in a Book
WHAT'S IN A NAME?: First and
foremost, it's high time to quit abusing the name "Jaguar".
It does not rhyme with "quagmire"! According to Jim Isbell:
"At a recent Jag Club meeting they showed a video of the
history of Jaguar from the Swallow to the present. I was
most interested to see how the owners and perpetrators of
the Jaguar company pronounced it. There were several old
voice interviews and I listened very carefully every time
one of them spoke. The pronunciation I got from those
interviews was: Jag-u-wer. I think the people who invented
it must know how to pronounce it."
The name of the car that this book addresses is the
"XJ-S" -- or, at least that was the name. Up until
1982, the dash actually had its own part number, since the
four characters on the back end of the car were four
separate pieces. Up until 1991, anyone referring to the car
as an "XJS" was in error. This was a very common error,
since XJ6 and XJ12 do not have dashes in the names and it
was commonly assumed that this was normal Jaguar naming
According to Paul Skilleter's book "Jaguar XJS: A
Collector's Guide", when the bodywork was revised for the
1991 model year the name of the car was officially changed
to "XJS" to emphasize the change.
I will also point out what a "Daimler" is. Daimler was a
distinct automobile company that was bought out by Jaguar in
1960. However, Daimler also had a relationship with
Mercedes-Benz at one time (there are cars called
Daimler-Benz), and Mercedes has registered the name in the
US, so Jaguar cannot use the name Daimler in the US even
though it belongs to them. Apparently, Mercedes can't use it
either, so it isn't used at all.
While Daimlers were originally distinct automobiles,
eventually they became variations on Jaguars. Regarding the
cars covered by this book, the Jaguar XJ12 was also sold as
the Daimler Double Six in some countries, with detail
differences including a distinctive grille.
VIN NUMBER DECODING: There are two
different VIN numbering schemes for the Jaguar XJ-S. All
cars have a VIN number stamped into the sheet metal dead
center in front of the hood seal, and this VIN corresponds
to the scheme described below, based on input from Richard
Mansell, William Noorloos, and Paul Skilleter's
Position 1-3 denotes manufacturer
SAJ = Jaguar
Position 4 denotes marque
5th is model
6th is class
K=Japan with airbag
M=Canada with airbag
V=USA spec with manual belts
W=USA spec with driver airbag
Y=USA spec with passive belts.
7th is body type
8th is engine type
C=3.6 4VC or 3.6 4Y
D=3.6 4VD or 4.0 4Y
9th is Transmission and steering
10th is model or year change
A=XJ-S original spec
C=AJ6 coupe and convertible
except for USA, Canada and Korea where from 1981 the 10th
letter indicates year of build starting with B=1981
11th is emission control equipment
(up to 1987: manufacturing plant, C=Browns Lane)
12th-17th are the vehicle's unique number.
Now, if you have a US-spec car, there is a tag within
the left edge of the windshield that carries a totally
different VIN number. This VIN corresponds to the
following scheme, from the "MOTOR import car crash
estimating guide" for the US:
1st-3rd Position -- Manufacturers Code
SAJ=Jaguar, United Kingdom
4th Position -- Model Line
5th Position -- Class/Restraint
A=Passive Seat Belt (87-89)
T=Driver Air Bag w/Passive belt
V=Active Seat Belt
W=Driver Air Bag (90-95)
X=Driver & Pass Airbag
Y=North American Spec (83-87)
Y=Passive Seat Belt (89-93)
6th Position -- Body Style
1=4 door sedan
3=2 door Cabriolet
5=2 door coupe
7th Position -- Engine Code
0=5.3l 12 cyl, Calif.
1=4.0l 6 cyl, Supercharged
2=4.2l 6 cyl, Calif.
3=4.2l 6 cyl
5=3.6l 6 cyl low compression
6=3.6l 6 cyl high compression
7=4.0l 6 cyl
8=5.3l 12 cyl
9=4.0l 6 cyl
8th Position - Transmission & Steering
9th Position - Check Digit
10th Position - MODEL YEAR
11th Position - Assembly Plant
C=Browns Lane, England
12th-17th Position - Production Sequence Number
Alex Dorne had a US-spec car shipped to Sweden, and
reports that the process included removing the VIN tag at
the left side of the windshield -- possibly to avoid
confusion between this VIN and the one under the hood. He
was allowed to keep the windshield tag. Also, the VIN under
the hood also appears on the aluminum panel inside the
trunk, just to the right of the latch. He postulates that
this may have been stamped as part of the Swedish import
procedures as well.
