Quentin Will­son re­veals which Jaguar, Honda, Mercedes and BMW to snap up be­fore their for­tunes change for­ever

If you find a good man­ual 3.6, pounce on it now be­fore an­other vi­sion­ary does

Classic Cars (UK) - - Welcome -

With val­ues of the Jaguar XJ-S now bright­en­ing, it’s worth look­ing at the rarer vari­ants. You’re too late for a bar­gain ’75/’76 man­ual V12 – only 352 were built and they’re now £40k and ris­ing - but good ex­am­ples of the ’85 to ’87 T-top 3.6 XJ Cabriolet five-speed­ers are still only in £10k ter­ri­tory. Never sold in Amer­ica and a slow seller in the UK they’re a rare sight with only around 700 man­u­als ever pro­duced. I owned an ’84 for a while and loved the front-end bal­ance and poise from the lighter six-pot AJ6 en­gine. The Ge­trag 265 five-speed is a re­ally sweet unit and you can row the car along like an E-type. Ur­gent, lithe and quick these man­ual six­cylin­der ver­sions of the XJ-S feel live­lier than the V12s and are much un­der­rated. A pri­vate seller in Hamp­shire has a Tudor White ’85 man­ual XJ-SC with 63,000 miles and ‘ex­cel­lent ser­vice his­tory’ for £11,500 while Ju­lian Brown Ltd in Gran­tham has one of the last 3.6s built, an ’87 man­ual cabriolet in light blue with 82,000 miles, three own­ers and £7k of re­cent bills for £11,450.

Prices are warm­ing up though with re­ally nice XJ-SCS sell­ing well. In March H&H sold an ’85 ex-browns Lane TWR de­vel­op­ment car with 57,000 miles and his­tory for £14,000 and Clas­sic Mo­tor Cars in Bridg­north is of­fer­ing a mint 23,000-mile ’84 Burberry spe­cial edi­tion – one of just two made – for £45,000. Un­der­stand that the targa XJ-S was a pro­to­type con­vert­ible be­fore Jaguar got its act to­gether en­gi­neer­ing a full drop-top for the Amer­i­can mar­ket, and you’ll un­der­stand that this is a rare piece of Jaguar his­tory. Bizarrely, the £20,756 XJ-SC was built on the same pro­duc­tion line as a coupé shell – the roof and rear but­tresses were then re­moved and cant rails and a cen­tre bar in­stalled by Park Sheet Metal in Coven­try, while As­ton Martin’s Tick­ford divi­sion fit­ted the fab­ric roof and re­mov­able pan­els. This was a very be­spoke Jag that was ef­fec­tively hand-built and only avail­able to spe­cial or­der. If I had to pre­dict the next XJ-S to be­come col­lectable I’d say it’s the man­ual XJ-SC 3.6. But don’t hang about. The pri­vate seller in Lin­colnshire cur­rently ad­ver­tis­ing a Sage Green ’84 man­ual cabriolet with 91,000 miles and a ‘good his­tory’ for just £5250 won’t have it for long.

‘This was a very be­spoke Jag – and it’ll be the next to be­come col­lectible’

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