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XJ Lovers - XJ6, XJ12 Series 1 (1968-73) JCNA C 10

Jaguar XJ6 / XJ12 and Daimler Sovereign / Double Six
Series 1 (1968-73)

Front cover of a UK sales brochure featuring the Series 1 XJ6 - the lovely lady is not part of the deal...


  1. Introduction
  2. What the press said...
  3. Production and model specific data
  4. Color codes and color schemes
  5. Model history - improvements and modifications
  6. Pictures
  7. References


Car Magazine (March, '69) mentions that Sir William Lyons described the birth of the XJ - the last Jaguar to be designed by himself - with the following words: "In 1964 we decided we would produce a completely new car, superior in all respect to the existing models, which would be so advanced that it could remain in production for a minimum of seven years after its introduction". His statement can, in retrospect, hardly be considered overly selfconscious since the XJ range - in its various forms - remained in production for over two decades! The Series 1 is the "original" XJ, the car that today is considered one of the most beautiful saloons to have ever been designed. It has also now been accepted as one of the true "classics" and is rapidly gaining collector status, as witnessed by the Classic Cars'  review below. Another attractive feature of the Series 1 is that they have one of the most powerful engine range of all - the power and torque  of the Series 1 straight six 4.2 litre and the V-12 5.3 litre were only matched by the Series 3 versions. In addition, whereas the later series suffered from poor build quality, that of the Series 1 was still very good.

This page tries to present some of the history and relevant data of this car, and also provides links to interesting websites that are specifically related to the various models of the Series 1: For starters, you can read the interesting overview presented in Classic Cars' XJ6 Series I buyer's checklist. This is a very good site that gives a nice introduction to this car. To learn more about what it is like to own one of these classics take a look at Phil Driscoll's story about his Jaguar XJ6 2.8-litre Series 1. There are also more pictures of the Series 1 cars here...

If you are interested in the more recent models of the XJ cars, see the Series 2 and Series 3 pages at this site.

What the Press said...

The Series 1 range of cars got very wide press coverage - primarily because it was a car the like of which had not previously been available, and especially not at this price! Below are some excerpts from articles that covered these cars - if you want to see more, click here (you will also find a fairly complete list of articles and the magazines in which they appeared).

"The roadholding, wet or dry, is astonishing, and places great demands on your reserves of courage if you set out to find the limit. At times you would swear the car would fall over rather than break away (in fact it won't)."
"But it is probably the best this nation can offer, and certainly among the best any nation has known in 75 years."
- CAR, March 1969 (A scan of the main page of this article is available here)

"There is absolutely no car on the market today that can approach it in any field at anywhere near the price, and certainly at the same price there are none that can offer so much automobile for the money."
"If they doubled the price it would still be a great buy."
- Road Test, December 1969

"If you do not intend to buy a XJ6, don't try one, for ordinary cars will be spoilt for you thereafter. This is a very special kind of motoring." - Autosport, August 6, 1970

Production and Model Specific Data


Number Made

CC/HP/Torque/Max. Speed

Price at launch (Pounds Sterling)

Jaguar XJ6 "Standard" 2.8-litre
Jaguar XJ6 "De Luxe" 2.8-litre

13301 rhd
6125 lhd
19426 total

2792cc / 140bhp / 150lb.ft. / 117mph (manual), 113mph (autom.)

Jaguar XJ6 4.2-litre

33467 rhd/swb
583 rhd/lwb
25505 lhd/swb
1 lhd/lwb
59556 total

4235cc / 173bhp / 227lb.ft / 124mph (manual), 120 mph (autom.)

Jaguar XJ12 5.3-litre

720 rhd/swb
750 rhd/lwb
1762 lhd/swb
3 lhd/lwb
3235 total

5343cc / 253bhp / 302lb.ft. / 147mph (only autom. were made)

Daimler Sovereign 2.8-litre

3221 total

2792cc / 140bhp / 150lb.ft. / 117mph (manual), 113mph

Daimler Sovereign 4.2-litre

11522 swb
396 lwb
11918 total

4235cc / 173bhp / 227lb.ft / 124mph (manual), 120 mph (autom.)

