Lot 233 - 1976 12947 Hyper Sport XJS
|Odometer reading||76,440 miles|
|Estimate||£22,000 - £26,000|
Launched in 1975 the Jaguar XJ-S had quite a mountain to climb,
following the hugely popular E-Type. However, in reality, the car
was never envisaged as a direct replacement for the E-Type, being
more of a Grand Tourer. Largely designed by Jaguar's legendary
Malcolm Sayer, the XJ-S had a top speed of 150mph and 0-60 time of
under 8 seconds; it slipped through the air far more efficiently
than the E-Type and its excellent ride, comfort and handling were
justly praised by the motoring press of the time. The car had its
critics, although everyone agreed that as a high speed tourer the
new XJ-S had few rivals, but many agreed that it lacked something
dramatic in its styling and some say that it drove too soft - not
like the proper sports car Jaguar used to be. These shortcomings
were soon picked up by sports car conversion specialists. At the
end of 1984 Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) announced their intention
to build a range of special XJ-S coupés calling them the XJR-S.
Upgrades included body kits, interior kits and modification to
suspension, increased output from the 3.6 and the 5.3 engines along
with a 6L engine. These cars were a private offering without the
backing of Jaguar. However this was to change in 1988 when a new
company, Jaguar Sport, was formed which was a 50/50 split with
Jaguar and TWR. The idea was that cars were part built at the
factory then shipped to the TWR facility in Kidlington, Oxford and
latterly Jaguar Sport at Bloxham, where the custom finish ordered
through Jaguar dealers was added before the finished car was
delivered to that dealer. The XJR-S sold around 300 which was
fairly respectable but, to many, the looks of the car were too tame
and not distinctive enough from the standard XJ-S. This was
addressed by one of the most renowned names in sports car racing
history; Lister. The Lister Jaguar added engine mods and a full
body kit but for some it was felt that there was still room for
Hyper Engineering is owned by Paul Hands and in the best traditions of those before him when it comes to modifying Jaguars, cut his teeth on the race track. In the business of building racing Jaguars for years he began modifying the XJ-S for road use in the late eighties. Body, interior, road wheels and mechanical upgrades were available to transform a standard every day XJ-S into a sleek Hyper XJ-S. The Mk 3 package offered the Mk 2 body kit and in addition wider wings made from high-quality impact-resistant fibre-glass. These bigger wings, 4" wider at the rear and 3" wider at the front, allowed the fitment of very wide wheels and tyres to enhance the look and performance even further. The package also included a unique 3 piece rear boot spoiler and a modification that extended the rear windows rearward, further improving the slick look. Mechanical upgrades were available to the suspension as were a manual 5 or 6 speed gear box or the Hyper drive 'clutchless manual' gear box. Steering, manifold, exhaust 'Hyper brakes' and 'Hyper cool' - oil cooler were also available. The wide bodied Hyper Sport XJ-S Mk 3 was much acclaimed by the motoring press in the early nineties after they tested a purpose built steel bodied press car. Sadly this car, number 001, was written off in the nineties. Only one other steel bodied Hyper Mk 3 was ever built, car number 002, which was to serve as the prototype from which the mouldings were made for the fibreglass wide body versions that were to follow.
JAG 63L was first registered in June 1976. It was then a standard 5.3 V12 XJ-S with one of the last of the factory fitted Jaguar close ratio manual gear boxes, which it retains today. Believed to have first been a demonstrator, the car later went on to be registered by a business man based in Jersey who regularly travelled on German Autobahns. After deciding that he really needed a little more power and a little higher top speed for these journeys, he took JAG63L to Forward Engineering, the company formed in the 60's by Ron Beaty, Jaguar's competition department's experimental engineer for the V12. In the early eighties the 5.3 engine was rebuilt by Forward Engineering and bored out to 6 litres. In 1987 the owner of JAG 63L (then on Jersey plates) traded the car in for a new Lister Jaguar. The car was then acquired from Lister by Paul Hands of Hyper Engineering. Work began on transforming JAG 63L into the steel bodied prototype (002) for the Glass Fibre winged Hyper Sport Mk3. The BLE under bumper body kit was removed and replaced with Hyper sport front dam and rear body kit with provision for front and rear fog lamps. Hyper side skirts were also fitted. Following a design created by Paul which gave a more sweeping rear end that, unlike some of its rivals, was wider at the back than at the front, the wings were carefully and meticulously fashioned from steel to be used to make the mould for the glass fibre wings that were to be offered in the Hyper Sport Mk 3. With the moulds made, JAG 63L, car 002, having completed its task, was laid up in storage for the next few years.
Following the theft and subsequent insurance loss of car 001, Hyper turned its attentions to getting JAG63L on the road with the intentions of presenting it to Jaguar Sport as a prototype. The interior was replaced with magnolia with black piping, leather interior from a much later HE XJR-S 6.0L with new black carpets and TWR steering wheel. Many external trim items such as the front grill and de-chromed items were also replaced. Specially made wheels were fitted, wider at the rear, and that gorgeous three piece rear spoiler. The whole car was then repainted to an extremely high standard in its original Sebring Red. This Hyper Sports Mk3 is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful looking XJ-S's we have seen and comes supplied with a V5 registration document, an MoT test certificate which expires in February 2015, and a file containing some photographs when the car was at Forward Engineering and articles relating to Hyper. This prototype is a stunning looking 'driver's car' and due to its uniqueness and rarity has great investment potential.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.