1990 Jaguar XJ-S V12 Convertible


The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Lyons formed SS Cars Limited to effectively take over the operation from Walmsley. The SS brand was quite successful, though they had a reputation for having ‘more show than go’. The Jaguar name first appeared as a model name on an SS 2½ Litre Sports Saloon introduced in 1936. For political reasons, Lyons changed the name of his company to Jaguar Cars in 1945.

Whilst the SS100 is indeed a fabulous car, it was the launch of the legendary Jaguar XK120 at the London Motor Show in 1948 that really put Jaguar on the map. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The XK120 morphed into the XK140 and ultimately the XK150 and in total, just over 30,000 cars were built over 15 years of production.

In 1961 at the Geneva Motor Show Jaguar introduced the E-Type, which like the XK120 all those years ago, took the motoring world by storm. The body styling was simply gorgeous and technologically the E-Type was an engineering masterpiece and it set new standards in all areas.

Whilst automotive styling is somewhat subjective the E-Type is often ranked atop lists of ‘the most beautiful cars’ and in fact it has been described by Enzo Ferrari as ‘the most beautiful car ever made’. And it’s not just about the looks as the E-Type is often at the top of other lists such as ‘The best sports car ever built’ or ‘The most significant cars’. It is truly a motoring icon. As a testament to the success of the E-Type, production evolved through three series from 1961 until 1974 during which time circa 70,000 cars were built.

The E-Type was always going to be a hard act to follow. Jaguar introduced the XJ-S at the 1975 Frankfurt Motor Show. The world was expecting an F-Type, rather than a grand tourer, so unsurprisingly the reception to the new Jaguar was lukewarm. As a car the new Jaguar was technically advanced, it was luxurious and it was powered by a 12 cylinder engine (which only Ferrari and Lamborghini used at the time)  . . . but it was not a ‘beautiful car’ like its predecessors the E-Type and XK model range. Many were also disappointed that the car was only available as a coupe. So the XJ-S got off to a rocky start but in reality, it was a great success for Jaguar. XJ-S production spanned an incredible 21 years and during that time in excess of 115,000 cars were built. As is often written the XJ-S became better and better as the model evolved where as many would argue the E-Type did the opposite.

Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1990 Jaguar XJ-S V12 Convertible. The Jaguar Heritage Certificate on file confirms this UK delivered, factory RHD example was manufactured on the 24th January 1990 with a date of despatch of 29th January 1990. The original distributor is noted as Dutton Forshaw from Stockton in the UK and the original dealer is noted as Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. We suspect that Jaguar Land Rover Ltd was the original distributor and Dutton Forshaw was the original dealer! The car was delivered in Jaguar racing green with a magnolia interior.

The car’s early UK history is not known, however, it was imported into Australia and complianced as a personal import in March 1995. There is a replacement service book with the car that has its first entry on the 1st November 2008 at which time the mileage was 4,571 miles. The service book has been regularly stamped thereafter with another eight subsequent entries, the last being on the 20th March 2017 at 32,705 miles. This car remained in single ownership during that time where it has been maintained and annually serviced by the Independent Jaguar Workshop in Brisbane. The car changed hands in 2018 and it joined a significant car collection. A change in the current owner’s circumstances has resulted in him spending the majority of his time overseas, hence, this car is now offered for sale.

Within the last twelve months the car has had the steering rack reconditioned, the exhaust manifolds repaired and the brakes attended to,.

Today this Jaguar XJ-S presents and drives really well. The Jaguar racing green paintwork is most likely original and in good condition with minor blemishes consistent with its age. All of the exterior trim, glass and the soft top are also in good condition.  The wheels present well, though on close inspection there are some marks and light kerbing evident. The soft top opens and closes smoothly.  Inside the cabin everything also looks to be very original with patina consistent with a well cared for car that is almost thirty years old. The leather seats show some minor wear, but the dash, timber, steering wheel, instruments and controls are all in very good condition.  On a recent test drive we noted that the fuel gauge was not working and this will be repaired prior to sale.

After driving this car we can say that we really get what the XJ-S V12 convertible is all about. The car is really smooth on the road and it is a fabulous cruiser. Put the top down and we think the car looks stunning . . . it has a real presence on the road and it provides open top motoring in the most refined way. And yet with that V12 under the bonnet it has that ‘edge’ that makes a Jaguar special! This big cat does everything one would expect out on the open road. It is effortless to drive and it goes about its business in the most refined manner. It is a very easy and comfortable car to drive. The engine has loads of power on tap, the gearbox is smooth and the car handles and stops with purpose.

The Jaguar XJ-S has been somewhat of a sleeper in the classic car world. It’s hard to believe that the early cars are now in excess of forty years old! The secret is out about the XJ-S and these cars are now becoming sought after by enthusiasts and collectors. Quite frankly these ‘big cats’ offer a huge amount of car for the money.

There are plenty of XJ-S’ out there but they are hard to find in this condition.

Today the odometer reads 33,110 miles.



  • -
  • Jaguar XJ-S V12
  • 1990
  • Convertible
  • Auto
  • 33,110 miles
  • 5345cc


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