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    Manual XJ-S not hanging around

    If you find a good manual 3.6, pounce on it now before another visionary does

    ‘This was a very bespoke Jag – and it’ll be the next to become collectible’

    / #Jaguar-XJ-S-Cabriolet / #Jaguar-XJ-S-Cabriolet-T-Top / #Jaguar-XJ-S-T-Top / #Jaguar-XJ-S-Manual / #Jaguar-XJS / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-XJ-SC-T-Top / #Jaguar-XJ-SC / #Getrag-265 / #Jaguar-AJ6 / #Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6-Manual / #1987-Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6-Manual / #1987-Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6 / #1987 / #Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6

    VALUE 2010 £7500
    VALUE NOW £10K

    CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    With values of the Jaguar XJ-S now brightening, it’s worth looking at the rarer variants. You’re too late for a bargain ’1975/’1976 manual V12 – only 352 were built and they’re now £40k and rising - but good examples of the ’1985 to ’1987 T-top 3.6 Jaguar XJ S Cabriolet five-speeders are still only in £10k territory. Never sold in America and a slow seller in the UK they’re a rare sight with only around 700 manuals ever produced. I owned an ’1984 for a while and loved the front-end balance and poise from the lighter six-pot AJ6 engine. The #Getrag -265 five-speed is a really sweet unit and you can row the car along like an E-type. Urgent, lithe and quick these manual six-cylinder versions of the XJ-S feel livelier than the V12s and are much underrated.

    A private seller in Hampshire has a Tudor White ’1985 manual XJ-SC with 63,000 miles and ‘excellent service history’ for £11,500 while Julian Brown Ltd in Grantham has one of the last 3.6s built, an ’1987 manual cabriolet in light blue with 82,000 miles, three owners and £7k of recent bills for £11,450.

    Prices are warming up though with really nice XJ-SCs selling well. In March H&H sold an ’1985 ex-Browns Lane TWR development car with 57,000 miles and history for £14,000 and Classic Motor Cars in Bridgnorth is offering a mint 23,000-mile ’1984 Burberry special edition – one of just two made – for £45,000. Understand that the targa XJ-S was a prototype convertible before Jaguar got its act together engineering a full drop-top for the American market, and you’ll understand that this is a rare piece of Jaguar history. Bizarrely, the £20,756 XJ-SC was built on the same production line as a coupé shell – the roof and rear buttresses were then removed and cant rails and a centre bar installed by Park Sheet Metal in Coventry, while Aston Martin’s Tickford division fitted the fabric roof and removable panels. This was a very bespoke Jag that was effectively hand-built and only available to special order. If I had to predict the next XJ-S to become collectable I’d say it’s the manual XJ-SC 3.6. But don’t hang about. The private seller in Lincolnshire currently advertising a Sage Green ’1984 manual cabriolet with 91,000 miles and a ‘good history’ for just £5250 won’t have it for long.
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    The #1983 #Jaguar-XJ-S-Police car / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-XJ-S-Getrag

    This XJ-S, more than any other here, is a riot to drive. It shouldn’t be, though, given that it’s packing a ‘mere’ 3.6-litre slant-six (offered in production models from 1983).

    This is the one and only XJ-S police car, which was evaluated by constabularies in Kent, West Midlands and Manchester in 1983-1984. We can only imagine just how much fun Johnny Lawman must have had hooning about in what is an unbelievably accelerative machine. The thing is, not even the ace technicians at Jaguar Heritage have a clue why it’s so quick.

    Look under the bonnet and nothing appears out of place or different. There’s no autobox here – in its place is a Getrag five-speed manual. The gearchange is close-coupled and a bit notchy, but that could be down to age and a lack of use (the car hasn’t been driven much in recent years). We suspect that it’s very low geared, which would explain why it is so quick off the mark. What’s more, it likely top out at about 120mph.

    You cannot help but smile driving this car, especially with the light bar illuminated and the siren blaring. In a heartbeat, you regress to being a child again. All that’s missing is a wall of cardboard boxes to drive through.

    Ultimately, though, the XJ-S wasn’t adopted for police use for fairly obvious reasons. It may have been quick, but its armoury didn’t stretch to a roomy cabin. That, and there was insufficient luggage space for all the equipment police cars are expected to carry. Save for the Ford RS200 Group B rally weapon that was pressed into service as a patrol car on the M1 back in the 1980s, we cannot think of a more ridiculous British police vehicle. Or a more desirable one.

    SPECIFICATIONS

    ENGINE 3590cc/6-cyl/DOHC / #Jaguar-AJ6
    POWER 225bhp @ 5300rpm
    TORQUE 240lb ft @ 4000rpm
    MAXIMUM SPEED 142mph (standard car)
    0-60MPH 7.4sec (standard car)
    FUEL CONSUMPTION 18-22mpg
    TRANSMISSION RWD, five-speed manual


    From here, it looks like a standard XJ-S – albeit, with the rare cloth option. Try out-running it, though.
    Additional police car additions are surprisingly subtle.
    AJ6 slant-six engine is a suitable engine for the police car – urgent, revvy, and delivers plenty of power.
    Flying buttresses are really flying here...
    In-car communications were much simpler in 1983.
    The siren controls are too tempting not to play with.

    FASCINATING FACT

    Corgi produced a toy version of the XJ-S police car but evidently didn’t realise it was powered by a straight-six. It had a slight bonnet bulge which suggested a V12 powerplant.
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