By on January 27, 2020

1987 Jaguar XJ6 in California junkyard, LH front view - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
Jaguar built the Series III Jaguar XJ for the 1979 through 1992 model years, and so I’ve been seeing these cars in the big self-service vehicle graveyards since, well, the middle 1980s. They still show up in such yards to this day, as long-neglected project cars get swept up in yard- and driveway-clearance projects, but I’ll only document those that are particularly interesting.

A very clean British Racing Green XJ6 from the last model year for the Series III’s straight-six engine certainly qualifies, so here we go!

1987 Jaguar XJ6 in California junkyard, hood license plate frame - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsAs we can see from the tags on the sliced-off California license plate (I found this car in a San Francisco Bay Area yard), Barry’s ’87 Jag was a driver not so long ago. My first guess for the junkyardization of Barry’s Jag is that something expensive failed in the electrical system and Barry decided to cut his losses. My second guess: Barry couldn’t get the car to pass California’s draconian emissions testing (probably due to the aforementioned electrical system causing some sensor or solenoid to behave erratically) and he decided to cut his losses. Third guess is just an accumulation of unpaid parking tickets and the visit from a tow truck not summoned by Barry.

1987 Jaguar XJ6 in California junkyard, engine - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsYou could still buy a Series III XJ after the 1987 model year, but only with a V12 engine. Jaguar put plenty of sixes in the subsequent XJs, of course.

1987 Jaguar XJ6 in California junkyard, interior - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThis interior is damn near perfect, aside from a bit of lacquer cracking on the wood paneling. I hope some Bay Area XJ owner grabbed the seats and door panels out of this car prior to its date with the cold steel jaws of The Crusher.

1987 Jaguar XJ6 in California junkyard, odometer - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsNot many miles on it. Barry really babied his ’87.


Great deals on used Jags!

Want to see more than 1,800 additional Junkyard Finds? Head to The Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™!

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

49 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1987 Jaguar XJ6...”


  • avatar
    dividebytube

    that interior… lovely!

    These were some of the classiest cars ever made; I’ve been tempted by the vintage Jaguar siren call but so far I’ve resisted.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Barry’S Jag” lasted a lot longer then it had any right to. Barry should consider himself lucky

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    It’s crazy that someone went through the hassle of cutting off the license plate from the top area rather than getting a Phillips screwdriver and removing the screws.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Yeah, I don’t get that either.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Interesting observation. Anybody got a clue why? Makes no sense to me.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        One guess- maybe the screw heads are stripped and the screws are too hard to turn. It still seems like it would be easier to get an EZ-out and come back to finish the job than to bend the license plate back and forth a hundred times until the metal tears.

        My other guess is maybe there are captive nuts on the other side of the metal skin but one or the other spins when you turn the screw.

        Who knows…

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          Another way to get a stripped screw released is with a small chisel and a hammer applied to perimeter of the screw.

          Phillips head retaining screws for brake discs respond particularly well to this treatment.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Maybe a vanity plate the last owner didn’t want to go to the junkyard ?

        It certainly is lovely .

        -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Mike Beranek

      Boneyards do not bother with surgical tools like screwdrivers. A sawz-all is the go-to tool for everything.
      Check out “Junkyard Empire” on Motor Trend TV. They used saw-alls to remove all of the catalytic converters for their platinum, but were burning though expensive saw blades. So they bought a tool from Homaltro (the jaws-of-life guys), a pneumatically-powered snipping tool that not only costs less (over time) but cuts the exhaust pipe in about a second.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Isn’t 120K incredible for a Series III Jaguar? I think its pretty impressive for an XJ40 let alone one of these.

    • 0 avatar

      I had a Series III XJ with over 200K on it, formerly owned by the president of the Jaguar Club of North America, so it was in decent mechanical shape, well, for an ’80s Jaguar.

      I still think the Series III XJ is the best looking sedan ever made.

      Most of the reliability problems are electrical. The XK six is very durable.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    I wonder if this Jag once belonged to Barry Weiss of the tv show Storage wars, he is a character to behold and loves cars, check some of these out! Barry Weiss’s new Beatnik Custom Hot Rod by Gary Chopit – https://www.celebritycarsblog.com/celebrity/barry-weiss/

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Somewhere, some unsophisticated cretin would probably want to “drop” a Chevy 350 in this fine automobile.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Hey, I *am* that cretin.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Nah, a Buick 400 would be more like it. Those were actually common at one time (Buick 400 with a Turbo 400).

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Not a 350, an all aluminum LS. Yeah baby!

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      There is a reason so many SBCs end up in Jags. They are better engines, and are a fraction of the cost of repairing/rebuilding a tired Jag mill!

      https://jagsthatrun.com

      • 0 avatar
        EGSE

        “There is a reason so many SBCs end up in Jags.”

        Amen. A manager at work had a SBC dropped into his XJ6. He said it made it a better all-around car and eliminated a bottomless pit of sorrows to keep it on the road.

        That interior though is gorgeous!

      • 0 avatar
        millmech

        After a week or so of trying to get the head off of one of these, thoughts about a Chevy, or ANYTHING ELSE* becomes tempting.
        *No, not the V12.

    • 0 avatar
      PentastarPride

      The Chevy 350 is probably why all the older Jaguars are still a going concern rather than moss-covered lawn ornaments or reincarnated LG/Samsung refrigerators.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Somewhat on topic, this is a good series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHO1rKobYms

      I’m enough of a purist (and hoarder) to hope that the Jaguar I6 would go on a shelf for future repair and reinstallation, but I wouldn’t begrudge someone’s doing a clean, reversible installation of a Chevy Small Block. My opinion is colored – perhaps unfairly to Jaguar – by my parents’ owning one of this car’s competitors or near-competitors, an E28. My father often commented that it would have been a perfect car if if had Japanese wiring and an American engine.

