Bargain Twelve – 1987 Jaguar XJ-S V12

Thanks to Jaguar’s reputation for quality, or the lack thereof, and the intimidating complexity of an engine compartment stuffed with V12 and all the mod-cons, mean there are some potentially (key word!) great deals to be had out there on some very nicely kept cars. Among those is the Jaguar XJ-S. Though not well-received in their day, they had some very big E-type shoes to fill, but as a car of their own, their unusual design has some interesting details, and has held up fairly well. You can find this 1987 Jaguar XJ-S V12 in Vallejo, CA for $3600.

1987 Jaguar XJ-S V12 for sale left front

What a classic eighties setup on that front end – quad sealed beam round headlights instead of the European ovals, and a pair of square foglights, which, with any luck, are aimed slightly upwards at just the correct angle to blind oncoming E30 3-series drivers, sucking them both into a vortex of white light. Joking aside, the pictures are pretty flattering, with the original wheels in great shape and a decent gloss on the paint. There’s no clue as to the running condition in the description, but a quick search on the BAR website shows the car last passed its smog test in March of this year, and didn’t have any unusual intervals between tests over the last 6-8 years.

1987 Jaguar XJ-S V12 for sale interior

Many of these older Jaguars look like they’ve been stationary for quite a while, but not so with this one. Interior shots also show signs of use, but not abuse. You may need to do a little cleaning, but with less than 75,000 miles on the car, it should be limited to vacuuming, wiping with a damp cloth, and perhaps treating the leather to make sure it’s pliable and soft like when the car was new. The seller does say it’s in great condition, and while that’s a broad statement, it implies that most everything works.

1987 Jaguar XJ-S V12 for sale engine

Speaking of things working, the engine compartment looks pretty clean. So if something goes wrong, it’ll still be a miserable place to work where you’ll sacrifice blood and skin to the gods of car repair, but at least you won’t get dirty fingers doing it. Perhaps this is a suitable engine compartment on which to train your young children, since a) their little fingers can get in all those tight spaces and b) when they do have their own cars, whatever goes wrong will seem easy by comparison. Seriously, what is all that crap? Is this the car that inspired those goofy plastic engine covers on modern cars? Of course it’s all necessary if you want all your precious luxuries and to pass the smog test, but has anyone (without going as far as Bob Tullius’ or Tom Walkinshaw’s teams) tried stripping one of these to the bare minimum to see what it’s like?

1987 Jaguar XJ-S V12 for sale right front

Still nice, even on this side. You know what else you can get for $3600? Probably some rubbish from the Orient, but nothing as good as this, old chap.


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One Response to “Bargain Twelve – 1987 Jaguar XJ-S V12”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    I use to see these cars at salvage auctions fairly often when they were relatively new cars as the result of engine fires, (all those little plastic pieces in the fuel lines failing prematurely)and yes they are nightmarishly difficult to work on; One of the nicest cars you’ll ever loathe.

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