Which Modern Classic Would You Pick?

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1996 Jaguar XJS

A tough choice: XJS faces off against an XK8.

Today on Jaguar Forums, we’re going to try something a little different. Let’s say you hit the lottery, a scratch-off. A modest jackpot, but a decent chunk of change nonetheless. You decide that you’re going to blow it all in one shot, with a trip to Palm Springs, California, and all of the drop-top Jaguar goodness ten grand can buy.

Browsing local for-sale listings, you find a dealer, Auto Desert, in nearby Palm Desert. They don’t have a Jaguar convertible, they have two. So which do you choose?

1996 Jaguar XJS

First up is a 1996 Jaguar XJS convertible, pretty close to the end of the line for XJS production. It’s resplendent in a bright red hue that will fit right in here in Palm Springs, but likely draw some attention back home. The chrome wheels and trim certainly add to the allure.

The classic XJS shape pulls it off with style and grace, which is no small feat for a twenty-year-old car in bright red and chrome. Many of its contemporaries would look downright gaudy by comparison.

1996 Jaguar XJS

It wears its scant 61,000 miles well, showing very little wear even inside. This Jaguar was clearly well-fed during its life, and it would look great in the garage back home.

1998 Jaguar XK8

However, there’s another option: two years newer, with similarly low mileage, is a black over tan XK8, the XJS’ replacement. With a much more curvaceous and attention-getting shape, this design finally brought Jaguar into the ’90s and beyond.

1998 Jaguar XK8

Visually, it shares an unmistakable lineage with the Jaguar sports cars that came before and since, and its more modern design just might keep it looking close to current for another few years. Plus, of course, the unmistakable catlike growl of the 4.0-liter V8.

1998 Jaguar XK8

So, which will it be: the last of the XJS, with the classic Jaguar inline six, or the first of the XK series, with a V8 rumble? Let us know in the comments!

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Longtime motorcyclist and automotive journalist Cam Vanderhorst is a regular contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum and MB World, among others.

When he's not busy working on his Harley-Davidson bike, the vastly experienced writer has covered an array of features, reviews, how-tos, op-eds and news stories for Internet Brands' Auto Group and is also a co-founder and co-host of the popular podcast Cammed & Tubbed.

Check him out on Instagram at: Camvanderhorst.

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