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Jaguars in the Wild

Liams Mk I

Liam W is always on the hunt for interesting finds. One day, while he was driving along, he spotted something out of the corner of his eye hiding in some overgrowth. He had to take a look and see what was hiding under all those vines. There he found a car lying dormant, it wasn’t just any old car, but a Mark I Jaguar. These big cats are known to be found in small packs and sure enough, nearby were two more. One is an XJ Series 2 and the other an XJS. He knew he had to track down the owner so these could be saved, or at least freed from the overgrowth.

Liams Jaguar XJS

Liam was able to free all three Jags from any further deterioration. Both the XJ and XJS are going to need work, but the XJS looks to be in solid shape and shouldn’t be too difficult to get back on the road. The XJS was Jaguar’s replacement for the E-type and while it offered better performance and more luxuries, it never garnered the sporting image or cult following that the E-type did.

Liams XJ

The XJ has some rust issues along the bottoms of the doors, so we would guess there is more rust to be found in the floors. When the XJ was first introduced, it was their flagship full sized sedan and as such was very luxurious. While it will need work before it will see any pavement, at least under its own power, someone with some Jaguar experience shouldn’t find it too difficult to get it running again.

Jaguar Mark I

This Mk I on the other hand, is a different story and is probably past the point of ever seeing the road again. Liam pulled it home anyways, as it has some good parts left on it. Rather than fixing these cats himself, he has decided it would be better for them to go to new homes. If someone in the UK is interested in either the XJ or the XJS, Liam can be reached here via email. We want to thank Liam for sharing these with us and we wish him luck with finding them new homes!


  1. Horse Radish

    that poor Mark I, which is to me the most interesting of the bunch.
    Too bad somebody cannibalized it and left for dead only to tease the next guy coming along..
    As for the XJS, too bad for those cars.
    THEY WERE TOO HEAVY. Gas consumption through the roof, especially the V12, and then these engines would fail rather inexplicably.
    A friend of mine tried to fix a girl’s XJ6 one time. The cam had just snapped in half …..

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  2. paul

    Save these from what? The only one in the bunch worth saving is the S but as HR writes the S was too heavy the 12 was useless & expensive, at least the 6 allowed it to handle, but the car was still too heavy & couldn’t get out of it’s own way. I am a Jag fan just none of these. An E type or a 3.8 MK 11 or an early XJ6 or some of the newer ones.

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  3. DT

    How much is steel by the ton now?

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  4. Jim-Bob

    I am in a strange minority of car guys (as usual) in that I have always really liked the XJS. It is the furthest thing from the quality Japanese or quirky Eastern Block engineering that I usually go for but yet it has a certain charm to it that just does something for me. I also want to believe that I am better than a Leyland Jag and that I could somehow manage to make a decent car of it. I actually think it is a better looking car than an E Type (a car I have never liked), and Jags of this era have interiors that are just nice places to be. The only thing that stops me from buying one is that the fuel consumption is about double that of my already thirsty Olds Cutlass and yet the performance is worse. I can still remember the Top Gear episode where James May drives one and gets 8mpg (Imperial), which means around 6.5 MPG US. With petrol about $10 a gallon in the UK, it’s no wonder then that these cars fell into disuse. The kind of person who buys them can’t afford to drive them.

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    • jsmithba

      I have a ’93 XJS roadster with 38K on the clock. The key to addressing both your concerns is to buy a version with the bulletproof (by comparison) inline 6 cyl. Mine runs reliably (for a semi-vintage car), gets about 17mpg, and I think it looks nicer underhood. Though I would rather have an E-Type roadster, at 1/5 the price my XJS is indeed a nice place to spend time until my finances are more flush.

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      • Jim-Bob

        I was thinking that. BTW, the XJS convertible is a VERY pretty car and about the only thing that could make it better for me would be a 5 speed manual transmission. Once the market shakes of it’s irrational hatred of 80’s and 90’s cars (or when Gen X ers like me become the majority of the classic car scene) I think you will be sitting on a very valuable car.

        I also wonder how difficult it would be to find an otherwise decent V12 car with a dead engine and swap it for something more modern. I figure one of the smaller displacement GM LSX truck engines backed by a manual transmission from a Camaro would likely offer a great mix of power and economy to make a really fun cruiser.

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  5. Bryan Cohn

    What about the Land Rover! Tell us he saved the Land Rover too! Liam, you didn’t leave it behind did you? Noooooooooooooooooooo

    It could easily be the find of this bunch of rusty iron. It looks to be a MkII. Sliding windows, grille and headlights recessed slightly.

    You know the Mk1 has been there a long, long time. Its kind of surprising it didn’t break in half when being pulled out of the hedge due to rust. I’ve always loved the look of the XJS. Its a shame to compare them to E-Type’s as its not only not a fair comparison but they appealed to different market segments and the XJS wasn’t really meant to appeal to the same customer as the E-Type.

