Rare Targa: 1987 Jaguar XJ-SC – SOLD!
November 10, 2021 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
The Jaguar XJ-S is a known quantity, and while it can sometimes be maligned for reliability woes, it’s also a great starter classic if you buy the right car. The subject car is one of the rarer varieties of this long-lived body style, known as the XJ-SC, which was a limited production Targa-roofed model. This 1987 XJ-SC also features a V12 engine that was originally listed in October 2021 on Craigslist in Wilmington, Delaware with the seller promising you can drive it any distance, all for an asking price of $9,000. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool isn’t a perfect science, as there’s no separate valuation for a Targa model, but the seller’s ask is still fairly close to the valuation for a model in “Good” condition of $9,900.
The MotorWeek Retro Review YouTube Channel provides a vintage look at a very rare manual-equipped 1987 Jaguar XJ hard top:
The decision to take a classic, proven model and add a short-lived option like a targa roof is one I can’t imagine too many bean counters would go along with. The XJ-S, reliability issues notwithstanding, was doing just fine. It had loyal buyers and was still a status symbol regardless of the issues it would become known for after a few years of deferred maintenance. The only other comparison that makes sense in terms of an influence that pushed Jaguar to market a finicky vehicle with a complex roof is the Baur-designed run of BMW 3-Series, predominantly the E21 and E30 chassis cars, that similarly featured the convoluted roof arrangement. Of course, Jaguar would introduce a proper convertible version not long after, which proved much more popular.
It’s not necessarily the car’s fault that it wasn’t more of a hit; production was limited to 500 models, as the seller points out. This example presents well with white bodywork over a sharp navy blue interior. The seller even includes pictures of the Jaguar being used as an autocross car, which would prove there is no limit to the type of vehicle you can use to go racing. The seller doesn’t provide specifics but assures potential buyers of its mechanical integrity, with all necessary maintenance work completed. The Jaguar has 81,502 miles, which is low for the year and indicates it was never likely pressed into daily duty. The seller does specify some recent maintenance, including replacement injectors and radiator hoses and a fresh battery. The targa model is a rare bird and looks like a sensible buy for under $10,000.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Factory original limited edition cabriolet. One of about 500 in USA. Nimbus White/ blue targa tops/ Isis Blue leather interior.
In 1987, the smooth and robust 5.3 liter V-12 made 265 hp and 290 ft-lb of torque, making it faster and more luxurious than a Corvette. Princess Diana owned one of these while other versions won the Cannonball Run and LeMans. It has a reliable GM TH400 3 speed automatic transmission and an independent rear suspension with inboard disc brakes. It was designed to cruise comfortably at 140 mph for as long as you desired.
All the important electrical and mechanical systems have been sorted or repaired. You can confidently drive this car any distance.
Repairs and upgrades:
Replaced injector hoses, radiator hoses.
New tires- Toyo Versado Noir 215/70-HR15
New front and rear KYB shocks, brake pads and seals.
New Sony stereo with USB and Bluetooth. 4 new JBL coax speakers behind factory grills
Hidden JBL self contained subwoofer and amplifier.
New old stock factory correct carpet over-mats.
Includes 2 sets of keys and the extra convertible top with boot cover, would need renovation.”
Do you have a Jaguar XJ-SC story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!