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Jaguar XJ5.3C Automatic


Jaguar XJ5.3C Auto – Factory Black (PDE/373) – 1977 – road test miles only since restoration – 7 owners – some history – restored as new


A quite simply magnificent, better than brand new Jaguar XJ5.3C restored regardless of cost in its original Black paintwork and biscuit full leather interior.

Purchased with the sole intention of producing a nut and bolt concourse rebuild, SOE 1S presented as a good starting point being a complete and original car albeit with the usual 70s built Jaguar issues of rust, rot and badly maintained engine and mechanics.

Having undergone a complete and exhaustive restoration at Miles Classic, taking over 3 years and costing over six figures, this beautiful car has now covered the requisite 100 miles of road testing for us to be able to claim it as faultless.  With no item left unattended to, this has to be one of the very best examples of this wonderful and appreciating classic anywhere in the UK and indeed the world.

Specified to remain as close to original equipment as possible, with just one or two sensible unseen improvements, SE 1S presents today as if holding pride of place in a prestigious 1970s Jaguar main dealer showroom.

Having been completely stripped, the body-shell was media blasted and hand cleaned to bare metal. Some 500 hours of panel work was then spent tackling every sign of rust, rot, dent or dink – cutting out and replacing any corroded or damaged bodywork with bespoke made or available panels.  Amongst items replaced were inner and outer sills, floor pans, front cross member, fuel tank closing panels, front and rear valance.  Once the metalwork was complete, many more hours were spent fitting, shaping and re-fitting panels and trim to ensure excellent lines and gaps.  Following a multi-stage process of painting using the Novol classic car paint system, the mirror finish black paintwork emerged better than it left Browns Lane in 1977.

At the same time the bodywork was being perfected, the interior was being fully re-trimmed in Bridge of Weir soft biscuit leather.

The mighty V12 didn’t miss out either.  Removed and stripped, it was rebuilt from scratch with new pistons and rings, new con rods and bearings, it had new timing gear, a new oil pump and water pump. The head was skimmed and new valves, valve guides, springs and seals were fitted. The ignition system was uprated, all fuel and air delivery parts exchanged or reconditioned, new fuel injectors fitted and all components either cleaned off and repainted or plated and passivated as per original finish.  Mated to the engine, the gearbox was sent for specialist reconditioning.


Front and rear sub-frames were removed and underwent complete reconditioning and any serviceable item was replaced and uprated as required.  All bearings and bushes were uprated.  Suspension, brakes, diff, prop shaft were reconditioned or replaced to as new.

The steering system was reconditioned and renewed, the fuel system was reconditioned and had new fuel tanks as well as pumps and change over valves, the chrome-work was re-chromed, the headlights and tail lights are as new.

Fitting the freshly trimmed seats, the interior was treated to a brand new dashboard, all clocks and switches were reconditioned, the headlining replaced, the front and rear header rails replaced, the cant rails were replaced, the door cards were replaced and re-trimmed to match the seats as well as the centre console – a new carpet was fitted over the already generous sound deadening material.  The steering wheel was reconditioned.

Putting the car back together, all new screen, side window, scraper and door seals were fitted.  Care and attention was given to the refit of all components and sub-assemblies to ensure everything was fitted perfectly, worked properly and presented beautifully.

Enjoying the luxurious and classic surroundings of sitting in the car as driver or passenger does something to prepare you for the experience of travelling in this effortless Coupe, but not everything.  It is still somewhat of a surprise to feel the turbine like power, smoothly delivered via the unhurried auto box.  Before you know it, you are gliding along at legal limits, suspension wafting you calmly down the road to your destination.  Expert fitting of the side windows, means you only get a slight wind noise from the pillar-less design, but given the limitations of the then Jaguar engineering this is a very quiet Coupe.  Brakes are progressive and effective, steering direct and responsive and unless you really think about it, you could be mistaken for thinking you are in a recent model high value saloon.


There is so much more that could be said about this uncompromising restoration, but put simply, SOE 1S is a brand new Jaguar XJ5.3C.  If you are looking for a brand new Jaguar XJ5.3C, this is the car for you.