XJ6 & XJ12 Series I, II & III 1968-1992

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Old 04-12-2019, 06:02 PM
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Jaguar 'Greatest Hits' XJ: Geneva 2018

Matt Bird posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 in British cars

How to celebrate half a century of XJs? With the maiden voyage of a one-off project...

We all know Jaguar likes to mark a special occasion fairly extravagantly, and with this year being the 50th anniversary of the XJ we have very high hopes. Kicking things off in inimitable fashion is this, the 'Greatest Hits' XJ, a collaboration between Jaguar Classic and Nicko McBrain.

Yes, that's Michael Henry 'Nicko' McBrain of Iron Maiden, a lifelong Jag man and a big XJ advocate. In the press bumf he describes it as his "favourite of all Jaguars"; having owned two previous to this one, he's pretty well qualified to proffer judgement.

Once upon a time, this was a 1984 XJ6 4.2; however, after 3,500 man hours and the reworking (or replacement) of more than 4,000 parts, it now represents McBrain's vision of a dream XJ. The bumpers front and rear are new, incorporated into new wings with bespoke chromework. The wire wheels are 18-inch diameter, nestled into new flared arches and wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tyres. The suspension is all new, the Mauve paint is new, the sills are new... a lot is new. Note as well the LED headlights, the XJ Series 2 door handles and the recessed twin fuel fillers; the latter will probably be quite handy with the 4.2 straight-six using three carbs from an E-Type...

The interior is a fascinating mix of the traditional and the modern, with up-do-date nav and 1100w sound system incorporated into a design mostly familiar from that era of XJ. The Pimento red leather and the level of fit and finish might not be so familiar, but you get the point. The wood is 'Dark Grey stained Sycamore', because that's the material McBrain uses on his snare drums, and the rotary controls on the dash are meant to look like the controls for a Marshall amp.

In addition, the XJ's usability has been further improved by the introduction of "uprated" (see: functioning) air-con, remote central locking, additional sound deadening, a retrimmed interior with new seat foam and even a reversing camera. Let's hope it gets some use, then...

"I'm so excited by its completion... it really is a Greatest Hits edition to me and it defines what the Jaguar XJ is all about" said McBrain, describing it as a "credit to the craftsmanship of the Jaguar Classic team." JLR Classic's director Tim Hannig added that the process had been "extraordinarily rewarding" and is said to be looking forward to hearing the reaction...

So, what do you make of it? A unique and interesting one-off take on a classic Jag? Or one more resto-mod project that should have been left on the drawing board? For what it's worth, Jaguar Classic, we'd love an XJ-C with the naughtiest V12 you can make - we'll talk about the commission when our numbers come up...

The following 5 users liked this post by sanchez:
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:06 PM
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I like the twin pipes in the rear. I may look into copying that.
I like the color, nice and dark as an Xj6 should be.
I'm not a fan of this type headlight, especially when meeting them at night. I drive a Lot at night.

Nice job on the new enlarged fender flares. Yes, Very nice indeed! So nice in fact, the 18 inch wheels don't look bad at all! Unlike some hack jobs I've seen trying to achieve the same effect but succeeding poorly.

I'm intrigued at the trouble taken to make this car look outwardly like a Series 2 with a few Series 3 bits added. (Like I've never seen that done). In my view, he's taken the best of both series. Well Done! Of course, one can do just about anything if one throws enough cubic money at it. Just sayin'.

The interior: Even though I'm a strong a proponent of Individual Choice, and as much as I like RED and BLACK, even together, this is how I imagine the Fourier of a Chinese brothel might look.

Last edited by LnrB; 04-13-2019 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:07 PM
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Very, very nice rendition. Thanks for sharing.

As to the pipes. Supposedly, Jaguar put the curl in to move the "smoke: away and not enter the cabin. Or merely a style thing. I've seen pictures of very early cars with the tis coming out straight.

They do look good here. At one time, and perhaps still, "twin tips" were available.
Oddly, decades ago, my 57 F100 had a pair out the side in front of the rear wheel. An effort to quieten the pipes!!

And, later, the beat up 71 Mustang, I sought to rescue. Tired 302, but healthy set of pipes ending in twin tips!!! Not at all quiet...

Is it not foyer, or is that French!!!

Decades ago, I had an assignment to determine the ACV of an elderly Cadillac,
70's as I recall. A very ornate coupe de Vile. Inherited from a parishioner by a young Catholic Priest ! I inspected at the rectory. My comment was similar as to the wood, etched alloy and red velour interior. The young Priest responded, "but neither of usa has ever seen one !". For sure!!!

Carl .
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