved the car despite the the poor timing of being launched in the midst of the middle east oil crisis, especially considering the XJS’s love affair with fuel.
Jaguar addressed this with the introduction of the HE (High Efficiency) engine. Using radically designed combustion chambers in the pistons the HE achieved the holy grail of more power, less fuel use and less cost making it capable of true supercar performance of 155mph and 0-60 in 7.3 seconds. At the same time Jaguar made subtle changes to suspension, gear box and running gear.
As the UK dragged itself out of the deep recession of the early 1980s, the XJS took advantage of the pent-up demand for luxury cars, and in 1982 production doubled to 3111 cars. The press loved the XJS HE, as journalists regaled their readers with tales of travelling at 100 mph in silence.
Coupled with the change of Chief Executive to John Egan who was widely credited with turning around Jaguar’s performance along with the sometimes variable production quality. The 1980’s really were accepted as the hey-day for the XJS. Dealers even had waiting lists of six months plus and cars were changing hands at very large premiums.
The XJS differed in many ways to the e-type. One critical way was as the e-type got older it deteriorated. Series 1 e-types being the most sought after now. As the XJS developed they just kept getting better, with late Eightie’s cars now being highly prized prior to Jaguar being sold to Ford Motor Company in 1990.
This 1987 XJS was first owned by Serco Ltd in London E17. It then changed hands, possibly to within the same company in London N18 in 1988. The vehicles subsequent owners all appeared to live in the Andover & Eastleigh areas of Hampshire, which is where Evoke Classics acquired it from a Mr Wright of Chandlers Ford. Mr Wright would admit himself to being of mature vintage and advised us he’d bought the car on a whim around 2014. Interestingly it was against the wishes of his wife and family. He may well have heeded those wishes because MOT records reveal the car covered around 1,500 miles in his ownership. Although during his ownership invoices for services, ancillaries & tyres in the name of Mr D Wright are present in the file total in the region of £2,000.
Prior to Mr Wright’s commendable ownership the car appears to have been equally well looked after with a well documented Original Jaguar Service Book and a pile of relevant invoices.
Remarkably every single MOT Test is present also verifying the 81k mileage.
Due no doubt to a series of careful owners and low mileage this XJS is in marvellous condition. Unlike many on the market it is genuinely rust free in all the usual places. All the electrics function as they should, as do the Achilles heel of the XJS, the rear brakes.
The paint is bright and unmarked along with the chromework.
As you lower yourself into the car you will see the rare Sports steering wheel. The magnolia interior is in great condition free from rips and tears or scuffs. As you would imagine from a low mileage car that nonetheless has been used the genuine original seats have a wonderful patination to them making them feel timeless but characterful, unlike new non-orignial faux leather replacements we sometimes see. As was once said; they are only original once.
We absolutely and enthusiastically encourage viewings and test drives. For anyone seeking a well looked after XJS with good provenance and history in wonderful condition, you may have found your car.