The One I Should Have Bought: 1990 Jaguar XJS

This is the car I should have purchased.  Yup, I can say that as last year I bought a Jaguar XJS from this very site. Don’t get me wrong, I love my car and I don’t regret buying it, but with less than 15,000 documented miles (the Carfax is included in the listing), gorgeous cosmetics and a clean bill of mechanical health, this 1990 Jaguar XJS is in unbelievable condition for a car 29 years old (young)! It’s listed for sale here on eBay and is located in Princeton, Texas. There’s a buy it now of $16,000 but the seller is entertaining lower offers as well.

Originally a California car, the XJS has had two owners that obviously have coddled the car. That’s original paint you are observing shining in the sun! Those are brand new Pirelli tires as well. Note the straight shut lines and shine on the polished wheels — this is obviously a car that has been very well taken care of.

This is one big cat where the interior doesn’t let things down. Unlike many XJSs that have issues with the wood and driver’s seat, this one looks like a picture from the factory brochure.

I couldn’t resist including one more shot of that beautiful wood. The seller also tells us that the air conditioning works perfectly and that, as you might expect, so does everything else.

This picture I find extremely ironic as I need to replace all the exhaust components from the catalytic converters back on my Lister (anyone got a source?). I wish mine looked this clean!

I’ve actually saved this picture and the next one as examples of how my engine compartment should look; I’ll put them on the wall of my garage as inspiration! The 5.3 liter V12 surely puts out most if not all of it’s original 262 horsepower and 290 ft-lbs of torque.

Here’s another shot of that gorgeous engine compartment. I’ve compared the Jaguar V-12 to a turbine before and that’s truly what a good one feels like. Sure, this car is listed for a little more than a typical XJS listing — but try a good one and you’ll never want to go back. Trust me!


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  1. poseur Member

    gorgeous time capsule.
    this must be toward the end of this model line before Ford took over.
    classic and timeless

    Like 4
  2. Coventrycat

    The self destruct sensor starts working at around 20K, no matter how nice they are.

    Like 10
  3. RayT Member

    Ever since I first drove an XJS, I’ve thought they were vastly underrated. Yes, I’ve heard all the horror stories (who hasn’t?), but once the big V12 is fired up and you’re on the road, they are a wonderful blend of fine craftsmanship (yes), a well-developed chassis and a magnificent, turbine-smooth powerplant.

    I suggest that any car enthusiast who has never savored the delights of an XJS find one — preferably, as clean and sorted as this one seems to be — and put a few miles on it. They’ll become fans, in short order.

    These are unique machines, and I wish I had the money and space to have one on hand. In many ways, I prefer them to certain other, perhaps more famous, V12 high-performance Grand Tourers.

    Like 7
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Ray, very nicely put and I couldn’t agree more!!!!

      Like 2
  4. BarnfindyCollins

    Ford began buying up shares of Jaguar in 1989 and completed the purchase for 2.5 billion in early 1990. They went to work immediately improving worker morale, funding a reliability program, modernizing engines, and development of new cars; you have to remember Jaguar was only making 2 cars the XJS and XJ. We didn’t see the related Daimler cars here. The limited production XJ220 was another vehicle that brought needed interest back to Jaguar. Overall , Fords ownership was good and lasted until the recession of 2008. I think they have put them in good hands with Tata but a car like this red one sure looks tempting.

    Like 4
  5. Todd Fitch Staff

    Nice find, Jamie. intend to own a V12 some day, and you’ve described this one in tempting fashion!

    Like 1
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Todd, if I didn’t already have one, I’d be thinking about this one!

  6. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Your Jaguar is also gorgeous and it has the benefit (or, curse?) of being very rare and very unique, Jamie. That puts it a step or two ahead of the one above for me, but I’m a little weird, if you haven’t noticed.

    Like 1
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Great looking car, love to have a crack at driving this one. I have had British cars in the past and I had electrical issues so I guess I’d expect them from this one too.
    I’d love to see what this one could do on the highway regardless.

    Like 1
  8. Jack

    I just sold my 1992 XJS convertible. Bitter sweet for me. I’m 6’3″ and made adjustment to the driver seat mounts to allow me 2″ more of leg room. I also bought mine and it needed way more repairs than it was worth. Did them all and began to worry about keeping it together and more money. I thought this car was very cool, but was not as happy as I thought with my experience. It did drive great on the highway. One other note, I replaced the wheels with larger 17″ which made the car ride and handle much better. Those 15″ tire are hard to get.

    Like 1
    • Billieg

      I owned a XJS V-12 and although I could afford to buy it I couldn’t afford to keep it running. It was great when it ran but that wasn’t often. I just bought a 2006 XK8R and it puts that XJS to shame.

  9. Ben T Spanner

    I sold my 1990 Rouge Collection coupe several years ago. That is a cosmetic upgrade and includes magnolia leather (beige) with red piping, and a beige steering wheel.
    I am also 6’3″ and have a long spine.I moved the seat brackets back. Jag XJS parts .com sells a premade extender.The later cars with power seats seem to have more room. I would love to have a late 6 liter coupe. now is the time to buy. Prices are in the cellar.

  10. G Howe

    Just been informed of this site, very interesting, keen to comment on things XJS V12. Unfortunately I have too many interests. One is rebuilding one of mine, to running & reconsidering parting to make space for more. Must be mad, they will never be so affordable & can only appreciate. Had fun in Germany with my 6 ltr. with 6 twin choke Down draught Webbers & open trumpets, induction sound on WOT :-), never mind exhaust. (yes, the bonnet height professionaly raised & brakes massive etc.)

  11. JimZ

    These are awesome vehicles, automotive elegance and performance exemplified. I’ve owned a dozen or so over the years, picture is of my ‘fleet’ back a few years ago. There are enhancements (exhaust, suspension, steering) that can make these cars even sportier. So Jamie, when you’re ready to upgrade your Lister, give me a call!

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