About This 1987 Jaguar XJ6
Posted: 17 Jun 2005
The pictures are in rather dim light, but show how flawless this XJ6 really is. The car is not even that clean in these pictures! This XJ6 handles like no other car that I have ever driven, floating down the road, eating up the curves with two fingers on the leather steering wheel and some Bob Wills on the stereo. The XJ6 VdP has better handling, similar comfort, and similar power output to a Rolls Royce, yet costs a lot less in parts and service than does a comparable Roller.
The 1987 Series III XJ6 was the last year for the old-style XJ6. Beginning with 1987 in Europe and 1988 in the United States, Jaguar made several changes and rebadged their new XJ40 as the 'XJ6'. The 1987 Series III was the most refined of the XJ Series cars, produced from 1968 until 1987. The Series III 4 door Saloons were available with 3.4 litre and 4.2 litre 6 cylinder engines (XJ6), or a 5.3 litre V12 (XJ12). They share a common platform with their predecessor the Series 2, however a number of styling and mechanical changes were made to the newer model.
The most obvious changes were the result of a restyle done by leading Italian design company Pininfarina. The shape of the bonnet, the tail lights, the rake of the windscreen and the height of the roof were altered. A new grille was fitted and new alloy rims (which came to be known as 'pepper-pots') were an optional extra chosen by many.
The Series 3 was available in several forms, the basic XJ 6 in either 3.4 or 4.2 litre straight 6. The XJ12 5.3 litre V12. The Sovereign (6 and 12) which incorporated many features that were optional extras for the standard models, and the top of the range, the Daimler Six and Double Six. The 6 and 12 cylinder Daimlers, incorporated all the options and often items unique to the Daimler range. In the US and Germany the Daimler was badged as Van Den Plaas (VDP) due to the copyright restrictions on the Daimler name - it is owned by Daimler Benz in those countries. The 6 cylinder Series 3 was replaced by the XJ40 in 1987.
This 1987 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas was one of only 567 produced in 1987, and one of 18,837 ever produced. The Silver Birch Metallic color was unique both to 1987 and the VdP, and one of only a few dozen built. I do have the Production Record Trace Certificate (Heritage Certificate) from JDHT to verify the car's origin. This cat is likely one of a very few of the 567 (and fewer of the unique Silver Birch) remaining and in quality condition.
The U.S. Market Jaguar Vanden Plas is called the Daimler Vanden Plas in every other market aside from Canada and Germany. The reason is clear - the pronunciation may be different but the spelling is the same as Daimler-Benz (or if you prefer these days, Daimler-Chrysler). Hence the usual fluted grille and boot lid handles are of the smooth Jaguar variety, and the badging is all Jaguar.
The Jaguar 'unreliability' myths, i.e. you have to own two as one is always in the shop, are nonsense. This myth is based on the fact that though they are a luscious car, they require maintenance. If you are a Camry driver, you will never be satisfied; but if you own a grease gun, a drain pan, and a set of tools and jackstands, ramps or a lift, or can afford someone who does, it does not cost much to keep one of these up to showroom condition. Some people say that Jaguars tend to spring leaks, but if you keep the seals maintained and replace them when they go bad, you'll never have any leak problems, and you'll extend the life of your motor and transmission immeasurably. I've owned this car for years, and I've averaged about $500 per year in maintenance...less than my Ford F350!
This cat loves the rain, but I don't let this XJ out in the elements. This car has not seen winters, anywhere. There is no rust--just perfect undercoating, waxoyl, and solid sheet metal.
The rims are as-new Kent Alloys common to the XJ series. Chrome and other brightwork is in excellent condition. All exterior emblems and trim details are present.
Save for the lower valance and the top of the left front wing and beneath the left corner of the windscreen the paintwork is all original to the chagrin of the local Jaguar enthusiasts. The car used have tacky dealer-fitted plastichrome strips adorning the wheel arches, but these were professionally removed by the previous owner. The valance, front wing and corner were repainted to correct a common fault in the XJ6. Due to the 'high greenhouse' design of the roofline by Pininfarina on the Series III XJ6, the cars have a tendency to rust-bubble at the base of the windscreen by collecting water past the seal over time. At the same time, both front and rear glass was resealed (there were no leaks but the old rubbers were a little hard).
Even the leather on the driver's seat indicates almost no wear. The Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas features hand-stitched seats with a special orthopedic design. The support in this seat makes long road trips a breeze, with no fatigue or road weariness. All of the seats get three yearly treatments with Connolly Hide Food (increasingly hard to find now that Connolly is out of business).
On the Vanden Plas, the centre armrest is also leather, and the three passenger floors are covered in Wilton Wool rugs. The rugs and seat stitching design on the VdP are reminiscient of the Rolls Royce. Unlike many 'luxury' cars today, the VdP seats are completely leather, right down to the front seatback pocket gusset. The door armrests and pockets on all four doors are also covered with the same hides.
Here is a detail shot of the front passenger seat and footwell. Beneath the Wilton carpets are regular loop-pile rugs, so if the weather is not that nice outside, the fine rugs can be taken out. The regular carpets still make for very nice mats. The 'goat's hair' rugs are usually absent from most of these Series III Vanden Plas'. Unfortunately, they were often destroyed within the first five years due to inattentive owners (many of the XJ6s themselves met the same fate).
As you can tell, the car is in top-notch condition and got a clean bill of health from the area Jaguar dealer in May '05. The only thing this cat needs is a new headliner: the fabric is starting to sag in the back. After 18 years, that's bound to happen. I have driven two cross-country trips with this car, and would not hesitate to do so again. I'm going off to grad school and moving. My new condo has a two-car garage, which isn't enough room for a daily car and 2 Jaguars. One of them must go...I won't store this car, and my schedule won't let me enjoy it as much as another Jag enthusiast could.
(for informational purposes only)
Knox, Indiana, U.S.A.
Specs & Details
Interior Color: parchment
Engine: inline 6
Miles Driven: 57,201
Sold For: $11,995
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