1993 JAGUAR XJS 4.0 Hatchback Coupe

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1993 JAGUAR XJS 4.0 Hatchback Coupe

Background

The Jaguar XJS was destined to be an instantly recognizable British icon from the moment it was unveiled in 1975. It was then gradually updated and re-engineered over the years until we arrive at the car we’re selling here, the 1994MY XJS.

Losing a hyphen was small beer when the gains were so great: the thoroughly modern six-cylinder, AJ6 engine develops 238bhp and returns much better fuel economy and drivability than the earlier cars.

The Jaguar XJS was, by then, one of the few cars to have attained genuine classic car status while it was still in production, leading to many buying them with an eye to hanging on to it as an investment. This is important, as it provides a rich source of carefully conserved cars such as the one that formed the base for this intriguing project…

The Vehicle

Having worked for Jaguar since 1979, the owner and inspiration behind this coachbuilt XJS had been obsessed with the idea of creating a hatchback version since 1981. Taking inspiration from previous Jaguar coachbuilders – not least, Lynx with its gorgeous Eventer estate conversion – he spent decades planning how he would create the car you see here.

Starting the project in 2008 with a clean, standard XJS AJ6 4.0-litre automatic with cloth upholstery and an impeccable history, he spent a further two years studying the car in the flesh to confirm that his plans were workable, safe and strong; his role as an homologation manager for Jaguar means he knows a thing or two about engineering safe and aesthetically pleasing vehicles…

He carried out some of the work himself, outsourcing the rest to a series of craftsmen who shared his passion, enthusiasm and uncompromising approach to creating the perfect hatchback.

Only being sold to fund a new project, this is one of the most interesting and carefully conceived conversions we’ve ever seen; we’d say it is indistinguishable from a factory job but we’re pretty sure it might be better than that.

We displayed this beautiful XJS at the London Classic Car Show this weekend, and amongst the engineering and aesthetic compliments, we had a number of people who realised this conversion allowed them to own an XJS. Those whose life includes a mountain bike, a golf trolley, a wheelchair or even a large dog could now feasibly own one of Jaguar's large coupes.

On the Outside

The rear coachwork and hatchback conversion was completed by James Sidwell Classic Cars, chosen not only for the quality of the work (he is renowned in Jaguar circles for his work on the XK120, XK140 and XK150) but the enthusiasm he showed when the owner unveiled his plans for the project.

The work took 55 hours, plus however long it took the owner to painstakingly strip the rear in advance of the work starting. The engineering drawings for the Lynx Eventer were used to assess whether any further strengthening was needed (it wasn’t) and the tailgate was constructed around an MGB GT rear screen. The tailgate also incorporates a high-level rear brake light and follows the lines of the XJS’s buttresses perfectly, an XJS design feature he was keen to retain.

Steve Natt of Brookfield Paint in Hinckley then painted the car, taking the opportunity to tidy some delamination on the roof as well as repairing some rust around the wheelarches and windscreen. The result is utterly stunning, there is certainly no join.

The bodywork and paintwork remain in fabulous, unmarked condition as do the 18-inch alloy wheels. Taken from a 1998 Jaguar XJR, they are shod with good quality, low-profile tyres and while the seller tells us they do tramline a little at speed, we agree that this is a small price to pay for wheels that fit the arches better than anything that was ever fitted in period.

Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that the car is fitted with the oval exhaust tailpipes from the Celebration model in place of the round standard pipes. This is just one of dozens of examples of the attention to detail paid throughout the creation of this extraordinary car.

We have looked over this car and the level of engineering and craftsmanship is supremely impressive, please feel free to visit and see for yourself.

On the Inside

The depth and breadth of the interior work is no less impressive: GB Classic Trim undertook the work, which included modifying the rear seat backs into the split versions you see here.

The load space was trimmed in the original carpet material and the rest of the boot, roof and rear passenger compartment followed. The false boot floor is fitted with a gas strut to help with raising such a large piece, a seemingly small piece of engineering that took an awful long time to calculate and install properly…

All-in-all, the work took 58 hours and, again, the quality is probably better than that of the original. Other highlights include aftermarket cruise control and the interior wood trim, steering wheel and gear knob from the Celebration model.

The only niggles are a driver’s seatbelt buckle that sometimes doesn’t latch first time, non-functioning passenger door mirror, a couple of dashboard bulbs that have blown and a missing badge on the steering wheel. The latter is, however, supplied with the vehicle and just needs fitting.

Underneath

The straight six engine remains untouched, but is in fine fettle and remains leak-free and free of known faults, as are the rest of the mechanical components. The owner tells us that the car drives “superbly”, returning around 26mpg on average. The car’s service history is comprehensive and exhaustive, and the car has wanted for nothing over the years.

The custom-built stainless steel fuel tank gives a range of approximately 350 miles and utilizes the existing fuel tanker sender unit, which ensures that the gauge still gives an accurate readout of the amount of petrol in the tank. The fuel filler nozzle is the small ‘unleaded’ type and the seller tells us that this sometimes causes splashback if the tank is filled in a hurry; he believes that opening this up to the full width to let the air in the tank out more quickly would cure it of this problem.

History Highlights

The XJS comes with a vast quantity of receipts and invoices, old MOT certificates, fully stamped service history book, owner’s handbooks, and V5 registration document. The service history and receipts go right back to day one. The car will also be accompanied by a complete history of the conversion, including a photo album, original design sketches and drawings (the first of which were done back in 1981…), copies of the magazine articles written about it and all the receipts associated with the work. Please visit the ‘Gallery’ section of this listing to see just some of them.

The car also benefits from the displayed registration 30 OXJ and lifetime free membership of the XJS Club.

What We Think

How do you price a one-of-a-kind car like this? Well, you can start by looking at prices of Lynx Eventers, which start at £40,000 plus. You then need to factor in the vendor’s experience with, and knowledge of, the marque (along with almost forty years of planning…) as well as the vast sums of money he has ploughed into converting what was already a very well-preserved standard XJS.

After hours of tapping away on our calculators and applying a little ‘man maths’….we are still not sure! For once we can only say this is worth what someone will pay for it; needless to say, the current owner is looking for a premium over a standard car, and funds to complete the next one. One thing for sure, this truly is an unrepeatable car from an impeccable source; if you were to try and recreate it well, we simply don’t think you could. Not without his help.

Once bought, this well-known vehicle would be welcome at any Jaguar show or event in the world. It could also be enjoyed as an uber-practical grand touring car, or form the centerpiece of any discerning collector’s collection; with the revived interest in classic Jaguars - thanks in no small part to the company’s interest in monetizing its heritage via a series of limited edition recreations - we think it should be a safe place to put your money, too.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this car can be seen here at Patina HQ in Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car, AnyVan for transporting it, and Footman James for classic car insurance.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

jaguar mike

  • Location: Coventry
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 118000
  • Chassis Number: SAJJNAED3EJ189748
  • Engine: 3980
  • Gearbox: Auto.
  • Colour: Kingfisher Blue
  • Interior: Doeskin Leather

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