XJ12 STYLES: For the benefit of
those XJ12 owners who read this book, I am including some
info on the various different cars that have all been called
an XJ12. The following is courtesy of B.J. Kroppe: "XJ12s
were made in Series III body style until 1992 (yes,
alongside XJ40 6-cylinder models). XJ12s in XJ40 body style
were made for one year. Whether it was only one-half of a
year or a full year, it was 1994. XJ12s in X300 body style
were made from 1995 - 1997, when the V12 engine was retired
Series I XJ12 5.3l 1972 - 1974
Series II XJ12 5.3l 1974 - 1979
Series III XJ12 5.3l 1979 - 1992
XJ40 XJ12 6.0l 1993.25 - 1995
X300 XJ12 6.0l 1995 - 1997
XJ-S 6.0l 1993.5 - 1997
"Note there were no XJ40 5.3l cars produced."
Steve Lipscombe explains why the Series III XJ12
continued long after the XJ40 was introduced: "The first
XJ40 was certainly designed with a narrow engine bay to
prevent the British Leyland management forcing the Rover V8
unit on them. Later, when privately owned, they redesigned
the bay to take the V12. This was before the Ford takeover
and the X300."
Jim Scannell adds: "Jaguar introduced the "1994" model
XJ12 in about April-May of 1993 in the US. This model had
driver side airbag, glovebox, with XJ-S style lattice wheels
as standard. In late 1993, the updated "1994" model XJ12 was
issued. This model had both front airbags, no glovebox, wood
gearshift knob, CD player as standard, and a different type
of wheel. The grille vanes are black on both models and the
grille insignia (growler) is gold plated on the XJ12. In
addition the badge on the rear is an XJ12 instead of XJ-6.
These are the only exterior details which differentiate the
car from an XJ-6. On the interior, the upholstery is like a
VDP, piped autolux leather with picnic tables in the rear
and lambswool throw rugs. I also believe Jaguar used
exclusive interior colour combinations for the XJ12's."
CABRIOLET: David L. French,
a US owner, describes the Cabriolet: "The Jag XJ-S
cabriolets were only sold here in '86 and '87 and there are
probably only a few hundred V-12's. It has the body profile
of the convertible that was made later but has a 3-piece
removable hardtop. T-tops up front and a fully removable
hardtop on the rear. Totally factory made. They are pretty
rare here but were sold in Europe longer."
Since the Cabriolet lacks the buttresses of the coupe, it
stands to reason that the body isn't as stiff in that area.
Jaguar apparently addressed that problem by adding "ladders"
underneath the rear suspension. Julian Mullaney reports:
"The ladder brace was fitted to Cabrios from the factory.
Quite crude looking. You can easily spot it on a cabrio just
looking from the side. I think it connects the chassis with
steel bars fore and aft of the diff. It passes under the
diff. The ladder frame does not connect to the subframe, it
is definitely a chassis stiffener."
HESS & EISENHARDT
CONVERTIBLE: The XJ-S was designed in an era that never
expected to see a convertible again; they were expected to
be outlawed for safety reasons. For many years, the only way
to get an XJ-S convertible was to hire one of many
aftermarket customizing outfits to cut the roof off your
coupe. By the mid-80's the expected ban on convertibles had
failed to materialize and convertibles were making a
comeback, so Jaguar responded by contracting with Hess &
Eisenhardt in Cincinnati, Ohio to make convertibles from
coupes to be sold as new cars at the Jaguar dealerships.
After two years, the response had been so good that Jaguar
began making its own convertibles at the factory, and
continued until the end of XJ-S production.
Mike Cogswell elaborates: "The H&E's were built in
'87 and '88 (my '88 is one of the last, possibly the
last). The H&E is easily spotted by:
1. The small oval Hess & Eisenhardt badge on
each side behind the front wheel well.
