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1996 Jaguar XJS Celebration Convertible

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  • Mileage~65,000
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Engine4.0L
  • LocationEsher


1996 Jaguar XJS Celebration Convertible

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Alan Stuart
Professional Consigner

With the bullet proof AJ16 4.0L engine, the Celebration was the perfect swansong to nearly two decades of the XJS.

The Jaguar XJS was first released in 1975, following on from the acclaimed Jaguar E-Type. Instead of aiming to reinvent the already perfected proverbial wheel, Jaguar aimed instead to take on the luxury grand tourer market, and this is precisely what they did with the XJS. Between 1975 and 1996 the XJS underwent numerous revisions, culminating in the final run of the "Celebration" edition in 1996. This special edition run came with some nice extras such as diamond turned wheels, embossed leather seats, and wood-rimmed steering wheel. With its convertible roof, automatic gearbox, and punchy ~238BHP engine, the XJS Celebration Convertible is the perfect car for road trips on the continent, lazy summer drives, and weekend trips away.

This particular model has been reconditioned by Knowles-Wilkins Engineering (KWE) in August 2008 to the following specification; E3 Perishables Service, S1 Suspension Restoration & Rebuild, HID Headlamp Upgrade, and O8 Cavity Rust Protection, at a cost of £11,156. It comes to market from over 23 years ownership, originally purchased and registered as a company car by the vendor in 1997, just 2 former keepers on the books with the DVLA, we think this car should appeal to the collectors.

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

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Secure Auctions

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

To own a car such as this, as out of the ordinary as this, is a joy in and of itself.

Cornelis has in essence had this car from the original owner, acquiring it for use with work in 1997, and then buying it in to private ownership in 1999. To some the XJS could have felt outdated when compared to cars of the same era, but to Cornelis the car was simply marvellous. He describes it as truly out of the ordinary, which he tells us is his sole reason for buying the car in the first place. It's a car that has clearly been well cared for in that time, the servicing history and KWE work showing that.

Cornelis has enjoyed all this car has to offer, from weekend driving, to road trips on the continent, driving with the top down on the way back from French Château's, this car has been the perfect companion for Cornelis and his wife. The only reason for sale is that due to COVID restrictions of recent years the car has not been driven as often as it should, and during that time his wife has begun to prefer one of their other cars for longer journeys. He will be happy to answer any questions in the comments section.

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With its sleek body lines, illustrious Turquoise paintwork, and exclusive diamond turned wheels, the XJS Celebration is eye catchingly elegant in its design.

Wheels and Tyres

The diamond turned wheels, exclusive to the Celebration model, are in seemingly good condition with no signs of corrosion or buckling. The silver finish is not visibly damaged and the wheels appear to be straight and true.

The tyres are in equal condition, with good amounts of tread present from quick observation and no signs of cracked or ageing sidewalls either. View the image gallery to see the detail.


The bodywork is in great condition as well, with all panels lining up as expected, and all doors opening and closing smoothly. We did not notice any signs of corrosion or rust which is to be expected as it has had various rust repairs carried out during its life, along with cavity rust protection.

We've highlighted in more detail our observations through our high resolution images and videos, so please take time to look through all the media files for a detailed view at what’s on offer, and for you to assess the condition of the car for yourselves.


The Turquoise paintwork is in fantastic condition, the metallic flake presenting beautifully in the sunlight, and with no visible scratches or chips to speak of. The paintwork appears to be a matching shade, tone, and texture across all panels.

Again, we have taken high resolution images and videos of the car for you to assess the condition of the bodywork for yourselves.

Glass and Trim

The windscreen, side, and rear windows are all in marvellous condition, with no real damage or imperfections to speak of. In 2015 there were some signs of rust presenting around the windscreen, however as detailed in the invoices this was repaired post haste by owner Cornelis in December that year.


With its cream colourway, embossed leather seats, wood trimmed steering wheel, and burl wood dashboard, the interior of the XJS Celebration is an extremely pleasant place to be.

Seats and Carpets

The cream leather seats are in fantastic condition, the hide shows very little signs of wear given its age, and the factory piping appears to be in good condition also. This is no surprise given that the interior was refreshed in July of 2014.

The same goes for the interior carpets, with no real damage or excessive wear to speak of, the fabrics tell the same story as the leather - that of a well cared for vehicle.


