16th Mar 2023
Auction Highlight: 1988 Jaguar XJR-S TWR Le Mans Celebration
by Collecting Cars
The Jaguar marque has garnered worldwide renown for producing some of the most beautiful sports cars ever built, which have offered buyers an irresistible blend of performance, comfort, and effortless class.
Like many of the most successful manufacturers, Jaguar boasts an impressive motorsport pedigree, which has helped to lend further credence to its road-going performance cars over the decades. The company's racing success stemmed from major triumphs throughout the 1950s, particularly in the Le Mans 24 Hours, with the iconic C-Type and D-Type racers. These early successes were followed in the 1980s when a successful partnership emerged with Tom Walkinshaw’s TWR racing group.
The Jaguar XJ-S took to the spotlight, and swiftly began to collect silverware. With the added engineering expertise of the TWR group to hone it, the XJ-S won the European Touring Car Championship in 1984 and the Bathurst 1000 in 1985. By the mid-1980s TWR was developing V12-engined Group C cars for the World Sports Prototype Championship, with the sensational Jaguar XJR racers going on to win Le Mans in 1988 and 1990.
In concert with this racing success, a dedicated high-performance car business was launched called JaguarSport, which was jointly owned by Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR). Its signature product was the XJR-S, and in June 2020 an outstanding example of the exceptionally rare Le Mans Celebration version found a new owner through Collecting Cars.
This Jaguar XJR-S TWR Le Mans Celebration was number 54 of just 100 examples produced, which commemorated the marque’s triumph in the 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans. Taking the standard XJ-S coupe as the basis, TWR added an aerodynamic body kit and rear spoiler, unique alloy wheels, and uprated suspension with stiffer coil springs and Bilstein shock absorbers.
Originally purchased from TWR Jaguar Limited in Leamington Spa in 1988, this XJR-S was specified in Silver Blue with black and blue parallel coachlines. Inside, the cabin was trimmed in sumptuous Oatmeal Connolly Autolux leather upholstery with light grey piping, and handsome burr walnut veneer trim.
This example was enjoyed on the road for just two years before it was put into climate-controlled storage, emerging in 2015 following a recommissioning service. The car was offered for sale by its second owner from new, and the odometer showed just 2,400 miles. Given the limited usage and high-quality storage, the car was presented in outstanding, almost as-new condition inside and out, and was secured by its new keeper with a winning bid of £40,000.
Limited-edition models that are well-documented and well-presented like this superb Jaguar XJR-S can make attention-grabbing auction consignments, as enthusiasts compete to secure a model that appears so infrequently on the open market. If you have an impressive and sought-after car that needs a new home, then speak to our Consignment Team today.