    That’s an old XJ, early 80’s at best. Comfy cars to drive when new, I remember when these were hot on the used car market but took a HUGE hit in price if they crossed the 50,000 mile mark. Dealers I knew would do crazy things to keep their used ones from crossing that threshold.

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  6. Liam

    Hi Bryan, dont worry, I saved that too, and it is already up and running again! It is a more desirable factory fitted Rover 3.5 V8 aluminum engine model, with manual trans.

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  7. Stewart

    Thats not a Mk1, its looks to be a 420, the final version of the S-type. The Mk1 was very similar to the Mk2, but had thicker window pillars and thus the rear of the car was very different to this.

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    • Nigel

      Hi Stewart

      You were correct it isnt a Mk 1 but in fact the rear plinth on a Mk1 and a Mk2 are absolutely identical!

      Also I think you are correct inthat the rear plinth on the 1060’s S Type was idenical to the 420 Series cars made.

      Kind regards

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  8. dave

    i would like to see the mk1 u got out of the weeds

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  9. Roy Smalley

    Rover with a nice Buick motor……

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  10. Justin

    That first pic reminds me of the E Type in a field near my home. Makes me cringe every time I see it!

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  11. sunbeamdon

    The tinworm strikes again! The Rover will be a fun driver. Question: is there a way to create a market for iron-oxide? Seems like a natural winner!

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  12. jim s

    glad you got the land rover up and running. and the jags have a chance at new homes. great find.

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  13. Jaguar George

    It is not a 3.4/2.4 (Mk1) it is an early Mk10 3.8lt. If the mechanics are ok, I have a rust free shell. However it looks if the engine lives somewhere else. Most probably in an E-Type. :-)

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  14. Alan

    All praise to Liam, for rescuing what is left of all of these cars. I am one of those who actually managed the recovery of two cars, one a restoration, and the other from a frame issue considered to be terminal. But there were many years between them, and I’m not right now brave enough to take on 4 at once!

    The XJS has always appealed to me, but again, the fuel consumption and mechanical issues have kept me from ever really considering one. A business aquiantance had one many years ago, and it was a thing of beauty. I never heard of any issues with it, but he was not the type to admit adversity in anything he touched. A real salesman!

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  15. cliffyc

    I reckon the Land Rover is a Series 3 (MY 1971 -on) as this one has air intake on left fender (or wing,to us Brits!) and should have the improved spec to that of Series 2A.I think the Rover (to us!),or Buick (to USA) V8 first used in the Land Rover ,Rover had used the V8 in the 60’s in saloon cars (3.5 litre badged as a V8).The chassis is 88″.(later models went to 90″) wheelbase ,interior was improved better seats,trim and instrument pod AND a better heater!.

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  16. Charles

    in the late 80’s/early 90’s I remember a trend where some people were buying Jags and replacing the failed V12’s with a small block Chevy engine, usually the 350 with a Turbo 350 trans. I don’t remember the details as I was never interested in Jaguar cars, but did work with a couple of people who talked about that sort of conversion on a regular basis. I even remember that some company sold a kit to make everything easily fit into the car. Seen some pics in a car magazine once of a four door Jag that had a Chevy engine, however I never got to see one in person. From what was said performance was good, and it made a much more economical car with the Chevy power plant. Does anyone else remember any details. There are so many choices of crate engines available today that it might be worth considering a conversion on these cars?

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  17. Mark-A

    I’d just like to share this video with you all!! Made me Smile! Introducing the Draguar!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gfQ4jzUEwU&sns=em

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    • Alan

      The Motor Trend “Roadkill” guys have some fun and interesting adventures, for sure.

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  18. Jeff V.

    Nice find for a Jag fan with $$$$. In defense of Jag’s reputation I own a 96′ XJR I6 supercharged (322hp stock). I bought it in 09′ for $4200 with 113K on it from a rich farmers wife. Did a CARFAX on it, clean (3 owners). She just had the dealer install a new sub-woofer for the HK sys, but she wanted a new Volvo. Found myself a good private mechanic. and commenced clean-up. The condition of the car and paint (sapphire blue met) sold me (no winters, garaged), in WI this means a lot. The left front caliper was frozen so RR, rear wheel bearings needed, tune-up, tires were new. This car is amazing, FORD really cleaned the car up when they owned JAG. I ended up putting 3K in her including a custom SS exhaust system with Porsche quad tips, K&N air, Pulstar plugs. I found the VanDenPlas fluted chrome grill surround & rear fluted trunk trim on Ebay ($125), put chrome wheel well trim on her & a SS rocker panel strip. This car gets more compliments than any MB, BMW or Cadillac I’ve ever owned and the car rockets down the road smoother than glass. Picking one up today has got to be one of the best values out there if looking for style, speed & reliability. Today she has got 124K on her & two car covers, cant wait for Spring lol

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