Live Auctions

Ever Seen One? 1981 Jaguar XJ Ladbroke Wagon

Looking for all the world like an answer to the question no one asked, this seemingly unloved Ladbroke Avon wagon (estate for our UK readers) conversion of a 1981 Jaguar XJ6 is listed for sale here on eBay UK. Currently the bidding is up to 3,100 pounds ($3891.12 as of this morning). Thanks to Barn Finds reader Dik S. for this find, which is located in Woodford Green, UK.

Somehow, I would have hoped for something like the Lynx Eventer XJS conversion, which to me is the single most beautiful wagon ever made (okay, it’s a shooting brake, but you get the idea). The lines on this make me think more of a hearse conversion than anything else. Nonetheless, I’m sure someone loves these unusual cars! It does add some useful cargo space to an XJ6, that’s for sure. You’ll need to source a rear bumper, although I think that will be the same as the sedan, so it shouldn’t be too hard.

I have to wonder why the seller didn’t clean the car up for the pictures? The paint looks pretty decent, despite a few spots of rust bubbling, and I would think it could be made a lot more attractive just by washing the grime off! That being said, the attitude projected by the ad copy in the auction listing seems to fit. As a trivia note, I learned from this article that the rear hatch was adopted from a Renault 5, and there were originally plans to convert 250 cars. The conversion price (not including the car itself) was 6,500 pounds, or $15,340 at the time! I’m guessing they didn’t convert 250, although I couldn’t find the actual number anywhere.

Back to this car. Although the interior is terribly dirty, the seats would probably respond well to some cleaning and dye. As for the carpets, only shampooing will tell you if they can be cleaned or not.

Under the hood looks pretty neglected too, but at least this will be standard Jaguar XK 4.2 mechanicals, so again it should be easy to source anything one would need. I guess it comes down to how much you really want a Jaguar station wagon (and aren’t interested in an X-Type or a new one). Would this be on your want list?


  1. nessy

    Wow. I think Bentley built a wagon like this for a limited time called the shooting brake? Again, it would be nice if the seller would first wash it….

  2. Scot Douglas

    Hehheh “Ladbroke”.

    Perfect commentary on any young man silly enough to buy a used Jaguar. :D That said, I’d drive this sucker.

  3. 68 custom

    I was gonna say it looked like the Jaguar in the movie “Harold and Maude” but that one looks pretty good this one is ugly! plus the sterling reputation for reliability of this era of Jaguar, no thanks!

  4. boxdin

    Ugliest wagon conversion I’ve seen. Looks like a hearse.

  5. Jeffro

    Every time I see a Jaguar, this runs through my head!

    • nessy

      This still image was in a rock group called Whitesnake MTV video from 1987 right? I think I remember it shows the two cars driving down the road with the girl sticking her head out the sunroof on one of the cars?

    • dan

      Twin headlights ?

      • Jeffro

        Yeah…her headlights!

    • Woodie Man

      And with the extra space of a “shooting brake”……………………….

  6. 68 custom

    they are both broke down and she is trying to get a ride! :) BTW I would pick her up!!!

    • Jeffro

      68, you ole dog! Lol

  7. gbvette62

    It looks like a failed attempt at cross breeding an AMC Gremlin, with a Volvo P1800 Sport Wagon.

  8. Howard A Member

    I can sure relate to the name, “Ladbroke”, I’m sure at one time, it was a fine hag war. It sure is unusual looking, like they just grafted a long roof on a sedan ( sound familiar?) but I’d bet if you were driving one of these in Britain in 1981, you were making it. I’d never attempt such a project, but it sure is neat.

    • Muz

      Don’t realise there are Range Rovers ? Just as capable on road, supreme off road, loads more room and some models even more luxurious…..

  9. grant

    I actually have seen one of these years ago, but I didn’t know what it was. It was on a local used car lot in east Portland, Oregon back in the mid 90’s. Dealer was advertising it as a “homebuilt custom” (and to be fair it may have been, it’s been 20 + years and my young self was much more interested in the Miata my wife vetoe’d). It was ratty, and I’m not sure what ever happened to it.

  10. Mr Bean

    People commenting about the seller not cleaning it up before sale, reason is quite simple really, many people like to take an old barn find like this and clean it up themselves! Thats part of the appeal of rescuing an old car and seeing it come back to life as you clean it yourself for the first time in many years. Its just not the same if the seller has already cleaned it for you. It would be different if it wasn’t a car that has been found after being forgotten about for many years, but in this citcumstance, I think he did the right thing by leaving it untouched.

