The beautiful shape provokes instant appeal and fitted beneath that body, was a mighty 350 Chev Engine.
You know that feeling you get when you see a cold frothy beer on a hot summer day? That’s how Neil Huddy felt when he first laid eyes on a Jaguar XJ12; it was love at first sight. The beautiful shape provokes instant appeal and fitted beneath that body, was a mighty 350 Chev Engine. From that moment, it was clear that the elegant XJ was more than just a pretty ride and Neil began his journey to find his very own Jaguar XJ.
The eXperimental Jaguar
The name XJ stems from eXperimental Jaguar; an experiment that shaped Jaguar for generations to come. The Jaguar XJ6 was the first model in the XJ series 1 and the last car to be designed by Founder, Sir William Lyons. It was a testament to his bold touch.
Upgraded from its iconic cousin, the Jaguar E-Type, the interior of the XJ6 offered significant improvements, including face-level ventilation, foam padding to the instrument panel, flush rocker switches that replaced the toggles and many more optional extras that Jaguar lovers could relish in. The performance of the vehicle was nonetheless superb; the petrol engine produced up to 183kW of power with some models hitting a top speed of 204 km/hr. Acceleration was also a standout, being able to go from 0 to 100 km/hr in 9.1 seconds.
The XJ6 was set to make its mark, and it was evident that Sir Lyons was proud of his last creation to which he appeared in multiple advertising campaigns stating that the XJ6 was “the greatest Jaguar ever”.
From eXperimental to eXtraordinary
The Jaguar XJ6 was launched to the public in 1968 at the Paris Motor Show. The vehicle was announced, the world loved it, and it was named ‘Car of the Year’ by Car Magazine. Sir Lyons’ vision for the XJ6 became a reality when it started replacing Jaguar’s existing saloon range and went on to become Sir Lyons’ longest-lived creation.
Since then the XJ Series has successfully expanded to include Series 2, Series 3 and other modern variations of the XJ model. There’s no denying that the XJ Series have passionate lovers from all over the globe and has even been labelled the best saloon car in the world by many motoring enthusiasts. The model has been featured in countless media and high-profile appearances, such as movies and TV Series. Click here to see the list.
As for Neil Huddy, his search for a Jaguar XJ ended in 2011, when he came across a 4-door auto XJ6 while browsing online. Previously owned by a Jaguar spare part dealership, Neil couldn’t pass up this opportunity and needed to take this beauty home.
Since joining the family, the XJ6 has undergone some well-deserved restorations. This included the installation of a 6 litre, 8-cylinder Chevy LS engine, full bare metal resprayed in the colour Original Tudor White, upgraded panels, interior fully trimmed to factory look and all timber strips on the top of the doors were sanded and re-varnished.
Neil’s favourite memory with his XJ6 was: “The whole overhaul process, turning something ordinary into something that is admired by all walks of life”. And when asked what he loves most about his XJ6, he replied, “Absolutely everything but installing the LS V8 is a standout for me. It’s reliable, powerful and surprisingly economical; and it doesn’t leak oil”.