FOR SALE: Jaguar XJS 5.3HE Press Car

FOR SALE: The Original Jaguar XJS HE press car

Jaguar XJS 5.3HE Press Car RDU 921W


Jaguar XJS 5.3HE Press Car


Year: 1981

Engine: 5.3 litre V12 HE

Transmission: Automatic

Mileage: 97,000


Colour: Cobalt Blue (metallic)

Trim: Biscuit leather

Previous Owners: 2

MoT expiry: September 2016


Jaguar XJS 5.3HE Press Cars Jaguar Cars 5.3HE press car fleet


An opportunity to own one of the most important and famous XJS HE cars
This XJS HE is the first of the original Jaguar Cars’ launch vehicles for the HE model. She was registered on 15th May 1981 and formed part of a small fleet of HE test cars. She is the only known survivor – and she is known as ‘Betty’ at home!

She appeared in a number of features, artworks and road tests during her time at Browns Lane including the front cover of the US’ biggest selling fortnightly magazine ‘Autoweek’ in November 1981. She has recently featured twice in ‘Jaguar Enthusiast’ magazine. (Copies available with the car, of course).

Jaguar Cars sold her in February 1984 through the dealer in Ayr, Scotland, to a Mr Christie who owned her until I bought her a year ago from his son. So there are just two previous owners since new.

When I bought her, she had been off the road for twenty years or so and was partly dismantled in anticipation of a respray – which was never actually done – but other works including new rear suspension clearly have been done.

So far, she has just been reassembled, she has got an MOT and she starts and runs absolutely fine but she should be considered a ‘rolling restoration’ as we have not done any detailed check on all her mechanical operations and components. (I suspect, for example, that the power steering rack needs a refurbishment since it seems to have consumed its fluid – but not dropped it on the garage floor – so is storing it in the bellows like a hamster with its nuts!). The headlining, for another example, also needs attention.

She was very honoured to lead the XJS timeline at the JEC Bodelwydden Castle 40 years celebration last September. Further details on this can be found here:

Jaguar XJS Timeline

Jaguar XJS 5.3HE Press Car RDU 921W

Seen here at Bodelwydden – September 2015


She stands on a set of beautifully refurbished starfish alloys (which need the grey finishing to make them completely ‘as was’) along with a brand new set of Continental tyres. The spare wheel is pretty much ‘as new’ anyway.

Still to do, apart from the respray, is the return of her gold side pinstripe; she would be the first XJS to have this feature but it was removed as part of the respray preparations. Happily, the Autoweek press feature shows the stripe quite clearly so it will be easy to return it to original specification.

She is only for sale because we (a chum and I who own her) have been offered an irresistible chance of an E type and so we simply will not have the space to keep her.

This creates a big opportunity for someone and you are welcome to visit to look her over any time.


Jaguar XJS 5.3HE Press Car RDU 921W


We are looking for offers around £5,000

For more information, or to arrange a viewing, please contact Graham Michelli  on  07990 526 660  or email