the jaguar xj6c: the ultimate coup

“the xj6c, the rare collectible classic, remains one of, if not the best value for money classic cars available today.”

if there is one car to own before you die it is the jaguar xj6c sports coupe. it is so extremely well proportioned i could call it one of my most favorite cars. its not as famous as the classic e-type series I, II, or II but for me its a lesser appreciated child who is just as smart and handsome. a silver with a black roof will do me just fine. be prepared to change the entire engine, electrical system but otherwise your set to cruise in style.

some history on the xjc: “the xjc is a two door version of the xj6 four door. it was the last jaguar car to be designed and built by sir william lyons. in 1969, he took a reject 2.8 litre rhd xj6 body shell (to become #1 prototype) and fashioned it into the xjc. it was tried with both 4.2 and 5.3 engines with both versions becoming known as xj33 or xj34, depending on which engine was fitted at the time. this number one prototype was supposed to be scrapped but somehow it escaped the crushers. after spending a few years in england it has been fully restored and now resides in western australia.

there was a total of only 10,426 cars produced

the jaguar public would have to wait 4 more years before production xjcs could be seen. they were first shown in september of 1973 at the London motor shows but they had to wait a total of 6 years (1975) for the first production model. prior to going into production about 20 prototypes were hand built in a combination of rhd and lhd. 1973 was the busiest year with 14 of these hand built specials being produced, 8 in lhd and 6 in rhd. the two door coupe is based on the shorter wheelbase xj series l platform. without the central window pillars the coupe body suffered from two main problems, these being structural rigidity and severe wind noise. the widening and strengthening of the rear window pillar overcame the rigidity problem.

daimler sovereign and the daimler double six

when the xj coupes arrived, they were clearly meant to be the sporty version of the xj models. in the uk, europe, south africa, new zealand and australia they were offered in four versions: jaguar 4.2c; jaguar 5.3c; daimler sovereign and the daimler double six. in the north american market, xjc’s were only offered in two forms and were badged as the jaguar xj6c and jaguar xj12c. daimler xjcs were never imported into the us. another basic difference between the two markets was the bumper bars. north america had large rubber bumper bars to comply with crash regulations, whilst the rest of the world had the full chrome bumpers. in the uk market, air conditioning and a manual transmission were optional, as were the choice of leather or cloth seats. all coupes were equipped with a black vinyl roof as standard equipment, except for the one that was specially produced for jaguars andrew whyte. the actual reason for the standard vinyl roof was not clear, but contrary to urban legend it was not because there was a welded seam in the roof!

most likely it was because the marketing folks insisted on it, as vinyl roofs were the flavor of the month in the automotive industry at that time. whatever the case, many present day owners have chosen to remove this feature. sadly the production of the xjc was all too short. after commencement in 1975 the last of these great vehicles rolled off the line in november 1977. the final 96 coupes were actually badged as 1978 cars – for whatever reason is anybody’s guess. the xjc was a victim of the times and was never really given the attention or backing it deserved. paradoxically this has helped the xjc to become the rare collectible classic it is today, although prices have never reached the dizzy heights achieved by the e type. it remains one of, if not the best value for money classic cars available today. to this day, the xjc is jaguars only two-door fixed head coupe saloon.”  by dd