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    CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    Jaguar XJ-S / XJS leaves the bargain basement E-type replacement finally unlocks the wallets of a new generation of Jaguar lovers

    / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar-XJS / #Jaguar / #1985-Jaguar-XJ-SC-V12-Cabriolet / #1985 / #1977

    VALUE 2010 UK £6250

    VALUE NOW 2018 UK £13k

    Finally, after years of false dawns and flat values things are looking up for Jaguar’s XJ-S. There’s clear evidence that a new demand is moving prices higher and anything low mileage, rare or special has comfortably broken the £20k threshold. Maybe a new generation of Jaguar fanciers has come of age or we’ve just all suddenly realised that Coventry’s slinky GT has been too cheap for too long, but a fresh sentiment is definitely stirring out there. In Anglia’s May sale a 1989 5.3 convertible with 54,000 miles and eight stamps in the book made £18,550 and a ’1992 facelift 4.0 coupé with 62,000 and 15 dealer stamps made a solid £18,020. Slades Garage in Buckinghamshire has a rare ’ 1985-Jaguar-XJ-S-V12-SC-Cabriolet with just 14,000 miles for £39,950 while UK Sports and Prestige in Harrogate has a ’1995 4.0 litre Celebration coupé with 70k for £29,900. These figures are all significantly up on last year.

    Compared to Italian supercars such prices look bargain basement and perhaps that’s the reason for this renaissance – a light bulb moment where enthusiasts recognise a new value and desirability in low-mileage cosseted examples.

    But while the general market catches up with this shift there will be opportunities such as the red ’1977 V12 coupé with 59,000 miles that slipped under the radar in Barons’ May sale, knocked down for a very cheap £5610. And it’s the pre-HE cars that I reckon have the greatest long-term potential. Launch year ’1975s are the purest and rarest with their Kent alloys, Seventies colours and unadorned bodies. Find an ultra-rare V12 manual (only 300-odd were built) and you’ll have a Jag coupé that’s actually more exclusive than a 1961 flat-floor outside bonnet lock E-type. And remember those first cars starred in TV series such as Return of The Saint and The New Avengers, so there’s a great retro Seventies heritage bubbling away too.

    Already I’m seeing signs that early cars are attracting strong attention and selling quickly, so don’t hang about – the 1975-1977 XJ-S is definitely one to buy right now.

    ‘Coventry’s slinky GT has been too cheap for too long’
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