      Nice to hear that the transplant did in fact work for EGSE’s colleague. I feel like if I did something like that, I’d be exchanging one set of problems for a different one. (Actually, it’s interesting to see that the JagsThatRun site also sells a kit for Chevy S-10 V8 conversions. My uncle, a professional mechanic, did one of those in the mid-’90s.)

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Since we’re talking about truly sullying this stately old boy, how about a Ford Coyote motor out of a wrecked Mustang GT? That would be wicked scary, to both the operator and the general public. More consistent with history given Ford’s involvement in Jaguar too.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I’ll file this under the great forgetting but 120k was a lot of miles for a car from 1987. This was the tail end of the 100k was an milestone of considerable note era.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Lovely car, and it’s a damn shame Barry got it crushed.

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    These were so cheap when slightly broken 18 years ago that I got 2 for $1,100 and the parts I sold made for a break-even on the whole package when the better one hit the road with a new paint job.
    There are somewhere around 85 hose clamps under the hood and I am still using them from the parts car.

  • avatar
    sco

    About 5 years ago I drove my barely running, blown head gasket ’96 Civic to just such a junkyard to collect my $500 and be done. I was walking out the door with my check and up pulls a jag just like this one, also destined for the crusher. I very seriously thought about just giving my check to the Jag owner, you know, cut out the middle man, and driving the Jag home, in essence trading my barely running Civic for a “luxury” Jaguar.

    I didnt do it, but I wonder how my life might have changed.

  • avatar
    Boff

    My mother’s late companion had one of a similar vintage (he was a not-posh English chap and I think owning a Jag – any Jag – was a lifelong quest for many of them). What I remember most is how comically cramped the interior was from the driver’s seat. I’ve never had a tighter squeeze in any car since, including my Miata.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Has anybody ever tried putting a slant-6/Torqueflite into one, with a Dodge Dart wiring harness?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      See I always wanted to do a GM Atlas I-6 of Trailblazer fame. 275 hp with truck torque curve. That would be a worthy replacement for one that had originally had an I-6.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        @ PrincipalDan – Huge, huge grain of salt as I’ve only driven the I5, but I don’t find the Atlases very “trucky” in their output. Per Wikipedia, peak power for the 6 is at 6,000 rpm and peak torque is at 3,600 rpm. My parents’ I5-powered Colorado downshifts a lot more often on hills than their 4.3-powered S-10 did. (Same transmission, I believe, although the I5 is also hauling around a good deal more truck.)

        Downshifts notwithstanding, I like the engine and think either the I5 or I6 would’ve done nicely in a RWD sedan. Port-injected, DOHC, VVT, 24-valve I6 hits a nice technological sweet spot, IMO. Especially when it comes without a German price of entry or reliability worries. (Parents’ I5 Atlas is running perfectly at 15 years and ~120,000 miles with just fluid and filter changes.)

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          @Featherston, in our current era that is a truck torque curve. ;-)

          If GM had replaced the old Vortec 4.3 V6 with the Atlas I’d have bought a GM 1/2 ton instead of an F150 with 4.6 V8.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            “in our current era that is a truck torque curve” I don’t disagree. :-)

            Now the 4.3 in the S-10, *that* was a trucky engine. If memory serves, theirs was a ’94 and the last model year for a non-balance-shaft-equipped 4.3 – rough and definitely didn’t like to rev. It was torquey and reliable, though. Yea, TBI!

            Balance shafts are one of my favorite bits of engineering witchcraft. When scribes complain about NVH–which, let’s face it, is usually based on doing a cylinder count and then factoring in their preconceptions of a given brand–I’m like, “Um, you need to drive something with an actual rough engine.” Both the I5 in my parents’ truck and the 2.0T I4 in their CUV are smooth in an absolute sense, even if they fall short relative to a good 6 or 8. On today’s market, unbalanced baby I4s–I haven’t driven any 21st-century I3s–are really the only shaky engines, and even that’s mostly if you’re in drive at a red light. They’re usually pretty decent when the vehicle is in motion.

    • 0 avatar
      millmech

      How about some Ozzy Chrysler 6? It would even sit upright!

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      A Slant 6 including the funky ballast resistor to imitate the original Lucas experience! :D

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        A couple years ago a third rate charity auction place I frequent had a pre smog Jaguar with a Chevy 230 C.I.D. i6 engine and TH350 slush box tranny, the entire care was pretty scruffy but I knew it’d be dead bang simple to stuff in a 250 and make it a fun road car, sadly they never auctioned it, this happens constantly there, usually with the nice cars or decent Motocycles .

        A slant 6 would be great too ! .

        -Nate

  • avatar
    peeryog

    This is a piker’s car. If you really wanted understated class, you bought a Rover P5B

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Grab this now and set it aside for an EV conversion several years from now.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Davekaybsc: Very much this. The I-Pace seems to indicate that Jag has gotten the memo that their interiors suck....
  • Lorenzo: At the end of WW2 Italy was broke and its infrastructure destroyed. In 1950 the Italian Lira was 620 to the...
  • akear: She is more concerned about PSA taking over FCA and making this new company larger than GM. She created this...
  • akear: Barra is interested in appeasing Wall Street and has little interest in quality. You need to look no further...
  • Lorenzo: It might be too late for that. Barra may see the tough stance as something personal, a way to burnish her...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber