Hagerty.com

Why aren’t the Jaguar XJ6 and XJ12 worth more?


#1

The XJ6 sedan was the last Jaguar designed by company founder William Lyons, and it was so good that while other sedans bit the dust, the car would stay in production for more than two decades. Introduced in late 1968, it combined refinement, luxury, 120-mph performance, and superb handling.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/04/18/jaguar-xj6-and-xj12-values

#2

This has to be the WORST evaluation of a car I’ve ever read! Yes, Jags aren’t as simple to maintain as a 50’s chevvy but the engine has won at least as many races as the chevvy not counting the drags. The XJ6 was a luxury car you could afford, it had the ambience of a Rolls without the cost of maintenance Yes, the local gas station wrench didn’t know how to maintain it any more than the 450 SEL or a Bi turbo Maser so it got a chevvy-- that vibrated?? talk to chevvy owners!.The chassis it a dream and loved in Oz for racing! What is comparable for someone that wants a refined saloon with performance at a (still) affordable price??


#3

Thanks for reading! There are definitely those out there who love the Chevy swap, as much as more Jag purists who don’t. I for one think there’s merit to each argument—the 350-swapped XJ6 I wrote about here had a lot of the simplicity and affordability youre talking about, but it also had no working electronics like Paul mentioned because of the different wiring. To each their own!


#4

I remember the XJ6 from the early 1980s when I was a kid. They are still beautiful cars, likely one of the most sensuous sedans on the road. Those dual chrome gas filler caps on the rear deck always got my attention, back in the day, too. I’ve seen some like-new low-mile examples of these for sale over the years but was always loathe to pull the trigger even at crazy low prices. That’s just the cost of entry, I always thought to myself.

Similarly, the contemporary XJS coupes can be bought for a song but their reputation precedes them.


#5

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
Jaguar
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.

  • Performance.
  • Style.
  • Beauty.

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,


#6

I guess the reason that the MK-10/420G haven’t risen up to the top is that they don’t have the performance image that the MK1 and II’s have They had the best bits that Jag had and the best appointments of the era comparing with the Rolls/Bentley They just don’t have the sporting image that the rest do with the exception of the XJ’s which have sold well new!
It might be claimed that the XJ12 started the super luxo line, now all the luxury cars have giant horse power Just what an aging couple need: a 12 second, 200 MPH limo?!

Michael Rogers
dolphinporsche@cs.com


#7

Oddly enough, the Mark X /420G did quite well in the touring car… Actually it was the Mark IIIV that was quite spry on its feet. Rather surprising though, the 420G had all of the proper go fast bits Standard! tripple SU’s carbs, the bigger valve heads, 4 wheel independent suspension. Granted with the high center of gravity the car would appear to lumber around corners. Lot of hub bub around the XJ12’s the in truth, by raisting the compression form 9.5 to 10.5 to 1 and the triple SU’s set up the XK6 had darn near the same performance numbers.

Just for stupid facts I’ve seen the 4.2 six with forced induction put out nearly 400BHP. That’s from a stock scrap yard build. Turbo from a Dodge Diesel 1 ton pickup and the XK6 4.2 litre engine also from a junk hard. The ECU wasn’t factory in order to cope with the additional fuel and sensors required to keep from grenading the bottom end. I saw the XJ6 in Portland Oregon at a Drift competition. I heard very unique exhaust note of the XK6, spun around and saw a XJ6 going sideways around the drift course. It was awesome!


#8

Yeah, these cars had their share of faults but they were also the closest production vehicle to a Rolls Royce in terms of luxury and smoothest of ride. This articles depiction seems to be over the top in terms of bad characterization, though.

Admittedly my personal ownership has been focused on the XJS V12 and XJ 81 I am familiar with the earlier XJ6’s & 5.3 V12 cars.

Back in the day when these cars were plentiful in the NY/NJ area I have witnessed first hand the ham fisted bludgeoning that these cars regularly endured in and around various shops in the northeast metro area of the country.

Today, a V12 of any vintage should never suffer under hood fires, or the overheating catastrophes of old. By far the less complicated of the heritage the six cylinder series I,II, & III cars have their equivalent remedies as well.

In direct answer to the articles question “Why aren’t the Jaguar XJ6 and XJ12 worth more?” is because of the acutely spelled out problems and shortcomings of the 1970’s & 80’s with ZERO knowledge or any acknowledgement whatsoever of ANY updated enhancements, or fixes that have come about through the decades. In reality it is highly unlikely that a reliable top performer running around today is the same unreliable car of yesterday. Why in the world would anyone today suffer through past decades of misery when you have 40-50 years of modern corrective actions to be had.

Naturally would be potential buyers reading unbalanced and lopsided articles like this one perpetuates a self fulfilling prophecy and the cars continue to suffer price depression.

Fear not, though, there are quite a few benefits to be had while one waits for price appreciation.

Non rusted examples can still be had for little money and all of the known fixes will yield a shrewd buyer a reliable daily driver. The styling of these cars are unmistakably unique and quite beautiful in their own rite. The ride itself is champaign sipping smooth and you get to enjoy all of this while you wait for price appreciation.

It is my opinion that these grossly lopsided articles are the answers to, WHY?


#9

I’ve owned a clean 1986 XJ6 Series 3 since 1988, and over the years it has shared driving duties with a 1986 Mercedes 300E, two BMW 5 Series sedans, and various company-provided Pontiac sedans and is the only one that I have kept. 173k miles on te original drive train and still running strong! Yes, it needs attention to routine maintenance items…it’s not a drive and forget vehicle like the Asian and American soulless products. The Jaguar has been very reliable for daily use - if I discount comfort issues like cranky passenger door auto unlocking and the erratic fully-auto AC system, many of which I have sorted with a little careful work. The car has made countless business trips from NJ to Boston and Baltimore, providing rides more comfortable than the Mercedes and BMW sports sedans with much lesscostly major maintenance than it’s German stable-mates, and giving 19-20 mpg highway mileage - good for a two ton luxury car with only a 3 speed transmission.
Other than the over-priced, beautiful XK-E Types, and show quality sedans from the 50’s and early 60’s, Jaguars depreciate much faster than other European cars. Look at the relatively bargain prices for XK8’s and even XKR’s.
This offers one of the few remaining opportunities to acquire high quality hobby cars capable of daily use for reasonable dollar, although it also dooms too many Jags needed TLC and refreshing to abuse and early death because of low perceived value.
My advice, find a good example with solid leather and no significant rust. Locate a good independent mechanic who understands English cars. Invest time in treating the interior with Leatherique, check the fluids monthly, wax the paint, and enjoy. Modern brakes, enough power for highway cruising with acceptable gas mileage. Enjoy an affordable classic for Kia/Toyota dollars.


#10

Well from a owner of a 1966 Jaguar 420 and then one of the very first XJ6’s 4.2ltr model in the 70’s and now a 1996 Jaguar xj6 X300 4ltr which I think is a better car than all the XJ6’s after the series 1. Whilst I think the most perfect XJ6 was the series 1. The next and best beautiful and up to date XJ6 today is the X300. Geoff Lawson who designed the X300 stripped away all the changes that did little to enhance the original XJ6 and made a beautify, simple and curvaceous car which was more dependable than its predecessors. I would like to add that in my years of owning Jags and listening to peoples opinions on them, it would seem that they either love them or you they hate them. Which to me means they either get it or they don’t. If you do get it, then you don’t need any comments from me and if you don’t get it then you certainly don’t need any further comments from me.