1983 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6 Litre Coupé A329 KHP
This particular car is an early five-speed, manual 3.6 litre version of the XJ-S Coupé which was a company demonstrator, used by a number of police forces, including the Metropolitan Police and Warwickshire Constabulary who used it for speed enforcement as part of their M6 Motorway patrol department. An XJ-S was an ideal car for high speed patrol and motorway use, but its luggage carrying capacity was somewhat limited.
The XJ-S was launched in September 1975. Rather than a replacement for the E-type sports car, it was the company’s first model in the international Grand Touring class, competing with the finest cars on offer from German and Italian manufacturers. The original V12 coupé cost £8,900 at launch, but within four years the price had almost doubled.
The new model was built on a shortened floorpan from the XJ saloon range, and the suspension and other chassis parts were also similar. It therefore had the same unique combination of refinement, comfort and handling as other Jaguars, developed by chief engineer Bob Knight. The engine was the, by now well-proven, 5.3 litre V12, which developed 285 bhp, and top speed was around 153 mph (246 km/h), with fuel economy around 15-20 mpg.
Although the styling was controversial, the XJ-S was the last car to show the influence of Sir William Lyons and Malcolm Sayer, the designer and aerodynamicist who had shaped the C, D and E-types. The ‘flying buttresses’ could be traced back to an earlier, stillborn, project for a mid-engined road car. Due to the concern felt about new safety requirements in the USA, the XJ-S was designed only as a closed car, although open cabriolet and convertible models were to follow later.
The demand for a more overtly sporting version of the XJ-S was eventually met when, in 1983, Jaguar launched the new AJ6 3.6 litre six-cylinder engine in the model, and at the same time began to offer the alternative cabriolet body style with removable roof panels. The 3.6 litre engine developed 225 bhp, and gave the car a top speed of 141 mph (227 km/h), at a list price of £19,248. With the new engine, Jaguar also offered a manual five-speed gearbox, supplied by Getrag.
Having served as a demonstrator with a number of police forces this car was returned to Jaguar and passed over to the Trust for safe-keeping. The Trust continued to use it throughout recent years taking it to club events and completing demonstration laps of the circuit at Coventry Motofest, complete with blues and twos, much to the delight of the crowds.
During 2021 some rust was noted in the floor panels, which on further investigation was much than surface rust and our technician at the time described it as being made from ‘self-lightening material’. The interior was stripped out and the car sent to XK Engineering to have the floor panels replaced, some other surface rust on the body rectified and the car was re-painted.
We decided to replace its fairly anonymous yellow stripe with the correct livery from its time with the Metropolitan Police. Fortunately our records included details of the correct pantone colours for the blue, orange and red stripes and we were able to borrow a period correct Metropolitan Police Crest transfer which we had copied in modern hard wearing vinyl.
Registration Mark: A329 KHP
Chassis Number: SAJJNAEC7CC113729
Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust
Inventory Number: 083/J.40
Price when new: Standard car £19,248
Price: 164 Weeks Average Wage