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Canadian Cat: 1992 Jaguar XJS Coupe


I’ve taken an affinity towards these modern-day Jaguar coupes in recent months. This has little to do with any sort of allegiance to the brand; rather, I’ve come across a few in local salvage yards that have yielded some very choice parts! Lister aero components, European headlights and other bits that have helped fund the ongoing restoration of my E30. Despite my preference for pillaging, I have come to appreciate the big coupe’s classic styling despite their low value on the open market. This 1992 Jaguar XJS found here on eBay in Canada is a perfect example of such a car that I’d love to see gobbling up highway miles again – but for now, it’s languishing in a field of other forgotten classics. Find out more below!


As you read this listing, you’ll note a few things – for one, the seller is not exactly generous on the details. However, the car is pretty cheap, and clearly not a daily driver, which the seller doesn’t try to hide. But what about the other abandoned exotica in this odd storage arrangement better suited for livestock? I count at least two Mercedes SLs, a BMW 8-Series, Audi A6 and A8, and a late-90s Jaguar XK8. All parked next to an RV, no less! It doesn’t appear to be a repair shop, or any sort of agency responsible for seizing property. Perhaps the seller’s wife gave him the boot and now he lives in an RV with his collection ousted from formerly heated storage? The mind wanders on listings like these.


I’ve always had a preference for the late-production XJSs, since they received the tinted taillight treatment, the glass headlight lenses, and an overall more modern feel than examples from the early 80s. One of my favorite features on any car is headlight washers – I don’t know why! They rarely work and are costly to repair, but it’s one of those details that seem like a great idea in theory, and when they do spray as intended, those tiny nozzles are deeply appreciated by those of us who drive in road salt and muck for several months of the year. Of course, on this car, I suspect it is one of many systems needing repair before it will function as intended.


I intend to follow this seller on eBay – at least for a little while – to see what becomes of the other cars in the photos. How do you think they got there? Let us know in the comments below what your best guess is. I hope cars like this XJS and the BMW 8-Series coupe are preserved and brought back to roadworthiness, as they are rarely seen on the roads today but are truly impressive highway cruisers when running properly. And while I always enjoy snaring a valuable junkyard find or two, I’d much rather see that car on the road than getting pillaged for parts – hopefully, that’s what this lost cat will realize for a fate.


  1. jim s

    seller has 13 vehicles for sale on ebay right now. i too wonder what the story is. this would be tough without a lot more photos, including motor, trunk and underside. might be more in parts then the asking price. nice find.

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    • skloon

      I feel I should buy about $10000.00 worth of his cars then I have an instant car collection/headache

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  2. gerbil

    1. Buy horribly damaged exotic cars
    2. Leave outside for several years to ‘season’ them
    3. ?
    4. Profit!!!

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  3. Horse Radish

    The time has come and definitely gone for these relics.
    V12 gas guzzlers and 2 tons , that you cannot push out of the intersection, if , sorry, when it breaks down.
    I always liked these, their styling, but I have 4 of these (gigantic paperweights) and never had one running, let alone driving down the road.
    Now I don’t care about them much anymore…..

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    • dj

      I’ve had three of these. 2 US models and one grey market car. They all got close to 20 mpg. If you knew how to work on them and all about their quirks, they were great cars. This on the other hand, I would steer away from.

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  4. hhaleblian

    I always had a hard for the early XJS’s, but thankfully never pulled the trigger. Looking at the team members in the background, I’d suspect this poor soul has great taste in great vehicles, but something went south. Though I’d kill for a Quonset hut that I could tweek.

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  5. Mark E

    Ebay says this has a 4 liter 6 cyl engine? The XJS used to have a V12… The BMW 850 is tempting, I’ve always liked them, but I know you can swap a SBC into an XJS fairly easily so I’d be tending toward that one.

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    • Elizabeth

      Just did a cross country roadtrip in an 850 (manual V12), in memory of my Dad.
      It was worth every insane cent!

      I should not have clicked on this sellers 850 ad… don’t have enough vodka left. Poor thing.

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    • Ohu8one2

      The 4 litre 6 cylinder engine is bulletproof,they just don’t break. If it was up to me I’d just leave it alone,and scrap the swap idea. There is a guy in Texas that has kit’s if you will to do the SBC conversion. And from what I hear they are reasonally easy to install.I have been lusting after a XJS 4.0 Coupe for years,but MUST be a 95 or 96 car.

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  6. Dolphin Member

    I’ll take Horse’s advice about this XJS seeing as he owns four of them. That, and it fits with my take on them. The only car here that I would be interested in is the BMW 850 but those are so expensive to buy parts and work for that it’ll never happen either.

    This yard has mostly high-$$ luxury cars in real bad condition. How did that happen? Why did it happen? The world is full of mysteries and I guess this is just another one of them.

