Vintage convertible car parked outside ornate historical building.

Jaguar XJS Celebration Convertible ‘1996

Chassis nr. SAJJNXFD4TS223698
First registration 21.07.1996
Odometer 83,000 ml
Sapphire Blue metallic color
Oatmeal beige leather interior
Brought to Finland from the USA in 2012
Two owners in Finland. Current owner since 2017.
Original manuals and service documents.
Mot/Tüv Inspection valid 03/2025.
36 000 €

The Jaguar XJ-S had big boots to fill when it was introduced as the successor to the E-type in September 1975. The plan was to continue the idea of the E-Type SIII and create a comfortable and luxurious Grand Tourer in a coupé body using the XJ’s baseplate. The body designer was Malcolm Sayer, until he passed away in the middle of the project. Jaguar’s own design department continued Sayer’s work under Doug Thorpe, who tended to retain the characteristic d-pillar support arches of the XJ-S coupé body in terms of aerodynamics.

The XJ-S was introduced with a 5.3-liter V12 injection engine, available with either a four-speed automatic or manual transmission. The energy crisis of the 1970s was not very favorable for the V12-engined GT car in terms of sales figures and, for example, the placement of the injection system caused problems in warm conditions. In the second generation, introduced in 1981, Jaguar continued to develop the V12 engine and in 1983 introduced the 3.6-liter AJ6 inline six engine in connection with the XJ-S.

At the same time, in 1983, the first open version, the XJ-SC, was also introduced. The production of the open body was unparalleled: from Jaguar’s Brown’s Lane, the XJ-S coupé bodies were taken to the Park Sheet Metal Company, where the rear support arches were removed from the body and the open body was stiffened. The convertible returned to Brown’s Lane for body painting and interior installation. Next, the body was taken to the Aston Martin Tickword Bodyworks factory in Bedworth, where an electric fabric roof and headliner were fitted to the body. Finally, the car returned to Brown’s Lane again for the finishing assembly and final testing of the car. Later, after Jaguar became independent, i.e. after 1984, open models were produced in cooperation with Hess & Eisenhardt and Karmann body shops, among others.

By 1989, Jaguar was totally owned by Ford and two years later the next, third generation of the XJS was introduced. At the same time, the name changed from XJ-S to XJS. For the first time, the convertible model was completely open-body, without b-pillars and window frames above the body. The front and rear experienced a facelift, but the biggest changes were under the hood: a new 4-liter engine and ZF’s new 4HP 24E automatic transmission became available.

In 1992, the AJ6 engine became available also for a convertible version and it sold better than the V12 engine in the United States as well.

This 1996 Jaguar XJS Celebration Convertible represents the swan song and technical peak of the XJS’s 21 years of production: the four-liter AJ6 is excellent in terms of reliability.

This example was brought from the USA to Finland in 2012, and it has had two owners in Finland. The car has been sold as new in Lake Elsinore, California to a gentleman named Richard D Manns. The car has been driven 83,000 miles and the car’s original documents, including manuals and maintenance documents, are kept in the owner’s Jaguar folder. The last maintenance was done in September 2023, when the engine oils and filter were changed. The oil and fluid levels have been checked in the spring of 2024.

This Celebration model has the exterior color of Sapphire Blue metallic blue and the interior is Connolly’s Oatmeal beige leather, with the Jaguar emblem of the Celebration model. The fabric roof is dark blue with a heated rear window. The equipment includes, for example, a wood/leather steering wheel, original chrome wheels, air conditioning and cruise control. The radio is still Jaguar’s original one. The car is believed to be in its first original paint, except for the hood, which was painted due to stone impacts. The chassis is rust-protected when the car was imported to Finland. The car has been replaced with XJS round headlights, the original oval-shaped ones are also preserved.

Nice and very original XJS Celebration Convertible ready to enjoy.

The car is located in Vantaa, 25 minutes from Helsinki–Vantaa Airport. Views by appointment.