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Corvette Power: 1986 Jaguar XJ6

Ready To Fly

We have all seen these while hunting around online. Most of the time we pass right by them though because there is a good chance that the car is suffering from deferred maintenance. Well, here’s one that has overcome that issue. It’s listed here on craigslist for $2,500 and the seller has provided us with a great story about how he came to own it. From Bill P. – My 2015 New Year’s resolution was that I would own a Series 1 XJ6.  In my search for something made between 1969-1973 I accidentally bought this 1986 Series 3.  I couldn’t help myself…

Corvette Engine

The dopey kids I purchased it from had no idea there was actually a nicely swapped Corvette drivetrain under the hood. I plugged in the ECM they had disconnected, put in a new fuel filter, and drove it home 60 miles. Halfway home I boldly turned on the A/C and almost died of shock as I rolled up the windows in air conditioned comfort!

XJR Rims

The XJR wheels and tires were purchased from Andrew @ Jaguar Specialties. I drove the Jag from Venice, CA to Los Gatos, California to meet Andrew for those hard to find wheels. A 16 hour roundtrip shakedown cruise. After changing belts, plugs, etc; I packed tools, hoses and duct tape. My girlfriend at the time thought I was insane but agreed to come along for the ride. I promised coastal romance behind the wheel of a luxury auto.  All went well until…

On the trip home she took the wheel and received a speeding ticket two hours later. 86mph. I was asleep at the time of radar acquisition but upon CHP intervention asked her if she had paid any attention to the Escort Passport radar detector suction-cupped to the windshield.

She had not…


I’ve since acquired the Series 1 XJ6 of my dreams and this Series 3 will forever remind me of a time in my life when I dated girls who drove fast but couldn’t get out of a speeding ticket while I pretended to be asleep in the passenger seat.


  1. Avatar photo DENIS

    I luvet….what a magnificent ride! If it’s as good as it appears, it’s a helluva buy. If it was closer, I’d add it to my stable in a minute.

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  2. Avatar photo joeinthousandoaks

    Not bad but what about passing smog here in California? Also, I’ve never seen a A CA VIN tag like that before.

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  3. Avatar photo Mark E

    If this were only 1200 miles closer and/or an XJS it would be my next vehicle! Now pardon me while I get a paper towel to wipe the drool from my keyboard…

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  4. Avatar photo Anastos

    I can’t even explain how badly I want this. Not a huge fan of either rim choice but I’d live. Weird there’s no pics of the interior, though…

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    • Avatar photo Steve

      Click the ebay link, Lots of photos, interior ect.

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      • Avatar photo Brian

        Hey Steve, where did you see an eBay link? I searched eBay and didn’t find it that way either???

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      • Avatar photo Jesse Staff

        I think Steve meant craigslist link. It’s in the first paragraph.

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      • Avatar photo Anastos

        Those were added later…and make me want this even more…

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  5. Avatar photo Matt M.

    There are some photos via the craigslist ad. Nothing too detailed but shows pretty well. That VIN tag shows that the car has apparently gone to the SMOG referee and this tag shows there was a 5L Chevrolet engine swap. If there are no major issues and this car would pass smog…. Wow, what a great deal! Especially if it comes with the Jag wheels.

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  6. Avatar photo Jeff Staff

    Great story, great car. Looks killer with the later Jag rollers.

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  7. Avatar photo Jim Capp

    This is a Nice car for the money, if it wasn’t in California I wouldn’t mind checking it out for myself. Always liked these Jags, most of the house’s I worked on had one sitting in the garage. Me & my ex looked into renting one on our honeymoon, but it was too much for the week.

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  8. Avatar photo Scot Carr

    ~ Incredibly good buy. I’ve driven several V8 XJ6/12 cars. They can be pretty satisfying. Docile in traffic, long-legged in the open. I have owned 2 XJ6Coupes, one was 4.2 6cyl. the other was 350ci & TH350. If I have to pick one over the other >>>>>>> tie game>

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  9. Avatar photo Toast54

    1 x 4BBL? What am I missing on the intake side where TPI is concerned?

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  10. Avatar photo 64 bonneville

    Broken Kitty.com I think is the website for the parts to do the swap. Johns Jaguars in Dallas, in either case. He sells a complete kit, not sure what the price is now, 15 years ago they were reasonably inexpensive. Every nut, bolt, fastener, filter, wiring harness, etc. If I were to do another swap that is who I would buy from. The 350/700R4 for the overdrive is his best kit, also will work with a 305 GM V-8. He also has a kit for swapping the slush box auto of the jag for a TH350 or 700R4. I prefer the 700R4 for the overdrive on long trips.

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  11. Avatar photo Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    John’s kit is the most comprehensive I’ve seen as the kit has al the plugs to transition the Jag wiring to the Chevy, which is why the A/C worked, my guess.

    Seen a few of these, usually in a V12 after the engine overheated and dropped a valve seat.

    I’m a Jaguar guy but these are very nice.

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  12. Avatar photo Walter Joy

    Or put a huge supercharger on it and drive it around LA (Roadkill)

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    • Avatar photo Rspcharger

      Exactly what I was thinking

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  13. Avatar photo Givengold

    It seems to be such a great deal because that vin tag has nothing to do with the engine currently in the car. That is a 5.7l TPI, not a 4bbl 305 (5 litre) as listed on the vin.

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  14. Avatar photo joeinthousandoaks

    I guess I’ll never know, (ad deleted by author)

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  15. Avatar photo DJ

    Me and my father did a few of these and along with a couple XJS. One 86 XJ6 that we put a 350 with the 700r4 transmission would get 29 miles to the gallon. Or so the owner said.

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  16. Avatar photo Bill P.

    Seller here with a brief update. I had a ridiculous amount of interest in the Jag locally and nationwide. My most in-depth conversation was with Scott who was thinking of flying to Los Angeles from Toronto and driving it home with his wife and 3 month old child. Among the many topics we discussed; availability of seat anchors for a baby seat (no). The idea that I had never needed to use the heat in Southern California and didn’t know if it actually worked. The A/C? Yes. The heat? No. The exact opposite of every used car ever sold.

    Scott bought it anyway, organized transport and drove it from 30 minutes outside Buffalo, NY, went through the export procedures and was promptly given a ticket by the NYS police for expired plates before breezing through Canadian import.

    He drove it right to his body shop of choice and let me know he might double his investment by having a glass-out paint job. (If the estimate for this work is correct I may be shipping all of my vehicles to Toronto for paint and body work.)

    Thank you for the feature barnfinds. Scott is very happy with the car and I’m pleased it went to a good home. I think he’s going to turn this car into something special.

    Scott has a very good blog about his stable @ http://scottscargarage.com

    Not updated in awhile because he has a 3 month old. Familiar. I have a 3 year old and the only thing I know is that a 1986 XJ6 doesn’t have baby seat anchors.

    Here’s the video I shot of the Jag before it departed for the Great White North.




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    • Avatar photo Jesse Staff

      Thanks for the update Bill. We are glad it went to a good home!

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      • Avatar photo Scot Carr

        ~ Jesse- that video is an ideal type of addition to the fledgling inspection service, know what I mean.

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    • Avatar photo ScottsCarGarage

      Thanks again Bill for the car. It was wonderful to buy from you. You made the transaction extremely smooth when buying a car 2500 miles away! I’ve made a few improvements already and some more maintenance items to come.

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  17. Avatar photo Scot Carr

    ~ good news. I appreciate your updates and videos.

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