  11. Luke Fitzgerald

    The poms are were always doing these sort of wacky things – coach built shooting brake conversions – always makes me wonder, the buyer could have had probably 3 US import wagons for the same price……

  12. ClassicCarFan

    That “Ladbroke” name is usually pronounced “Lad-Brook” as in the well-known bookmakers company in the UK….

    I agree, this is not a pretty conversion at all. and a real shame, as I think the XJ series are one of the most handsomely styled sedans ever made. The shooting brake concept on some two-door models can look really good, as other have said, the Lynx Eventer for example – and I believe there were even some one-offs based on Aston Martin coupes? but this Jag is not a hit .

    ha ha. I also can’t help associating the WhiteSnake videos with this generation of XJs. very much part of the era, when Jaguar got independence from BL again and had something of a revival, and big hair rock bands were all the rage. what was the girls’ name ? Tawny something….?

    • grant

      That would be Tawny Kitaen. That poster STILL hangs in my old room at mom’s house. It’s my nephews room now, but he kept that on the wall. Can’t blame him.

  13. Muz

    Ladbroke is pronounced as Lad Broke. I have never heard it pronounced any other way. The booking firm Ladbrokes pronounce it as Lad Brokes in all their media advertising and I reckon they’d know…. 🙂

  14. Peter Atherton

    It’s not Shooting Brake,it’s Shooting Break,nomenclature for British hunting wagons,pre internal combustion…..

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Peter, while I’m sure both terms are used, I’ll go with Wikipedia on this one: Shooting Brake

  15. ccrvtt

    Begs the question, “How can the same race that created one of the world’s most beautiful sedans make such an ugly station wagon out of it?”

    Brits – gotta love ’em.

  16. rusty

    One way to improve the looks is weld up the back doors and remove all the ugliness of the sedan artifacts by filling in the sides to make a ripper panelvan. Longer front doors would have been better but ok with shorter doors.

    Just a solid van side would actually make the profile….” lov’ly”.

    But I am an ex vanner [in my country [ozzie] that means vans made from sedan platforms] and I could see that potential but being an original freak too I would not be able to alter a rare car. But oh the possibilities..

    Ironically there is/was a Jag panelvan in Australia that used to do the show circuits. But it had a Holden panelvan back grafted to the jag body. [ie slightly higher roof line as our Aussie vans do]. I think it still survives as i saw it advertised years ago advertised as a project then turn up latter at some national meet.

    Yes a jag van….yes yes

  17. Car Guy

    Looks like it would make a classy hearse, going to the grave in style.
    Wonder how many are out their, and if their is any adverts on them.
    Neat piece of history.
    But ugly as hell.

  18. Tom

    My word that’s ugly. And the placement of the gas caps right next to the heads of the rear passengers is more than a tad frightening.

  19. Rustytech Member

    Somehow the words Jaguar and wagon just don’t fit together, and neither does that conversion

  20. ClassicCarFan

    er, no. you’re wrong. it’s pronounced “lad brooks” when used for the bookmakers Ladbrokes.
    listen to the voice-over on this commercial by Ladbrokes themselves….

  21. Rex Kahrs Member

    I could see a museum somewhere just for ugly cars. So far this and the Lincoln shorty would fit right in. And that old Triumph Mayflower coupe from a few days back.

  22. Allen Member

    XJ6 Series III – one of the world’s truly beautiful cars – this one totally destroyed by a disastrous conversion. The window line is wrong, the roof height is wrong. You can see the original lines of the beautifully proportioned saloon, but suddenly they are blurred, confused, and no longer beautiful. This one should never have left the drawing board.

    Or was there ever a drawing board? Maybe a guy just took some sheet metal and started bending until he had raised the height of the boot to slightly ABOVE the roofline. Window line? The curvature at the tops of the rear doors is no longer a part of the design. The split in the high molding looks stupid. The rear window behind the C pillar looks like some generic thing purchased from a do-it-yourself truck camper parts supply.

  23. Bryan Cohn

    Why do I want this, an old Bugeye Sprite race car, an AAA membership and a low tow to say Watkins Glen or PVGP or LGVGP? What is wrong with me??? 🤔

  24. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Auction pulled before completion.

  25. Mark-A

    Personally I’d probably prefer a Rover SD1 Estate, remember seeing one at the Haynes Motor Museum in South West England (built by the profits from the Haynes Manuals which told you how to disassemble, REPAIR & reassemble 90% of cars on the roads in the UK at the time) Some seemed to use a Volvo tailgate & rear lights but the one in the attached photo was built by Rover (British Leyland) & I’m pretty sure that a few different companies did the conversions so wouldn’t be surprised if this Jaguar was converted by a similar company in the same way

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