1986 Jaguar XJ-SC With A 5-Speed!

This vintage of Jag doesn’t normally get me excited, but this one is a different story. Not only is it a cabriolet, but it has a 5-speed manual transmission! Normally, we only see slushbox equipped XJSs here in the States so it was exciting to see that third pedal in there. This rare beauty was imported from the Netherlands and has been well cared for. It’s located in Saint Louis, Missouri and is listed here on eBay for $19,500 or best offer.

This big 3.6 liter inline-six provides the power. You could get a V12, but this is actually the engine I’d want in my Jaguar. Normally we think of these cars as lazy grand tourers, but I think this thing would actually be a lot of fun to drive with a manual gearbox sitting behind this engine.

You can spy the 5-speed shift stick poking up in there! You can also see how the unique cabriolet roof worked. It is sort of like a targa, but has some extra bracing. The two front sections can be removed and the back section can be lowered to give an open-air experience while still providing some roll over protection. Pretty trick, but I’d advise against taking this one through a car wash!

This handsome machine has renewed my interest in these largely forgotten cars. Most of the ones we see are neglected and run down, so it’s very refreshing to see an example that has obviously been loved by its previous owners. Would the 5-speed be enough to make you love one of these too?

Fast Finds


  1. Tirefriar

    Absolutely one of the best grand tourers of our times. Pace, grace and space, this car has it in spades. Well at least pace and grace. I agree that the I6 is a great engine, especially in the last 2 years of the XJ-S production. 5 speed here is an icing on the cake as well as the modular targa top.

    I sold Jags in the late 90’s, well after Ford acquired them. Last year for the XJ-S was ’96 after which XK 8 came out. No one wanted an old style XJ-S given the sleek and sexy look of the XK with its 4.0 V8 under the hood. As the result, XJ-S lingered in the showrooms, they were literally sale proof. Funny thing started happening at the end ’97 or first full year of production. People were coming in looking for the XJ-S cars. We couldn’t keep the used ones in stock long enough. Having owned an XJR X308 body I can attest to how great Jaguar cars are.

  2. Tirefriar

    No sale on the B site for $8700.

  3. Sam

    Fantastic car! A friend of mine had a triple black XJS convert 12 cylinder with wire knock offs. Pure sophistication….like driving a Bentley….somewhat “under the radar” while making a statement.

  4. Dan

    Look at all the trouble companies went through to make a car “convertible-like”. Finally then, just “aw, the heck with it, just cut the top off and be done with it”. :)

    • Tirefriar

      The targa top is usually a better approach than a convertible in that they allow for more structural rigidity at less weight. Convertible variations are rarely just a “lob off the top” jobs, requiring additional structural reinforcement below the belt line to regain structural rigidity lost with removing roof panel. This also results in additional weight.

  5. Bruce Best

    I have never been a fan of the XJS body style especially the roof. I like this better. It has a mix of the original design with some Triumph Stag mixed in that is really refreshing.

    I know that if you change the dampers, bushings, and springs in the suspension you can get these cars to really handle and not lose there elegance or ride quality. The loss of the GM transmission would be the salvation of this car as there have been more than a few reliable reports that GM was sending Jaguar defective transmission for years. Not all of them but enough to destroy the reputation of the company.

    This is different enough to be a really special ride and well worth the money to the right person.

  6. David Miraglia

    Love those Jags.

  7. damien walsh

    The overlooked classic. The XJS convertible and T-top are appreciating classics for those who enjoy touring in style.

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