1988 Jaguar XJ-S V12 Coupe

Barn find car that had not been disturbed for 15 years. Recently recommissioned by two local Jaguar enthusiasts. We have multiple V12 Jaguars so we are pretty good at knowing what goes wrong with them, and how to bring them back to life after a period of time off the road. This car came back to life very easily, only needing a fuel pump relay to achieve the initial start up. Knowing the car had potential, we continued to refurbish many of the systems that had either been neglected on the car or had suffered from age or lack of use. List of work done to the car includes :

  • Fan
  • Fan Clutch
  • Spark plugs
  • Brake pads
  • Radiator rodded and cleaned.
  • All new coolant hoses.
  • 90% new vacuum hoses
  • radiator caps
  • Driver side thermostat
  • Hood struts
  • Front Shocks
  • New vac advance unit.
  • front brake calipers and pads
  • New Belts.
  • Rear calipers and pads rear brake line.
  • New engine fuel lines.
  • transmission rebuilt in 05 hasn’t been driven since.
  • New front seats leather.
  • Ignition amplifier
  • Ignition coil to single

Body/Paint: 7/10 The car was color changed from grey to red sometime in the early 90s. The paint has survived storage but there are paint chips (which we have touched up) and the whole car needs a good polish. Despite that, it is still very presentable. The body itself is 100% solid and straight.

Interior: 7/10 We have replaced all of the front seats and the center console lid with new red stitched leather that is a pretty close match to the original color. The rest of the interior is in nice original shape. Headliner and carpets are good. Dash top is not cracked. Crazy auto seat belts both work. Dash wood has been replaced with a slightly better set than was in the car originally, but there are still a few lacquer cracks present. The auto climate control system functions correctly….. all of the vacuum flaps and the multi speed fans work as they should. Currently we do not have pressure in the A/C system. Rather than telling you “It probably just needs some gas”, you should assume this will need some work to bring it back to life.

Mechanical: 8/10 This is where we spent most of the effort on this car. The car starts easily, hot or cold. Idles and runs smoothly at all speeds. There was a documented transmission rebuild shortly before the car was taken off the road so it shifts very nicely.

Driving: The car drives and handles very well despite its age and lack of a full suspension rebuild. We have replaced what we needed to get the handling to the level it is at now, which we would say is about 80% of perfect. The remaining 20% would require more work on the suspension system, but this could be undertaken over time by the new owner. There are no clunks, knocks, shakes or even rattles from the car. It is in fact a very nice place to be.

Opportunities for improvement:

  • Front spoiler is missing. We can give you a source for a new one. We can show you how they are fitted from one of our other XJSes.
  • Passenger side window works with some help. I suspect the plastic drive gear is worn which would likely require the unit to come out. These are readily available second hand on ebay, etc
  • Tires are old, so we would recommend replacing them soon. They have plenty of trend and are round with no vibrations, but they are out of date range.
  • The top of the rear seat is starting to separate, which is common on these cars. We can give you the necessary information to order new rear seat leather to exactly match the front seats.
  • Paint and A/C as mentioned earlier.

About you: Ideally a car enthusiast that is willing to put in the effort required to keep these cars running as they should.

Summary: We have not “tarted it up” to flip it. We have also not done a full rebuild as we have done with some of our other cars. What we have done is all of the difficult, fiddly, tribal knowledge intensive things that can plague a V12 XJ-S, so you now have a very good base to continue to improve over time. You are not going to find any horrible surprises with this car. This is not a project car or a parts car. It is also not a show car. You can drive it and enjoy it today and if inclined, spend time to bring it further up to standard. The XJ-S is now finally getting the recognition it deserves as a true classic, and as a result, prices are rising. This is a great opportunity to get one that actually works for, lets face it, not a lot of money. We are offering the car for sale with a clean title and a recent SMOG certificate.


Location: Morgan Hill, California, United States

Seller: sgio3833

Price: $5,999 <- check here if it's still available

More info: Full listing and Contact details
Originally listed on November 24, 2020. Note that older listings are displayed for reference and will most probably not be available.