1983 Jaguar XJS-C 3.6 'Manual' Cabriolet
|Body Work||Targa cabriolet|
Introduced at the 1975 Frankfurt Motor Show, the XJ-S was a fabulous new Grand Tourer from Jaguar, combining elegant styling, superlative performance and exceptional luxury. The XJ-S was initially powered by Jaguar's silky smooth all-alloy V12, providing effortless performance, updated in 1981 to become the HE with a new high compression cylinder head design giving a noticeable improvement in fuel economy, while the interior also benefited from the addition of wood and chrome missing in the 1970s original. In 1983 Jaguar further broadened the XJ-S's appeal with two significant new models, the 3.6-litre six-cylinder engine (initially sold only with a five-speed Getrag 265 manual gearbox) and the open-topped SC. The American market had been clamouring for a convertible XJ-S for some time, but Jaguar initially devised a compromise - with fixed side rails and a removable roof panel, the SC described as a cabriolet by Jaguar's marketing department, offering the same versatility that made the likes of Triumph's Stag so popular. Better specified than its fixed-head counterparts, the XJ-SC's bodyshell was actually converted by the Park Sheet Metal Company in Coventry, then taken to Browns Lane for painting and, once the mechanicals and interior trim were installed, sent to Aston Martin's Tickford Body Works for the roof and hood to be fitted. All six-cylinder XJ-Ss could be identified by the different bonnet design necessitated by the taller motor and gave little away in performance terms compared with the thirsty V12s - indeed, the 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds was actually marginally quicker, and 145 mph was the claimed top speed. The XJ-SC represents excellent value for money and most pundits agree prices can only increase for good specimens - while ownership brings great rewards.