28 April 2016
1973 Jaguar XJ6 4.2 Series 2 swb automatic
Why We Like It
The first three Series of XJ Jaguars, which ran from 1968 to 1992, still look undervalued given what handsome, standard-setting cars they were. This XJ is quite pricey, but it appears to be in exceptional condition, has had low ownership and covered few miles. Probably worth a look if you want what could be an investment-grade example. The Series 2 isn't the ultimate XJ in the view of the market, and for that reason they are rarer. Despite their slightly more plasticy dashboard detailing we'd happily overlook in the case of this car, whose condition appears outstanding. Find it here on Pistonheads.
What is it?
Jaguar’s most accomplished saloon ever, notable for its mix of sporting handling, outstanding refinement and subtly slinky elegance. This is an early Series 2 4.2 automatic, and rides on the rare and better-proportioned standard wheelbase.
Front ¾ view
Most early XJ collectors prefer the purity of the Series 1, or the later Series 3 with its higher roofline. That has left the Series 2 somewhat overlooked despite its smaller, less stately grille and more complete equipment. This example has covered only 41,000 miles in 43 years, and its condition certainly seems to bear the mileage out – the Greensand paintwork is unmarked, as is the chrome, including the chrome-plated steel wheels, a rare option, especially in this condition.
The single original-equipment door mirror and the Jaguar ‘growler’ sticker in the windscreen are further evidence of a remarkably original car. The number plates look original, and the RAC and AA badges also suggest fastidious ownership. It has only had three custodians to date.
There’s no engine bay shot, but it’s hard to imagine that it’s any less immaculate than the rest of the car.
This shot reveals the perfect proportions of the original standard-wheelbase XJ. Rear legroom obviously isn’t quite as good, but the rear doors are much the same length as the front pair, producing a more balanced-looking car. There are no headrests, as Jaguar boss Sir William Lyons liked it – he believed that you should not be able to see the seats when viewing the car in profile. This 1973 XJ fulfills that wish.
The vendor says that the car has a service history with Jaguar and Jaguar specialists, but doesn’t detail what has been done and with what frequency. But there should be a very fat sheaf of bills with this car, as well as an MoT history that bears out the mileage.
The XJ Series 2 dashboard was not as classy as the very early Series 1’s, with their rows of chrome-ringed instruments and serried rank of rocker switches. But the Series 2 instruments and controls were superior ergonomically, and you also have the benefit of air conditioning, which is all the more desirable given the Connolly leather seats. The seller does not say whether the air conditioning has been updated with modern refrigerant and blows cold, but given the condition (and price) of the car, we would expect it to function.
The interior is remarkable for appearing unworn, even on high-wear areas like the driver’s seat bolsters and the centre console lid, which sees a lot of sliding elbows in an XJ. The wood appears crack-free, and the chrome unscratched.
The lack of cracking and fade on these seats is impressive, and suggests that this car has probably spent a lot of its life in the dark. Drivers used to modern cars will find these seats surprisingly small, but surprisingly comfortable too.
The back-bench looks palatial, and is, but legroom is a bit tight for a car this long. Few will mind in these luxury surroundings, which include electric windows to all four doors, and central locking too. Note the unfaded flock draught-excluder.
Rear 3/4 view
The XJ had a long boot, but it was also shallow. Many owners used to close the lid on bags slightly too tall for the available space, the result being that the forward edge of the lid stood proud of the surrounding sheet metal. There’s none of that with this car, the panel sitting neatly flush. The boot interior appears immaculate.
No details are given about the famous Jaguar toolkit, a small suitcase containing a wide array of weapons that sadly, were often needed back in the day. We doubt that this apparently well-maintained survivor will need them too often, however.
Note the twin fuel fillers at the forward ends of the rear wings – a dashboard button allows you to switch from one to the other, prompting the fuel gauge needle to magically rise.
1973-79 (XJ Series 2)
Make and model:
Jaguar XJ6 4.2 automatic
six cylinder, 4235cc
283 lbs ft
0 - 60mph:
How many left:
470 taxed, 659 SORN (All three Series of XJs)