British automaker Jaguar was known for years for its rock-solid and powerful inline-six engines that powered iconic classics such as the XK120 and E-Type. Jaguar needed a replacement for the E-Type and chose to take the new car upmarket. This resulted in the XJS, a long and luxurious grand tourer featuring Jaguar’s timeless styling and 5.3 liters of complex V12 mechanicals.
Jaguar unveiled its new V12 car in 1975, showing off a car that would offer sporty driving in a luxurious and comfortable package. Throughout the interior, you can find yards of fine leather complemented by real wood accents and power windows and locks. The V12 engine uses both Bosch and Lucas components for its fuel injection system, which helps it to produce 285 horsepower to get the car to a top speed of 150 mph, which is respectable for 1975.
Jaguar produced these cars for 20 years until 1995, and there are many still on the road and in garages ready to buy. However, while the V12 engine is robust and likely won’t suffer from a major failure, the electronics will. Under the hood of a Jaguar V12 is nightmare fuel for most mechanics, with myriad wires, connectors, and vacuum lines that all have to be working harmoniously for everything to go right. They also suffered from corrosion, leaks, overheating, and the occasional fire. The XJS may suffer from many little problems that make it overall untenable to own and maintain for very long. That can get very expensive.