CarSupermarket.com's Great British Cars – Jaguar XJ6 Mk1

Sun 6th May 2018

Great Britain, great cars. The UK motor industry is respected the world over, and though many of the vehicles are actually owned by foreign manufacturers, there can be no doubting of the fantastic heritage of the British motor.

To celebrate Britain’s famous history CarSupermarket.com is launching a series looking back on some of the most famous vehicles the UK has ever seen.

Jaguar XJ6 Mk1
Jaguar’s XJ series of full-size luxury vehicles are a motoring brand which has endured for 50 years. First produced in 1968, the latest series was launched in 2009 and the vehicles to this day are used by some of the UK’s most important dignitaries, including the Prime Minister, who has a specially adapted armoured version, and the British Royal family.

The first series of the XJ6, arrived in 1968 and quickly became a favourite of Britain’s elite car enthusiasts. The XJ6 came to replace most of Jaguar’s popular saloons, which had extended to four ranges during the 1960s and with both a 2.8litre and 4.2litre six-cylinder engine, Jaguar’s Coventry plant were producing a car of the very highest specifications.

Officially introduced to the market in September 1968, Jaguar’s founder, Sir William Lyons, appeared in a series of television advertisements to claim that this was the ‘finest Jaguar ever’. With power-assisted steering and leather upholstery as standard, the car which Lyons believed should have the handling of an E-type, was named ‘Car of the Year’ by Car Magazine and a lot of that credit must go to the founder, who insisted on several design qualities. It was Lyons who insisted that the tops of the seats should never be seen above the line, a quality which gave the interior those distinctive low seat backs. The vehicle also introduced face-level ventilation, foam padding to the instrument panel and flush rocker switches.

In an interview with Auto-car magazine in 31 years after its launch, Jaguar’s former Design Director Ian Callum said of the Mk1: ‘The XJ6 was profound. It had so much visual power. The wheels were enormous. Nobody had seen anything like them before. They filled the whole body. I remember collecting a brochure from the local dealer and going back the next day for another. I still have them both.’

Such was the quality and instant classic status of the Mk1 XJ6, that the company often struggled to cope with its legacy, though it was still being produced in 1994, the many following variations in design were always compared to the original and to some, failed to live up to the dream. The reality was that the Mk2, which followed in 1973, was built by British Leyland and suffered from poor build quality.

In total, more than 80,000 Mk1 XJSs rolled off the production line, and they are still being sought after by fanboys to this day.

CarSupermarket.com has a number of Jaguars available to browse and purchase online. Get yourself a piece of British driving history today.