Rare Targa Top: 1988 Jaguar XJ-SC Cabriolet

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This is an exceptionally rare 1988 Jaguar XJ-SC, a bizarre experiment in creating an XJS-series Jag with the option to drive with the wind blowing through your hair or the security of a closed roof environment. Similar to the Baur-modified BMWs of the same era, this type of hybrid roof design never took off as a trend, and examples like this XJ-SC here on craigslist remain available in limited quantities since so few were sold new in the first place. 

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Chuck for the find. The body appears presentable in photos, but the seller does note that there are several areas of deterioration. There’s rust in the driver’s side floorpan near the jacking point, and interior photos show tired seating surfaces. The Jaguar went into storage as a running/driving car, but it no longer fires up.

Thankfully, the likely hard-to-source components of the targa roof are all accounted for, as I doubt Jaguar is still supplying spares for a sales flop like the XJ-SC. The seller notes that this body design actually is easier to source other spares for, as the convertibles had fewer shared parts with the more popular coupes. Can any Jaguar experts confirm that claim?

The words “twelve-cylinder targa” don’t often go together, but they do in the case of the XJ-SC. This car is hugely unique, and would likely be prized by a Jaguar collector that hasn’t been able to find one to add to their collection. It’s a novelty piece for sure, but the XJS remains one of the prettiest Jaguars made and this rare XJ-SC seems like a screaming bargain at just $1,450.

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  1. Drew V

    deleted after only 14 mins…

    Like 1
  2. UK Paul

    Cheap .. ugly though?
    Actual production figures would be interesting as agree rare but not hugely rare I think?

    Like 0
  3. Coventrycat

    The only way you’ll get that wind in the hair feeling is sitting in it while the flatbed brings it to the shop. Always liked the look of them, but I think “rare” is an overused word lately.

    Like 0
  4. Jeff

    Not that rare, have seen several of them over the years. Nobody seemed to want one as they are rather unattractive. The one for the article should be parted out.

    Like 0
  5. JBD

    Only 1600 V12 XJ-SC models were imported between 1987-1988.

    Like 1

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