The condition of the burl wood dashboard is in line with the rest of the vehicle, showing no visible signs of wear or damage, and the burl wood inserts are not showing any evidence of delamination. All factory switchgear and gauges are present and appear to be in matching condition.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The wood trimmed steering wheel is exclusive to the Celebration model, fitting in nicely with the burl wood accents of the dashboard. It is in great condition, with the wood showing no real sign of wear or age, and the rest of the steering wheel is again in great condition.

The matching gear stick also presents fantastically, with both the chrome and wooden aspects being in brilliant condition. The surrounding plastic trim shows no signs of damage either, and is not visibly faded or sun damaged.


Powered by a ~238BHP 4.0L straight six engine, coupled to the smooth ZF four speed automatic transmission, the XJS Celebration is a luxury grand tourer befitting of the Jaguar name.

Engine and Gearbox

The 4.0L engine in the celebration was revised in 1994 from the AJ6 to the AJ16. Revisions included coil-on-plug ignition with no distributor, a new engine management system, upgraded pistons, and magnesium alloy valve covers.

This made for a much more reliable and smooth running engine, which is still true today as can be seen in our ‘On The Road’ video where you can see the engine starting from cold, and being driven with ease.

Suspension and Brakes

The suspension fitted to this car was completely restored by Knowles-Wilkins Engineering in August 2008, so it’s no surprise that this car handles exceptionally well. With no knocks, bangs, or uncomfortable bumps, the suspension is in fantastic condition.

Again, you can see our ‘On The Road’ video to take a look at the car in action and see for yourself the quality of the suspension and brakes.

The Drive

Overall we have little more to say about this car than to compliment its condition, the exterior, interior, and mechanical needs of this vehicle have obviously been well cared for and it shows in the way it drives. With smooth acceleration, effortless gear changes, and a very comfortable ride, there’s nothing major to really fault on this XJS Celebration.

Electrics and Other

We are happy to report that during our visit we spotted no issues with the electronic systems on the car, including the electronically adjustable seats. All dashboard switches, gauges, and buttons worked as intended and the car has had the headlights upgraded to a HID set up by Knowles-Wilkins Engineering in August of 2008, providing much better night time visibility.

History and Paperwork

Over 23 years ownership, 2 former keepers registered, tens of thousands spent in maintenance over the years in a thorough service history with receipts for all major works, the history of this car can only be described as extensive.

Since its purchase in 1999 this car has been methodically cared for, its history includes extensive restoration, rust prevention, and ideal storage conditions, leaving little to be critiqued for this icon of British motoring.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned a HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in high resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
27.02.1997 Service 8,249
04.02.1998 Service 14,444
23.02.1999 Service 18,274
30.05.2001 Service 23,158
17.10.2002 Service 26,071
16.12.2003 Service 28,403
16.03.2005 Service 32,669
28.08.2008 Service 39,811
16.04.2009 Service 41,501
08.04.2010 Service 44,474
30.06.2011 Service 46,456
25.06.2012 Service 47,492
03.06.2013 Service 49,236
10.12.2015 Service 59,399
26.10.2017 Service 61,735
Key Details
  • ModelXJS Celebration Convertible
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Reg. Date07.03.1996
  • CC3,980
  • Mileage~65,000
  • HistoryExtensive
  • ColourTurquoise
  • Interior ColourCream
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #SAJJNAFD3EJ225669
  • Engine #9LPFRB155570
  • Last Service26.10.2017
  • Restored28.08.2008
  • MOTYes Exp. 27.06.2023
  • MOT ExemptNo
  • Road Tax ExemptNo
  • Former Keepers2
  • Tyre TreadGood
  • Tyre BrandContinental
  • # of Keys2
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • OwnedOver 23 years
  • Key FeatureCondition, provenance
  • Auction ID473361

Vehicle Sold

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This vehicle has now been sold - click 'Register Similar' below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Ask Questions
Post a comment or ask the owner a question about the car.

Im currently bidding on your XJS, i have a manual V12. When you turn the fan on is there a ticking noise as though there is comething blocking it


Hi – sorry about the late notice (only started looking for an xjs yesterday). Are you around today (25th July) for me to look at the Jag? It looks super. Thanks, Andrew


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