    These cars are in the Montreal area, which gets really large amounts of snow each winter, plus really large amounts of salt to melt it. Used cars from there are a laughing stock in many other parts of the country when it comes to considering one as a possible buy.

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  7. Jeff Lavery Staff

    If you read through some of the seller’s ads, it appears he is (unfortunately) recovering from a fire. As someone who has personally lived through this (my E30 was in my mechanic’s shop for work when an electrical fire in a Mercedes lit up several vehicles, fortunately not mine, but still had a lot of soot to clean up), I feel for the seller. That’s a raw deal if he’s been forced to liquidate due to some of the vehicles being declared total losses.

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  8. Neil

    Out of all them, I would suspect the Audis would need the least work. From that era, the Audis were, by far, the best built vehicles and it probably wouldn’t take much more than a weekend and a few brake parts to get them on the road. Thing is, you would need to get them really cheap to justify the effort as there are plenty of well-priced, well-maintained examples out there to buy.

    I wouldn’t touch the XJS with a barge pole as, even here in the UK, they have a terrible reputation for build quality. Once you’ve sorted them out they’re fine, but it’s a lot of work and you will get to know your multi-meter really, really well!

    Like others, it’s the 850 (840?) I would be interested in but one of those in a field is a financial disaster waiting to happen. Even with the 25 year cut-off for imports you have in the States, thank to Mercedes, you could get one of those BMWs with a wad of bills and repair receipts from Europe for far less than it would cost you to re-commission something left in a field.

    The XK8 is hugely fun but, again, they’re in the $12k region in nice condition here in the UK – add on $2k for shipping and taxes and you’d still be better off.

    I know the mantra at Barn Finds is ‘find, repair, drive’, but I can’t see any of these cars being even remotely attractive to northern American buyers. It’s a shame because, underneath the faults and the problems, everything I can see there would be fantastic fun to own, but why take it on when there are plenty of excellent examples already on the road for much less money than a restoration?

    I’ll put my flak jacket on now!

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    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      No flak jacket needed, Neil – I think it comes down to whether someone wants something to drive or something to work on. If you’re comfortable pouring $10K into a $12K car that you buy for $2K, it might be rewarding over the long-term to bring it back to life and (hopefully) break even. But if the acquisition is purely for the purpose of making money, then no – none of these make any sense when there are plenty of running examples out there for reasonable money.

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  9. Mike

    I would be more concerned about his 94.7 rating than how or why those cars came to be where they are at . Seems most were involved with a barn fire , wonder if there’s mention of that in the titles , maybe salvage or rebuilder ? Am not familiar with Canadian terminology as to damaged vehicles . Did have a good time reading through his many ads , let the imagination run wild for a minute . All the vehicles seem to be 1990 through 2000 , were they bought with some type of lottery winnings then fall into disrepair when the $$$$ ran out ?

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  10. Bryan Cohn

    I find it interesting that I seem to see XJS’s and XJ’s all over the midwest, in places you’d never imagine. A front yard in Joplin, MO where we just moved away from (to Lawrence, KS) held a red XJS with the Lister body kit or something very close. A muffler shop had an XJC (2 dr XJ made in 1975-77 or so) in the parking lot, rusting away.

    On my way to my parents lake house in the Ozark’s we’d pass a house with a red XJS with Euro headlamps and the TWS wheels in the side yard.

    Also in Joplin were a maroon early 80’s Peugeot 504 4 speed sitting in front of a house with plates only 2 years expired and in front of another muffler shop a Renault Dauphene. It was “art” in the truest sense of car based yard art.

    It goes on and on. I love seeing interesting cars in places that make you wonder, “how in the world did it get here!” Sadly they all seem to be sitting since in these remote locations there is no one to service these cars and/or those that try screw them up.

    I want to save them all while at the same time loath people who hoard things. I guess its a good thing my funds go to racing my Miata!

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    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      I have the same thoughts whenever I see some sort of foreign or grey-market import in the most remote of places. How did it get there? Surely the midwest and other locals not near major urban centers and ports are not the likeliest of destinations for a specialty highway cruiser; but then again, people move from place to place, especially those of the lifestyle to chase career opportunities or re-locations (hence, being of the means to own a Jaguar in the first place!) Then they move again, the cars get left behind, wondering if they’ll ever fall into the right hands.

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  11. Barry Thomas

    I think you folks have covered all the negatives and done it very well. You’ve missed the best car of the lot and the most trouble free, it’s that new Corolla in the background. Dead boring, but hey, it is a Toyota.
    Barry Thomas’ “Wheel to Wheel” blog

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  12. Brian

    I can’t believe I read through all the comments without a single reference to dropping in a 350 Chevy and a TH350 or 700R!!

    I’ve often thought it might be fun to build a mid 80s XJ6 with Chevy power, but then I look at the cost of the kit and it just doesn’t seem worth it!?! The kit plus the engine and trans and your in it for 4 times the cost of the body – I just don’t want it that bad!

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