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.