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Conceived as a comfortable and long-legged Grand Routier, rather than an out-and-out sports car like the preceding E-Type, the XJ-S made use of the Jaguar XJ6/XJ12 saloon platform and running gear. Shorter in the wheelbase than its saloon siblings, the XJ-S debuted as a V12-powered Coupe, with six-cylinder and soft-top versions following in the 1980's. The introduction of the six-cylinder model in 1983 coincided with that of the Targa-style cabriolet - the first open Jaguar since the E-Type's discontinuation - but it was not until 1988 that a full convertible became available.
Jaguar's first response to demands for an open-top XJ-S was somewhat conservative in engineering terms. The XJ-S had not been designed with an open version in mind, so the Targa-style arrangement was adopted, which retained a substantial roll hoop in the interests of maintaining rigidity in the absence of a fixed roof. Essentially an exercise in niche marketing to test public reaction, the Cabriolet's production was entrusted to outside specialist contractors, with bodyshells being transported back and forth across the Midlands before returning to the Brown's Lane factory prior to final dispatch. Following the Cabriolet's deletion, both the Coupe and conventional Convertible models lasted until the end of XJ-S production in 1996.
This smart example was delivered new on 03/02/1989 finished in Solent Blue with Cream leather. The first of just two owners was around-the-world yachtsman Serge Paris and, whilst in his ownership, was maintained by Jason Mann who previously worked for H A Fox Jaguar in Guildford. Mr Paris spent many years away at sea, which explains this car's relatively low mileage, and this is confirmed by a letter on file. Our vendor, now in his 80th year, has used the car sparingly since its purchase in 2014, covering less than a thousand miles, but diligently maintained and correctly stored the XJ. It's offered today from a substantial Jaguar collection complete with the original handbook, service book, V5c document and a fresh MOT.