The Jaguar XJ. The legacy that the new British exclusive sport sedan was allocated was not tender. A whole range of models was sooner or later retired by the newcomer. Under the auspices of Sir William Lyons, a car came into being that enchanted in many ways. And sometimes the owners and waiting buyers were very concerned. Today, the Jaguar XJ is, in any case, a car that has conquered a place in the dream garage of many classic enthusiasts.
In September 1968 the XJ6 Series 1 appeared in public. For Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons, the development of the XJ was his last trick. And that became a work of art, a sculpture that would include replacing the Mark 2, its derivatives, the S Type and the Mark X. The new XJ6 was immediately enchanted by its lines and its luxurious equipment. The exterior design in particular turned out to be a masterpiece. It cast its shadow ahead well into the previous decade, because the lines of the primeval XJ were still visible in the X350.
Technic. Existing and tested
Jaguar technically elaborated on existing and proven values. The XK engines found their way to the XJ6 Series 1. The buyer could choose between an 2.8 liter engine and the 4.2 engine. The former power source did little to the perspective of the XJ Series 1. Cooling and timing problems often led to engine damage. In addition, the 2.8 competed against German and Italian competitors in comparative tests. The 4.2 engine was noticeably trouble-free, and was known for its beautiful running and power development. The (thirsty) engines could be linked to manual gearboxes (four gears or four gears with overdrive) and three-speed Borg Warner automatic. The equipment was rich. The beautiful Smiths gauges adorned the opulent dashboard and the furniture was covered with leather. Air conditioning was optional and power steering was standard (except on the 2.8 base).
The Daimler Sovereign became available from October 1969, and was based on the XJ6 Series 1. The Daimler versions are distinguished by an even higher degree of luxury. Furthermore, the Daimler was recognizable by the ribbed grille, and an overdrive was fitted as standard on the versions with a manual gearbox. Technically, the family members were otherwise equal.
The XJ6 Series 1 and the Daimler Sovereign were also equipped with the Independent Rear Suspension. Jaguar had already made a name for it. Differential, brakes, support arms and drive shafts formed a compact whole. The housing was attached to the body, and therefore the non-sprung weight was low. It gave the Jaguar XJ - just like a number of predecessors - a nice row of characteristics. It was well received by the British and international press.
The XJ6 was not only well received by the press. Clients also knew what to do with the Jaguar, and waiting lists for the newcomer were soon created. It forced the manufacturer to be less careful with quality controls. It was the introductory reflections on discontent in the workplace. Meanwhile, Jaguar developed the XJ Series 1. Family expansion was introduced in 1972. In terms of bodywork, the existing range was joined by the Long Wheel Base versions, which could be ordered in combination with the XJ6 4.2 and the Daimler Sovereign 4.2. The range also grew from a motor point of view. The 5.3 liter V12 engine from the E-Type also found a place in the XJ, and in the badge enginered Daimler Double Six. Initially, Jaguar had also thought about a V8 engine, but in the end it was decided to abandon this option.
Jaguar - or rather British Leyland - was ready to storm the exclusive sky with the twelve cylindered XJ. Strikes (also at suppliers) and mismanagement obscured the manufacturer's perspective within this upmarket. But the Jaguar XJ12 also gained fame for its formidable driving characteristics and great engine performance. And its sublime summit of 225 kilometers per hour. On the other hand there was an absurd fuel consumption and maintenance sensitivity. Cooling and ignition problems, in particular, sometimes wanted to turn up at this power source. In addition, the three-stage Borg Warner automatic transmission had every difficulty with the force field that the immense block developed.
End of Series 1
In 1973, the Series 1 was replaced by the Series 2. Partly as a result of American provisions, the car received changes. He got a different front, among other things. And profile could of course still be recognized in the Series 2. And it was also covered with that beautiful silhouette. The design - with the low passenger compartment, the elegant design elements and the solid-looking waist - formed a beautiful whole, and the technology was good in certain respects (1 engine, chassis). These principles ensure that the XJ is still held in high regard by the enthusiast.
Also unintentionally exclusive
Finally, Jaguar managed to build 82.126 copies of the XJ Series 1. That production number could have been considerably higher, were it not for the economic unrest and strikes that the planned year sales of the Series 1 were never realized. That is also one of the reasons that the beautiful XJ Series 1 remained exclusive.