Why the Jaguar XJS gets better with age – and why now is the time to get one

The Jaguar XJ-S (later renamed XJS) is a car you either love or hate. At the time of its introduction in 1975, its styling was considered too forward-looking, while at the end of its lifecycle in 1996 it was already considered a classic. At the time of writing, even the youngest XJS is more than 20 years old, while the older XJ-S models are over 40. With many different versions around there are substantial differences in character, although they all share a level of smoothness and sophistication that is matched by very few other cars. Having evolved from the Jaguar E-type and having served as a blueprint for the Jaguar XK8 and Aston Martin DB7, the XJS is often misunderstood. It is about time to give it some extra credit.

Jaguar's launch poster was not quite modest


Different car, different styling.

For a long time, the XJ-S stood in the shadow of its legendary predecessor, the E-type. It is wrongly considered to be the E-type's successor. Instead, it was more of a GT, an evolution that was started when the Series 3 E-type received its silky smooth V12. Except for its drivetrain, the XJ-S did not look like anything close to an E-type. It lacks the dramatic elegance of the earlier Jaguar sports cars and does not have the classical looks of the Jaguar XJ sedans, that the public came to associate with Jaguar's distinctive image. Whereas the XJ-S's styling was definitely  brave and forward-looking, the design of the later XK8 was clearly inspired by the curvy lines of the E-type. This was an era where retroism dominated the design of many sports and luxury cars. As the XK8 aged, potential buyers of modern classics have overlooked the XJS and chose the retro XK8. With modern Jaguars having finally taken on a more radically different styling, the distinctively different XJS is on the up.

Evolution of the Jaguar XJ-S and Jaguar car design

The XJ-S stayed in production for more than 20 years, seeing the company evolve through its most difficult period. At the time of introduction, it was built in an antiquated factory that still mostly relied on tooling from the 1950's. Reliability issues and a heavy thirst almost led to its discontinuation at the end of the 1970's, but the introduction of the modified High Efficiency engine attracted buyers again in the early 1980's. It wasn't until Ford Motor Company invested heavilly in modernisation and quality improvements that a more refined 3rd version of the XJS (note the different spelling) came into existence. Quality wise, the car had now overcome most (if not all) of its earlier issues. Rust prevention was also on a much higher level, while the electrics had finally become reliable. For a long time, these were the best Jaguars ever built.

The design of Jaguar cars however, got neglected under the umbrella of Ford. One could say that Jaguar's design department had lacked sheer courage for a very long time, basically eversince the XJ-S was introduced. The XJ's basic design was still inspired by the XJ6 Series 1 from the late 1960's. Not a bad source of inspiration, just not really worthy of a company like Jaguar, of which all of its classics had a forward looking design philosophy. Worst of all, the newly introduced X-type and S-type shared a platform and many technical components with the Ford Mondeo and Lincoln LS. So much for a distinctive character, Jaguar was now spitting out badge-engineered McMotors.

This came to an end when the first new cars under design director Ian Callum introduced a radically modern look. The new XK and XF came out shortly before Tata Motors took over, marking the beginning of a whole new era in Jaguar's history. In hindsight, the XJ-S had been the last truly brave and forward-looking design that came out of Coventry for a long time.

The XJS as an appreciating classic

Many enthusiasts agree that the XJS gets better with age, confirmed by recent increases in market value. In our opinion, the Jaguar XJS is still underpriced though and we expect values to keep rising as more and more people are getting used to Jaguar's more modern design philosophy. It will never be as desirable as an XK 120 or E-type, but it has finally stepped out of the shadows and is now appreciated for its differentness and significance in Jaguar's history.


Looking for a Jaguar XJS to buy?

Dandy Classics specialises in british sports and GT cars, like the Jaguar XJS. Take a look at our current stock, by going to our collection page.


Read more about the Jaguar XJS:

Recent article by Bring a Trailer: https://bringatrailer.com/2018/02/20/why-we-love-them-jaguar-xj-s/

Some thoughts on market values, by Classic Car Auction Results: https://www.classiccarauctionresults.co.uk/jaguar-xjs-next-e-type/


Jaguar E-type V12 FHC restoration: on the road to Santiago

Every restoration is a callenge of its own. The level of dedication and perseverance required can make it somewhat of a spiritual journey for its owner (if not for the ones around him). In the case of this E-type Jaguar, it was the car itself that went on a pilgrimage on the Camino Real.

