The XJ6 marked a new start for Jaguar, yet for years this land­mark ma­chine has been in the dol­drums. But the first of the breed is a great car that’s in­creas­ingly col­lectible

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - WORDS Richard Dredge PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Magic Car Pics

In­creas­ingly col­lectible and as loved as ever, here's how to get your­self a good one.

Good enough to be crowned CAR mag­a­zine’s Car of the Year in 1969, the XJ6 marked the start of a new era for Jaguar when it ar­rived in Oc­to­ber 1968 to re­place the S-type, 420, 420G and 240/340. While this one-model pol­icy could have dec­i­mated Jaguar’s sales, it did the op­po­site, with the new car in­stantly mak­ing its pre­de­ces­sors look dated. Al­though the older gen­er­a­tion was hardly lack­ing in lux­ury, the new XJ6 raised the bar to a level that most of its ri­vals never re­ally matched.

De­spite the XJ’s as­ton­ish­ing range and depth of tal­ent, much was car­ried over from the older mod­els, in­clud­ing six-cylin­der en­gines, rear sus­pen­sion and trans­mis­sions from the XK. In 1969, a Daim­ler ver­sion was in­tro­duced, badged as a Sov­er­eign and iden­ti­cal to the XJ6 in ev­ery way apart from the name. In 1974, the Se­ries II re­placed the Se­ries I af­ter more than 98,000 ex­am­ples had been pro­duced.

To­day, if you can fifind a good Se­ries 1 you’ll be re­warded with one of the most re­lax­ing driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ences avail­able any­where. Nowhere is the old adage of ‘Grace, Space and Pace’ more ap­pli­ca­ble than here; all three are of­fered in abun­dance. Prices have started to climb sharply for the few re­ally good cars that are left, but it’s the usual story of hav­ing to dig deep for one of th­ese (if you can even fifind one) – it will in­vari­ably cost less in the long term than if you were to buy a pro­ject and re­vive it prop­erly.

The trou­ble with projects is that the bills can quickly ac­cu­mu­late; the bodywork is costly to re­vive, while the trim can also be alarm­ingly ex­pen­sive to sort. How­ever, at least most mi­nor me­chan­i­cal mal­adies are rel­a­tively easy and cheap to fix, es­pe­cially if you can do the work your­self. You’ll spend more prop­erly restor­ing an XJ than an equiv­a­lent-con­di­tion E-type, yet the fifin­ished item will be worth far less, which is one rea­son why most peo­ple take the E-type route. Prob­lem is, those aren’t much good for fam­ily mo­tor­ing, whereas the XJ is more com­fort­able than any­thing else at just about any price.

OUR VER­DICT Years of low val­ues have led to many Se­ries 1s be­ing ne­glected or bro­ken for parts, which is why you’ll have your work cut out fifind­ing a good one. But with few clas­sics of­fer­ing the same level of lux­ury and ar­guably none able to match the XJ6 for com­fort, it’s worth tak­ing your time to fifind some­thing re­ally good.

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