Jaguar XJ-S V12 'Le Mans' Edition, 1988
Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE coupé 'Le Mans' Edition, year 1988. Colour British Racing Green with a beige leather interior. This fantastic Jaguar XJ-S V12 coupe is a rare Le Mans Edition, this is car number 24 of only 65 cars produced! This fine Jaguar Le Mans Edition was imported from Switzerland to the Netherlands in the year 2002. The automobile is in a very good and very original condition with slight traces of use. This Jaguar XJ-S V12 was serviced and maintained very well over the years. From new the car has driven 125.000 kilometres. This XJ-S V12 HE drives perfectly, and the car features an automatic gearbox. The alloy wheels are original for the Le Mans Edition as is the copper plaque on the console stating that this is car number 24 of this limited edition.
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The Jaguar XJ-S (XJS from 1991 Mk III) was presented on the London Earls Court Motor show in the year 1975. Jaguar intended the XJS to be the successor of the famous E-type (XK-E). That was not really the case because the E-type was engineered as a sports car with exception of the later V12 automatic models. The Jaguar XJ-S was a large, luxurious and very comfortable GT. Until the year 1983 the XJ-S was only available as fastback coupe standard fitted with the fabulous Jaguar V12 engine. In 1983 the XJ-S cabriolet saw the light of day and with it a new 3.6 Litre six cylinder engine was introduced. The cabriolet featured a roll over bar and fixed window frames which did not give the car the appeal of a true cabriolet. In the year 1988 a full open top model followed; the XJ-S convertible. The new convertible was a car of great beauty with its long and stretched lines. The XJ-S models were given all imaginable luxury and electrically powered goodies. Driving an XJ-S is an experience of sheer luxury, comfort and smooth power. The XJ-S convertible was at first only sold with the 5.3 Litre V12 engine. In the year 1991 a new 4.0 Litre six cylinder engine became available. In 1993 the 5.3 Litre V12 was succeeded by the equally powerful 6.0 Litre V12. In total a little over 28.000 Jaguar XJ-S (XJS) convertibles have been built between the years 1988 and 1995. The XJ-S is one of those cars which become more beautiful over the years. Excellent original convertibles are hard to find and priced accordingly. Good investment and a future classic.
V 12 engine (OHC)
cylinder capacity: 5343 cc
induction: Bosch D-Jetronic petrol injection
capacity: 295 bhp. at 5500 rpm
torque 432 Nm. at 3000 rpm
top-speed: 240 km/h - 149.5 mph
acceleration 0-100 km/h: 8.1 sec.
gearbox: 4-speed, automatic (manually operated gearbox optional)
suspension: independent all round
brakes: vented disks all round
weight: 1770 kg.
*Source: The Jaguar File.
Though the Jaguar brand was first used in 1945, its factory had been founded long before. In 1922, William Lyons and William Walmsley laid the foundation of the firm in Blackpool, England, with the name of Swallow Coachbuilding Co. The factory constructed motorcycles and sidecars and later bodies based on the Austin Seven chassis. When in the 1930s their own SS cars were built, the company name was changed into SS cars Ltd.
The SS cars were conventional saloons and drophead coupes in the way many other British brands built them.
For obvious reasons, After World War II the company name SS Cars Ltd. was changed into Jaguar Cars Ltd. It was the birth of the now famous and popular make of Jaguar.
The pre-war SS models were sold under the name of Jaguar until 1948, and in this year the saloon, the MK-V, and a sports car, which was the much talked of XK 120, were brought onto the market.
The XK 120 was very successful, and established the fame of this name as one of the icons in the history of motorcars. The XK 120 could reach 120 miles an hour (almost 200 km/h), which made it the fastest production car of its time. Moreover, the XK 120 cost much less than the other comparable production models by Aston Martin and Ferrari.
In 1951 and 1953, Jaguar won the 24-hour of Le Mans with a racer based on the XK 120, the Jaguar C-type. It made the name outright immortal. Success was continued the next years with the Jaguar D-type, which surpassed its competitors with its disc brakes.
The XK sports car series was a success and the XK 120 was succeeded by the XK 140 and XK 150 over the years. The deluxe saloons were a spur to victory with the introduction of the MK I in 1957 and the MK II in 1959. This self-willed, streamlined sedan was a real ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. The car was fitted with the powerful 3.4 litre XK six-cylinder engine, which was good for reaching a top-speed of about 200 km/h.
In 1960, Jaguar took over the British Daimler, and from that time onward it used the name of Daimler for its deluxe, comfort-oriented models, and the name of Jaguar for its sporty cars.
In 1961, the famous Jaguar E-Type was born. The E-Type was inspired by the D-Type racing car from the fifties. Like the XK, the E-Type was an icon in the history of car making, with an almost alien design and excellent technology. The E-Type appeared as a roadster, as an FHC (Fixed Head Coupe) and as a 2+2. They also built some special lightweight E-Types to prolong the racing successes of the past. However, they did not succeed as competitors had copied the technical achievements of the D-Type.
In the production of the deluxe saloons, a large MK X was added to the MK II, and the contiguous S-Type, the 240/340 series and the 420/420G series were brought onto the market.
In 1968, the Jaguar XJ was designed and though evolved in many ways, the XJ is available to this very day.…
In 1971, a V12 engine was added to the Jaguar E-Type, and later in the Daimler Double Six and the Jaguar XJ 12. At that time, it was the only twelve-cylinder engine in serial production in the world.
In the mid-seventies, the E-Type had to clear the field and besides the XJ, the special-lined 2+2 came onto the market. It was the XJS. This car was also available as a convertible.
So far the classic period. In the future the Jaguar history from 1980 will be filled in.
© Marc Vorgers