Thursday, 17th June 2021

This Month's Magazine

A Vintage Jewel

Now that the Jaguar XJ series is being rolled out, it's time to pay homage to the car's heritage, for the senior Jaguars can rightly lay claim to being the world's most beautiful sedans.

Jaguar first revealed the XJ6 Series I to the public in 1968 and its design has its genes in the pen of Jaguar creator Sir William Lyons.

It had the exterior and interior elegance of a Rolls-Royce on a sporting suspension, powered by a LeMans-winning, twin-overhead-cam, inline six. Refinement was everywhere yet the price was a mere fraction of what you'd pay for a Roller.

To quote England's Classic and Sports Car magazine, "the XJ's striking profile set a template for every Jaguar saloon that followed. Jag sedans were noted for combining a smooth, silent ride and excellent road holding in a manner that no automaker has yet to match.


When British Leyland took over the company, along with several other historic makes, the corporate ineptitude combined with an ongoing war against intransigent unions, almost destroyed Jaguar's name. The cars produced during that period suffered from severe quality problems, which gave Jaguar a reputation for inferior cars.

It was the Series III that brought the company back to life, with BL out of the way and Jaguar back in good hands. Management recognised that a redesign was necessary and Pininfarina was given the job of recreating the XJ without ignoring its genes. The Series III is the most beautiful XJ of all Jaguars.

For collectors a Series III is a safe buy, even though it is too new to be called a classic. On the other hand, a car so close in concept to the original must be a classic in its own right. 

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