1969-1973 Jaguar XJ6/XJ12

The 1969-1973 Jaguar XJ6/XJ12 was the superb single replacement for both the 420G/Mark X and S-Type/Mark II. Sized between those earlier Jaguar "saloons," but all-new styling -- supervised as always by Sir William Lyons -- was uncommonly graceful and pretty for a four-door.

The 1969 Jaguar XJ6 sedan, part of the 1969-1973 Jaguar XJ6/XJ12 series.
1969 Jaguar XJ6 sedan.  See more pictures of Jaguar cars.

Initially sold with 2.8- and 4.2-liter versions of Coventry's veteran twin-cam XK six (only the larger one came to America, from late '69), but also designed to accept the twin-cam V-12 from the stillborn mid-engine XJ13 experimental racer. A single-cam V-12, first in the Series E-Type, was offered from 1972 in the XJ12. Sold mostly with three-speed Borg-Warner automatic, but sixes were also available with a four-speed manual.

Offered outside the U.S. in companion Daimler models, the six-cylinder Sovereign and 12-cylinder "Double Six" (respective production: 15,139 and 879), with that make's trademark "fluted" grille, plus more lavish interiors. Jaguar refined its sedan chassis with anti-dive/anti-squat geometry and new purpose-designed tires. The results were a fine and silky ride, plus great silence thanks to a stronger new unitized structure.

More XJs would follow, but these early cars are the purest of the line and the least compromised by later U.S. requirements (though the design also took account of those), and thus arguably the most collectible now.

Pluses of the 1969-1973 Jaguar XJ6/XJ12:
  • Grace, pace
  • Luxurious wood-and-leather cabin
  • Silken engines
  • Good performance (0-60: 10.5 seconds, XJ6; 8.5, XJ12)
  • Super sedan handling
  • Full power assists
  • XJ12's rarity
  • All versions still relatively inexpensive
Minuses of the 1969-1973 Jaguar XJ6/XJ12:
  • Not much space
  • Jaguar's usual reliability and rust worries
  • "Vintage" ergonomics
  • Avoid ratty specimens -- there are lots of them

Production of the 1969-1973 Jaguar XJ6

  • 1969: 8,085
  • 1970: 17,525
  • 1971: 23,546
  • 1972: 14,885
  • 1973: 14,850

Production of the 1969-1973 Jaguar XJ12:

  • 1972: 326
  • 1973: 2,894

Specifications of the 1969-1973 Jaguar XJ6/XJ12:
Length, inches: 189.5
Wheelbase, inches: 108.8
Weight, pounds: 3,885 (XJ6), 3,950 (XJ12)
Price, new: XJ6, $7,600; XJ12, $11,000 (introductory U.S. POE)

Engines for the 1969-1973 Jaguar XJ6/XJ12:

dohc I-6
2,792 (171 cid) 140
dohc I-64,235 (258 cid)
sohc V-125,343 (326 cid)
265/241 1972-1973

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