Not another project, surely?

Well, this one is a bit different. Although, aren’t they all? I’m a bit fan of Jaguar’s XJ in its earlier iterations, and though I’ve owned series 2 and 3 cars (and their Daimler variants), I hadn’t yet manage to purchase my favourite of all, the series 1. The car I’ve bought hasn’t seen a road in many years, and is on the cusp of appearing as a breaker to a lot of people, but considering the relative scarcity of these early XJs now, I know it is well worth saving. The tall front grille and straight front bumper make this the prettiest of all XJs in my eyes and the quad carbs mated to a 5.3 V12 is a wonderful combination. It isn’t a four door e-type S3, but in some ways its even better (and a lot cheaper). With only around a thousand of these S1 XJ12Ls built, and fewer surviving today, it is actually relatively hard to find one and they don’t often pop up for sale. I missed out on buying one in similar condition (with no interior) last month, which was then broken, so I wasn’t going to allow it to happen to this one too. The only other one I’ve seen for sale is in similar condition again, except it is missing its carbs – meaning that there appears to be no good condition S1 XJ12s for sale.

There is plenty of corrosion underneath this car, with at least one foot well offering an extreme level of ventilation, and the near side B-pillar has some reasonably worrying rot too. That said, most of the body seems to be pretty sound, although there isn’t a panel on  the car which doesn’t have multiple dents, and that includes the roof unfortunately. The car also doesn’t run, and hasn’t for some time. I do know at least that the engine is free and turns by hand, but we’ll check the compression before refitting some of the electrical components that have been removed. The car looks to be complete, and there is the bonus that there appears to be a new radiator in the boot. We’ll be getting it up in the air next week to see what surprises are hidden underneath, but for now I’m more than happy to sit and look at how lovely it is, even in its battered state. It makes me think that it could even look good with the bodywork left mostly as it is, and the paint actually polishes up quite nicely really…


The prettiest face of any XJ


Apart from a split in the bolster, the leather on the seats looks pretty good. The wood needs work, and so do other parts of the interior.
Can you really beat a V12 on carbs?
Hopefully there are some more parts stashed under the radiators in the boot.


Its fair to say that the shut lines aren’t the neatest….
Tyres might need changing too….

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