ENGINE 5344cc/V12/OHC POWER 285bhp@5500rpm TORQUE 294lb ft@3500rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 150mph 0-60MPH 7.7sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 15.4mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, three-speed auto MoT 12 months ODOMETER 50,731 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
This 5.3-litre V12 convertible fires up immediately on the key and settles to a refined hum. The engine’s pull could fell a rainforest and the excitingly insightful feedback through the steering wheel only adds to the joy. Though not quite a sports car in the corners, it has wonderful cruising ability. This example holds up well to scrutiny; the engine doesn’t miss a beat and the automatic gearbox moves through its forward ratios smoothly, with no slurring. The suspension is wonderfully smooth, with lumpy roads causing no rattles or other noises. The brakes are strong, yet predictable.
The light metallic blue paint sparkles in the sun and shows off this Jaguar’s voluptuous curves well. The beauty isn’t just skin deep, however; you’ll be hard pushed to find any signs that it’s been outside at all in the past 28 years because there’s hardly a mark on it. There’s the odd minor stone chip here and there but it’s one of the bestlooking examples we’ve seen. The chrome is unmarked and the rubbers are all in excellent condition. The roof doesn’t look as if it’s ever seen any rain, either, though the US-spec quad round headlights and aftermarket leaping cat bonnet mascot won’t be to all tastes.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
If the exterior is exquisite then the interior is merely excellent, with only a few signs that it’s ever been used. There’s minor wear to the driver’s seat bolster and some creasing to the seats, but the only real blemish we could find was to the driver’s door pull and a little wear to the centre armrest stitching. Pointing out these insignificant niggles somehow seems rather churlish, given its overall condition, however.
UNDER THE BONNET
Opening the vast bonnet reveals an engine that’s in excellent condition – while the old ‘eat your dinner off it’ cliché isn’t entirely true, it’s certainly clean and tidy and has clearly been well looked-after. The fluids are all up to the maximum mark and none show any sign of leaking. The car lived on the Isle of Man for more than seven years, before finally returning to the mainland in 1997, where it has been in dry storage since 2008, which goes some way to explaining the low mileage. There isn’t any history from that time, though there are plenty of MoTs and receipts since then.
THE CCW VIEW
This is truly an exquisite example of a late-model XJ-S – we really had to look hard to find any defects on it at all. If there’s a slight downside, it’s that the history folder might not be as thick as you’d like, but taken on condition and driving quality, we don’t think there are any real concerns. Slide into the well-appointed interior and head off into the autumn sun on a wave of V12 grunt – all for less than £18k.