Jaguar XJ6 was one of the most popular luxury and executive saloon cars of its time. By the time it came about in the late 60’s, Jaguar’ s range had expanded into many models, each with different engine and trim options. The engine and running gear was pretty much the same as the earlier models, but the range started with a 2.8 model and then it was the famous 4.2. There was also a more luxurious model by Daimler.
Once the series two came about in 1973 there was a coupé added to the range. A 9,378-car run of two-door XJ coupés with a pillarless hardtop body called the XJ-C was built between 1975 and 1978.
The car was actually launched at the London Motor Show in October 1973, but it subsequently became clear that it was not ready for production, and the economic troubles unfolding in the western world at this time seem to have reduced further any sense of urgency about producing and selling the cars it was reported that problems with window sealing delayed production.
XJ coupés finally started to emerge from Jaguar show-rooms only some two years later. The coupé was based on the short-wheelbase version of the XJ. The coupé’s elongated doors were made out of a lengthened standard XJ front door (the weld seams are clearly visible under the interior panels where two front door shells were grafted together with a single outer skin).
A few XJ-Cs were modified by Lynx Cars and Avon into convertibles with a retractable canvas top, but this was not a factory product. Lynx conversions (16 in total) did benefit from powered tops. Both six and twelve-cylinder models were offered, 6,505 of the former and 1,873 of the latter.
Even with the delay, these cars suffered from water leaks and wind noise. The delayed introduction, the labour-intensive work required by the modified saloon body, the higher price than the four-door car, and the early demise promulgated by the new XJ-S, all ensured a small production run.
All coupés came with a vinyl roof as standard. Since the coupé lacked B-pillars, the roof flexed enough that the paint used by Jaguar at the time would develop cracks.
More modern paints do not suffer such problems, so whenever a coupé is repainted it is viable to remove the vinyl.
Today many XJ-Cs no longer have their vinyl roof, also removing the threat of roof rust. Some owners also modified their XJ-C by changing to Series III bumpers. This lifted the front indicators from under the bumper and provided built in rear fog lights.
A small number of Daimler versions of the XJ-C were made. One prototype Daimler Vanden Plas version XJ-C was also made, however this version never went into production.
All this said about this problematic car, we love it as the shape is and always will remain a classic in our opinion.
A closer look and drive video here.
The race version of the car at Goodwood here.
Click images to enlarge,
Featured image; Mark Vorgers