Painting the XJ-S original or what

OK , once again , I’m bringing this up. Do I paint my original paint XJ-S or do I keep original? Old is the new , new according to Jay Leno.
It just bugs me when I get scratches and door dings in shopping mall parking spots because no one gives a flying fu*k.
Then I ask , can I do a partial paint job, they never seem to match up in certain light.
I don’t want a concours perfect car, but I also don’t want a dogs breakfast either.
Money is not an issue here just thinking of the best option.

Depends on the year. If it’s the thermoplastic paint years, you’re screwed, gotta repaint. If it’s the base/clear years then have a detailer buff the crap out of the car for about $500 and then decide. I think you’d be shocked how much of an improvement a buff job is over turtle wax in the driveway. After they buff it up, you touch it up.

It’s your car: choose the color you like!

I’ve always thought honest wear from age and use on quality factory paint is preferable to a cheap respray. Generally speaking you can’t get anywhere near the quality of a factory paint job, at least on most of the European cars I’ve had, for anything less than quite a few thousand bucks. Paint itself is expensive, the knowledge to do it all well is expensive to acquire and it’s labor intensive to do.

I park at the far side of any given parking lot, walking is good exercise. :slight_smile:

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I would like to keep the same factory colour not Tweety poiple, but are new paint jobs better than the original. I’m not sure the XJ-S will ever be a classic.
I just like the car. But when I come out of a restaurant or the pub scratches and door dings bug the heck out of me.
Some people say it adds character.
They are only original once.

You know the week after you paint it someone is going to scratch the heck out of it or whang a door into the side. Murphy’s law.

I’d go by a couple of paint shops of different types and see what they say.
I’ve seen people do all their own prep and mask work and tip the spray crew at
maaco and the like and have pretty darn good results when they paid for the “better”
paint and such, and I’ve seen some absolute crap from regular body shops for
cheap drop off/pick up paintjob’s. It’s pretty well all over the place, word of mouth and experience is a good thing to go by.


If done by a competent shop, I would imagine they’re even better. However, as I’m sure you’ve ascertained, to get it done properly, is big bucks!

Back when I was first doing bodywork, but I had no painting ability, I would do all the prep work, including stripping off bumpers, bright work, and all that, and also I would mask off most of the interior

I would then deliver it to my local MAACO, and generally speaking, when they saw the kind of cars that I brought to them, they would lay down really nice paint jobs!


I had my 95 painted recently, by a high end shop that mainly specializes in Detroit iron. The paint that was on it was destroyed. Unknown to me, it had been previously repainted poorly. The primer did not stick to tbe sheetmetal. They literally flaked 95% of the paint and primer off with razor blades. I did all of the trim, lights, seals, interior, glass, etc removal. There was no body damage or rust. It originally had been black, but i had it repainted Flaminco Red. All jambs, undersides of hood and trunk, everything except the black engine compartment was changed. Best prep and paint work I have ever seen. Paint was blocked and buffed to perfection. They had glass people remove and replace the front and rear glass which was the only glass I didn’t remove.
With me doing all of the disassembly/reassembly, the body shop cost was well into 5 figures USD. The car came out beautifully, and to me it was worth it. I had Paul’s Jaguar make me front seat skins, rebuilt inner door panels, and carpets. I did all of the instsllation, except the seat skins which I had a local upholstery shop install.
Yes, I could have paid less, but I wanted a quality job. The shop I used kept every promise, did it in a reasonable time, and kept me informed along the way.
I’d removed the rear spoiler which I dislike and had them weld up the holes in the boot lid. I’d already changed to quad headlights, and added the Euro front fender turn signal repeaters. I’m not a fan of the 20 spoke wheels, so I changed to turned finished 5 spokes. I did a delete of the broken headlight washer system, and replaced the outer front bumper blades. Stainless trim was polished. The painted rear view mirrors had been replaced with chrome by a previous owner.
Here are a few shots of the finished product.

  1. circa 1958, I had two feriends. Brothers. They operated a collision rpair shop in El Centro, Californa One brother did the paint work. Both blends for the reaired panels. And, complete jobs as well. Great work. used quality material and excelletn prep wok. Bttr than OEM.
    And, tey stood up to the exteremely ht weather.

Some time later, I bought a damaged company car. 61 Ford. Teh hood had departed and eleft it’s mark on the top… Plays a bit on the bonntt.hood.

I repaired the hood and areattached it ith the help f a local black smith shop. And filled the top.

I foutn a bargain apint shop in SF. Not scheib or Maaco. TGeh car was white. Iwas not enthusd by iy. I chose Tbrd red. It looked absolutel great.

As to OEM toprestnt pait o newer or older crs. go to a cuatom show. Pait tjobs that are far an away better… Expensivew, oh yeah!!!

I inew another guythat did colliion work. he did the pait s well. His idea was to warm the enamel and shooit warm. Nce work…

As good as or better than OEM…



And it’s bee-you-tee-ful !


Your car looks awesome, very nice job.

Thanks guys. It was a lot of work and a lot of $$$$!



I have a ‘92 in Flamenco. It’s a great color, where the clearcoat still exists :confused:


You do things first class!
Looks great Jon

Gary . . .
Let me suggest another way to think about this:

A man needs 3 cars:

  1. a reliable every-day car used to fetch groceries and fetch parts for the other cars.
  2. a posh car to take his sweetie for a Sunday afternoon drive, maybe stop for an ice cream.
  3. a two-seater sports car that he can take out on the back roads and drive it like he stole it.

You already have the posh car. instead of spending 5 figures on a paint job, keep it original and use that money to buy a reliable every-day car.



This is what I started with. It had about 146k miles, ran and drove great, and only cost $4000. But it looked like hell.

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I’m in a similar boat (no pun intended!).

While I’d love to have my XJS repainted, and in British racing green, i know it will never be as good as factory, unless i stripped down to body and paid $$$$$$.

So my plan is to one day have the dings hammered out, then have a professional buff, then have the nicks and scratches touched up, and then just hand polish and wax every year.

Luckily, my paint isn’t faded and clearcoat is still good.


Based upon I’m seeing here, within the scant few photos, shows a paint job that’s not going to be made much better than it is. You have to make the choice between forking out five figures to have it done properly, or just living with it.

Arizona sun-baked a couple of years