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Would You Rather: Would You Go For The Traditional Camaro Or The SBC-Swapped Jaguar XJS?

Would You Rather: Would You Go For The Traditional Camaro Or The SBC-Swapped Jaguar XJS?

Two doors, long hoods, short tails, designs that have aged rather well, even if they aren’t the pinnacle year for the model, and a small-block Chevrolet 350 of some sort under the hood. Today’s Would You Rather choices are a lot more alike than you’d first guess. Both should scratch the itch for something fun and useful, neither are too valuable to use on the daily if you’re so inclined. That means you should be parking them next to the manager’s Mercedes C-class every chance you get. The question is which one really does it for you?

1. 1989 Jaguar XJS

The Jaguar XJS was already long in the tooth by 1989, and it still had seven years to go before it would be replaced, but really…is that so bad when the car looks like it does? They looked wicked in touring car and sports car racing, hooked legions of fans as a star car The New Avengers and Return of The Saint, and were often on posters, sharing limelight with Porsches, Ferraris, and Mercedes-Benzes as the late 1980s dream car choice GT coupe. The problems with the XJS pretty much lay under the hood. Small-block swapping a Jaguar seems to have it’s own cottage industry, and while purists will bark and bitch about a Chevrolet engine, it is a damn sight easier to work on and tune up than the 5.3L V-12 this car originally came with.

2. 1976 Chevrolet Camaro

It’s like someone saw me coming a mile away: a mid-second generation Camaro, on wide and wider slot mags and Mickey Thompson Indy Profile tires, a very slight rake in the back, and a small block under the hood. Camaros like this used to be a dime a dozen…now, seeing one that has made it through the years without being cut up into a Pro Touring monster or molested into looking like a 1970-73 version, or left to die out in a field somewhere is a nice change of pace. We’re sure it could use a horsepower boost and maybe some mild cleanup work but we’d have to leave those mags on it for accuracy’s sake.

Do you pick the car that will look like you’re speculating classics or the car that looks like you’re reliving your late 1970s high school fun? Let us know in the comments below!

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8 thoughts on “Would You Rather: Would You Go For The Traditional Camaro Or The SBC-Swapped Jaguar XJS?

  1. chevy hatin' mad geordie

    Neither obviously!

    One is a piece of Chevy shit and the other is a fine British classic car polluted by an SBC. It amazes me how narrow minded fans of “Just put a Chevy motor in everything” are – Jaguar actually made a number of V8s including hot blown versions that would fit straight into the XJS complete with their transmissions,

    But that would require using brain power….

    1. nada

      So why don’t YOU offer the gazillion owners of clapped out Jags the money to buy Jag V8:s, so they don’t have to go for the far more economical choice?

      Oh yeah, that’s right – you spent your welfare check buying cheap beer at the local Aldi.

  2. Greg

    Camaro. I loved those ever since Buford Pusser beat the hell out of Stud Pardee’s Camaro in Walking Tall part 2.

  3. bill

    friend in Maryland runs a buick 455 in his. goes low 10’s. getting hard to find real people with real minds that don’t think(choke) chevy all the time.

  4. David Sanborn

    XJS pleeez! They’re really aging gracefully, those flying buttresses are epic. I’m engine agnostic so it’s really about what fits best and provides the most go – power versus reliability. SBC is often the logical answer depending on front engine cradle and steering rack issues.

  5. Whelk

    In one of the eps of Top Gear America they had an XJS with a SBC swap that seemed to work really well. I’ve wanted to acquire one and LS swap it ever since. You could probably find a Jag V8 for it, but really they aren’t nearly as good.

  6. Matt Cramer

    I’ve wanted an XJS for a while – and wouldn’t kick it out of my garage for having a Chevy swap. I’d be tempted to run a blower through the hood to give it a combination of Old World sophistication with raw brutality, like a Bond villain on wheels.

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