Surrendered Cat: 1986 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas

The auction for this pretty 1986 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas ends in a few hours, and bidding is up to just under $300. That’s because this classic sedan is listed by one of my preferred donated vehicle sellers, as everything is up for grabs at no reserve. This Jag is said to be sidelined by a bad fuel pump, but the rest of it looks too nice to not have been loved at one time. Find it here on eBay with just over 10 hours left. 

These are the little details that make me want to rescue this Jag: the old-school, preserved “AAA” motor club sticker and the original Bauer Motors license plate frame from a Land Rover / Jaguar dealer in Anaheim. Those little pieces of history are usually good indications that a car has been in long-term ownership and not lost or destroyed by multiple changes of hands or sitting outside. The “disabled persons” tag may also indicate elderly ownership.

The interior is gorgeous, and quite impressive for the age and miles. Mileage is not low at over 153,000, but I think that further speaks to the likelihood of long-term ownership at the hands of an individual that loved the heck out of this Vanden Plas. The seller says the fuel pump is faulty and therefore they can’t verify running condition, but if that’s the sole cause of non-operation, it could be a cheap fix for a well-preserved XJ6.

The cleanliness of the engine bay and fresh-looking appearance of stickers on the fan shroud and elsewhere could indicate fairly recent replacement parts. The battery looks pretty recent, too. Our guess is an owner passed away or could no longer drive; the car sat and the fuel pump failed, causing a disinterested offspring to send it to the donation pile. Anyone else feel this is a potentially an easy car to resuscitate for short money?

Fast Finds


  1. Hoos Member

    I’d like this car, but the rust below the windshield gives me pause. That, and the fact that it is on the wrong coast.

    • Tim

      I’m on the east coast of Canada and we see these all the time in our shop. We were a British colony after all. Rust is a big killer here. I’d also check where the leading rear control arms mount to the body in the rear

  2. Tim

    I work on these older Jaguars on a regular basis. And it is almost never as straight forward as just replacing the failed component. Count on a complete fuel system cleaning from the tank to the injectors and everything in between. But dam she is pretty.

  3. jdjonesdr

    Surprised at how nice the engine compartment looks.

  4. redwagon

    with 11 hours left it sits at $280. i dont care if it doesnt run and there really is rust beneath the windshield and it is an automatic – the parts alone would make it worth the price and towing (well locally from Anaheim, CA at least).

    really nice colors on this one and i was struck how much this looks like a bmw 7 series from the side – or is it the reverse?

    hard for me to tell from the pictures if there is rust beneath the windshield. if so it would suggest this one spent time outside but we do not have pictures of the inside condition and general condition of the exterior does not look like it spent time outdoors.

  5. Femi

    Owned one of these for a while in London in the late 80s. You will be uisng the double fuel tank frequently. And reliability is non existent.

  6. mike D

    bidders on this ” charity” are often low ballers , I daresay “most” are not in this good shape if you are getting it cheap enough and are willing to put some bucks into it , I’d say go for it .. I agree that the former owner probably passed, and the survivors just wanted to get rid of it good luck to whomever buys it

  7. Doug

    Looks like a great candidate for a JTR ( Jaguars That Run ) conversion…..
    Chevy small block or LS & an overdrive, make a great long haul cruiser, as long as the tinworm hasn’t gotten too far. Figure for an all-in cost of $ 12-15K, way better than a Lexus for 1/4 the price…..

  8. kenzo

    Couldn’t see the windshield rust, but what is with the drivers side back door?
    Is that filler that has popped out? sure looks weird. Worked with a guy who has now 3 Jag’s and he loves them. His only comment on problems is “keep the maintenance up to date”
    Nice colour, does look good.

    • Peter


      I think you’re correct–looks like bad (i.e., SUPER-thick) filler popped right out of the front of the L.R. door.

      And this would be consistent with what looks like some vicious rust-bubbling, along the trailing edge of that same, R.R. door.

      I’ve seen these come up with less (or no) rust, less miles, and not a lot of money. I like the seller’s inventory (no reserve, etc…) but I’d pass on this particular Cat (yes, I realize the auction has ended).

      But thanks to BF for posting it!

  9. Rustytech Member

    I see what might be a small rust spot on the cowl, and on one door but they look like they could be easily fixed. It looks like this will go for under a grand. Seems like a good price to me. Shipping to PA would likely double that price though.

  10. john

    SOLD… for $640. Someone has a nice color with this Jaguar… my 87 was dark, dark blue.

    • John T

      I am shocked to see that this Jag sold for only $640. I agree with the commenter redwagon (above) that the parts alone make this a bargain if not an outright steal. I am not an expert on Jaguars but I think the buyer got a really good deal on this cat.

  11. jaymes

    had this same car years ago, paint checked like mad on me, needs whitwallls on her

  12. Dt 1

    For three hundred bucks if I lived in California I’d make an attempt to grab it

  13. Fritz T.

    Got a ’90 VDP for free. Much better electronics, outboard rear brakes, 4L, LSD… black with oatmeal interior. It’s a run-around cars, but what’s funny is how many women comment on how pretty it is.

  14. Leo Dano

    Lol. Just stumbled on this thread. Just got a 1992 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas at an auction over the weekend for $160. No body damage, no rips in leather. Threw a battery in it and it fired right up. They are just one those cars that have a bad history on reliability so a lot of people just don’t even look for them. Good for us, right?

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