For $6000, Could This Rare But Rusty 1984 Jaguar XJS Be The Cat’s Pajamas?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Jag is claimed to be one of 24 cars shipped to the U.S. with a 5-speed and originally offered as employees only. Let’s see if its present condition and price might just get the job done.

No matter how good looking you are it’s always an uphill battle proving your worth if you have a better looking or more accomplished younger sibling. That’s just the problem faced by yesterday’s custom 2000 BMW 323i, which, despite a M54 3-litre and a bunch of Dinan and ZHP parts, had its newer E90 thrown in its face as a better car in many ways.


In the end, 60% of you felt there were better ways to spend that E46’s asking, meaning it’ll just have to stay with its current enthusiastic owner for a bit longer.

You know, speaking of enthusiasts, one marque that seems to engender blind, and seemingly unrequited loyalty is Jaguar. Owners of that British brand put up with a lot from their beloved cats and keep on coming back for more. In the case of today’s Jag that more might actually be less.

Neil Young once so eloquently opined in song that rust never sleeps. On this 1984 Jag XJS, it does appear to have taken some cat naps however. Or, maybe that’s cat nips, seeing as there are a number of places where the tin worm has graciously lightened this car for speed.


Why would you want a rusty old XJS? Well, generally you wouldn’t. The XJS’s somewhat ponderous styling hasn’t aged well at all, and these cars suffer from the reverse-Tardis effect: they’re huge on the outside and frustratingly cramped on the inside. Unless Downton Abby is your jam, there’s just not a lot of appeal to these old coupes.


This one however is special, or at least that’s what the ad claims. According to the seller this is one of 24 cars Jag shipped to the U.S. with five-speed Getrag manual transmissions backing up their 3.6-litre AJ6 straight six engines. The cars were used by Jag U.S.A. employees and were the only stick shift XJS models ever officially brought over here.

It’s now in the hands of what the ad says is a “proud old Englishman” who once drove it and a Range Rover as daily drivers until the brakes on the Jag started acting up. He then put the car into storage, where it has resided for the past six years.


In that time it appears that things have taken a turn for the nurse. The seller is the owner’s son (or daughter) and notes that it ran when parked but presently won’t fire possibly due to a fuel issue. I’m guessing that if it wasn’t properly prepped when stored it’s likely more of a water in the fuel issue as ethanol in modern gas tends to be highly hydrophilic. That means that over time phase separation can cause the water/ethanol mixture to sit at the bottom of the tank. That can be highly damaging to an engine if you try and fire it up while it’s sucking on that stuff.


The other major issue on this 102K Jag is the rust which has made the boot lid holier that thou and which is bubbling on the rockers and around the bumpers like somebody shot the car with Mentos and Coke.


Inside, the leather seems serviceable and there is a nice Moto Lita steering wheel in place of the Jag’s original skinny two-spoke affair. The finish on the dash is crazing like nobody’s business, but you probably wouldn’t notice that because you’d be marveling at the incongruous stick shift in the console, bracketed by two chromed ashtrays.

The seller says the car presents “a fairly easy restoration opportunity.” Um, yeah. Still, if you love Jags, and I know a ton of people who do, then this rare bird of a cat would be an interesting starting point. Of course, all it takes is money, right?


That starting point in this case is $6,000. Values on 12-cylinder and convertible XJS models have been trending up in the past five years or so, and many of the older, less valuable coupes have gone to the crusher so there are fewer of them from which to choose. This one might be choice, but is it worth sinking six grand into at the start?

What’s your take on this five-speed XJS and that $6,000 price? Does that seem like something that might work? Or, for that much should this holy Jag stay “employees only?”


You decide!


Boston Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to no-Kinja John for the hookup!

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