2. The top folds down flat, the later factory
convertible tops are pretty high when folded.
3. The H&E has four window rocker switches. Early
ones are separate, later ones in a single gang of
4. The factory convertible has a small, ugly
<grin> hump in the sheet metal on the side right
behind the doors. This covers the tops of the rear
quarter windows, which don't fully retract.
"There are many other differences, but those are some of
the most obvious."
Dave Johnson adds, "The top also looks better than the
regular convertible because it is fabric, not a plastic."
This may be true for only some of the H&E tops,
though. Another ownerMGBfan@aol.com says, "I figure they had
the tops made in California by Robbins."
Supposedly the building the H&E's were made in burned
down, but H&E is still in business making limousines and
Of course, the nickname H&E is only too likely to
cause confusion with the H.E. used to describe the V12
engine with the Michael May-designed heads.
LISTER: Lister is the name of
an outfit that became famous for building racing "specials"
powered by Jaguar XK engines in the late 50's. Brian Lister
withdrew from the racing scene in 1959 when one of his
drivers was killed in a Formula 2 race, but the Lister name
reappeared in the mid 80's in a modified form of the XJ-S.
Peter Cohen describes a 1988 Lister XJ-S he looked at: "The
car had a V12 with a 5 speed manual gearbox, as well as all
trim in body color (no chrome, no stainless, no black rubber
or vinyl), as well as suspension modifications. The car also
has some "ground effects" type body cladding."
Brian Schreurs refers to a Road & Track article on
the Lister: "It states that US versions got no engine
upgrades, but outside-US versions were tweaked considerably.
It received a 5-speed from Getrag, the same used in BMW's
7-series at that time, and also significant improvements to
handling at no cost in ride."
Of course, when Jaguar started offering its own
JaguarSport models, the market for such aftermarket
modifications dropped. For the 90's, Lister was building a
fire-breathing monster called the Storm powered by a highly
souped up 7+ litre Jaguar V12, and was competing in the
major endurance races against Vipers and the like.
TWR: Stands for Tom Walkinshaw
Racing, an organization with considerable success racing
Jaguars in Europe. Walkinshaw's team won the James Hardie
1000 in Australia (better known as the Bathurst 1000) in
1985 in an XJ-S, after an ignominious effort in 1984 in
which the engine stalled on the starting grid and the car
was creamed by a Camaro coming from behind.
TWR modified customers' XJ-S's for street use until the
formation of JaguarSport -- see below.
1988 LE MANS: Jaguar won
the 24 hours of Le Mans! Brian Schreurs says, "The original
XJR-S of 1988 was considered the 'Le Mans Celebration'
model. The first 100 were grey in color, had special
badging, and a build number plate. Otherwise they were built
to the same specs as any other XJR-S."
John Goodman elaborates: "Early '88, all tungsten grey,
15" speedline "bottletop" alloys and body spoiler kit,
slight suspension upgrade. A limited edition to commemorate
Le Mans races."
JAGUARSPORT: John Goodman:
"It was set up in the late eighties, a joint venture between
Jaguar and TWR Group, sadly disbanded in '93-'94, all the
tech people now work for Aston Martin. Remember, in the late
eighties Jaguar was on a high, winning race cars and
everyone hyped up over the XJ220 (till they found out it had
a poxy V6!). Obviously Jaguar wanted to promote their racing
pedigree... Enter Tom Walkinshaw who had been modifying
Jaguars to special order.
"Standard XJ-S's and XJ40's were taken from the Coventry
production line and modified at the new JaguarSport plant in
Bloxham (near Banbury in the Cotswold hills England). This
is the same plant that assembled the XJ220 and race cars.
This plant now makes the Aston Martin DB7.
"The very low volume production run of JaguarSport 6.0L
engines were expensive to produce. Jaguar upped the cc of
the last of the standard Jaguar XJ-S's and XJ12's with a
different uprated 6.0L engine and 4 speed autos, this is
reportedly not the same 6.0L as the JaguarSport unit;
I do not know the difference, output is similar at 335 bhp,
but retains Marelli ign.
"The JaguarSport XJ40's '88-'92 (both 3.6 and 4.0L models
were made, no US versions) were more heavily modified,
special cams and cyl heads."
