XJ6 ap­pren­tice

Classic Cars (UK) - - Letters - John Datchens

Your ar­ti­cle on the lovely old XJ6 (Three Lyons, Jan­uary 2018) took me back more than 45 years in an in­stant. As a young sales trainee with Henlys at the Jaguar Cen­tre in Hen­don I was then at the grease mon­key stage, work­ing along­side a me­chanic and learn­ing what made Jags tick much like an ap­pren­tice would do.

One day I was sent to check on a non-starter that had been trail­ered in, ex­pect­ing the usual faulty AED (choke) de­vice. I wasn’t pre­pared for the sight in the engine bay!

I was pre­sented with a row of pis­tons, two of which had ‘eyes’ or large holes star­ing back at me. Yes, it was a 2.8 and the owner (Dun­lop as I re­call) had put it through its work­shop ex­pect­ing a blown cylin­der head gas­ket. I be­lieve this was the first sign we’d had of the ma­jor prob­lems to come.

What a car the XJ6 was though. I was for­tu­nate to drive all mod­els up to 1975, in­clud­ing the XJ12, and apart from a host of mi­nor nig­gles (the col­lapsed brake servo hose was a par­tic­u­larly scary one), it was a quite serene car to drive.

Re­gret­tably, the fuel cri­sis came along and we went from a £50 de­posit se­cur­ing a place on the wait­ing list of up to a year to ‘which colour would you like sir?’

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