High Performance Special Order: 1994 Jaguar XJS V12

This 1994 Jaguar XJS V12 coupe is an interesting opportunity if the seller’s claims hold water. He notes it was one of just 109 special-order “high performance” models that came to the U.S. with the powerful V12 engine and a variety of cosmetic and mechanical upgrades. We’ve seen this description once or twice before, and it’s important to note this is not a Lister-modified car or one of the TWR specials. It’s a largely standard model (from what I can tell) with perhaps a firmer suspension, a rear spoiler, special wheels, and the cache of being a limited edition model. Find the XJS here on craigslist in Coral Springs, Florida for $8,950.

The XJS coupe and convertible of this era really represented the peak of the long-tenured design, with lots of color matching and the blacked out taillights seen here serving as attempts to freshen up the ancient styling. The XJS has remained somewhat unloved by the collector car market, perhaps due to the long production cycle that makes it seem eminently available. Or maybe it’s the reputation for quality control issues that largely stem from owner neglect rather than massive engineering flaws. Yes, British car quality has always been suspect, especially from this era – but enthusiast-maintained XJSs are known to be fine drivers.

The color is Carmen Red over cream leather which is accented by red piping. The wood trim on the dash and in the center console both appear to be in good condition despite sitting for years. The leather is slightly worn on the driver’s side bolster but overall, the seating surfaces don’t look bad at all. The dash isn’t cracked, but I don’t think XJS dash tops of this era suffer too much from cracking. The door panels also present well, but the arm rest looks pretty tired. The carpets look a bit grimy as well, but those issues are easily resolved with a weekend of detailing. The seller says it’s been in storage for ten years, but doesn’t disclose what type of arrangement it had – as in, actual storage facility or a private garage with no temperature controls. The steering wheel looks very nice as well.

The 6.0L V12 engine was a beast, but the cars were heavy. Acceleration and top speed were both respectable, but perhaps a touch slow considering the engine displacement and output. The special high performance options the seller mentions won’t likely be seen or felt here, unless it has an OEM free-flow exhaust. The suspension is likely tighter so it may handle better, but I seriously doubt performance modifications represented anything significant, certainly nothing outside of a few-horsepower bump. Still, it’s a desirable car with rare options and just under 100,000 miles, so it’s worthy of rescuing, but the seller’s price may yet be a touch high for an XJS that needs pretty much everything.

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Comments

  1. KC John

    Gee, that rear spoiler doesn’t look out of place at all. Sarcasm…my favorite.

    Like 3
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Ruins the lines of a very sleek car IMO.

      Like 1
  2. William C.W. Lamb

    all 94s were 6L V12. Shame about the condition.

    Like 4
  3. Claudio

    🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤢🤮🤢
    What else can i say !

    • Stephen J Niznik

      I am a serious auto restoration hobbyist. I specialize in the Jaguar XJ-S and XJS. I have 9. This car is going to need serious restoration work from all the bushings, brakes, fluids, body & paint, interior, cooling system, and engine. You’re probably looking at $ 10,000.00 minimum to bring it to what I would consider acceptable. Plus you don’t know if it’s been overheated which is almost a guarantee for dropped valve seats. I bought a 93 six cylinder convertible a little while back in similar condition for $ 1,000.00. The wing and other amenities came standard on the V12 face lift model and were an option on six cylinder models. I know of no special additions for this car other that the Classic Collection designation that is just a cosmetic upgrade.

      Like 13
  4. Randy

    A financial disaster waiting for a new victim.

    Like 7
  5. Troy

    Does it come with the lift because your going to need it

    Like 2
  6. jagcarman

    http://www.jag-lovers.org/xj-s/book/Jaguar.html

    The above book is a FANTASTIC guide for the owner or would be owner. The later models (like a 1994) are the best of the breed, Ford had taught Jaguar a bit about quality control by then. This may have the 4 speed automatic, which is much more appropriate for a car with GT pretensions than the GM400 in the earlier models.

    If you are a person who loves to tinker, a lot, these are good cars. My 1990 is has been an ok car and a great hobby.

    For the money, the car should run and stop (the ABS on these cars can be a bear to fix). The interior should be immaculate, since there are yards of cow skin in there that would be $$$ to fix up. If the seller drops the price to about 1-2k$ I would recommend the car as a great project.

    Like 5
  7. RichardinMaine

    The seller is sadly misinformed, all of the last-run V12’s were the “Celebration” series, with the bigger 6 liter engine, slightly different trim.

    Like 1
  8. RichardinMaine

    The seller is sadly misinformed, all of the last-run V12’s were the “Celebration” series, with the bigger 6 liter engine, slightly different trim. I’d consider buying it to swap motor and outboard brake LSD rear suspension into my 350 powered XJC.

    Like 1
  9. Howie Mueler

    Maybe not the best location for a photo shoot for a car you are trying to sell, up on a lift.

    Like 1
  10. Stephen J Niznik

    I just noticed that the wheels are not XJS wheels. They are off of a Jaguar sedan. The seats are also standard for the V12 car. The 6 cylinder cars had a different interior. I have a 94 XJS 6 cylinder coupe, so I know.

    Like 1
  11. Bick Banter

    Looks like it’s a special disorder at this point

    Like 4
  12. Stephen J Niznik

    I just looked a bit closer at the photos on Craigslist. The left side down pipe with the catalytic converter in missing, I can almost assure you that the ABS system has to be refurbished or changed over to a vacuum boosted system. That alone is going to be expensive, the rear seats are askew, the driver’s seat must be recovered ($ 600.00 just for the material), I could go on. My guess is the car is not running or driving either.

  13. Stephen J Niznik

    Just a correction to someone else’s statement. 94’s came with either a 4.0 liter straight six or a 6.0 liter V12. Again, I personally own a 94 XJS 4.0 liter coupe. The V12 version came standard with 5 spoke alloy wheels similar to the look of the old starfish wheels on earlier XJ-S, the rear wing and the upgraded interior. That is it. There are no special performance features that were available. By 94 TWR was no longer modifying XJS. I own an 89 XJ-S coupe that hard a bunch of the TWR modifications. The dealer had a laundry list of TWR options up to and including the 6.0 liter engine and manual five speed transmission. I have been working on and researching Jaguar XJ-S and XJS for 12 years and I have yet to come across one that has all the offered options. My 94 has the upgrade wheels and the wing that could be ordered as options.

    Like 1
  14. Phil

    I’ve learned over the past 40 or more years of working on cars that if a car needs a lot of help in 2 or more out of 3 areas (1. electro/mechanical, 2. interior, 3. paint), it is a financial sinking ship. This car needs at least all 3 – maybe more extensive in the paint area and the electrical/mecanical area, but it needs help on the interior too – 3/3 no go for me.

    Like 2
    • Stephen J Niznik

      I’d love to pick up a car like this just to keep it from going to the bone yard but one cannot justify the cost when you pay 7K too much for it. I’d put it storage until one of four things would happen 1) I get to a point where I could restore it, 2) I’d sell it to another enthusiast for them to restore it, 3) I’d get someone to commission the restoration and do it, 4) I die and my heirs inherit it

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