Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
10/20/09 9:31 a.m.

Well I am probably crazy but again find myself thinking about XJS ownership.

Does anyone have any sage advice about the real experience of owning and dealing with one of these cars. The cars I like best and fit in are the pre HE to HE cars before the restyling. I know the later cars had MANY upgrades and improvements but the styling to me is not as exciting.

I am considering V12 cars and not the straight 6 models. I figure if you are going to do it, you might as well do it big.

DneprDave New Reader
10/20/09 10:34 a.m.

I have a '76 XJ-12C. I'm putting it back together after taking it apart for a new paint job with a new color. (Green Sand? More like Baby $hit Yellow!) Now it is Regency Red, which is really more of a Maroon.

Mine has always been reliable when I drive it regularly. If I let it sit for a month, it gives me problems, hard starting, switches not working, etc. But if I drive it a few times a week, it never lets me down.


Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
10/20/09 12:12 p.m.

Are the engines reliable? How much mileage is to much? How long until they need a valve job? It sounds as if the bottom ends last forever. Is the pre-HE engine better/worse/the same as a HE?

I love the XJ6C/XJ12C cars, one of the most beautiful Jaguar cars ever.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
10/20/09 4:15 p.m.

Andy, IIRC the pre- HE cars were more robust. They leaned out the HE cars for better fuel economy, but as a result they are more prone to valve failure. I'd look at an earlier car....or an XK-8! Those coupes are dead sexy with a little lowering, and the right wheels!

ronbros Reader
10/20/09 6:19 p.m.

i have a 1978 XJS roadster, V12 modded, 355whp ,7000rpm,, 4 spd auto.

I like it , Tim and Per has seen it!

XK-8 is cool ,,, BUT it aint 12 cylinders, all said and done , its hard to beat the sound and smoothness of a V12. Ron

ronbros Reader
10/20/09 6:25 p.m.

I have a 2hr video of the 2yr rebild process, complete rotessiore restore. id send a pix of engine bild , but this site aint user friendly for attachments.

im not great with computors.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
10/21/09 8:37 p.m.

I agree Joe that the XK8 is awesome, basically a DB7 Aston for under 20 grand, especially the XKR. I like the XJS and prices for nice cars seem to be only $6,500. Liek others have said, that V12 is amazing.

BoxheadTim Reader
10/22/09 12:20 p.m.

The main issue with the pre-HE V12 over here is that it drinks like the Aussie rugby team on a stag night. At European fuel prices that's a really bad idea.

Looked after ones are hard to get but they're generally OK. It's the neglected ones that are utter, utter money pits and are to be avoided at all costs. The engine itself is pretty robust if looked after - they're rather understressed - but if anything goes wrong, you can skip the bit about robbing the piggy bank and go straight to robbing a proper one instead.

Also, keep in mind that the body is a late 60s/early 70s design that has a lot of cavities where rust can sit unnoticed until it's too late. They're still Jaguars so they aren't cheap to fix up bodywise but as you point out, they're not very expensive so it's one of those "turn a big fortune into a small one" cars.

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