The small-block Chevrolet engine swap is a time-honored way of permanently altering the character of a Jaguar. After all, American reliability with European independent rear suspension sounds like a good combination on paper. However, it’s not the only way to Chevrolet-swap a Jag, as this Jaguar XJS proves. On the outside, it looks like a Group 44 tribute car wearing a set of Camaro alloys. On the inside though, things are a bit different.
Good heavens, what’s happening here? That isn’t fine British leather, that’s glued mouse fur from a 1990s GM product. It seems that someone has scythed away the bodywork of a fourth-generation Camaro and plunked an XJS shell on top. What should we even call this thing? A Jagulet? A Chevuar? A Camuar? A Jagmaro?
Fair play to the builder of this Anglo-American creation, it does seem to be packed with some pretty good stuff. The LT1 engine has received a work-over with a carburetor, 11:1 Wiseco pistons, Eagle H-beam connecting rods, a Comp Cams CC306, LT4 heads, and other go-fast goodies. The speed bits continue as power goes to the ground through a Centerforce twin-plate clutch, a carbon fiber driveshaft, and a 4.11:1 Currie nine-inch rear end.
Although the car’s said to sport subframe connectors, a Global West panhard rod, Bilstein dampers, and Eibach springs, the tires are very non-sporting Goodyear Reliant All-Seasons. Good for a year, am I right? Mind you, skid-happy tires aren’t the least-safe thing about this build. The cheap Tanaka four-point harnesses draped haphazardly over stock Camaro seats are most certainly more frightening. They definitely aren’t SFI-certified and the mounting arrangement likely won’t do a driver’s back any favors.
The Bring A Trailer listing for this thing states that it was built in 2021, so it’s entirely possible this was a pandemic project. If so, kudos for maximizing productivity and minimizing boredom. Speaking of minimizing boredom, just listen to the noises the Jagmaro makes on cold start.
First the fuel pumps chime in louder than most engines, then a brusque roar of V8 Americana come in. It’s not choppy like most hot rods with hot cams, but instead surprisingly smooth, like a shot of Jack after a hot day in the sun. The seller claims that a driving video is on the way and I can’t wait to see how this thing rips down the road. Oh yeah, this whole thing is allegedly road-legal, titled as a Jaguar XJS since that’s what most of the VIN tags are from.
The current high bid for this trailer park staple wearing an aristocratic coat is a mere $3,333 with seven days left to go. While normally I wonder what sort of person would buy a strange build, the high bidder here could be any of us as this thing’s just that cool. Long live the Jagmaro, where strange taste meets nifty execution.
All photos courtesy of the seller
I feel like the only truly successful aspect of the XJ-S was the interior, making this an odd decision. Perhaps it was water or pest damaged.
It needs a cage, seats and belts to tie this all together.
I figure it is almost there other than dialing it in and maybe quieting it down.
Getting it inspected and registered will need creativity and opening the wallet to get someone to turn a blind eye.
It is going to be tough in most jurisdictions I think.
Welcome to Michigan, where you can bolt an LS1 to a milk crate, strap a seat on it with duct tape, and tear-ass down the highway. As long as the title is clear there is no other concerns to register and drive this thing daily.
We scoff at your inspections 😀
Greetings from sunny Florida, where I’ll bet I could get a tag and title in one uneventful trip to the tag office.
I like it, a Jag with reliability and power. And although the Currie rear-end is super strong, the Jag IRS is a thing of beauty and can be made to handle power while also offering superiors ride and control.
Wow. I’ve found me the perfect car. Even my name checks out.
I love this thing. Monstrosities like this are usually not my cup of tea but I would drive the crap out of the Jagmaro
Over the years i’ve come to the conclusion this is the best way to do restomods.
I dream about improving some old car and before you know it i’ve rejected almost every part of the running gear as not good enough.In the end i may as well just put the old body on a new car XD
I learned a bit of tech info a couple of years ago that gave me an idea for the most hilarious body swap I can think of:
There is only a half-inch difference in wheelbase between a Cadillac CTS and a Cadillac Seville “bustleback.”
Oh, how I would love to embarrass people at stoplights in such a machine, preferably while wearing a plaid sportcoat, matching white patent leather belt and shoes, pinky ring, and rose or yellow tinted glasses, while smoking a cigar.
That would be awesome. You’d have to figure out a way to keep the Seville interior though.
If it doesn’t have a quilted velour bench seat, the whole thing is for naught anyway. LOL
I love it. I mean, they missed the boat by not at least swapping out the seats, but it’s still otherwise amazing and awesome.
It is up to 5900 now, but man if I had the cash, I would rock this thing all over Central Alabama.
Dig the Group 44 livery!
Jekyll And Hyde, Together Again!
Great movie reference.
This would be such a highly enjoyable sister car to my ’82 XJS. It’s at least kind of similar in that its drivetrain is from an ’87 IROC Camaro. That one is super quiet, and has the Camaro’s 700R4 auto, so less hot rod – just a more-reliable early 80’s Jaguar for the most part. This Jaaaaag, with the 6-speed, go fast bits, and those delightfully obnoxious-loud side-pipes, looks like so much fun. Wish it was closer!
Opps… mine is an ’82 XJ6, an XJS would’ve been an even more perfect match
Holy crap! You are not kidding about the belts being a danger to your back. I seem to remember that the harness bar should be placed such that the strap angle down from horizontal is a maximum of 15°. I can’t imagine any tech inspector would pass this.
Otherwise, I like it-the ski slope air-entry is inspired, and I like the slight lowering
Well, nobody’s going racing in this thing, so there will be no tech inspector. Ahd if there was, the angle of the belts would be the very least of his concern.
Your back will be fine! Pretty sure that “harness bar” isn’t bolted to anything structural – and possibly using sheet metal screws??
If it’s cheap enough, I’d daily the crap out of this thing. It’s a loveable monstrosity
I hate it. You use a 4th gen Camaro, then go backwards to a carb? You make it look like a Jag, and jettison one of the best parts of a Jag, the interior?
Some people just want to watch the world burn, I guess.
He probably just wanted an XJS that actually ran. (rim shot)
Just keep your eyes open for a Jag wearing a Camaro shell, take the suggestion at the start of the article, and put the Chevy engine back in. Problem solved!
Big swing and a miss on the interior. But the carb? Before there was vtec there was four barrels. Nothing else like it. If tuned right, carbs are perfectly fine. If not tuned right, they add a lot of character.
It’s a small block Chevy, not an LT1. See the distributor on the rear of the intake manifold. LT1 would be on the front timing cover. And if I’m right and those are strut towers under the hood, then the whole donor car was a 3rd gen Camaro, not a 4th gen.