BF EXCLUSIVE: 1988 Jaguar XJ-6 Vanden Plas

The Jaguar XJ was a series of full-size luxury cars produced by the British automobile manufacturer from 1968-2019. Beginning in 1970, it would be Jaguar’s flagship 4-door model. For several years, you could order the Vanden Plas edition of the XJ, which featured a much higher level of trim and conveniences. That includes the seller’s 1988 model, with just 50,000 miles on the odometer it looks like a true survivor in beautiful overall condition. Located in Carlsbad, California, this XJ-6 is available here on Barn Finds Classifieds for $9,800.

Series III versions of the car were built between 1979-92. Subtle exterior styling changes were executed by designer Pininfarina. Depending on the model, both six-cylinder and V12 models were offered that incorporated Bosch fuel injection. The V12 would not be offered in the U.S. after 1980. Over its long run, some 318,000 of the XJ cars were built, of which 133,000 were Series III. The seller’s car has Jaguar’s 3.6-liter inline-6.

If the XJ wasn’t fancy enough in its own right, you could order one that was decked out by Vanden Plas, a group of coachbuilders who produced upgrades for European luxury car makers like Jaguar. These cars were available from the 1980s and through 2009. From what I can tell, the Vanden Plas copies were akin to what you’d have if you crossed a Jaguar with a Rolls-Royce. This 1988 model is a one-family car since it was purchased new in Southern California and has been babied for most of its existence.

This car has some interesting extras, such as a handheld Technophone (!) and bolt-on chrome wire wheels that were added by the dealer. The body and paint (what we see of it) look good and the interior appears as nice as it was in 1988. The leather is nice and the dash pad has nary a crack. The seller can provide a copy of the car’s CARFAX report which will back up the mileage and crash-free claims. Not everything is functional after 33 years, such as the phone and electric antenna. We assume the latter can be addressed by a dealer but why bother with the car phone in this wireless age we live in!


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  1. Chris Rohman

    I’m wondering was this the time period when Ford owned Jaguar?

    • Chunk

      It is a pre-Ford Jag.

      Like 2
    • Abi


  2. Abi

    Jags of the 80’s were plagued with electrical gremlins.

    Like 1
  3. Jack Leary

    I did bodywork on these around 1993-1994 at a Ford processing center near the Baltimore Harbor. Very nice bodywork and interiors but they would be roached in a few years. These don’t bring much.

    Like 2
  4. Graeme

    I’ve owned several Jags of this era. As a rule of thumb, stay away from the 3.6 cars and go for the 4.0 single headlight version. The issue is build quality and early production gremlins.

  5. J.R. May

    There’s a lot wrong with this posting. Xj-6 Series III ended in 1987, this would be the Xj-6 XJ40 variant which came out in 1988. Very different car, lot less parts, probably the better car – I have owned both. Having the one gas tank in the XJ40 was a huge plus versus the leaking mess of the Series 1-3 with dual tanks.

    Like 3
    • CCFisher

      The author says Series III production continued through 1992, which is correct. You say XJ-6 Series III production ended in 1987, which is also correct. It’s the XJ-12 Series III that continued through 1992.

      Like 2
  6. Bill

    Nothing like trying to sell a car and not showing the side and back with the pictures

    Like 3
  7. pacekid

    She is a beauty.

    I had a 1974 version which I put in a TPI 350 and R4-700 trans. The car ran great, it handles well. But the factory breaks just were not enough to stop the, way more than Jaguar mills, TBI’s acceleration abilities. Still looked good, but was freaky fast for a Gentleman’s Jag.

    Like 1
  8. grant

    The phone likely doesn’t work because it’s obsolete, not nonfunctional.

    Like 1
    • Abi

      @grant – correct it would be an analog phone. I had a 91 XJS and it had a removable Jaguar branded Motorola StarTAC flip phone in the console.

      Like 1

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