This Jaguar XJ-SC portrayed the late Princess Diana's Cabriolet in The Crown

This Jaguar XJ-SC portrayed the late Princess Diana's Cabriolet in The Crown

1987 Jaguar XJ-SC 3.6-Litre Cabriolet Registration no. FJI 8723 Chassis no. SAJJNACC7CA144433

Estimate: £15,000 - £20,000

 

The car offered here portrayed the late Princess Diana's personal Jaguar XJ-S Cabriolet in The Crown. Jaguar's first response to demands for an open-top XJ-S was somewhat conservative in engineering terms; the XJ-S had not been designed with an open version in mind, so a Targa-style arrangement was adopted, which retained a substantial roll hoop in the interests of maintaining rigidity in the absence of a fixed roof. Two removable roof panels were stored in the boot, and the Cabriolet did away with the Coupé's two occasional rear seats in favour of a pair of luggage lockers topped by a parcel shelf.

 

Essentially an exercise in niche marketing to test public reaction, the XJ-S Cabriolet's production was entrusted to outside specialist contractors, with bodyshells being transported back and forth across the Midlands before returning to the Brown's Lane factory prior to final despatch. The favourable response to the Cabriolet having demonstrated that there was indeed sufficient demand to justify production of an open XJ-S, Jaguar grasped the nettle and proceeded to develop a conventional full convertible. Cabriolet production had totalled 5,013 cars when the model was withdrawn in 1988.

 

Diana's own XJ-S Cabriolet was the V12-engined version, whereas this car has the considerably more economical 3.6-litre AJ6 inline six under the bonnet. As per the original 'Diana' car, it also has the US-specification headlights and rear seats, the latter were installed in Diana's example for the young Princes William and Harry. The Princess used her XJ-S from 1987 until 1991.

 

A manual transmission model originally finished in blue, this XJ-S was repainted green to match the Princess's car (the blue paintwork is still visible beneath the bonnet and in the boot). The car comes with a good history file relating to its life before The Crown. Understood to have been recently serviced, it passed its most recent MoT test on 29th August 2023 at 83,029 miles, with advisories on the front brake discs. The car has not been driven since the test.


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