Lister Jaguar XJS Is 7-Liters Of Le Mans Ready
Unorthodox beauty: 1989 Lister Jaguar XJ-S Le Mans Convertible.
While cruising through the listings of Bonhams’ upcoming auction coinciding with the Goodwood Festival of Speed, we stumbled upon this. The very last lot of the sale, lot 269, revealed this spectacularly 80s piece of Brit motoring history. This was a Jaguar of the highest order in its day, and remains an amazingly anachronistic wonder today. While it isn’t as fast or as loud as even a V6 F-type, it’s got a whole lot more character. Definitely more so than anything built today, by anyone. This is late 1980s British bombastic, in the best way possible.
What is it?
The Lister Le Mans took more than 6 years to develop, eventually released in 1989, and was intended to commemorate Jaguar’s successes at La Sarthe. The Lister name was a major player in 1950s sports racers, but by the 1980s they were building some of the world’s fastest tuner performance supercars.
Punching Jag’s 5.3-liter V12 out to a whopping 7-liters, the Lister Le Mans allegedly made north of 600 horsepower with the addition of two superchargers. That kind of power was an unfathomable number in the late 1980s. Available as a coupe or a convertible, the car was given a 6-speed manual gearbox, an uprated suspension, wheels, tires, and braking system to handle the high speeds it was now capable of. The aerodynamic bodykit was added to the car not just for the cool factor, but also to aid stability in the car’s new 200+ mile per hour top speed. This car does not have the iconic longer Lister Le Mans-style hood and engine grille delete, because it was deemed to need a grille to feed cooling air to the superchargers.
Now you can have it, but should you?
This particular seven-liter convertible is being offered for sale by its original owner. Though he has not driven the car in years due to a back problem, he loved looking at the car and could not bear to part with it. The Lister has been stored in his garage ever since, regularly started and occasionally serviced over the years, the last occasion being six months ago. There are only 3970 miles on this car, and with all that power under the big cat’s long hood, it certainly deserves to be taken out and thrashed. If you’re a Jag collector, you need this car.