Lister’s 1985 Jaguar XJ-S Boasts Killer Bodywork & a Bored-Out 7-Liter V12

Photo: Nicholas Mee

A prolific name in British motorsports during the mid-20th century, Lister has also become known for its Jaguar restorations over the years. Since 1986, following the purchase of the company by Laurence Pearce, the Cambridge-based manufacturer has churned out some highly impressive and ambitious examples — such as the 1985 Jaguar XJ-S HE MkIII Cabriolet that we have for sale here today.

Starting in 1987, upon acquisition, Lister did a serious overhaul of this 1985 Jaguar XJ-S in which it fitted its own bodywork, suspension kit, steering wheel, custom sport exhaust system, 3-piece wheels, and coachlines with Lister logos, in addition to the fitment of the Getrag 5-speed manual gearbox. Two years later, the car got an even bigger upgrade. Lister bored out the stock 5.3-liter engine up to 7.0 liters, enabling the V12 to produce 496hp and 510ft-lbs of torque—a major bump from the notoriously underpowered original’s sub-300hp stock output.

In 2012, a new owner spent ~$130,000 to restore the chassis and commissioned a team of XJ-S specialists to give the car a mechanical overhaul, which included replacing the sills, front and rear inner wheel arches, frontal chassis members, and trunk floor. The body was then re-painted in the stunning high-gloss black that you see today. A new engine control unit and bespoke engine management system were also installed, providing an additional 60hp to this beast of a Jag.

Even more impressively, this ‘85 Jaguar XJ-S HE MkIII cabriolet — believed to be the first MkIII cabriolet by Lister — has not even managed to accumulate 10,000 miles in total, with less than 2,000 tacked on since its last major restoration. It’s currently being sold by Aston Martin dealer Nicholas Mee for £125,000 (~$164,000) and is located in the United Kingdom.

Purchase: $164,000

Photo: Nicholas Mee
Photo: Nicholas Mee
Photo: Nicholas Mee