Coachbuilt Cat: 24k-Mile 1987 Jaguar XJ-SC Cabriolet

  • March 03, 2021
The Rundown
  • Rare as 1 of 1,510 Produced
  • Folding Rear Roof & Targa Top
  • Coachbuilt for Jaguar by Hess & Eisenhardt
  • Only 24k Seller-Stated Miles
  • 299 bhp, 5.3L V12 Engine
Why We Like It

With smooth, turbine-like V12 power, good looks, luxurious appointments, and 150-plus mph top-speed potential, Jaguar’s XJ-S debuted in 1975 as the long-awaited successor to the legendary E-Type. It was also the last Jaguar model styled by renowned aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer. Produced through 1996, the XJ-S (later redesignated XJS) remains the longest running model line in Jaguar's illustrious history. Careful development brought the outstanding H.E. (High Efficiency) engine by 1981, giving excellent fuel economy and performance while ensuring the continued production of the glamorous XJ-S. While the XJ-S was already costly, American demand spurred Jaguar management to collaborate with the Hess & Eisenhardt coachbuilding company of US Presidential limousine fame on a special, limited-production Cabriolet version. Using the basic architecture of the XJ-S bodyshell, Hess & Eisenhardt modified the B and C-Pillars and replaced the rear window with a fold-down soft-top, plus a Targa-style removable panel for the roof. According to data supplied by Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, the XJ-S Cabriolet was offered in both 5.3L V12 and 3.6L 6-cylinder cars, with 1,510 V12 Cabriolets built for the last model year in 1987 – including our striking subject.

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coachbuilt-cat-24k-mile-1987-jaguar-xj-sc-cabriolet01111 jb9eSQJgSPXz 1320MM 1200x900Finished in rare Talisman Silver, this 1987 Jaguar XJ-SC is a prime example with just 24k seller-stated original miles. In testament to its quality, it was awarded ‘Best in Class’ at the 2020 Sir Stirling Moss Concours d’Elegance. According to the seller, this XJ-SC was purchased new in 1987 in Orlando, Florida and driven until 1992, at which time it was placed into storage with 23k miles. It sat there until the current owner bought it in 2020 with 23,300 miles, who then performed service work and select updates as needed, and it’s now being offered in amazing, incredibly original condition. The seller’s online sale description is exceptionally well detailed and should be reviewed by prospective purchasers, if only to see how a collector vehicle should be marketed to the public.

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Valuation Verdict

Once maligned in relation to the prior E-Type, the XJ-S is now rightly appreciated by Jaguar collectors and marque enthusiasts. Hard-rock fans of the 1980s will also appreciate the car’s use in Whitesnake videos with David Coverdale’s eventual wife, Tawny Kittaen performing an exotic dance on the hood of a rain-soaked XJ-S. The seller’s asking price seems more than reasonable for all that this rare Cabriolet is and represents. We could perform a detailed market analysis, but this car looks fantastic and delivers excellent value. We’re sticking a fork in this one at fair market.

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