The 1973 Jaguar E-type S3 V12 2+2 coupé featured here was not really in a bad condition. Having been sold new in the USA, it became part of a multi-car collection after being imported to the Netherlands. For over 20 years, the big cat was kept indoors, only to be taken out for a yearly 'spin-around-town' on dealer plates. With 75.000 mls, it had never been restored and was in running and driving condition. Time had left its marks though; the body had several flaws and the Jaguar needed to be brought back to a state of preventive maintenance.


1973 Jaguar E-type V12 2+2

The e-type in unrestored condition. Sold by Dandy Classics, to a new Spanish owner.


We sold the E-type to a new caretaker from Galicia, Spain. With a thorough approach and with respect to originality, a restoration was started. The body was taken down to bare metal, before being refinished in its original silver colour. Mechanically, the car has been freshened up, with complete rebuilds of front and rear suspension, carburettors and cooling system. The interior was kept original, preserving the leather seats rather than reupholstering them.


The new owner can be proud of his achievement of turning this monumental car into a stunningly beautiful and reliable driver. It must be a treat to drive a car like this on winding Spanish coastal roads. If you ever visit Galicia, watch out for this big cat leaping up from behind.

Need inspiration for your next holiday destination? The 'Caribbean beach' in Galicia heads the list of top 10 beaches of the world. Read this article from the Guardian…

Did this article inspire you to take on a restoration project by yourself? Take a look at our collection and see what's in store.


Triumph TR6 Buyer’s Guide

The Triumph TR6 is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive classic British roadsters. This sports car has muscular looks, a real chassis and a lovely dark growling six-cylinder in-line engine. Former Top Gear presenter James May called the TR6 'the blokiest bloke's car ever built'. Be warned, this car is only suitable for tough men and women. The type that doesn't mind driving through a rain shower with the top down and replaces the contact points on a pub's parking lot. For all others: the car also has a convertible top and drives a lot nicer after the installation of an electronic ignition.


Triumph TR6 as 'poor man's Austin Healey'?

Thanks to the high production numbers (almost 100,000 have been built between 1968 and 1976), a TR6 is an affordable alternative to the Austin-Healey. The Triumph TR6 is even partly responsible for the big Healey disappearing from the stage. In the late 1960s, British Motor Holdings (the parent company of Austin, MG and Jaguar) merged with Leyland Motors, of which Triumph was a subsidiary. The management felt it was necessary to downsize the range of sports cars, in order to prevent internal competition. At that time, the Austin-Healey was at the end of its development cycle and could no longer meet the stricter requirements of the North American market. In addition, British Leyland already had a recently renewed six-cylinder sports car: the TR6. Thus the brand Austin-Healey disappeared and the TR6 survived the new business strategy. In terms of character, the cars are quite similar: both rear-wheel drive two-seaters, with a six-cylinder in-line engine and a four-speed gearbox with optional overdrive. Yet a Healey in terms of experience is a lot rougher and more spartan than the TR6 with independent rear suspension and a somewhat tamer engine (in US spec, with 2 Stromberg carburettors). Those who do not have the budget for a Big Healey, however, have the best possible affordable alternative with a TR6.

Drive train of the TR6

The six cylinder engines are solid and reliable. If properly maintained, these Triumph engines account for about 100,000 miles before it is time for an overhaul. Thanks to the simple construction, such a rebuild is relatively easy to carry out. The cylinder sleeves are removable and can be supplied new as a set with new pistons and piston rings. Worn out engines can easily be recognized by low oil pressure, high oil consumption and mechanical noises that do not sound healthy.
Gearboxes and differentials have a long service life with normal use and regular maintenance (clean oil of the correct type). Here too, however, it will be time for a rebuild at a given moment. In our workshop we regularly overhaul separate gearboxes and differentials for the TR6 and other Triumph sports cars.
The original mechanical fuel pump's rubber membrane will eventually fail, due to age and / or the effects of ethanol in modern gasoline. Read our article about which petrol to use in a classic car for more advice on this topic. New petrol pumps and overhaul kits are available in our webshop. These are known to be ethanol-resistant.
Fortunately, the TR6 is an easy car to work on by yourself. Parts are widely available for relatively low prices. Small technical problems do not have to be an obstacle to the DIY mechanic. It is much more important to find a car with a healthy chassis and a rust-free body. More information about technical weaknesses of the TR6 can be found in this blog article.

