Jaguar XJ-S

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Matt Richard­son

ENGINE 5343cc/V12/OHC POWER 273bhp@5250rpm TORQUE 297lb ft@2700rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 148mph 0-60MPH 8.1sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 16-20mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, three-speed auto MoT 12 months ODOME­TER 48,892 miles

Press the throt­tle and the nose lifts with a growl from that huge 12-cylin­der mo­tor. There is lit­tle sen­sa­tion of ac­cel­er­a­tion; you are just aware that you are sud­denly trav­el­ling much, much faster. The changes from the three-speed au­to­matic gear­box are so smooth and silent as to be al­most im­per­cep­ti­ble. The ride is very light and quiet; the car wafts and floats along the road and leans through cor­ners, with some wob­ble over bumps – but that’s com­pletely nor­mal. There’s no feel­ing of loose­ness in the sus­pen­sion or steer­ing, which is ini­tially fin­ger-tip light but weighs up nicely as speeds in­crease. Like­wise the trans­mis­sion sys­tem func­tions ex­actly as it should. The brakes are im­mensely strong; it doesn’t take much ef­fort on the pedal to draw the car to a sharp halt.

BODY­WORK CHECK

The Jag’s body­work is al­most flaw­less. The pan­els are straight with good gaps and no sign of dings or cor­ro­sion, and the metal­lic beige paint is al­most to­tally free of scratches and chips. We could only find two small marks on the lead­ing edge of the driver’s door. The brown fab­ric roof is like new and raises and low­ers without is­sue. All the chrome is in ex­cel­lent or­der, in­clud­ing the bumpers and non-stan­dard leap­ing cat bon­net mas­cot. The 15in lat­tice-style al­loy wheels are in mint con­di­tion and shod with Pirelli P600 tyres that look nearly new.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

The tan leather seats have been re-coloured so are in very good con­di­tion, with crin­kled pip­ing on the edge of the driver’s seat the only de­fect to re­port. The match­ing car­pets are ex­cel­lent with no marks and vir­tu­ally no wear. The dash­board is in fine con­di­tion, the dash-top is crack-free and the wooden fas­cia is pretty much per­fect. The leather of the two-spoke steer­ing wheel shows some signs of use, but it is still in fine con­di­tion. The tra­di­tional spindly gear se­lec­tor looks oddly old fash­ioned next to the 1980s Jaguar-branded Pana­sonic car phone set neatly in to the cen­tre con­sole, but op­er­ates as it should.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

Lift­ing the bon­net re­veals a sprawl­ing mass of pipes and wires for the fuel and air con­di­tion­ing sys­tems. For­tu­nately every­thing looks like it’s in good shape, and with every­thing work­ing as it should and no ev­i­dence of leaks, there is no need to dis­turb any of it. Me­chan­i­cally the car feels fresh over­all, which is com­men­su­rate with the low mileage.

THE CCW VIEW

It would be dif­fi­cult to find a bet­ter XJ-S than this for the money. With very low miles for the year and in near-mint con­di­tion through­out, it’s a bar­gain com­pared to the equiv­a­lent E-type S3 road­ster. It’s at the higher end of this model’s price range, but it’s jus­ti­fied by its con­di­tion.

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