Thank you Hagerty for acknowledging the bastard child of the Jaguar Line (I suppose the 420G aka Mark X is next).
For what ever it’s worth, the time line for the Jaguar XJ Saloon Series III actually carried on until 1992 in which there were only 100 XJ12 examples produced. A farewell tribute to the XJ Saloon. Unfortunately none of these tribute cars were ever made it to the US.
Just a quick history lesson
A unique and intoxicating blend of voluptuous curves, addictive performance, and style that is quintessentially Black Tie and Sr. Sterling Moss. Beauty that can be only accentuated by the light streaming down from the heavens. Jaguar in three words.
Why are these cars so important to the Automotive industry?
Jaguar of the yester-years are examples of the innovations the Brits brought to the table some 60 year ago, which have left a irrevocable time stamp on the automotive industry on a whole. Some of the innovations have yet to be recaptured nearly 60 years later. The following list is just a portion of the technological advancement that Jaguar brought to the table decades before other car manufacturers.
- The double overhead cam (DOHC) engine in a production car.
- The cross flow aluminum head design (again) in a production car.
- Torsion bar suspension in a production car.
- Disc brakes on a car on a production car as well as on the race track.
- Front and Rear Independent Suspension in a production car.
- A suspension design so completely uniquely Jaguar; and so successful it’s been copied other car manufacturers (in one form or the other) for decades; and is still coveted by hot rodders globally.
- Uni-body chassis design in a production car
- 0-60 and back to 0 times pretty much reserved to the track and “Supercar” of the 60’s
While most automakers were still using girder style frames. Jaguars’ uni-body chassis design provided for a low center of gravity accentuating the cars performance, without compromising head room.
Lets see what else was there at the time?
- Lambo, Lancia, Maseratti, and Ferrari? - Nope too expensive
- BMW - Nope they still were in their nappy’s (diapers) in the 60’s
- Volvo - Nope to obsessed with safety
- SAAB - Nope still trying to wrap their head around building an automobile (rather than a plane)
- Audi - Nope they hadn’t been resurrected from the dead yet…
- The yanks? Nope nothing to offer other than the Corvette which at this point was a work in progress (in my mind).
- Shelby Cobra - Nope it’s British AC Bristol. doesn’t count as a Ford. AND a limited production run in order to qualify for racing
- GT40? Nope Not a street car and another one made by the Brits - doesn’t count either.
- Toyota 2000GT - Close but no cigars. Funny thing, The profile has a striking resemblance of an XKE 2+2. Hmmm…
- Datson - 240Z Nope too slow, and it too looked like a XKE coupe and had a very similar IRS. Hmmm…
In one form or another; it took the other car manufacturers decades to catch up with at least 1 of the 5 technologies Jaguar used in their XK, XJ’s, and Mark X (420G) of the 60’s. Ok, well the Corvette of the 60’s was an exception to the Independent suspension technology, but the early C1’s had drum brakes, outboard brakes, rode like an ox cart, and smelled like a surf board factory inside. I digress…
All of the above mentioned technologies not necessarily revolutionary to the automotive industry as a whole, because these technologies were fairly common in the world motor sports. But in an affordable production automobile, mind blowing.
Jaguar ingeniously applied their successes in motor sports and successfully adopting these technologies into a production automobile. The Mark X, XK and XJ were born. Coincidently GT and performance Saloon market was also born.
I have 8 XJ’s, an Impala SS, and a Gen 2 RS/SS Camaro; and other cars, and the Jaguars parts are cheaper and readily available than the two high production number domestics. The caveat is the leather interior. mechanical parts, are easy to come by and pretty much interchangeable from '68 to '92
As sad is it is, these cars aren’t as recognized as beautiful their E-Type Brethren, which is a crying shame. Because they’re as good if not better.
The Original XJ Saloon truly is a “Sport Saloon”, before there was such a thing. Jaguar had managed to capture the perfect blend of performance, handling, style, and comfort, in a single automobile some 50 years ago, that, to this day, has never been achieved by another car manufacturer.
All I can say is drive a really good one, then you’ll understand what I’m on about,