Triumph TR6 body inspection

As far as bodywork and chassis are concerned, there are only two possibilities: either you buy a car that has already been restored, or you buy a restoration project. The proverbial 'fixer' that only needs paint is an illusion. Even the youngest TR6 is now more than 40 years old and after 4 decades there are simply too many areas that can and will give problems.
If your budget is not sufficient for a well-restored car, but you also do not want to start a body-off restoration: be warned. Many cars that have already been refurbished can be worse under layers of paint and underbody coating than a rusty-looking project car. Multi-layer paint jobs are a guarantee for trouble: cured synthetic paints can 'work' with more flexible layers above them. The result is miniscule cracks, under which moisture can creep and rust can arise.

The TR6's most common weak points are the sills, bottom of front and rear fenders and the floor boards. Rust can also appear in areas where mud and dirt accumulate: around the headlight edges, around the inside of the tail lights and at the top edge of the rear wing. The rear of the boot lid and the battery box are also well-known sensitive areas. The chassis is prone to rust on the crossmembers (mounting points of the rear suspension) and the cover plate of the X-cross in the centre. Replacement sections are readily available, at reasonable prices. Keep in mind that structural repair of rust damage can only be carried out properly on a completely dismantled car.


The Triumph TR6 has an attractive, typical British interior with a wooden dashboard and a nice collection of classical instruments. The interiors will already have been renovated on most cars, as the original carpet and vinyl does not have eternal life. The triplex wood dashboard panels are known to disintegrate over time. All parts for renovating the interior are available. Make sure that the materials match the original specifications; Cars with custom-made upholstery, an aftermarket steering wheel and / or a shiny walnut wood dashboard are less desirable in our view than cars with an original interior.

Triumph TR6 classic cars for sale

At Dandy Classics we usually have one or more Triumph TR6 cars available for sale. We are particularly specialized in the purchase and sale of unrestored project cars. Our current stock can be found on the collection page.


(Nederlands) Remcilinder revisie MG en Triumph oldtimers

Sorry, this entry is only available in Dutch. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

Een falend remsysteem is levensgevaarlijk. Vaak wordt er pas ingegrepen na APK afkeur, waarbij lekkage en/of ongelijk remmen aan het licht komen. Een goed onderhouden remsysteem voorkomt problemen. Hoog tijd dus om wat aandacht te besteden aan dit onderwerp.

Lekkende of vastzittende remcilinders worden veroorzaakt door vocht in de remvloeistof, wat op den duur leidt tot roestvorming. Ook komt het regelmatig voor dat de rubberen afdichtingen uitgedroogd zijn. Oude remslangen kunnen uitdrogen, of van binnen verstopt gaan zitten. Stalen remleidingen gaan na verloop van tijd roesten en kunnen bij een remrevisie beter preventief worden vervangen door koperen leidingen. Bij constatering van meer van deze problemen is het aan te bevelen om preventief te werk te gaan en het hele remsysteem te reviseren.

Voorkomen van problemen in het hydraulisch remsysteem

Voorkomen is beter dan genezen. In de revisie van het hydraulisch systeem gaat veel tijd zitten. Dit kan voorkomen worden door regelmatig de remvloeistof te vervangen. Remvloeistof is hygroscopisch, wat wil zeggen dat het vocht aantrekt. Dit vocht zorgt voor roestvorming aan de metalen onderdelen. Hoe vaak de remolie ververst moet worden is afhankelijk van gebruik en stalling. Regelmatig gebruik in combinatie met vaak vochtige stalling vraagt om jaarlijkse verversing. Bij droge stalling en wat meer recreatief gebruik (weekend en alleen mooi weer) is het voldoende om iedere 2 jaar te verversen. Combineer dit verversen altijd met een uitgebreide visuele inspectie en controleer op lekkage en droogtescheurtjes. Door de stofhoesjes voorzichtig op te lichten kan vaak al gezien worden of er sprake is van beginnende roestvorming.


