LS Swap? 1977 Jaguar XJC Coupe

One sure way to alienate fans of a particular car is to re-power it with an engine from another brand of vehicle. The owner of this 1977 Jaguar XJ Coupé in Greenville, South Carolina said the elegant but engine-free two-door would make a perfect home for a GM LS V8, according to the resident “Transport Guy.” Whether that plan suits your character or not, check out the listing here on eBay. So far at least nine bidders have gone the length of more than $600 for the privilege of doing *something* with the green Jaguar that came as a package deal with the owner’s real desires, a 1964 Rolls Royce and a 1948 Bentley. For what might be front-pocket money, the bonus Jag can be yours. The no-title car has a VIN that defies decoding at JaguarHeritage, and it could have originally housed an inline six cylinder or the V12.

Jaguar produced fewer than 11,000 XJ Coupés from model years 1973 to 1978, but frankly owners of any XJ from 1968 to 2009 would find themselves at home in this 1977 model. My Dad’s 2001 Jaguar XJ8 cost over $100,000 new yet we bought it in nearly perfect condition with about 100,000 miles on the clock for $2400. Despite the XJ’s luxury appointments, it weighs less than today’s Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger, promising exhilarating performance with an engine transplant from any of those V8 coupes.

Ah, the possibilities! General Motors’ LS family of V8 engines has surpassed their venerable “small block” as the engine swap of choice these days, with a cottage industry of parts manufactureres and LS-Swap garages making it easier to re-power nearly any vehicle you can imagine, from the Datsun 510 to the occasional turbo LS Winnebago. For something more interesting, you might consider a recently-wrecked V12 from a BMW 760 or Mercedes-Benz S600 with Megasquirt engine management.

Though not as elegant as Jaguar’s XJS, the XJ Coupé can transport four adults in comfort while the XJS is more of a 2+2 with rear seating for children and diminutive adults. Many enthusiasts have never even seen an XJ Coupé, and a custom version will really turn some heads. Still, with so few made, you couldn’t fault a Jaguar aficionado for wanting to return it to stock. What engine would you choose to power this stately coupe?

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  1. Curt Lemay

    I would go Tesla powered. The future is calling our names, but are we listening? Are we even hearing? Maybe it is from all the long term hearing damage from years of glass pack mufflers.

    Like 5
    • Skorzeny

      You go right ahead and fill that car with toxic batteries, I will continue to enjoy pulling up to the pump.

      Like 30
    • Sam61

      Agreed. I think there is a market for an EV conversion kit WITH RANGE. 300 miles of range would be great. Modular kit of motors, battery packs, electronics management, etc.

      Just think of the possibilities…

      Like 5
      • Tom

        I’ve bid on it with exactly that in mind. Full restoration, Cascadia Motor and Controller, 500hp+ equivalent, 265 miles range

  2. Mutt

    LS swap it, then rename it.

    Like 20
    • Frenchy Dampier

      The cost of a mechanically perfect V12 is cheap. Cheaper than a small block Chevy. Cheaper than an LS Chevy. Plus a V12 makes more power than a Chevy 454 and will bolt right in.
      I know the early fuel injection looks complicated. ( it’s not really ) but you can use the early carb version. It’s got 4 lawn mower simple carbs that combined are bigger than a Holley Dominator.

      Like 2
  3. sir_mike

    No LS swap,,…A Ford 302 with carb and a 5speed.

    Like 5

    David and Mike did Draguar already. Old news

    Like 4
  5. Sam Shive

    I’d leave it where it’s at.That’s where it belongs.

    Like 5
  6. Arthur

    I prefer a 3G Hemi swap, myself. Since this is a Jaguar, the Hemi of my choice would be the Hellcat, an extension of the feline theme.

    Like 4
  7. Phil

    I own an XJC with an original Jaguar motor. I’m restoring right now. Unfortunately, these cars don’t really accelerate in value. This particular car, I saw on e-bay. It’s interior is not original to the car – although I’m not sure anyone looking to do an engine transplant would care. Also, the rear bumper is not original to the car, and neither is the side panel below the rear bumper on each side. This could make a fun car to modify, for someone that really likes large parojects.

    Like 3
  8. SubGothius

    I’d keep things “in the family” with a Jaguar AJ6, AJ16, or AJ16S engine, but by golly that “XJC430” linked above sure looks keen aesthetically.

    Like 2
  9. mainlymuscle

    I love these coupes.I have a concurs 66 XKE,and an LS-3 powered 69 XKE,any guesses as to which I drive most ?

    Like 1
  10. G Lo

    I would go full-on Icon restomod, with an LS-V12, and make it look as stock and beaten (on the exterior) as it currently appears while fully restoring the interior to better than original. I would replace the entire wiring loom with an InfinityBox in order to provide some reliability and some modern features.
    These are prone to hidden rust along the sills, front and rear fenders, and front air dam area. Plus the doors. I expect this one to be full of surprises, particularly since it is apparent that someone has already horked all of the expensive bits to do a restoration on a better example.

    Like 2
  11. jerry z

    I do one better and go BBC. Since there is no title, just going to be a track car. But what a fun track car it would be!

  12. Steve Clinton

    At least the engine won’t give you any trouble!

    Like 2
  13. Steve Clinton

    It’s been up for bid for 6 days and has 35 bids to this point. The high bid so far is $860. That should tell you something!

    • Steve R

      That doesn’t tell you a thing.

      Unless someone steps in and makes an offer enticing enough for a seller to end an auction early, only the last few hours matter. How often have you bid on or watched an item that had little interest up till the end, then it doubles or triples within minutes. That doesn’t happen with every auction, but often enough to make you comment meaningless.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  14. Jasper

    As long as it ends up looking like this, anything is ok. Electric power wouldn’t be too out of character. Smooth, quiet and powerful. And fewer moving British parts to break.

  15. JagManBill

    you want custom, I give you custom

    John Steed’s transport in “The New Avengers” from the late 70’s. Body panels taken straight off the Broadspeed racing Jags

    and since a “C” is now worth north of $50k, put it back right

    Like 1
  16. Lowell Peterson

    Until the ridiculous smog requirements recognize that special interest cars 30 or more years old make zero impact environmentally these perfect swap candidates will continue to rot away. SADLY! Ok! Before you wet yourself! They don’t get significant miles on the road to impact.

  17. Tinbox

    Have a client doing an LS3 / 6 speed swap on an XJC right now, fortunately he started with a much better car than this.
    The mish mash interior – later dash w trip computer that won’t work without a lot of trouble, the late xjs bumpers, cut tail light openings are nothing compared to the bulging sills with bondo’d over seams. Current bid is about right.

  18. Derek

    Transplant a modern-ish 6-cylinder BMW – in its entirety, wiring, dash and all – into it. Either that, or go with the suggested EV conversion.

  19. Chris Londish Member

    The LS would be the best part of the car Jaguar was in the hands of British Leyland at this time and the quality suffered, but would be a nice cruiser

  20. Chris Londish Member

    Put an Aussie Ford Barra motor with a turbo in it and go street racing

    Like 1
  21. Michael Acocks

    When I lived in Anaheim in SoCal many years ago there was one of these cars with the license plates JAGOLET.

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