Richard Mansell adds: "The first JaguarSport cars were
modified at Kidlington, the home of the TWR Jaguar racing
team. JaguarSport moved to Bloxham a year or two later. Cars
to be modified were delivered there minus bumpers but
trimmed to JaguarSport spec.
"Owners with standard cars could have them modified to
JaguarSport spec under the FAB scheme (Fitted At
Nathaniel Musselman says, "I tried to call JagSport in
UK, but the number is answered as Aston Martin."
XJR-S: Richard Mansell: "Some
of the many mods included on the original XJR-S's were: 11%
stiffer front springs, 20% less compliant rear radius arm
bushes, specially valved Bilstein shocks. They were shod
with 15" x 7.5" Speedline wheels. Later on the wheels were
widened by 0.5" and different tyres specified. Various
suspension mods were made along the way too. The original
paint colours available were - Signal Red, Regency Red,
Black, Solent Blue, Silver Frost and Brooklands Green. The
only other colour mentioned for the early cars is Tungsten
Grey which was used on the first 100 XJR-S's sold as Le Mans
"In theory a real XJR-S will have the letter S as the 6th
character of the VIN."
John Goodman: "The Le Mans model changed or rebadged to
the XJR-S in '88 until October '89 when the XJR-S was more
heavily modified with uprated engine (6.0L), autobox, all
new uprated suspension, and similar "bottletop" wheels but
8" wide and 16" diameter. Except for the spare which is
still 15" with a temporary speed limited tyre!! Could be
because the 245/55 tyres don't fit the wheel well in the
trunk; more likely it is because the wheels have different
offsets and different size tyres (225/50 front), so you
would need two spares! Or risk mismatched wheels; at
least with this it has a bright orange label on it clearly
showing the speed restriction and a warning to change as
soon as possible.
"Surprisingly there is no rear anti-roll bar fitted, do
not know about the '92's. I do know that TWR spent a lot of
time perfecting the setup for its intended market, i.e. it
must retain its Jaguar qualities and handle better, it was
never meant to be a track car. The Lister modified cars were
more for the race track feel. Similarly the Sportspack
equipped 3.6 manual was designed for another market, it had
to feel like it was sporty even if the ride was
uncharacteristic for a Jag.
"The XJR-S continued in the new body shape with even more
revisions until the introduction of the last of the
"standard" XJS's with the 6.0L/4 speed auto. A dark blue was
introduced for the '92 cars and a nice metallic silver/pink,
but you could probably have any Jaguar colour off the
"The genuine JaguarSport XJR-S 6.0 may be identified by
the red "JaguarSport V12" badge on the inlet manifolds at a
quick glance. Officially these came out in Sept '89. I think
all 6.0L engine numbers must start with 8W01****** (mine
"The '88 XJR-S and Sept '88 limited edition Celebration
model XJR-S were all standard 5.3. However, TWR converted a
few cars to special order before it changed over to
JaguarSport. Some were just cosmetic with standard engines
and some had various engine mods up to 7.2L but the most
common was 6.1L and apparently more V12 saloons were
converted than XJ-S's.
"As TWR rebuilt customers' own cars/engines (not
necessarily new ones either) then I would guess that the
engine no. relates to the original 5.3 that the car started
with. But, I believe there should be a bronze identification
plate somewhere on the engine indicating a genuine TWR
"Should you be lucky enough to actually have an early pre
production XJR-S 6.0 it could be some sort of hybrid, may
not have all the mods.
"First look in the boot, the ECU is very obviously
different, for a start it's mounted on the left of the fuel
tank. There are two injector power resistors on the L/H
inner front wing instead of the usual one of the standard
V12 and the air boxes are also totally different from the
standard car, everything else looks the same.
"On the road they are magic! Not harsh, but very good
handling. The GM 400 auto box has modified shift speeds and
are quicker in changing, and less reluctant to kick-down
into 1st. The steering racks have reduced assistance and
appear to turn faster. The suspension/spring set up is
unique to the 6.0L, not the same as the sport spec.
