Looking at an '84 XJS (XJ-S?) tomorrow

Hi! I’m new to the “Jag-yoo-er” forum & world but I’ve wanted one of these since I first laid eyes on one as a teen in the early 80s. I have 2 pretty good everyday vehicles (95 Jeep Liberty & Chrysler Crossfire) so this Jag would be just…I don’t know, something I think I’d like to restore/spend zillions on for the next few decades. I know they can be money pits but still…I have always wanted one.

I’m just jumping into the rabbit hole tonight before checking it out tomorrow. It’s drivable, don’t know the details on brakes, engine, etc—probably that it might not be best to drive it until it’s fully checked out, etc. It does have a new battery.

I’m pretty sure it’s an '84, anyway. Trying to figure out how to attach the photo(s) now…

you did notice the rust, and the passenger side has been repainted take a magnet with you to see how much filler is in the panels.

What’s the sale price?

IMHO, the important thing is to check for body rust. That stuff is expensive and demoralizing to have to fix. You can plan on having to do some engine work.

I’d also recommend replacing those wire wheels with some 16" or 17" alloy wheels. It’s difficult and expensive to get V-rated tires in 15" any more, and sometimes wire wheels require the use of inner tubes which negate the V rating anyway.

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I did notice the rust but I did not get down to look really close. Guess I’m scared of what I’ll see. LOL As a teenager I inherited a beat-up 67 Mustang—the front floorboards were completely rusted out (great gaping holes where feet sit)—so when I think “rust” my brain goes to that horrifying visual. (I drove that Mustang everywhere anyway. My friends were all used to keeping feet on the edges & were resigned to gravel dust coating us. At that time, Illinois was a maze of gravel roads & paved interstates. Probably still is—I moved away.)

He wants what he gave the 88-yr-old gentleman: $4,500

Had not thought of the wheels (hubs?) at all, other than noting that they looked original. Was happy to see that!

My husband is originally from Detroit, his brother owns a body shop there. He’s also given me a few things to look for (& I’m hoping he might help me out on some things in the future).

Growing up, my dad was an old Ford enthusiast (he also dragged Suzuki bikes, I did a little of that from 17-19 yrs old) & my brother & I grew up helping him restore—often the “redneck way”—old Mustangs & Capris. LOL I’m hoping I retained just a little of what I learned back then. I’m 54 now.

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Replying to myself. Forgive me—I’ll figure out how to properly work this eventually.

It’s mine. This is the first time my ass has touched the driver’s seat of a Jaguar. And to my barely educated ears, the engine just purrs. :slight_smile:

Guys, any & all advice/comments are greatly appreciated. I need all the help I can get. ha


Hi Lyndi
Sorry to say with Jaguars that’s not too far off, pull up the carpets on the both sides near the transmission tunnel. this is a common place for water to collect from the cowl vent which should drain in the engine compartment via a duck bill shaped draining valves. If these are plugged, then the water builds up in the squirrel cage and ultimately ends up in the foot wels. There are two one on each side under the dash. Another cause the air-con condensation drain tube disconnects then dumps the condensation in the foot wells. boot lid edges, the pokey trim corners around the back window rubs the paint off the flying buttresses around the back window, also the bottom edge of the doors will rust out. if the car has been sitting out in the weather.

Thank you. I will look for all that!

A new proud owner of a Jaguar … welcome to the jungle !


Thank you! It’s been a crazy 24 hrs, I’m now exhausted. I have the keys & insurance now, tomorrow we’re switching titles, trailering it to a trusted mechanic who specializes in european cars so they can check basics first (brakes, etc). Then it’s going in the garage so I can play with it, figure out stuff. It’s not going to be an everyday car, we have lots of time.

I appreciate all words of wisdom—good & bad.

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You look very happy. Those Euro headlights probably cost someone $500-800 alone. For Honda Civic money you got yourself an ‘80 glam car that has nothing but upside if you DIY most everything.

