• 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard
  • 1977 Jaguar XJ-S with Chevrolet engine
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
The Jaguar XJ-S was big, powerful, swanky, and expensive, just the sort of luxury coupe a high-roller in the late 1970s craved. Unfortunately, these temperamental cars needed plenty of regular maintenance, and many of them suffered from neglect once they left the hands of their original owners. I see plenty of V12 Jaguars during my junkyard journeys, but it still gives me a twinge of sadness when I see another one parked among the ordinary Jettas and Grand Vitaras in the import-cars section of a big self-service wrecking yard. Here's a forlorn-looking, V8-swapped '77 in a San Francisco Bay Area yard.

1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard

Chevrolet small-block V8 swaps were very common with the Jaguar XJs of the 1960s and 1970s, since an ordinary 350 would make power similar to that of the 326-cubic-inch V12 and parts obtainment was much easier.

1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard

Still, swapping in a reliable-if-oil-leaky Detroit V8 didn't solve all the Jag's reliability woes: the Prince of Darkness retained a powerful grip on this car's soul.

1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard

The patina on this car suggests decades spent forgotten in an outdoor storage area somewhere.

1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard

There's a AAA map of California from the 1980s inside.

1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard

This car listed for $20,250 when new. That's about $87,500 in inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars, but still $5,000 cheaper in 1977 dollars than a new Mercedes-Benz 450SLC (and a grand more expensive than a new Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham).

1977 Jaguar XJ-S in California wrecking yard

Nobody in their right mind would have been willing to pay to restore this car, but we can hope that it provides some good parts to Jaguars that are still on the road.

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