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Jaguar XJ6 (S1 & S2)

Jaguar XJ6 (S1 & S2) Published: 6th Feb 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Jaguar XJ6 (S1 & S2)
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● Superb ride and refinement ● Excellent value ● Stylish coupé

In brief

Jaguar’s legendary saloon is in another league compared to the Mk2 it replaced yet prices remain at bargain levels. Series II models much derided but better than the original, if you find a good one.


Even almost half a decade on the driving qualities still impress. Motor magazine heaped its praises on the Coventry car, naturally, but let a passenger sum the Jag up best; “The bloody thing freewheels up hills!” The Jag’s qualities shames many moderns – indeed, it’s was hard to justify a Rolls above one – then and now.

Except on quality that is, which really started to slip under BL’s stewardship in the 1970s and why the SII is so slated.

Performance is good and bloody great in V12 guise; the majority are 4.2 autos. The sweeter 2.8 (now a rare find) is a lot slower and fares little better at the pumps and there’s not much difference between a hard driven XJ6 and a gently run XJ12 – worth a thought if you cover so little miles?

Best models

The SII is the better all rounder and people still avoid them. Don’t dismiss the 3.4 (launched in 1975) to replace the pistonburning 2.8 as it has decent performance and easy 20mpg economy. Daimlers are plusher and more dignified but the stuffy image can put buyers off when condition matters most. Most XJs are fine value, the exception being the short-lived XJC; a two-door coupé which looks good, but being based upon the shorter early saloon means they aren’t overly roomy while poor searing of those big doors leads to wind noise. Top XJ12 is the Vanden Plas boasting Rolls-like opulence if not quality. That said, it’s a proper limousine.


Values have climbed sharply over the last year or so, but you’ve got to be incredibly careful when buying because there are so many misdescribed cars out there. The bottom line for any XJ Series II is £4000 while an equivalent Series I is an extra £1000 or so. But if you want a decent one bank on spending at least £8000- £10,000. Genuinely superb cars come onto the market only very rarely. The best Series II is worth around £15,000 with an equivalent Series I up to even £30,000 if truly jaw-dropping. But even these figures are low compared with the XJC. These sell for £30-£40,000 if in superb condition.

However, there’s an element of just buying whatever you can get hold of. With so few truly superb cars out there, it’s not a good idea to be too choosy about exactly what specification you want, advised one expert.

Buying advice

Tread carefully if you’re considering a restoration project, because you’ll spend more restoring an XJ than an equivalentcondition E-type, yet the finished item will be worth far less. Series II XJs suffered all sorts of electrical gremlins; Series 1s are generally better. Everything is available to put things right, but some bits are costly.

Because of bad rust-proofing, frequently poor build quality and values that have been on the floor for years, bodged XJs abound. Key rot areas include the A-, B- and C-posts along with the sills, rear wheelarches and the valances. Front subframes also rot badly and expensive to rectify.

Even a well-maintained engine will need a fresh radiator every 5-10 years depending on use. Expect oil pressure of 40psi when cruising. Look at how much oil is on the car’s underside, as the rear crankshaft oil seal can fail on all XK units.

Some XJ6s had a manual transmission, but all V12s and most six-cylinder cars featured an automatic. The autos featured a Borg Warner transmission until 1977, but from this point on, XJ12s had a GM400 unit. Differentials are tough, but can leak oil. spewing the in-board rear discs in lubricant, which is an automatic MoT failure. Putting it right costs at least £1200. Worn suspension and rear subframe bushes are very common leading to most un Jag-like handling and ride.

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