Offered for sale this stunning Jaguar XJ-C in squadron signal blue with contrasting leather interior. One of just 37 coupes manufactured in 1978 this car is one of the final production models of the rarest of the XJ Jaguars.
In excellent condition throughout this appreciating classic is in turn key condition. Having benefited from loving attention and care throughout it's life, it is presented in wonderful original condition displaying the patina expected of a classic car of this era.
This particular car has enjoyed a rather relaxed life having covered just over 98,000 miles, that's an average of just under 2500 miles each year. It's fair to say it has wanted for nothing and is in better condition than many cars a fraction of it's age.
A little history on the XJ Coupe
The XJC is a rare two-door version of the XJ6 four door saloon. The original model was the last Jaguar to be designed by Sir William Lyons, who left Jaguar in 1972. The "XJ”, classified as the "eXperimental Jaguar”, was launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1968, and was an instant hit due to it's revolutionary design, premium materials and pure comfort. It was awarded ‘Car of the Year’ by Car Magazine.
We then had to wait until 1973 at the London Motor Show for the unveiling of the elegant short wheel base XJC , a new, two-door pillar-less coupé version. It had been delayed as production didn't begin until the 1975 due to economic troubles of the era, the difficulty of complying with the continually changing “intentions” of emissions, safety & other regulations.
Another factor was due to the problems of perfecting the pillarless window seals of the complex window mechanisms, which saw the windows fold down and forward at the same time to disappear completely into the body, giving the breathtaking side profile of the XJC. Sir William Lyons was a perfectionist and he insisted on producing the perfect car. The pre-production cycle ran on from the planned four years to a six year cycle.
Why pillar less windows you may ask? Not only did they look amazing but of course pillarless coupes were regarded as “up market”. It also meant that with the windows down it allowed as much airflow into the car as possible, an important consideration asit wasn’t until the series 2 that the air conditioning worked effectively. This was particularly important as Jaguar had the American market in mind. The design of the pillar-less windows is an aesthetic triumph. To watch the rear quarter windows fold down at an angle and disappear into the car is a joy and, at the time, a technological marvel.
Further set apart by it's distinctive vinyl roof, which wasn’t to hide any perfections as is often said but only to add extra appeal. However that said, as it was to be clad it did mean that the lead filled joints did not need to be finished to the highest standard, as it would never be seen. The vinyl roof gives the car an air of a convertible.
There was a choice of wheels. Kent alloys, chromed steel wheels or painted steel wheels the XJ Coupe, Jaguar had created what would become one of the most desirable and rarest of the XJ series.
Due to the labour intensive manufacturing process required of the modified body in total just 6487 4.2 6 cylinder versions (known as the XJ33) were produced between 1973 & 1978. A further 1855 XJ12C (known as the XJ34) were made, along with just over 1677 4.2 Daimler Sovereign & 407 Daimler Double Six V12 versions. Then there was also one legendary Daimler Double Six Vanden Plas.
The 4235cc engine boats 172bhp and is more than adequate for today’s roads and traffic. It will propel the car to 60mph in 12 seconds and you can expect around 20-22mpg, nearly double that of the thirsty bigger brother, the XJ12C. The XJ set new standards of ride and refinement & it's magic carpet ride set this car apart from the competition, as well as many modern day cars.
The responsive automatic gearbox provides the exhilaratingly smooth acceleration that propels the 1775kg mass on it's way with elegance and pace. The later models were improved over the first series with fuel injection and GM’s Turbo Hydramatic transmission which had replaced the Warner Model 12. It’s short wheelbase denotes a balanced, aggressive look, to match it’s handling and performance. The engines sophisticated grumble has class yet still with a hint of the hidden menace that lurks within. It’s a Jekyll & Hyde car.
Inside the sumptuous leather “bucket style” seats, offer extraordinary comfort with the generous leg room a true coupe should offer. The rear of the car also comfortably accommodates two adults. The polished wood transports you back to a time when everything was done with pride and craftsmanship, by hand in a way only the British could do. There’s symmetry everywhere you look, everything is perfectly balanced. Dials and buttons that click & light up when you operate them, and a gearshift that resembles something that looks more at home in an aircraft.
For the era there’s extensive equipment too, electric windows, central locking, air con, remote mirrors, 8 track player with the addition of radio. This was and is a grand tourer where you could happily sit for hours in absolute comfort and style.
The car is lavished with chrome workinside and especially outside the car. The grills, bumpers, headlights, badges, key holes, mirrors, door & boot handles, window pillars, door trims, petrol caps, exhaust tailpipe…it’s everywhere and it’s glorious.