Daimler Double Six

466 total

5343cc / 253bhp / 302lb.ft. / 147mph (only autom. were made)

Daimler Double Six Vanden Plas

342 total

5343cc / 253bhp / 302lb.ft. / 147mph (only autom. were made)

Color Codes and Schemes

A list of color codes for the Series 1 cars can be found in Nigel Thorley's book (see references below). This site should also get a comprehensive listing soon. For color schemes, a good place to look is Aldridge Trimming's website, where a complete listing for the relevant years is given.

Model History - Improvements and Modifications

This section is still under work. It will include factory modifications history, as well as modifications provided by owner's of these cars.

Owners' moifications (please also take a look at the FAQ - link on bottom of page):


Here are some pictures of the Series 1. You will find more here...

This is Kon Kakanis' Australian version of a '71 Series 1 XJ 6. Note that as opposed to the US version, the Australian (as well as the Swedish shown below) version has the nice 7'' outer headlights - true to the original British specification. The US version had both the outer and inner headlight of the same size, 5 3/4'', due to local rules at the time. The US version also has side markers lights (yellow up front, red in the back) which most other countries did not require.

A nice interior photo of the above car shows the wooden dash (although it was veneered, the dash itself was plywood) and the nice (but completely unergonomic!) placement of the various meters and the rocker switch panel. The air outlets below the rocker switch panel is a non-original (although time correct) modification for an airconditioner. In its original configuration this car has an empty slot here for holding miscellaneous things. The Series 1 only has air outlets at both ends of the dash, and then on top of it.

Here is another nice example of the Series 1, this time it is from Sweden. The picture shows Gunnar Forsgren's nice '72 XJ6. Gunnar also has his own webpage, where more pictures can be found.


If you are serious about buying an XJ, or interested in its history, take a look at Nigel Thorley's book Jaguar XJ The Complete Companion (Bay View Books, 1991, ISBN 1 870979 22 2) - a lot of the data on this page is from this book, and it is stuff every XJ owner should know! Other books discussing these cars are

  • Classics in Colour: Jaguar XJ-Series by Martin Buckley and James Mann (Windrow & Greene Automotive, 1992, ISBN 1 87200 481 4)
  • Jaguar XJ6 Purchase and Restoration Guide by Dave Pollard (J. H. Haynes Publishers, ISBN 0 85429 973 4)
  • ...

The Jaguar parts catalogs give very good "blow up" pictures of all the assemblies:

  • Jaguar XJ6 Illustrated Parts Catalogue for 2.8 and 4.2 Litre Models (No. JC.89, November 1970)

The factory repair manuals are also a good resource, as are the owner's manuals and various other Jaguar publications:

  • Jaguar XJ6 Service Manual - Series 1 2.8 Litre & 4.2 Litre(No. E.155/3, 1972)
  • Jaguar XJ6 2.8 and 4.2 Models Operating, Maintenance and Service Handbook (No. E.152/13, 1972)
  • Operating Details for BW12 Automatic Gearbox (No. E.152A/13, 1972)
  • 'Delanair' Air Conditioning System As Fitted To 2.8 Litre and 4.2 Litre Jaguar XJ.6. (No. JC.128)
For working on the carburetters the following Haynes texts can be useful: Stromberg CD Carburettors (to 1976) - Owner's Workshop Manual by Don Peers (Haynes Publications, 1976, ISBN 0 85696 300 3).  This manual has more recently been published as a part of the Haynes Weber Carburetor Manual (Techbook 10240; covers Weber, Zenith-Stromberg and SU carburetters). 

Last updated on 03/08/00 by Henry Fok. Send your comments to:

Special thanks for supplying photo/text material to Matthew Waite, Gunnar Forsgren, Kon Kakanis, Gene Halaburt and Phil Driscoll.


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