Tuesday, October 13, 2009

1986 Jaguar XJS Cabriolet

Sometimes writing this blog can be frustrating. This car is located just a few towns over from where I live. It's the type of XJS I want. But, being self-employed in a scary economy and having to pay not only for the car, but for storage, too, (I have the world's smallest driveway) I will probably not look at this car.

The "Cabriolet" was Jaguar's first "topless" XJS. It was a neat design. Essentially, Jaguar cut off the roof, added rails in order to still use the original doors and then put a targa bar in the middle. They also stiffened the chassis.

What you get is a car that can be driven completely closed, or with the just the center section removed, or with just the rear section folded, or with the center section removed and the rear section folded down. It's the best of all worlds.

Contrary to popular belief, the XJS, with proper maintenance, is a reliable car. Keep the oil changed and the cooling system clean (very important) and you'll have a car that will be no more or less reliable than any other 22 year old car. Newer XJS' are very reliable, but Jaguar stopped making the Cabriolet in 1988 after selling around 5000 worldwide. If you don't care about the top, buy the most recent XJS you can afford.

The XJS does rust and this is a New England car that has recently been repainted. Check that any rust repair was done properly. This car has recently had the brakes done and the transmission replaced. The GM sourced transmission is very durable and, again, with proper maintenance, can last the life of the car. It would be good to see some maintenance records for this car, just to make sure the original transmission didn't die of abuse. The seller says the interior needs some "cosmetic attention".

The asking price for this car is "$3500 - $4200", which is an odd way to price a car.
Buy it at the lower price (obviously), spend a little money tidying up the interior and you'll have a cool piece of Jaguar history that's almost practical (let's face it, you can't ever really call a V12 "practical") and very fun to drive.

Located in East Longmeadow, MA, click here to see the Craigslist ad for this car.

2 comments:

Richard said...

I just could not live with that engine, I have tried, I have really tried, even made friends with a Jag mechanic and I just could not get over the feeling of "will I make it" on a journey. The V12 is a great engine if babied, but by the age these cars are now, its very rare to find one that has been fully maintained by a seasoned Jag mechanic. Once a few maintenance schedules have been missed you will have empty pockets for the rest of your life.

I said to myself I would never, ever buy a V12 Jag again.....although I am struggling, there is a nice XJS, the right color with only 22k on the clock close by. Ocpabi.com if anyone is interested, buy it before I do! Please!

hoov23 said...

Richard, I'm in agreement on the 5.3, but I've had a 6.0 before in a '95 XJS, and in all the research I've done both before and after purchasing that car I came to the conclusion that it's a much more reliable engine. I never had a problem with it (but it also had just 35k miles and was from Arizona). If you like the body style post-93 (which I do) then the V12 of that era is a safe bet, but the 4.0 AJ6 is a way better engine anyway... *all IMHO* (photo of my 6.0 behind my name link)