Forget the XF Sportbrake, Buy This Rare 1984 Jaguar XJ-S Lynx Eventer Station Wagon
V12 engine? Check. Wood and leather? Check. Style for decades? Check.
Against all odds, America has once again been blessed with a beautiful British station wagon in the form of the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake. But if you'd like to stand out further, consider something even more obscure like this 1-of-67 1984 Jaguar XJ-S Lynx Eventer shooting brake conversion that's due to cross the auction block at Bonhams in Monaco on Friday.
The Jaguar XJ-S ran for over two decades at the close of the 20th century as the company's flagship car. With its sleek body and unnecessarily complex V12 engine, it was everything a grand touring car should be—except spacious. That long hood, low cabin, and short trunk left little room for rear-seat passengers and the luggage required for a nice long road trip, which is where a scrappy coach builder called Lynx came into the picture.
Lynx started out in 1973 building replicas of old Jaguar race cars and moved into the conversion business after developing the first XJ-S convertible, another hole in the Jaguar factory lineup. But as the manufacturer began developing its own droptop, Lynx moved on to building these stunning XJ-S station wagons, and the world was better for it.
According to Hemmings, the engineers at Lynx tried to stay as faithful as possible to the spirit of the original Malcolm Sayer design. The $10,500, three-month conversion process involved adding a new long roof and custom tailgate, moving the rear seats and fuel tank, and reworking the suspension. It all added up to an eminently usable wagon with a six-foot-long cargo deck when the back seats were folded flat. The lack of rear side doors might be a deal breaker for some, though that's what makes it a classic shooting brake.
Lynx offered the Eventer from 1983 to 1999, extending the option to used XJ-S models once the car went out of production in 1996. This 1984 model hails from early in the production run, number 20 of the estimated 67 Lynx Eventers built. It does have over 70,000 miles on the clock—fitting for a GT car—but it's been the subject of two restorations, one in 1999 and another in 2010. More intriguingly for those in America, it's also been professionally converted to left-hand drive.
When that V12 is working right, the XJ-S remains a smooth, luxurious cruiser that carries itself with that quintessential old Jaguar stateliness. Adding more space can only make things better. So this or a new XF Sportbrake? The XJ-S Lynx Eventer is expected to sell for around $100,000 on Friday, so the new wagon might actually be a better deal than its 70,000-mile ancestor. But can you really put a price on panache?