Feed those seats before they turn to dust! I think my Walmart sells Lexol leather care, if not try AutoZone. Another option is Leatherique Rejuvenator which is more money. Can get that from Amazon.

My ‘83 has the same color interior. It’s called Mulberry. Your carpet used to be the mulberry too but it has oxidized and faded. Don’t use Leatheriques carpet dye, it makes it stiff and ugly. It’s expensive to replace with OEM-ish. Haven’t found a good cheap carpet set yet, not like a Mustang! If it needs a headliner, that’s cheap and easy to do yourself. We can help.

KEEP THE PHONE. Kids are almost more into that relic than the V12.

As for under the hood… unless it’s been done, I love replacing all the rubber hoses on a new to me XJS. For you, it’d be a nice getting to know the car process. Basically the 14 coolant hoses, the dozen+ fuel hoses, the mile of vac line… replacing it all now when it’s cheap and saves many hours of trouble later. Pay mechanic to diagnose a sudden ugly idle later? Well there’s your $10 in vac line + $100 an hr you didn’t have to pay.

Anyway have fun,



I’m curious as to whether your XJS really is an '84, because my '84 has a different insignia on the rt side rear panel than the one in your photos; mine looks like this one…


Those wheels are NOT original. Jaguar wouldn’t have fitted wire wheels; they are wholly inappropriate for modern cars with wide wheels. The car came with alloy wheels. It’s possible, though – even probable – that the dealer installed those wheels and tacked the price onto the sticker.

My '83 looked like that as well, but I promptly pried that H.E. badge off and replaced it with a V12 badge. H.E. doesn’t mean anything to anybody. Perhaps the owner of this car did the same thing?

Kirbert & Wayne: I’m glad you both brought that up. I wondered if it was an '84, too, because of the headlights, which I thought were supposed to be twin. The original registration, etc, paperwork’s in the glove compartment & damn if it isn’t an '84.

You both solved a little mystery for me. In the console I found another XJ-S badge AND the HE badge. I had read just a bit about the HEs being the more fuel-efficient models (ha) so I thought it was significant. Husband & I looked all over for a spot where that HE would have gone—nothing. So the V12 took the HE’s spot.

I can’t thank you guys enough for anything you have to say. I’ve been glued to this forum since I found it. When we decided to go ahead with it I was hoping like hell that I wouldn’t come back here & read "OMG FOR THE LOVE ALL ALL THAT’S HOLY DON’T DO IT ".

Good to know about the hoses, too. I thought the headliner might be the first thing I do myself—when the weather warms I’ll pick your brain, Wayne!

I see above that in the OP I referenced the original owner but didn’t explain. The man I bought it from bought it (same price I paid) from an older friend who’s 88 now & fallen on hard times. He was in the horse world (it being Lexington, Ky) & was a collector—he had 12 vehicles that he was slowly forced to sell, one by one (Mercedes, Range Rover, etc). The Jag was the last car he had. He’d become a danger on the road, his license was taken away from him & he lost his insurance. It’s a sad story. The guy who sold it to me, also in the Derby world, said that he’d never do that again because the sight of old man in the driveway in the rearview mirror as he pulled out broke his heart. The old man’s children then sold his house & moved him to Florida.

I’m glad I was given the chance at it but it’s a sad story. The old man loved this car.

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Hmmm. That’s possible, didn’t think of that. I was looking at getting the rust off all those spokes & it kinda crossed my eyes.

Haha, I took your advice & took a magnet but then didn’t do it because I didn’t want to humiliate the owner who was standing right there. I also didn’t want to take a chance on making him think twice about handing it over to me at the price he bought it for—he told me that he’d had several offers from kids who didn’t know what it was & were going to turn it into a street/race car. He said that seeing it around town with flames & a fin would have killed his soul. I’m touched that he considered me so quickly as someone who knew what it really was & would give it a good home. Can’t believe it, husband & I are wondering if we just experienced true “southern hospitality”, or whatever. It’s too early right now to be articulate. Need more coffee.



I love the euro headlights! I wish my '88 had them. it’s a good look!

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