The Jaguar XJ6 set the motoring world afire when introduced in late 1968, and was considered the most beautiful sedan at the time. It deserved it. The styling would go through three different series on the original body, and two subsequent redesigns going all the way to 2008. The XJ6 was a survivor. It outlasted British Leyland, the Ford buyout and lives on today with a totally different design language that was finally introduced in 2009 after 40 years of refining and adapting the original 1968 shape. While to this day, I still prefer the classic shape, the “new” design, now approaching 15 years in production, does appear suitably elegant. Just the other day I saw one in black in traffic, and it looks pretty good. Well, at least until they kill it and go all-combover-schlock, all the time, like Lincoln. But I digress!
Jaguar, it seems, has always had a reputation. At least, since the 1970s. Remember the V12 E-Type that wouldn’t start in the 1976 movie, The Gumball Rally?
Of course you do. They just can’t get a break, can they? Tell any non-automotive person, and many gearheads as well, that you are thinking of buying a Jaguar and you are likely to receive a response approximately the same as if you announced you were going to jump the Grand Canyon on a Vespa. “Oh no! No! Good Lord, no! Don’t do it!” And that might well be the case even for a relatively benign vintage Jaguar–say, a 1999 XJ8 Vanden Plas. But if you really want to instill fear and loathing, and genuine fright for your personal and financial well-being, there is really no Jag worse than a ’70s V12.