Launched in September 1975 as a replacement for the legendary E-Type, the Jaguar XJS V12 was a much more modern and sophisticated car than its glamorous predecessor and had a totally different character – the E-Type being a race-bred sportscar while the XJS was a high speed grand tourer.
Refinement was in a different league to the E-Type and even today there are few cars that are quite so relaxing to drive fast. And with 295bhp to play with in post-1981 HE form, the XJS certainly was fast, hitting 60mph in 6.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 152mph. In fact the XJS was so refined and capable that many of its underpinnings later found their way into the Aston Martin DB7 and the Jaguar XK8.
The first major facelift came in 1991 when the Big Cat got larger rear windows, new rear wings, different lights and revised instruments. Build quality also improved markedly with a galvanized body shell finally putting paid to that old Jaguar bugbear of rust. In this form, along with the later 4.0 and 6.0 litre 4-speed cars, the XJS soldiered on until 1996 when it was replaced by the somewhat bulkier V8-powered XK8.
Supplied new to the Japanese market in 1991, this splendid V12 Coupe benefits from many of the improvements that were phased in on the post-1990 facelift models and looks stunning in Catkin Grey metallic with mushroom hide interior, walnut trim and an onboard computer.
It has covered only 61,200km (38,000 miles) with four Japanese stamps in the service book. Returning to Britain earlier this year and now UK-registered with all duties paid, it has a current MOT until January 2018 with no advisories recorded. The car was treated to a lube service and four new tyres in February 2017 and presents beautifully with rust-free bodywork and a smart interior.
A sure-fire classic of the future and widely tipped for future growth, this magnificent low-mileage XJS could yet prove a shrewd buy at the sensible guide price suggested.