(first posted 7/1/2015. Image improved by Chris Cieslak) Yes, I’ve been on a two-door sedan jag lately. And to really enable my current habit, CC Contributor Don Andreina has sent me a photo of the ultimate two-door sedan, the extremely rare Jaguar XJ6-2D. This is a true unicorn. Why? Sadly, because almost all of them have been butchered and converted into XJCs. What a crime. But an original XC6-2D was the closest thing Jaguar ever made to an American-style stripper two door sedan. In fact, it was a bit too much like one.
The XJ coupe was scheduled to arrive 1974, right into the dark days of the energy crisis, which hit Europe even harder, with car-less Sundays and a reeling economy. Jaguar decided that it needed a low-cost entry-level XJ model, and looked to the US for inspiration. It cobbled up a two-door sedan version of the coupe, and fitted a push-rod overhead valve cylinder head for the storied KX 4.2 six. That cylinder head looks very similar to the one from an old Chevy Stovebolt/Blue Flame six, which went out of production in 1962. Others more in the know say that Jaguar simply scoured junkyards in the US for old Chevy six heads, but that’s never been proven, as the casting marks have been carefully doctored. A single small SU H2 carb was fitted, with a 90 degree adapter to the
Chevy intake manifold, which yielded 92 hp and “sufficient” torque.
Jaguar dug into its warehouses, and found some old Moss three-speed transmissions, and a column shift mechanism was adapted from one of the older BMC saloons. Overdrive was an option, to maximize fuel economy. A bench seat was fitted, covered in what was Connolly’s only attempt ever at making synthetic leather. Rubber flooring was standard, but Wilton was pressed into service to whip up some fake-wool optional floor mats. The dash was covered in Di-Noc fake wood applique. Steel wheels and hub caps that look suspiciously like Chevy units complete the package. And of course, no vinyl top, which actually cost Jaguar more, as they had to fill and sand the inherent imperfections in the coupe roof.
In typical Jag fashion, the XJC and 2D were a good year late getting into production, and by 1975, petrol (and the economy) was flowing freely again. So the 2D was a met with huge sales resistance, and the plug was pulled after just three months. Hence the rarity.
Rumor has it that there were even two or three XJ12-2Ds built, with aluminum front end sheet metal, for an aborted Super Stock drag racing assault by Jaguar, but so far, none have been found.