"The '92 cars had more power than the pre-facelifted
version, went from 318 to 338 BHP with cat exhausts. The BHP
increase is quite small but the engine has a lot more
"US spec: Only 50 coupes and 50 convertibles imported '93
-'94, all were red or black.... So are very rare. Easily
identified by special steering wheel and JaguarSport logo on
the seat headrests. Special 6.0L engine (338 bhp) with Zytek
ignition/injection and sequential injection, special
reprogrammed GM400 shift speeds, special springs/ bilsteins
(not the same as the sport spec option on the standard
cars), 8" wide special alloys with different offsets for
front and rear and an odd mix of rubber, 245/55 rear 225/50,
front revalved power steering rack 30% stiffer, twin in tank
fuel pumps. Also, revised more efficient electric cooling
fan, revised ducted cold air intakes for the manifolds and a
few other bits! It's not just plastic body mouldings and
badges as you thought!!!
"You can order the XJR-S product support manual
publication no S-80, unfortunately only available in the
USA. Around $25, but it looks like a dealer service
"The only downside to these cars are the special ECU and
distributor. Very expensive and the average Jag dealer knows
little about them! They can be repaired however if sent to
the Zytek factory here in the UK. All the other engine
sensors are std. XJS. JaguarSport parts are easily
available, I have had no difficulty."
"Any Jag dealer should be able to give you a print out of
all the JaguarSport parts (a few hundred). Apart from the
engines, revised GM400 shift settings, injection/ignition,
suspension, bodykit and minor interior changes the rest of
the parts are the same.
"JaguarSport has been disbanded, I have horrendous
trouble trying to get technical information for my F.I.
problem (minor problem). However, I have had no trouble in
the availability of "JaguarSport" parts.
"US dealers did have, may still have, a technical help
hotline to Jaguar UK for all XJR-S queries."
SPORTSPACK: John Goodman:
"The SportsPack has nothing to do with JaguarSport. In fact
I believe it is standard on most of the 3.6L coupe XJ-S's
(not sure on US cars) and an option on the V12 and 3.6
convertible. Jaguar assumed the 3.6 5 speed would appeal to
the sporty driver! Basically it is harsher springs and
dampers, rack bushes and a sporty steering wheel; I think
the cross spoke alloys with 235/60 tyres were part of the
package at first but were later offered separately. Ride is
quite knobbly; it does not include the re-valved steering
rack of the XJR-S 6.0L, which has yet again different
springs/ bilsteins (which also appears lower) and has a far
smoother ride than a V12 with the SportsPack option."
Richard Mansell: "It was introduced by Jaguar as standard
on the 3.6 in Sep 1987 and comprised of 43% uprated front
springs, 3% uprated rear springs, uprated Boge shocks all
round, increased diameter front anti-roll bar, rear
anti-roll bar re-introduced, reduced assistance power
steering, stiffer rack bushes and Pirelli P600 235/60 VR
tyres on the lattice wheels.
"The SportsPack, a variation of the one on the 3.6, was
introduced on the V12 in Dec 1989. Judging by the parts
manual the front suspension is different, I guess because of
the extra weight of the V12. The rear springs and shocks are
the same as the 3.6. The rear radius arm and anti roll bar
is from the 3.6.
"The sports suspension became available in the US in Feb
"The later 5 volume workshop manual has a table of shift
points for the standard gearbox and one for the SportsPack
"The twin coachlines along the side of the car were two
tone as part of the SportsPack although from VIN 144700
(3.6) and VIN 148782 (V12) this became standard.
"The sports seats were originally only available as part
of the SportsPack."
1990 LE MANS: Jaguar won
again! Mansell: "The second Le Mans Special Edition was
introduced at the Birmingham (UK) Motor show in September
1990 to celebrate the TWR XJR-12 win. Based on a standard
car, the 280 models built had quad headlights, 16" lattice
wheels, sports suspension, full Autolux leather interior,
high-contrast walnut veneer, a four spoke leather steering
wheel and Wilton carpets. The stainless steel sill plates
had a 'Le Mans V12' motif along with the limited edition
North America did not receive the Le Mans but had their
own Classic Collection instead. Along with unique paint
colours, magnolia leather with contrasting piping, leather
gearshift knob, charcoal toned leather steering wheel they
also had gold boot and bonnet badges."
