BUYING GUIDE JAGUAR XJ6 SERIES 1
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
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.