Brief History of the Jaguar XJS Cabriolet
The Jaguar XJ-S was launched in September 1975 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Germany.
Though it was the replacement for the popular Jaguar E-type, which had Convertibles and Coupes models, the XJ-S was only launched as a Coupe. There was rumours and to concerns at the time that some states in America (potentially including the state of California which was a key market location for Jaguar), was going to ban Convertibles due to safety reasons.
By 1982 Jaguar realised the feared ban wasn’t coming and there was still a strong demand for a convertible version. However Jaguar weren’t ready to design and produce a full convertible, and elected instead for a Targa Top XJS Cabriolet, formally the XJ-SC Cabriolet. Coded internally at Jaguar as XJ57, the 3.6 litre XJ-SC was launched 28th June 1982, alongside the release of the new 3.6 version of the XJS Coupe.
Initially each Jaguar XJ-SC Cabriolet car was effectively produced from a near complete XJ-S coupe in a manufacturing processes where the majority of the car having been constructed at the ex- Pressed Steel Fisher Plant in Castle Bromwich, without their roof or rear header panels, was then taken across to Park Sheet Metal Company Ltd in Coventry to be finished off as a Cabriolet. The cars came across complete with the Coupe’s XJS Flying buttresses, which had to literally be cut off and replaced with new wing tops. Circa 100 were produced this way, with the production of the remaining 4,913 concentrated end-to-end at the Browns Lane site.
The Jaguar XJ-SC Cabriolet had Targa panels over the driver and passenger area, with a fabric roof that could be folded down at the rear (manually). There was also an accessory available, which enabled the owner to remove the fabric roof and replace it with a hard top – which was complete with heated glass rear window.
A total of 5,013 XJS Cabriolets were produced, in 3.6 litre straight six and 5.3 litre V12 versions, manual and automatic, left and right hand drive combinations.
International Cabriolet Register
John Bleasdale (Bleasie) has, as at 2017, spent some 27 years working on getting the International Cabriolet Register to where it is today, 20 years building it up and a further 7 years maintaining the information within it. This work has been undertaken with a lot of hard work and commitment, with the assistance of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust (JDHT). This has all been done with the approval of Jaguar Cars.
He created the JAGICR website, and along the way recruited members and owners Bryan Thomas (UK), followed by Stephen Tebben (USA) and then Helge Alm (Norway) who are constantly on the look out for Cabriolets never before been seen.
With their continued assistance the Register continues and in January 2017 the ICR has found a new home as part of this XJS Soft Tops website.
Owners of Jaguar XJ-SC Cabriolets can register their vehicle’s information as part of their Profile, and in turn John and Bryan will share with the owner any background history of the car they have, covering details as to when it was manufactured (which is different to when it was registered for the road) and any previous owner details they have on file.