Hoofdremcilinder reviseren

Een defecte hoofdremcilinder bouwt geen druk meer op, of doet dit pas na enkele keren pompen met het rempedaal. Lekkage is vaak al aan de buitenkant zichtbaar. Begin met het demonteren van de cilinder en inspecteer deze op inwendige roestvorming. Lichte oppervlakteroest is prima te verwijderen met uithonen (m.b.v. een hoonapparaat met slijpsteentjes). Diepgelegen putjes zijn met honen niet te verwijderen. Deze zullen ook na revisie blijvend leiden tot lekkage en drukverlies, waardoor de gehele hoofdremcilinder vervangen moet worden. Na het honen wordt de remcilinder weer opgebouwd met een nieuwe revisieset (rubber afdichtingen). Monteer de onderdelen altijd met speciale remcilinderpasta, die te koop is bij de automaterialenzaak.

Revisieset hoofdremcilinder MGA & TR3

Wielremcilinders reviseren

Revisie van de wielremcilinders start met demontage en visuele inspectie. Is de cilinderwand door roestvorming ingevreten dan is dit niet met honen op te lossen. Vervanging van de remcilinders is in dat geval de enige oplossing. Is de roest vooral oppervlakkig dan wordt de cilinderwand licht uitgehoond / gepolijst, totdat het oppervlak weer schoon en glad is.

Nieuwe wielremcilinders voor MGA

Koppelingscilinder reviseren

Het principe is vergelijkbaar met de revisie van de hoofdremcilinder. Vergeet ook de hulpkoppelingscilinder niet en controleer de slang op droogtescheurtjes. Bij twijfel altijd vervangen.


Zelf doen of uitbesteden?

Veel van onze klanten sleutelen graag zelf aan hun oldtimer. Onderdelen voor het remsysteem van Triumph en MG sportwagens (revisiesets, remcilinders, slangen, remblokken etc.) zijn nieuw te bestellen in onze webshop: http://www.dandyclassics.nl/

Natuurlijk kunnen wij in onze werkplaats ook al het nodige werk uitvoeren. Neem contact op voor het maken van een afspraak, met prijsindicatie vooraf.


Welke remvloeistof gebruiken in een oldtimer?

Ons advies: houd het bij een goede kwaliteit DOT 3 of DOT 4 en ververs minstens één keer per twee jaar. Overweegt u om DOT 5 te gebruiken? Lees dan eerst deze blogpost met onze ervaringen.

Morgan +4 PK-97-05 flat rad

Original Dutch plates: 1952 Morgan Plus Four ‘Flat Rad’

A red Plus Four left the Morgan factory in Malvern Link on 17 March 1952, on its way to a journalist from Scheveningen in the Netherlands. The car caught the eye of a young petrol attendant, who closed a gentleman's agreement with the first owner. Should the Morgan ever be sold, he would be granted the first right to buy it. Years later, the gentlemen were able to finalise their agreement. The car changed hands for a substantial sum - at that time enough to buy a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing.

Morgan +4 PK-97-05 flat rad

In the 70's and 80's, the car was not spared. Thanks to a tuned Triumph TR3 engine, a leather belt was required to keep the bonnet in place through fast cornering. The sports car was used as a multi-purpose vehicle: during the day as a delivery van to get hay for the horses and at night as a doghouse. Eventually, the years started to take their toll and the car was sold as a restoration project.


Morgan Plus Four restoration

The first attempt to restore the car was not particularly successful. The car was bought back in boxes by the second owner, and sold the same week to the current caretaker. He restored the car in detail and re-installed the completely rebuilt original Vanguard engine. The Moggie grawls happily again and is regularly taken for a spin around the countryside.

Morgan +4 origineel NL kenteken Morgan Plus Four hondenhok Athlon Tour of the Century Morgan 1952

This car still has its Original Dutch blue plates, with linnen title, and is the only Morgan Plus Four 'flat rad' that has ever been sold new in the Netherlands.