Cabriolet rear seats

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    • #7973

      just having a discussion on another forum as to whether the rear seats were factory, an option or an aftermarket fit.
      i said i would ask here as im sure people would know for sure

      many thanks


    • #7976
      Laurence Jones

      Hi eddiepanton

      There was only 1 Cabriolet factory fitted with rear seats – Lady Diana’s.

      However, Jaguar dealers provided to their customers the option of having rear seats. These were carried out locally, utilising XJ-S Coupe seats.

      You’ll see lots of different variations of rear seats, depending on what the dealers could obtain as much as anything. There will also be some that the owners of the car at some point in its life retro fitted rear seats.


    • #7988

      thanks lawrence

    • #8239

      Interesting topic. May I ask Laurence whether you have factual information that you base this conclusion – that none left the factory with rear seats fitted?
      Just that over last twenty years I have failed to find a definitive answer!

      My own 1987 Cab has rear seats fitted and previous owners believe they were fitted from new – that could well have been the Dealership though.

      TWR certainly did rear seat conversions on the cabriolet but question is whether that was an aftermarket conversion or under factory authority.
      Would have been a very expensive conversion via Dealership unless there was a ‘factory price’ as rear seat cushions would have been incredibly costly via the parts dept plus labour, fitting seat belts etc

      Obviously Tickford did the early coach work modifications but whether they carried out any rear seat mods as part of production I do not know.

      I know a fellow JEC member who has a cab that was part of a cancelled export batch of LHD cabriolets that were converted to RHD a year later by the factory with rear seats and then sold as new in UK market in 1985. (Again cannot say factory actually did rear seat conversion)

      I don’t suppose Bleasie has any definitive insight on this during his many hours factory record research?

      Be really interested to know as there are actually quite a few XJS-C’s with rear seats, originally I thought mine was unusual!

      Regards, Robin

      • #8241

        Now then Robin
        This question keeps arising & I keep telling the same answer Only one Cabriolet left the factory with rear seats Lady Di was deemed a responsible person so permission was given, Also as the car was being fitted with & still has a hard top the possibility of de capitation was no longer a possibility. A few months ago some one asked the same question on my Face Book GROUP & one of my members on there that I got to know at JDHT & had worked on all 5,013 answered the question “No other Cabriolets left B L with rear seats. So far of all the photographs of conversions none match that of the Diana Cabriolet.

        Regards Bleasie.
        If I am right this must be your Cabriolet, Had difficulty locating “Woodsmoke”

        Photo 940

    • #8251

      Hi John, yes that’s mine – vin 143961 a Dorchester 3.6Man as you know..
      Well that has to be the definitive answer then, I’m sure you would have come across build sheets during your research too if they had been factory fit.

      I’d be interested in any pics of the Lady Diana car rear seats too if anyone has some, as the only rear seat conversions I have seen are similar to mine being coupe spec. rear seat and squab which are a direct fit once the rear plywood cupboards are removed.

      The woodsmoke user ID was just what I used for another forum, maybe I should change it back to a more normal name format..

      Sorry Laurence if I doubted your knowledge!

      • #8259

        Hi Robin Can you fit the hood cover correctly & use the press studs that are on the rear inside the car.? Or are they hidden by the new rear seat ?

    • #8298

      Hi John, not only can I not fit the press studs but there aren’t any! When the rear seat was fitted to mine the rear cabriolet ‘carpet board’ the one with the disclaimer badge was removed and is no longer with the car.
      The seats fit flush at top with the original vinyl rear window parcel shelf board but there is no mechanism to fit the press studs as the leather of rear seat back is now where the studs would be!
      When I bought the car it didn’t come with a hood cover and that’s probably why.

      One of the reasons why I was interested in the Lady Diana 4 seater.

      I’ve looked for the rear board in Rattan over the years but never found one in good enough condition, it’s just a fibre board covered in carpet but it is shaped in 3D so difficult to make properly.
      I do have the correct plywood box and chrome rails in the loft though, if I ever choose to put it back to a 2 seater for originality reasons.

    • #8300
      Laurence Jones

      Hi Robin

      The Lady Diana Cabriolet only ever had the hardtop fitted – never the folding hood. This I understand was for two safety reasons – risk around rear passengers being garotted on the T’Bar if not wearing seatbelts properly, and secondly the safetly of royals from attack.

      I believe that Gerben Haringsma reconstructed the rear board when he was restoring his Cabriolet.


    • #8306
      Jon Scales


      Mine has got rear seats, with the studs and the roof folds down properly!!!! The only issue is that the seat belts are not the traditional standard as per a normal rear seat belt, but an attach and tighten style! Wanting to fit proper ones in the back for the kids and a car seat. Still has a little bit of a parcel shelf.


      • #8491
        Alex Finlay

        I fitted xj-s coupe seats to my cabbie a few years back. With coupe seats the top of the seat back extends slightly above the parcel shelf so small items on the shelf don’t fall off under braking. I’ve seen seats made lower so that the hood studs are available to use but they look a bit odd to me as the seat is back is quite low. Not having the hood fixed down doesn’t make much difference IMO – stationary it sits perfectly, at speed (100kmh) the centre lifts a little but nothing dramatic. My 2 cents worth.

    • #8308
      Laurence Jones

      Hi Jon

      I think it might be worth it if you check under the rear parcel shelf cover piece – you may well find the captive nuts for the rear seatbelts, as per the orignal Coupe configuration.


    • #8311

      Hi Jon, that’s interesting must have a different style rear seat to my ‘std coupe’ cushion ones or a different roof cover maybe.
      My roof folds fine it’s just that the inside roof cover studs are not there as the rear seat squab is!

      Maybe a pic at some time would be most interesting..

      FYI, Mine uses lap belts only in rear, not 3 way inertia style belts.

      Regards, Robin
      PS I don’t suppose Laurence has a cab backboard (squab panel) BBC2260 on the one your breaking, just a thought..

    • #8313
      Jon Scales


      Maybe we can have a look in May when you are over! Currently the Cabbie is tucked up in bed waiting to have a rattle looked at (when gear box engaged) and the Climate Control checked as it was causing a damp patch in the passenger foot well.

      Robin, mine are definitely three point harnesses just an engage and tighten style rather than full inertia belts.


    • #9968
      Mark Thorley

      Hi Robin, here are a few photos of Diana’s XJSC which show the rear seat conversion. Images are extremely rare unfortunately but these under close inspection give a general idea

      Photo 1108
      Photo 1109

      Photo 1110
      Photo 1107

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