Best option for track days

Didn’t see an introduction section so I’ll do a brief one here; I love British cars, currently have a Discovery and an F-pace (my DD). I used to have an XJR which I absolutely loved and a Defender but I sold them :(. I am experienced in building cars but am in no way an expert, I am based in Lodi, California.

A friend of mine does track days with his 350z and keeps asking me to come with him, I have an ITB Miata that I could take but I’ve grown bored of that car to be honest and was looking at my options for building a Jaguar track day car.

I could go with an XJ-S and get the Jenvey ITB kit, or could go with a newer XJ, something like an X300 or X308 but the security systems and electronics on those have me concerned, or could go with an older XJ series 1/2 and get the Jenvey ITB kit.

Benefits to the XJS are the LSD and I could find one with a stock 4 speed which would be nice, also the Jenvey ITB kit. I’m not really too concerned with power as I am with suspension/tires/etc. What are my suspension/brake/tire and wheel upgrade options like with the X300 or X308 and XJS? I’m assuming I could run something like a compushift transmission controller on the 300/308 instead of manual swapping since the manual swap parts don’t look too easy to get. Can I disable the security systems on those? I could always LS swap whatever I buy which would probably be the easiest thing to do but Jaguar motors are cool lol.

This car would be a track day car and maybe the occasional car show, it will not be driven on the streets and will be registered as such so I’m not worried about emissions or interior components.


Money no object, personally, Id use a 6-cylinder XJS.

Welcome to the Jag nuts!

Can I ask why you would go with a 6 over a 12?

I don’t think I could make a good logical argument for making a track day car out of an XJS. The biggest question will be, are you going to be happy having your buddy’s 350z lap you every 10 laps? Your buddy’s 350z started life as a sports car, while every XJ-S started life as a Boulevard cruiser. A stock XJS weighs 4,000 lbs+ and a Miata weighs 2,000 lbs. LS swap the Miata. There’s a race prep shop near me that is the go-to place for Porsche 911 GT3 prep. They started doing a stem to stern Miata LS conversion using all new parts for $80,000. Blazing fast and tough as an anvil, they have no trouble selling them them to their GT3 clients.

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Simpler to work on: that said, unless you are determined to make a Jaguar track car, there are FAR better chassis to use, as Mike explained.

Plus… I like 6-cylinders!

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Here’s one…:grimacing:

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The X300s came in manual form (I have a manual pedal box cheap and my manual XJR6 was fun - the Rs all had LSD. The electronics are manageable to modify whereas the X308s are multiplexed. X300s aren’t too bad on weight when stripped bare and I have a mid-cat replacement pipe.

Look up the Jaguar Enthusiast Club race series in the UK - it is a very strong race scene over there. Probably easiest to buy a cheap modded car 25 years or older so you can avoid EPA import restrictions on newer stuff. The steering wheel will be great for clockwise tracks too.

Watched my only bike flat track race at the Lodi Bowl. Old guy on a Triumph Trackmaster cleaned up that night.

Andrew , Welcome aboard!
Pete beat me to it! we have a buddy in the JEC who thoroughly thrashes his XJ6 supercharger 6 cylinder.
My personal choice…
Yes the XJS is lower but much heavier and a bit dated in suspension , unless you start pouring in around 100 grand in upgrades…
The XJR 95/96/97 gutted out and the push of the eaton supercharger makes the car go…
The 308 has to many nannies to remove and the v8 controls will be tough.
Happy trails.

EXACTLY! All ya’ gotta do is buy an old, fully, professionally, developed Tom Waukinshaw Racing Trans Am car! Brilliant! :heart_eyes::man_shrugging: Can’t cost much, right?

It’s hard to argue bang for the buck on an LS Miata. To start, 500 hp LS3 crate motor, under $8,000. I’m sure I spent at least twice that on the last hot rod Jag 6, just to get 300 hp.

Frankly, were i to get 'any* choice for a track car?

Ariel Atom, hands down!

Next would be a Lo-cost.

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I would think an XJS would be a little heavy, but it doesn’t seem to think so…

Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice

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An impeccable choice! I always wanted to runs some laps in a Radical.

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I’m leaning this way tbh. There is a an XJR6 nearby for cheap, needs work but nothing I can’t handle, at least from the what’s being mentioned in the description. My only turn off to it is it’s near 170k miles.

The JEC stuff is what got me thinking about making a jag track car in addition to the TWR car. Basically I want to strip the car down and put some sticky tires on it and a roll cage and run it. I doubt anybody sees any jags at the race tracks nearby, at least not very often.

I’d like to do a 5 speed swap on the xjr6 if I were to get it but I can’t seem to find the parts. The auto transmissions seem fairly robust, is that something I can use a transmission module on?

I think pete has the set up, there are kits out there…Again, I feel where your coming from…
The old Miatas are a TON of fun , but uou want a different bare bones , put together track day car that is different. Your not beating JIM CLARK you want to have fun with something different.
170,000 miles is fun on a xj6
Gut it, put a cage, throw on some michelin cup tires and see what falls for next time…

More power to ya!

I think that is a laudable goal, and “relatively” inexpensive.

It sounds as if you have the experience and knowledge base to do such a car, so go for it!

The Supercharger and V12 used the GM 4L80E transmission which should take the abuse. The Getrag 290 (or 265) are somewhat common on or at UK dismantlers for under $2k USD on average. They bolt straight on instead of the other autos, but the 4L80E used a different bolt pattern. Therefore, you need the rear flange casting from any X300 normally aspirated six, which bolts straight on to the AJ16 block.

You won’t believe this, but I’ve had all this stuff and a clutch kit for over 10 years in case I wanted another manual XJR. Then last week I sent it all to Harald Pott from Jag-lovers (in Germany).

Now all I have left is two X300 manual pedal boxes and manual center console.

I took a look on and found a 5 speed, a pedal box, and a flange casting…for reference at least. Do you need to swap ecu’s or will the auto one be fine? And does the RHD pedal box fit ok in a LHD car?

The ECU for manuals is slightly different to prevent lift-off stalling. If the seller of a kit no longer has access to the car to salvage the ECU I believe Roger Bywater of AJ6 engineering can modify them. Being a GM tranny, there may be emulators available Stateside to fool the car into thinking there is still an auto on the end of the transmission harness multi-pin connector.

All the pedalbox castings are identical but you might have to bend a pedal or swap RHD clutch parts to your LHD pedal box.

You might look up Dean Cusano. He races an XJS, and boy is that car fast st Line Rock.


Talked to the guy selling an XJR6, he said he’d take 500 for it so hopefully the deal will go through. According to him it needs wheel bearings, front brakes, power steering hose replacement and coolant hose replacement. No big deal…