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1988 Jaguar XJS V12 Convertible

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  • Mileage~46,097
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Engine5.3-litres
  • LocationHenley-on-Thames


1988 Jaguar XJS V12 Convertible

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Darren Rungasamy
Automotive Editor, Photographer and Consigner

As one of the most desirable XJS models produced, the car garners plenty of attention and deserves it.

Considered as one of the best looking and desirable XJS models ever produced, the convertible was a proper open-top luxury car, with an electric hood mechanism, strengthened front section and subframe which could be constituted as a new car in its own right. Just 7,420 of the 150mph V12 models were produced, and with the brands marked improvement in build quality and engineering, it became something of an instant classic.

Originally sold in the UK, this 1988 example has spent most of its life in the sunny climes of Gran Canaria. With a recorded mileage of only 46,000 miles, it has not only been protected from the damp but also been maintained to an excellent standard. Furthermore, this very clean and solid example has received in the region of 8K spent on mechanical renewal in the last year, which will ensure it continues to attract the attention of collectors, owners and curious passers-by.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Darren Rungasamy after meeting Steve the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

I'm still amazed at how much attention this car attracts - but just look at it, it's simply beautiful and looks like it belongs on the French Riviera.

Steve has owned several XJS cars in the past and came across this example from a friend who imported the car into the UK last year. Admitting that he had an itch to be scratched, he took the car on and subsequently sent it to several specialists who ensured that it ran and drove as well as the best XJS could. Swayed by the low mileage and excellent condition, he knew the car was going to be a short term solution as his focus is on obtaining an E-Type, which will be this cars replacement.

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The quality and finish of the exterior have been preserved by its Spanish lifestyle.

Wheels and Tyres

The lattice 15" alloy wheels have been subject to a very recent overhaul, to the cost of £1500 to renew and restore, and as a result they're unmarked - we don't think you'll find better.

The tyres are all older than 10 years old but all with good thread with tiny signs of wall cracking but remain fully road legal.


The gaps and fit of the panels are flush and even throughout the car, with no dents or scuffs observed. The engine bay, boot floor, suspension mounts, sills and wheel arches are solid. The underside has been well treated with sealer and there were no obvious signs of damage or corrosion. The cars pleasing condition can be attributed to a warm and damp-free climate during its life in Gran Canaria. The canvas roof is in excellent condition too.


The XJS has been subjected to a high-quality respray at some point in its life, the finish is good with a excellent lustre.

Being very picky, there are a handful of minor blemishes observed - the odd chip on a door edge and the odd scratch, mostly due to day to day wear rather than the ageing process. There is small evidence of overspray observed on the bonnet rubber and the front valance has a couple of minor cracks.

In summary, the paint is really good and head and shoulders above most other UK cars - it wouldn't take much effort to take to the next level, i.e. show quality.

Glass and Trim

The glass is in good condition, with no signs of laminate damage. It is also free from any scratches or chips. The chrome is in good condition, with no significant signs of age and retain their shine well. The front near-side corner of the bumper is slightly damaged but the rest of the rubber bumper inserts are good with minor signs of wear. The lights are good, with no evidence of water ingress or major damage.


Tastefully finished in leather and walnut - the XJS oozes decadence and make you feel like royalty.

Seats and Carpets

The magnolia leather seats are in good condition, with typical leather ageing wear but unaffected by sun bleaching and are without any rips or tears. The carpets and mats are in good condition too, with just minor signs of colour fade on the areas exposed to the light. The door cards are in good condition.

The headlining is in good with no damage, although the inside of the C-pillars shows up with a few minor marks.


A few minor scuffs and wear are evident on the leather, mostly on the centre console but the dashboard itself is in really good order, with the burr walnut fascia veneer detailing in good condition. The top of the dashboard is in good condition with no damage observed. The dials, switches and controls are in good condition, and all are said to be functional.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The attractive aftermarket Moto-Lita steering sits in the cabin really well and is in good condition. The gear lever has lasted well too, with no immediate signs of wear.


Thousands has been spent on the mechanics - just want you want to hear to make sure that all important V12 continues to purr.

Engine and Gearbox

The car has been subject to a thorough mechanical check-over, which included replacement of engine belts, gaskets, hoses, fuel lines, bushes, pipes and sundry items to ensure the reliability of the car. As a result, the engine ran sweetly after the cold start, with no noises come from the timing chain or anywhere else. The car came up to temperature with no evidence of overheating and the oil pressure lights remained off. The gearbox is said to perform well with no issues with its function.

Suspension and Brakes

The suspension and brakes have seen a detailed level of inspection last year, with the whole braking system checked and renewed if needed. This included a new caliper and hoses. The suspension also saw attention with new long-life polyurethane bushes being installed.

The Drive

Thanks to the extensive work on the braking and suspension, it retains the XJS's reputation for its road-holding manners, and as expected there are no unwanted noises coming from the suspension or braking components. The V12 engine if maintained is a reliable unit, and the owner has no experienced any issues with the cars during his ownership.

Electrics and Other

The lights have been upgraded to accommodate the attractive double headlamp units which offer both an improvement to the visual aesthetics, as well as its night driving abilities. All of the electrical elements were tested during the cars overhaul last year, including the replacement motors for the electric side windows.

History and Paperwork

Since returning back home last year, this XJS has seen in the excess of 8K spent on it - it shows just how much Steve cares for his cars.

This example was originally registered as a UK car and then shipped out to Gran Canaria by its British owner and became an occasional use car in what can be described as the ideal car for such a climate. There is evidence of the Spanish equivalent of roadworthiness tests, which also confirms its low usage when the car was in Spain. The car was shipped back to the UK early last year, re-registered for the UK roads, tackling its first MOT with no advisories and then taken on by its current owner in August 2020. The car also has an email from the Jaguar Heritage archive which confirms the build date.

The car has seen in the excess of 8K worth of renewal since Steve has taken on the car, with Jaguar specialists GT Cars renewing the brakes and ABS systems, all of the drive belts, several hoses, exhaust and manifold gaskets and polyurethane bushes being part of the mechanical overhaul. The car was also seen by specialists David Bray Engineering for further work, to ensure that it runs and performs as well as you can wish for.

Prices are on the rise for these cars as we can see in later 'Celebration' editions achieving late twenties / earlier thirties. This is impacting the whole model range making a proper earlier convertible model looking like the best and most sensible investment option.

We have actioned our usual checks;
- Photo ID
- V5C (dealer not recorded as an additional owner on the logbook)
- HPi clear

Service History
Date Type Mileage
02-03-2021 MOT 45,569
07-08-2020 Service 44,898
04-03-2020 MOT 44,820
14-05-2019 Technical Inspection 26,892
02-01-2018 Technical Inspection 26,822
28-09-2015 Technical Inspection 26,454
Key Details
  • ModelXJS V12 Convertible
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Reg. Date1988
  • CC5343
  • Mileage~46,097
  • ColourSignal Red
  • Interior ColourMagnolia
  • Interior TrimLeather / Walnut
  • Chassis #SAJJNADW3DA151669
  • Engine #85059970HA
  • Last Service07-08-2020
  • MOTYes Exp. 03-03-2022
  • MOT ExemptNo
  • Road Tax ExemptNo
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers3
  • Tyre Age+ 10 Yrs
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned9 months
  • Key FeatureCondition and Mileage

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