1976 JAGUAR XJ-S COUPE
Registration Number: MPN 480P
Chassis Number: 2W1365BW
Recorded Mileage: 68,800 miles
- Early chassis from March 1976
- Recent extensive bodywork restoration
Introduced by Jaguar on September 10, 1975, at the Frankfurt Motor Show and put into production the following year, the XJ-S carried on the legacy of the E-Type with its V12 engine. The new coupé was produced in three series until 1996, the last of which lost the hyphen in its name and became simply the XJS. From the E-Type, it inherited the 5.3-litre 12-cylinder engine but fitted with a new innovative Bosch D-Jetronic electronic injection system, developed by Jaguar’s own engineers. The bodywork, elegant and rich in heritage compared to Jaguars of the recent past, is based on a platform derived from that of the company's flagship XJ, making the XJ-S more suited to long, fast journeys than to purely sporting driving. Performance, on the other hand, is excellent, with a 0-100 km/h sprint in less than seven seconds and a top speed of 245 km/h - a remarkable figure for a kerb weight of 1,675kg.
The XJS has come of age. The E-type was always going to be a hard act to follow, but the replacement coupe launched in September 1975 retained the mighty 5343cc V12, endowing this grand tourer with silken thrust. It rode on typically Jaguar independent suspension: double wishbones up front, and the William Heynes-designed independent rear suspension that ingeniously uses the driveshaft as the upper suspension link, saving space. Comfort and pace were unrivalled. At first, buyers had the option of a manual four-speed gearbox or a three-speed automatic, but all XJSs were automatic from 1978. There were soon engine upgrades to more efficient HE spec and eventually 6 litres, and the choice of a 3.6 and later 4.0-litre straight sixes. In 1991 the XJS was facelifted with revised rear styling and new front and rear lights. Replaced by the XK8 in 1996, it was in production for longer than the E-type and sold in greater numbers.
Time has been kind to the XJS's looks, and now prices are rising as its popularity increases. As many have rotted away, good ones are increasingly harder to find.
This very early XJ-S, chassis 376, was first registered in March of 1976, finished in Old English White with a contrasting red leather interior. Unusually the XJ-S was specified without standard factory air-conditioning, and as with other early cars, lacks fitted foglights in the rear bumpers.
The XJ-S has been in the ownership of just two enthusiasts since 1996, the current one since 2014. Upon acquiring the Jaguar to add to his classic car collection, our vendor quickly realised the car required more work than he initially anticipated. The car was stripped and repaired as and where required, all glass removed and then the body completely refinished to its original colour. The glass was then refitted with new rubbers all round. The interior is believed to be the original, and is in well preserved condition, with the exception of the headlining which has been replaced with a new item. An estimated 1,000 hours have been put into the project to date.
Having been serviced with new filters and spark plugs, the Jaguar’s engine is said to run well, and the transmission/drivetrain operate smoothly. The vendor advises that one or two electrical items need attending to, these being the horn, fuel gauge and oil pressure switch. However the oil pressure has been checked with a manual gauge and reads around 40psi. The front suspension bushes have also dried through storage and are a little squeaky, another minor item to attend to.
Early Jaguar XJ-S models are a rare commodity indeed; this desirable model from the first year of production, as driven in period by Simon Templar’s character in The Saint, and with all the hard work completed, is ready to be taken to the next level by its future owner.
The XJ-S is offered complete with original books, manuals, receipts for work over the years, and a UK V5C document.