PROFESSIONAL LT1 SWAP, NICE JAGUAR XJS, T-TOPS & CABRIOLET TOP, VERY COOL JAG
This striking 1986 Jaguar XJS neatly cures all of the Jag's shortcomings, most notably with a Chevy LT1 engine borrowed from a Corvette. It's faster, more efficient, easier to service, and most importantly, more reliable. Add in the unusual early cabriolet bodywork and you have an all-seasons Jag that simply works like you'd expect.
The long, sinuous lines of the XJS have aged gracefully and they're still cars that look like they should cost thousands more than they do. Finished in silky black paint, this one looks like money on wheels, with a beautiful gloss that came directly from Coventry almost 30 years ago, a rather remarkable feat. Fit and finish were never a problem for Jaguar, and the cars certainly looked expensive going down the road, which was a big part of the appeal. And they were immensely tasteful, with just enough chrome to add contrast without being gaudy. The XJS's most notable features, the "flying buttress" C-pillars, have been eliminated with the cabrio bodywork, but it still cuts a dashing profile that's quite elegant. Details like the rubber bumpers are in good order without the chalky look that would suggest a car that spent a lot of time outside and the versatile top makes for a car that's good year-round.
The tan leather interior is understated and crafted from high-quality materials that have withstood the test of time. The leather seats have just the right amount of wear to look comfortable but not worn out, and everything from the wood to the carpets on the floors were the best materials money could buy in 1986. The gauges are large and easy to read and remarkably, fully functional with the engine swap, suggesting that someone really knew what they were doing. Heck, even the A/C blows cold thanks to modern GM hardware under the skin. The original shifter manages a 700R4 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission, which shouldn't be a surprise since the original V12 was paired with a GM TH400 from day one. The top offers solid lift-off panels above the front seats and a folding canvas top in back, which was Jaguar's solution to body rigidity issues and the car feels commendably tight going down the road today. There's also a modern AM/FM/CD stereo system and the trunk is remarkably deep and well-shaped, even with a full-sized spare tire back there.
The XJS's original V12 was a decent performer, but service was outrageously expensive and good luck finding a reliable guy to fix it for you. So instead, someone expertly and seamlessly installed a Corvette's 350 cubic inch LT1 V8, which happens to make about 38 more horsepower than the V12, so performance is even better. It's a neat fit under the cat's long bonnet and retains the General's fuel injection and other systems, so you can find parts just about anywhere. In fact, the whole installation looks quite OEM in execution, which is the highest praise we can pay an engine swap like this. The aforementioned automatic transmission powers the Jag's original rear end, which also means the supple yet athletic suspension remains intact. A custom dual exhaust system sounds a little different than the original, but it's not unpleasant, but otherwise there's no way to spot the conversion without opening the hood, a very neat trick. Even the original alloy wheels are in excellent shape and now carry right-sized Michelin radials.
A clever upgrade that makes this car eminently usable, even as a daily driver. If you're tired of the same-old, same-old, this awesome Jag is a sure-fire cure. Call today!
- Air Conditioning
- AM/FM Radio
- Leather Seats
- Power Brakes
- Power Locks
- Power Steering
- Power Windows
- Targa Top
- Tilt Wheel
- Maintenance Records
- Transmission Spec
- Front Brakes
- Power Disc
- Rear Brakes
- Power Disc
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