CC Capsule and Vintage Review: 1976 Jaguar XJ-6C/XJ-12C — A Rare (And Splendid) Curbside Appearance

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(first posted 4/30/2013. It’s been the only sighting so far at CC of one of these handsome coupes. And to add some more of the backstory, I’m adding a Road and Track Road Test of the new XJ12C from 1976)

Nothing like sunny spring weather to brings out the beautiful flowers as well as the garaged cars that have been sequestered away all winter. Well, I make that assumption about this fine Jag coupe without knowing for sure. But I’ve never seen it before, and it does looks pampered. Rightfully so; it’s one of the more beautiful coupes ever built. In fact, its owner made a point to park it on the side of the store instead of in the parking lot. Mustn’t have someone put a ding on those sleek and naked flanks.

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I’m just guessing at this coupe’s model year, as it gets a bit hairy trying to do so from looks alone. 1975 was the first proper year of production on this short-lived car, as 1977 was the last full year of production, so let’s split the difference. A mere 6,505 XJ6 coupes were built, and another 1,8703 of the V12 variant. Needless to say, a higher percentage of them have survived than the sedans, due to their elegance and rarity.

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The interior is pretty much standard XJ6 Series II. Frankly, these low-roof Series I and II cars work better as coupes, or four-door coupes, as headroom was always less than ideal for a proper saloon. That was finally fixed in the high-roof Series III cars, but sadly the coupe was all-too soon abandoned. Presumably it was because jaguar didn’t want too much internal competition for its XJ-S?Β  I’ll take one of these any day over an XJ-S.

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There’s just not a bad line on this car, although of course the 5-mph bumpers don’t exactly do it any favors. The XJ6 Coupe was intended to arrive for the 1973 MY, but the combination of a global recession and difficulties with the window sealing of the true hardtop caused Jaguar to delay its intro.

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All XJ6 coupes came from the factory with vinyl tops, as the flexing of the roof panel was to much for the paints at the time, and caused it to crack. But modern paints have solved that problem, and many have been stripped of their vinyl tops (hurrah!), which also reduces the threat of rust forming under the top. Feast your eyes.

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