California Cat:

1990 Jaguar XJ-S V12

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Long admired by enthusiasts and collectors, the Jaguar XJ-S, powered by its silky-smooth 5.3-Liter V12 engine, is finally beginning to receive the attention it deserves.



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Many buyer's guides list it among the up-and-coming collector cars to buy, and rightfully so, as prices are still more than reasonable. With an XJ-S, a very small investment nets an astonishing amount of British ingenuity, style and refinement. Plus, driving a 12-cylinder-powered Jag brings with it high-level bragging rights.

This beautiful 1990 Jaguar XJ-S V12 Coupe has been a California resident from new. Cherished for the past three decades by a sophisticated Lady living in a gated Huntington Highlands estate, the regal carriage was used primarily for occasional shopping trips to the Newport Beach Fashion Island mall.

The XJ-S is widely recognized as the last Jaguar model whose development was overseen and approved by Sir William Lyons himself. VIN *SAJNW5840LC168315* was manufactured to U.S. specification in November of 1989, almost 30 years ago, just before Ford acquired the storied marque.

Original window sticker shows a price tag of $48,500.00, quite a tidy sum, back in '89. In today's money, that would be $98,452.00!

This 79k-mile V-12 comes with its full set of factory books and assorted ephemera, among them maps, past registrations and maintenance receipts.

Below the forward-hinged bonnet, inside the toothbrush-clean engine bay rests Jaguar's mighty Vee Twelve. This 5.3 liter (326 cu.in.), electronically fuel injected HE engine develops 263 horsepower at a leisurely 4300rpm and truly purrs like a big kitten. It is backed by an ultra-reliable GM 400 Turbo-Hydramatic three-speed automatic transmission.

As clean and dry underneath as it is atop, this cat doesn't need any diapers.

The last car designed by famed stylist and aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer, the XJ-S's side view appears rather distinctive with its signature buttressed roofline. The elegant coachwork still looks stunning as this fine Jag never suffered the indignities of rust or collision damage.

Looking resplendent in its original color, Talisman silver, the car's smooth base/clearcoat finish is virtually free of blemishes. Even the dual coach stripes are still present. Alloy lace spoke wheels came as standard equipment.

Inside, the good news continues. Headliner, sunvisors, dome light - everything presents like new. Obviously, the car has never been smoked in.

Fully instrumented dash features unmarked burl walnut fascia and trim. There are no splits in the dash top.

All lights and gauges work as they should.

Car was driven less than 2,750 miles annually, on average.

A truly luxurious cockpit. Needless to say, the Jag is fully loaded, with power everything, including Auto Temp heater and A/C, power mirrors and cruise control - and everything works! There's also a leather wrapped, tilt steering wheel and a driver's side air bag.

Console houses shifter, switches for seat heaters, trip computer, original 80W AM/FM/Cassette stereo - with power antenna - and other controls. Burlwood and chrome trim looks stunningly beautiful. Quality and workmanship are top notch.

Barley leather looks unmarked, still remains supple and aromatic after all these years.

XJ-S is a Grand Tourer in the truest sense, with limited seating for four. Rear seat appears unused.

Attractive rear view of the big cat.

Fully carpet-lined luggage compartment holds jacking equipment, tools, and unused spare as well. The car's battery is also located here.


Befitting a pampered California cat, Jaguar's undercarriage is clean, dry, and free of any kind of corrosion or other damage. It presents itself today just the way it looked when the car left the Coventry factory, way back in 1989.

Immaculately clean floor pans.

Tuesday, February 3rd was another nice and sunny winter day here in our quaint seaside paradise and we were looking forward to an extended test drive and photo session.

The big cat always starts instantly, its V-12 running smooth and vibrationless, from idle to redline. Power rack-and-pinion steering and big power disc brakes -- with German TEVES anti-lock system -- at all four corners make the car handle and brake like a true world-class sports car.

It's fast, it's very quiet inside, it's plush and it's sporting. An automobile of seeming contradictions, the XJ-S is a perfect amalgam of exciting traits.

Many thoughful little details make driving the XJ-s such fun. One never gets tired of admiring all the amenities and the luxurious presentation. Every time one enters the car, it feels like entering a zone of supreme relaxation and well-being. Everytime one locks the doors and walks away, one has to turn back at least once to smilingly check out the car's inherent, timeless beauty.

Make no mistake, the XJ-S, built for more than 20 years, is fast becoming a modern classic. Try to find -- and grab -- a nice example now, then drive and enjoy it while watching its value climb.


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You are most welcome to inspect this fine automobile at our location in Ventura, by appointment, or have someone inspect it for you.
Please, direct all inquiries to bill@californiaclassix.com or call us at 805-653-5551.