Jaguar XJ-S | The Next Big Thing with Magnus Walker

by Hagerty
9 February 2021

The Jaguar XJ-S has always lived in the shadow of its E-Type predecessor but there are signs that the big cat is emerging from the dark – and reaching a new generation of younger drivers who fall for its of-the-era styling and laid-back, GT vibe.

Magnus Walker – a fashion entrepreneur turned car customiser – is one of those who finds the Jaguar XJ-S appealing: “To me this a car that’s all about the memorable moments you’re going to make behind the wheel. You know – the journey, the people, the stories – not so much about out-and-out performance.”

Walker isn’t the only one tipping the XJ-S as the next big thing, however. He goes off to meet Harry Fulford, owner of Sports Car Classics, a Jaguar specialist south of Ventura, California, who perfectly sums up why this car divides opinion like few others.

Fulford’s “old man” was complaining that is nothing like the E-Type but Fulford Jnr was smitten. The generation gap didn’t help Jaguar’s sales team at the time of the car’s launch, in 1975.

Despite the car’s reputation for lacking electrics that operate as electric should – with uninterrupted consistency – Fulford says that these days specialists know what to look for and how to keep them on the road without too much pain.

Talking of pain, the price is not too painful. It is, in fact, a bargain. Walker is not the only one who feels that way. Hagerty’s own Charlie Patterson, who runs and reports on an XJ-S which you can read about here, found it an attractive package.

The Hagerty Price Guide lists early, 1979 5.3-litre models as costing around £12,000 in #3 good condition, and £17,000 for cars in #2 excellent condition. A Porsche 911 3.0 SC of the same era would cost more than twice as much. Oh, and needless to say, it’s fraction of the price of an E-Type.

Walker goes on to meet Carolyn Duggan, an owner of an ’89 XJ-S V12, who breaks down the stereotypes of retired men heading for the golf course.

Watch on and let us know if you agree the XJ-S is the next big thing.

Our Classics: 1989 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6 coupé


  • Norman Burrell says:

    I have had an 1990 XJS V12 full convertible since 1998 which I purchased from a known source. It is in Jet Black with a magnolia leather trim. In the 23 years I have owned and loved it I have driven about 30,000 miles so the car has currently done 92,000. Although the it is in in very good condition this year I had planned to have a few issues sorted out however Covid has got in the way of that somewhat so it is only now that I am researching for a specialist to carry out the work.
    The problem is that because the E-type is the iconic Jaguar it is more than well supplied with spare parts to the point that you could build a new one from bottom up. The XJS on the other hand is poorly provided for replacement parts in the aftermarket and if the car is truly the ‘Next Big Thing’ then the spares people need to take a serious look at the supply situation as there are still a good number of XJS variants on the road from the mid 1970’s up to the mid 90’s that would benefit from refurbishment. I would imagine that by now most E types in existence have been upgraded at least twice over so it’s now time to move onto the XJS for a larger more lucrative future.
    On a different matter the classic vehicle industry and owners also needs to lobby the government to persuade them to bring the nil road tax and MOT break down to cars produced up to the 1990’s to help with keeping this highly skilled and profitable car market going. I understand that it is worth 19 billion a year to the economy and employs over 100,000 skilled specialist engineers and workers.
    That is twice the amount of money per annum that we were paying for EU membership before Brexit, so it is not an insignificant sum. Could the Chancellor please take note if we are going to pay back our large Covid debt.

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