How far is too far
Okay, let’s talk about this topic that tends to get so heated that the opposing parties in such a subject of maintaining an XJS as all original tend to lead to a declaration of war! Lightly modified due to the lack of original parts where you may have no choice but to purchase aftermarket parts or, personal preference where you may perform an engine swap to a Chevy or some other racing seats, color change, radios, wheels as long as they are not taller than the whole car. And so-called performance exhaust that is so loud that they set off car alarms, home invasion alerts, make all dogs Howell, children cry, so guys, please calm down your testosterone level and chill out! You don’t have to whip it out, we will take your word for it.
And please be respectful. It’s a Jaguar for goodness sake! and lastly, the horns from a bull on the hood as some people have placed on cars in the past. Now you all can take a moment to google bull horns on a car, but first, you may want to take something for motion sickness to keep what food is in you where it belongs and I also urge you to please consult your doctor if you have a history of heart attack or stroke.
Okay everybody is back from the rocky horror show? Fantastic! You all survived.
So here is the skinny on what modifications you may safely perform and avoid an arrest by the Jaguar police who have increased the punishment for XJS violations from 50 lashes to 100. And the reason I mention these in this list is that they can be very easily reversed considering the increased value in the XJS and will make a difference at the point of sale should you choose.
- Radio. You may like a modern radio that can make a cup of coffee for your morning commute but do keep the original.
- Wheels. Jaguar has a nice selection to choose from other models. I bought my 95 Convertible in 2004 with the 17-inch wheels from the 97 XK8 and they look great but I am considering replacing them with some later multi-spoke wheels. Do keep the originals if you do this. But please do us all a favor and please do not put any wheels on that are taller than a five-year-old.
- Seats. I will go out on a limb, a big thick one of course, by saying that most of us would agree that Jaguar did a nice job designing XJS seats for the period, but some of you may like to install some race looking seats with 50 straps and harnesses for your normal local trips to the home improvement center and to show off at your in-laws family gatherings. But do keep the originals
- Engine air intakes. This is something that many like to do to enhance performance. It is an easy upgrade but please do keep the originals if you do not live in a shoebox.
This is as far as I will go as it addresses the reasonable modifications and anything else you are on your own. So you may ask how far is too far? Well, let me say that if you attend a Jaguar event and people walk over whispering as they approach then walk away in silence while shaking their heads, then you will know.