Wheels and tires on an XJS

Here we are, folks, addressing the issue most of us probably have considered which is swapping out our wheels and which tires are best for our pride and joy XJS cars. So for starters lets address those who purchase the stately XJS and then choose to pimp it out with wheels that are large enough to fit an earth-moving caterpillar. You know the ones that are so big and shiny that they could cause the sun total blindness. And if that were not enough, they have the nerve to have some stupid looking attachment that spins while the car is sitting at a traffic light! I would like to state what I would do to teach them a touch of respect for the brand, but I may have to hire a defense attorney if I did! So let's just settle for dropping them off in Siberia in bathing suits.

Now to address what wheels and tires should be placed on our love. First, we must remember a few things, starting with the fact that what was best when new, is no longer the case. For one the original wheels were 15 inches and the tires were Pirelli which was the pump up your muscles and tuck in your stomach as the ladies pass by tires of the time. And that is if you had a stomach to tuck in. Most of us did not have one back then and were tip-top. I left the original wheels on my 87 XJSC but did replace the wheels on my 86 Coupe for the lattice wheels that were fitted from 92 to 94. Now as for my 95 Convertible, I have the 97 XK8 17-inch wheels on that. Therefore, I am not opposed to stepping up a bit in size or even fitting another brand, but tastefully so. I am restoring my 95 now and I am considering placing another set of wheels that Jaguar made as they did make some very attractive wheels in the late 90s and early 2000s, so we have great choices within the brand before looking at other wheels.

You may ask if I would suggest something for you, but that is where I draw the line. I feel that as the owner, you have the right to make your own choice but just remember not to step out so far like the guy who came to my shop in South Carolina with the big wheels described earlier, big gold chains that were so heavy he had to walk with a cart just to carry the weight, a mouth full of gold teeth and proud to show me about 10 K cash following my telling him that I would not service that thing for no amount of money and to please leave the area to avoid frightening the children who would soon be returning to their homes from school.

Now for the tires. The quality of tires has improved greatly since the inception of the XJS and there are several more choices that would perform superior to the original Pirellis or even Michelin. About 15 years ago when I was driving my 95 between homes from South Carolina and Connecticut, I most times drove well over speeds that I now drive. Without admitting to anything, I will say I had to carry many Ben Franklins to pay bonds. Around 2005 I was having my brakes replaced and was introduced to Yokohama and I fell in love with them after one of the 14-hour trips and then replaced the tires on all of our cars with Yokohama, including my three Rolls. Now again I am not endorsing or suggesting anyone purchase Yokohama, but I would suggest you take your XJS to a quality tire shop that has a clean restroom and the guy is not blowing smoke in your face, and describe your style of driving to the tech and see what they can offer. Now what I would also suggest is calling a company such as Tire Rack and again describe your style of driving and see what is available. Now for a big tip, Tire rack is a discount/wholesaler supplier who will have a list of installers near you and will ship the tires to them normally free shipping and they will also tell you what price they normally have an agreement for at such installers. So roll the dice and when you win, buy your baby some new shoes.


  • I had my facelift coupé fitted with reconditioned machine surfaced 16 inch five-spoke sports wheels because i found this combination to be the most handsome. Whereas with my convertible i keep the 15 inch Lattice wirh slightly off-sized 225/60/15 because I find this setup to be the most comfortable.

    Paul Chiang
  • Yokohama. I’ll look in to that brand here in Norway

    Jon Tore Jacobsen

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