This 1987 Jaguar XJ-S V12 convertible is one of less than 2,000
specially modified Hess & Eisenhardt conversions. Convertibles had
been attacked as unsafe for years (remember how the '76 Cadillac
Eldorado was to be America's last convertible?), and threatened
with extinction. Jaguar succumbed to fear and played it safe,
designing the XJ-S as a coupe only. But the ban was a bluff, and
Jaguar needed convertibles, fast!
Enter Ohio based Hess & Eisenhardt Coachbuilders. Hess & Eisenhardt had built special vehicles for presidents, kings, and queens, and now, Jaguar. According to a Jaguar website, "The Hess & Eisenhardt convertibles have two separate fuel tanks, positioned to allow for the roof to fully retract. The process of converting the stock Jaguar XJ-S Coupe into the H&E Convertible included the post-production removal of the roof, cutting the body in several sections, the addition of steel reinforcements behind the driver's seat, and 20 pound weights placed just behind the headlights to eliminate harmonic resonance caused by the significant modifications to the car. H&E XJ-S convertibles are identified by two small badges located just behind the front wheels."
Top up, it's challenging to distinguish the H&E convertible from the convertible Jaguar produced later. Top down, however, the H&E convertible is sleeker because the unpadded top folds completely into the body, leaving a long, smooth line. It's arguably one of the best looking Jags out there.
The Hess & Eisenhardt Jaguar XJ-S convertibles originated as factory-built coupes, and retain the original mechanicals. This includes the 5.3-liter V-12 engine, and a three-speed GM TH400 automatic transmission. Four wheel power disc brakes scrub the speed, and independent double wishbone suspension up front, with lower transverse wishbones out back, handle the bumps.
Inside, this car shows a nice soft patina, with a few blemishes on the leather and in the dash. The car has A/C, cruise control, variable speed wipers, power steering, power windows, power locks, remote mirrors, and a trip computer. In all, with the barest sprucing, you can have a rare, great looking Jaguar to drive and enjoy.
Call Art & Speed today at (901) 850-0507.
5.3 liter aluminum v12
Dual throttle bodies
3 speed auto transmission
Coil springs front and rear
Independent front suspension
Independent rear suspension
Front sway bar
215/70/15 front 215/70/15 rear Bridgestone Turanza
Front disk brakes/ rear disk brakes
(NDJ) Nimbus White base/clear finish in beautiful condition
Lights work as the should
Chrome in good condition showing minimal signs of aging
Top works as is should with no tears or rips showing minimal aging
(ADE) Biscuit leather seats, showing some patina for its age
Arm rest showing signs of wear.
Burl walnut over lay in good condition with a few small imperfections.
Carpet shows little wear with expected discoloration in the normal wear spots under foot.
Gauges are clear and in working condition
Center mounted digital trip computer is in working condition with a clear display