The Jaguar XJ series automobile made its firsts appearance in the autumn of 1968 with the first of what would become six total generations, reaching a production number of more than 800,000 examples. This figure is over half of all Jaguars ever built and gives you an idea of its popularity. The original intent was to create a single model that would replace four of its predecessors. They had no way of knowing how well the model would catch on with loyal Jaguar enthusiasts. As the Jaguar legend goes, the XJ was the inspiration of Sir William Lyons, the founder of the company, who had a vision of the future as he saw it in the 1960s era.
Both front and rear ends were inspired by the E-type with a 2 door version. As the work progressed on the new model, it was decided that the addition of rear doors was necessary, along with a shortening of the front and rear ends with enhancements to the grille and the inclusion of four headlights. Engineering was directed by Bob Knight, the genius behind Jaguar’s independent rear suspension. For the new model, he modified the design which was used to achieve both ride comfort and top notch handling on the road.
The 1968 Jaguar XJ Series I made its debut just prior to the London Motor Show on September 26 of 1968. It was advertised as Jag’s best saloon car that embodied sportiness, comfort, performance and style. The final version presented to the world featured a base model with a 2.8 liter engine with a lower price that was minus the leather trim. The 4.2 engine as a straight six with twin carbs, was moderately priced for its class and generated 245bhp, accelerating from 0-60 in 9 seconds with a top speed of 124mph. It was available with a four speed manual gearbox or an automatic. It won “Car of the Year” in Britain, but was not considered for the European distinction overall. These models cleared production lines and didn’t spend much time on showroom floors as their popularity soared.
This wonderful example was registered to its first and only American owner in Los Angeles in 1971, who went on to own the XJ6 for the next four decades. Our vendor purchased the car from the estate of the family whilst on holiday in the US in 2010. In recent years the Jaguar has enjoyed much attention, with recent expenditure with UK specialist garage Foskers to the tune of £12,000. The bodywork is super straight and shows excellent factory panel gaps, and the interior is very clean.
Notably the Jaguar has had a straight through stainless exhaust fitted, which boosts performance and sounds fantastic.
Offered with its original book pack, bills for servicing and fitted with the original US import tags, this is an excellent example of Jaguar’s revolutionary executive car. Now in its 50th year, the time is right to invest in a classic XJ6.