XK Restore Princess Diana’s 1987 Jaguar XJ-S V12 Cabriolet
This car was built towards the end of Cabriolet production, and was originally the personal car of Diana, Princess of Wales. Although the Cabriolet was normally offered only as a two-seater, this car was specially fitted with rear seats for the young Princes William and Harry.
The Princess used this car from 1987 to 1991, and it was then acquired by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in return for a contribution to her charity. Princess Diana was the third generation of the Royal family to have chosen Jaguars for personal transport.
The Jaguar chairman John Egan’s assertion that an open XJ-S would make both the company and car appear more glamorous was vindicated when Diana, Princess of Wales, took delivery of her XJ-S cabriolet V12 in 1987. As one of the most glamorous women in the world at the time, and easily the most famous, her choosing a Jaguar was a real boost for the British company.
However, as a two-seater, the cabriolet was not practical for a mother of two young children, so, similar to the final convertibles from the mid-Nineties, her car was fitted with two small rear seats. Other changes that Diana requested Jaguar make to the car included a unique fixed rear hardtop so the two young Princes would not strike their heads on the solid targa roof bar in the event of an accident. The Princess also specified a personalised leather and Harris Tweed seat upholstery, and the American-export four-round-headlight treatment was chosen.
Diana enjoyed driving her Jaguar so much that, as seen in this image from the late Eighties, her protection officer was often relegated to the front passenger seat, with her behind the wheel.
The car was finished in British Racing green to match the Aston Martin V8 Volante that Prince Charles acquired around the same time.
XK Engineering Ltd have recently undertaken some restorative minor repairs to the vehicle to restore it to its’ former glory and preserve this modern icon. Evidence of rust bubbling on the rear valance needed attention and the rear bumper was removed and metal work repaired alongside the bottom of the wheel arches. The whole car was then very sympathetically flattened and polished.
Retaining the old paint and keeping the car in original condition was the key and XK Engineering was able to perfectly ‘preserve’ this iconic vehicle for future generations to enjoy.
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