Offered for sale is undoubtedly one of the finest, most original Jaguar XJ6 Series I Saloons on the market. Finished in understated British Racing Green over Biscuit leather and having only accrued 39k miles under two caring California owners, the car is as close to new as we’ve seen, a wonderful representation of one of Jaguar’s most important transitional models. With incredibly well proportioned, timelessly elegant lines and scores of modern features and technology, the Series I XJ was saddled with the responsibility of matching and exceeding the success of its nimbler midsize predecessors (the Mark 1 and 2, 3.8S, etc.) while performing the luxury duties of the foregoing larger cars (The Mark VII, IX, 420 and Mark X). It achieved this goal in spades, going on to become a mainstay in the luxury car market and Jaguar’s most popular model. Despite that fact, it is surprisingly difficult to come across low mileage examples in good condition and this car is a rare find indeed.
Originally purchased by a wealthy couple from Seadrift (an exclusive enclave just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco), this XJ was always a second or third car, always garaged, maintained and well cared for. The original owners retained the car until 2011, at which point the wife (now an elderly widow) began selling the vehicles she didn’t need. Another Northern California Jaguar enthusiast became the next lucky owner and set about improving the car and performing repairs and maintenance that had gone unaddressed. Unfortunately, after he’d dialed it in, an E-Type project took over his available garage space which is when we were fortunate enough to have heard about the car.
As the pictures show, the car’s exterior is gorgeous. The British Racing Green finish is in wonderful condition: deep, lustrous and consistent throughout. That’s not to say that it isn’t without a handful of small nicks, rock chips and scratches – the finish is quite old, after all – but none of the imperfections detract from the car’s overall appeal and they’re all so insignificant that they don’t show up in the pictures. The body is fantastically straight and free of dings and all of the panel gaps and fits are excellent. The glass and rubber are in great shape, as is the brightwork throughout, and the original chrome wheels are wrapped in brand new tires. The car’s interior is also in fantastic original condition, showing only the most minimal patina consistent with any well cared for 40k+/- mile vintage car. The seats are free of and tears or significant wear, the interior panels and dash are near flawless and the carpets are in excellent condition. The wood dash insert is original and, like the rest of the car, shows only the nominal effects of its age. The original Becker radio is a beautiful accent in the center console and it works flawlessly.
Mechanically the car is excellent, the original engine starting easily, idling consistently and pulling strongly and smoothly through each of the gears. The brakes function as they should, stopping the car straight and true and rounding out a truly pleasant drive quality. In 1971 the XJ6 came with dual Zenith Stromberg carburetors that were cumbersome and non-adjustable. The carbs were attached to a secondary manifold that had a second set of throttle plates that would open at full throttle to meet emissions regulations. This was crude technology and it significantly sapped power. Now that the car no longer requires smog control, the secondary manifold has been modified to remove the throttle plates, instead sleeved with brass tubing to block the passages and stream the air and fuel mixture into the intake, resulting in a dramatic increase in power and throttle response. The Zenith Strombergs have been replaced with adjustable ZS carbs, taken from a 1972 XJ6 and freshly rebuilt. This set up is significantly better than what came with the car, however all of the original parts are included should the new owner want to return it to (inferior) factory original.
The ’71 XJ6 was also equipped with a Butec alternator and a York air conditioning condenser. Again, in the interest of improving reliability and performance, a General Motors A6 compressor has replaced the original and a Delco alternator has been fitted above it, allowing for considerably easier access for servicing. And again, the original parts are included. That said, the only thing that doesn’t work on the car is the air conditioning, as the system needs to be charged, but everything is in place to make it function properly, whether with a modern R134a system or an original R12. The original exhaust system has been replaced with a new Bell stainless exhaust from the manifolds back, clearly visible in the undercarriage photograph. The undercarriage itself shows the benefits of a caring ownership history: completely original, clean and with no evidence of rust or rust-repair.
This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a gorgeous, hard to find, wonderfully original and mechanically strong example of the elegant Series I XJ6, a car that is quickly becoming a desirable classic while remaining modern enough to drive and enjoy regularly. You’ll not find a cleaner and more beautiful example, especially with low original miles and a rust-free California history.