V12-powered 1986 Jaguar XJS coupe

The Pick of the Day is a fast GT loaded with luxury features

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XJS
The Jaguar looks racy in Sebring Red

There is something magical about a V12 engine.  They are under the hoods of some of the most-exclusive high-performance cars in the world. Think Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin.

The sound of a V12 engine is unlike any other engine type, with a turbine-like whirr that is absolutely addicting. There is a downside with a V12-powered sports or GT car, besides the terrible fuel mileage: just about every V12 collector car is very expensive.

But there is a V12-powered car that you can buy for less money than the price of a used Honda Accord – the jaguar XJS.

The Pick of the Day is a 1986 Jaguar XJS coupe finished in Sebring Red with a tan leather interior.  The 3-owner car is powered by its original 5.3-liter V12 engine rated at 265 horsepower, according to the Kentwood, Michigan, dealer advertising the Jag on ClassicCars.com.

The XJS was Jaguar’s replacement for the E-Type, supplanting the sports car with a luxury GT that came standard with an automatic transmission.  That was thought of as a huge mistake, to put it lightly.  People were not pleased with the replacement, and for years the XJS was considered a failure.

XJS

But as time went on, the XJS became more and more popular, owned by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tom Petty, actor Patrick Stewart and Princess Diana.

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And year by year, the XJS got better and better, so that the mid-1980s, it was often compared to the Mercedes SEC and BMW 6-series cars. When production ended in 1996 after more than 20 years, Jaguar had built 115,413 of them. In comparison, from 1961 to 1974 Jaguar produced 67,300 E-Types. Not bad for a car thought of as a failure.

The seller describes this XJS as a nice example that comes with all books, tools and service history.  The paint is said to have good gloss, although with a few stone chips acquired during its 92,000-mile history.

XJS

The interior appears to be in exceptional condition with the leather in terrific shape and no visible cracks in the wood trim. The only modification shown is an aftermarket steering wheel, which if it were mine would be replaced with a correct factory wheel.

Both the engine compartment and the underside of this XJS look just as clean as the rest of the car, with no sign of rust or neglect.

There are plenty of XJSs on the market but it is tremendously important to buy the best example available as an XJS that requires any major work can get very expensive.

XJS

This XJS has an asking price of only $11,900, which seems like a solid bargain for a V12-powered GT in apparently great condition.

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 To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

10 COMMENTS

  1. An okay, but not that good of a deal. They are very expensive to fix.
    When you first get this car…Go thru it completely and change many parts.
    That way it will be reliable for a while.
    But with luck, this may be a great one and no need a lot of repairs…
    Good luck. I’m a big fan of Mazda Miata’s. Great price and tons of fun…

  2. Andy, lots of cars.
    To the chagrin of many girlfriends and wives I’ve had I’m picking right around 130 140 cars so I understand because I’m on my 14th Jaguar. But the weirdest car ever had and I wonder what one years was was a gloss 1700 GT. So what are you got?

  3. This still has Lucas Electric componets . Those parts have the name of The Prince of Darkness and the Factory Workers that make the parts motto is ‘Ome before dark. That said, then there is the heat problem under the hood , I could go on and on but if you haven’t got the idea by now you deserve this car. Just remember, the Saying, IF you own a Jaguar you used to have money.

  4. This dealer has had many interesting vehicles since I have started watching. It never ceases to amaze me how they can take a wonderful looking car like this one and spray that black spray all over the underside of the car and think they are doing someone a favor. I will probably never get to buy one of their very attractive vehicles because of this practice. Overspray on the exhaust, driveshaft, and various other places where it doesn’t belong leads me to believe they are hiding something(tin worm)

  5. I have a similar XJS V12 HE with very rare Hess and Eisenhart sun roof, no convertibles in that year. I had the car completely rebuilt be the top Jaguar mechanic in Lansing, IL in 2006, stripped all exterior paint and went from British Racing green to Jaguar Racing green, garage kept in sunny Prescott, AZ. Cost for restoration and maintence, over $50k. That red car is an absolute steal. I created the original V12 and installed a low mileage V12. Mileage from second owner 136,000 miles from Augusta, GA. Now about 50k mileage, only operate 3 seasons, but with 4 Jags, just shows and small club events. All Jags have been restored in my stable.

  6. I HAVE A 1986 XJS V 12 SINE DAY ONE AND I HAVE NO PROBLEM AT ALL IN FACT I CANNT SEE HOW IT UP AND GO LIKE IT DOEST I HAVE IT OUT AT THE AIR PORT ONE DAY BACK IN I THINK IT WAS 2009 AND I WAS CLOCKED AT OVER 189 ALL I NEEDED WAS WING AND I WOULD OF BEEN OFF THE GROUND SO FOR THE MONEY I SENT ON IT IT WAS WILL WORTH IT AND I HAVE GOTTEN MY MONEYS WORTH I DONT KNOW ABOUT THE NEWER ONES BUT THEN IN NOT IN THE MARKET FOR A NEW ONE ANYWAY

  7. Own a ’93 XJS. First rule of Jaguar ownership, find a competent Jaguar mechanic. Mine told me to buy the straight 6, not the 12. Good advice.

  8. Can we start using punctuation and proper spelling? I feel like I’m reading a second grade essay. Literacy rates and IQs have officially reached shoe sizes. That said, Jags as well as most high end Euro cars, are pay to play machines. When it’s time for maintenance, get a second job.

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