Goodman: "Just a standard XJ-S with SportsPack and
Brian Schreurs says, "There were 280 built for the world.
No breakdown on Federal vs. ROW."
1990 ROUGE EDITION: Brian
Schreurs says, "It is a special trim package; no structural
CALIFORNIA, 1991: Peter
Cohen says, "Here in California, there were no 1991 XJ-S's.
The dealers sold 1990 models all through 1991, until the
1992 model came out. I thought that was just the way it was
until 1994 when I came across an actual 1991 Federal model.
Now I realize that there are 1991 XJ-S's all over, just not
INSIGNIA EDITION: Brian
Schreurs says, "Insignia was a limited edition special
order. The differences were:
The wood veneer in any colour.
The leather colour any which you wanted.
Piping on the seats.
Insignia Alloy wheels.
Boot fabric was different, thick flannel."
John Goodman adds, "Not sure about the numbers produced
but certainly not more than 100-200, documented information
is very scarce. Mechanically a standard XJS, but with the
option at the time to choose a wide range of wild
pearlescent non-standard body colours and customised
interior colours/fabrics, including I believe the option of
different wood veneers or grey stained (like the XJ sports
sedans). UK market had the quad headlights as well.
"Basically, whatever the customer wanted Jaguar would try
to do it! Some colours were quite tame, some wild! All the
mechanical bits are standard so no maintenance worries. May
have the option of the sports suspension kit as well;
depends, I think, on country."
Richard Mansell: "The Insignia options were available by
special order from October 1992 and it basically allowed you
to personalise your car with a range of different finishes.
The Jaguar sales catalogue from around that period
Like all Jaguars,
the latest XJ-S models provide a comprehensive wealth of
equipment and appointments as part of their standard
specification; there is no question of providing just a
basic car and then charging extra for virtually every
desirable refinement. As a result, the list of items
shown here as being optional at extra cost is quite
small. Nevertheless, there is one important development
which must be mentioned. This is 'Insignia', a service
carried out by the craftsman of Jaguar Special Vehicle
Operations. Under this service they offer:
Stunning, exclusive paint
all-leather interiors, uniquely styled and trimmed in a
range of special colours
A choice of natural or
tinted wood veneers to compliment and enhance the chosen
paint and trim colours.
Mansell mentions that Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations
"built the Daimler DS420 Limousine and other specials."
WEIRD CONVERSIONS: Lots of
Jaguars end up converted or modified, especially in the
early years when convertibles weren't available from the
factory. If you have something you can't identify, Peter
Cohen suggests: "The answer should lie on your doorpost. US
federal law requires that a company that modifies a vehicle
(such as a motorhome or convertible conversion) affix a
label to the vehicle that says something to the effect
This vehicle conforms to
all applicable motor vehicle safety standards in effect
on date of manufacture shown above
... or something like that.
"This should tell you who did the conversion, and, if you
are lucky, it will tell you where they are located."
PRODUCTION NUMBERS: John
Ratcliff provided these numbers from "a 60-page supplement
to the June 95 edition of Classic and Sports Car, called
ë60 Years of Jaguar - A Celebration'."
XJ Coupe (5.3)
XJ-S 3.6 coupe
XJ-S V12 convertible
XJS(4.0, 5.3, 6.0)
V12 saloon (XJ40)
HORSEPOWER: Brian Schreurs:
"According to my library, these are the various
British-spec pre-HE 5.3L V12:
Federal-spec pre-HE 5.3L V12: 244@5250/269@4500
British-spec 5.3L V12 HE: 299@5500/318@3000
Federal-spec 5.3L V12 HE: 262@5000/290@3000
British-spec 3.6L 6-cyl: 225@5300/240@4000
British-spec AJ6 4.0L 6-cl: 223@4750/277@3650 (to
Federal-spec AJ6 4.0L 6-cyl: 219@4750/273@3650 (to
British-spec AJ16 4.0L 6-cyl: 241@4700/282@4000 (to
Federal-spec AJ16 4.0L 6-cyl: 237@4700/282@4000 (to
(no difference in market noted) 6.0L V12:
for a Used XJ-S