Five Tips on How to Keep Your Vintage Jaguar XJ6 in Mint Condition
The XJ is Jaguar's line of flagship, full-size, luxury cars that was first released in 1968. As one of the first XJs, the Jaguar XJ6 took pride in having the input of the Jaguar Cars founder, Sir William Lyons. If you're among the lucky ones to still have this model in your collection, you have to go the extra mile just to keep it in tiptop shape. Yes, you can't find an XJ6 in every collector's garage, so take good care of yours, and it sure will last even longer than you expect. Here are some tips to help you up:
While you aren't really expected to whoosh down the freeway with your several-decade-old car, you still have to drive gently, and go easy on your car. This doesn't mean that you have to baby it; you just have to avoid some practices you've been used to doing when you're driving a new car. Since your XJ6 already has hundreds and thousands of miles on it, its components may no longer be capable of bearing the extra stress that will be bought by jerky and aggressive driving, going over potholes, speeding on interstates, shifting improperly, and other bad driving habits.
Whether you're still driving your XJ6 occasionally or you're just keeping it in your garage for a show off, you have to keep it clean and always ready to wow onlookers. Much like your newer cars, also give your XJ6 a regular car wash. After wiping it dry, protect the paint with the right kind of wax, and make it look as glossy as new by providing it with the right polish.
If you reside in a state where winter is characterized by thick snow and salt-covered pavements, rustproofing your car is a must even if you're just storing it in a covered garage throughout the snowy months. Your Jaguar's underbody components and chassis are the ones that should be mainly protected against rust-causing elements. There are rustproofing kits or packages out there that you can use in your car to keep it from the rust and corrosion caused by the winter season. You can also consult your manual for the rustproofing method that's applicable on each component. Alternatively, you can have the rustproofing done professionally.
No matter how careful you are, the parts of your car will wear out due to regular use. There are also many factors that can cause them to breakdown prematurely. If you've been maintaining your XJ6 for a few decades now, then you sure know how it feels to be shocked by your car repair bills. The older your car, the more expensive it is to repair and maintain because of the limited availability of replacement parts. To avoid passing up on maintenance checks and part replacement due to their skyrocketing costs, you better save up and keep a fund for the repairs or maintenance needs of your Jaguar XJ6.
- Be on the lookout for signs of damage.
In any case, it always pays to be alert. This is also true for your car. You can save the life of your XJ6's important systems and components by being aware of the early warning signs of automotive problems. Don't ignore anything strange about your car, be it unusual noise, scratches, surface rust, vibration, and other signs.
The Last and the First: The Jaguar XJ6 Series
Power, beauty, and elegance are words that could describe jaguar cats as well as the automobiles created by a British company named after them. In the Swinging Sixties, this manufacturer decided to streamline its sedans to its ultimate model, the XJ6.
1968-1972: The last Jaguar sedan
By the mid-1960s it had become apparent to Jaguar that it had too many model variants and that certifying all of them for the impending safety and emissions tests in the United States would be extremely expensive. The company decided to incorporate many aspects of the Jaguar’s previous sedans–namely the MK2, S-Type, 420, and 420G models–into just one car.
Sir William Lyons, the company’s co-founder, styled the XJ6 himself as a final masterpiece before his retirement. Its sleek shape incorporated a pair of fuel tanks at the side of the trunk, and an additional noise-reducing bulkhead between the engine and passenger compartments. When the XJ6 debuted in 1968, the press lauded it “the most beautiful car in the world.”
Because Jaguar intended the XJ6 to be the ultimate sedan, it gave buyers the option to choose between a 2.8-liter or a 4.2-liter engine based on the straight-six XK. The company also incorporated the ultra-smooth suspension and drivetrain from the 420G?components that were advanced for its time.
A year after its first release, Jaguar added Daimler variants of the XJ6, such as the Double-Six, Sovereign, and Double Six Varden Plas. These were essentially the same as the original, but with Daimler grilles and higher equipment levels.
In 1972, the company transformed the XJ6 into a new model it called the XJ12 by adding a different engine and longer wheelbase. Thus, the XJ6 became the first of a series of Jaguar flagship sedans with X-numberings.
1973-1979: The refining of the XJ6 Series II
Jaguar introduced a second series of the XJ6 in 1973 in an attempt to improve on a classic and meet American crash safety regulations,. This new model had a raised front bumper with a discrete inlet added underneath to compensate for its smaller grilles.
The company would continue changing the Series II throughout its time. A year after first releasing two wheelbase options, it stopped offering the four-inch shorter variant. Originally offering only a 5.3-liter V12 or a 4.2-liter I-6 Series II engine, Jaguar added a 3.4-liter XK-based option in 1975. However, despite all these changes, the Series II became known for its poor build quality that many attributed to the British Leyland group, Jaguar’s owners at the time.
1979-1992: The last XJ6 series and the first of a kind
Because it could not afford funding a completely new car, Jaguar asked Pininfarina, the Italian car design company, to give the XJ6 a thorough makeover. Near the end of the Seventies, the world saw the new Series III. It had less curves, a higher roofline, rubber bumpers with decorative chrome, flushed door handles, larger rear light clusters, and grilles with purely vertical vanes. It had three engine variants: the 5.3-liter V12, the 4.2-liter straight six, and the 3.4-liter straight six. In 1981, the V12 got a “fireball” high compression cylinder head designed by Michael May.
In 1987, Jaguar slowly started retiring the XJ6 by stopping the production of the six-cylinder engine variants. The company intended to replace them with other X-numbered luxury sedans. In 1992, the last 100 Series III models were built with special commemorative plates in the glove box. This was how the XJ6 became the first of a new line of cars.