The rise of the XJ-S has been predicted more often than the England football team’s chances of success at a major tournament, with similarly disappointing results. But with something like 115,000 built during a 21-year run they have been victims of their own success. Aided by so many being used as second cars – so not wearing out – there were more about than the classic market wanted, which of course suppressed values.
But time and corrosion has been working on that, and maybe this time the stirrings we are seeing are for real. After all, they’re good to drive and make the right statement.
Two recent results for cars with unexceptional 70,000-odd mileages highlight our point. Silverstone Auctions offered a 1990 V12 convertible in dead-right Bordeaux Red, which might have had five owners, but none had skimped on its upkeep. The £16,920 it made was roughly 15 per cent above market expectations.
Historics weighed in a week later with a late six-pot coupé, a 1995 4.0 Celebration – the popular runout model. It was nice, but with that mileage and a so-so history would have been £12k last year. The £14,280 paid looks significant.