1976 Jaguar XJ6 Series 2 4.2
(Featured on 5th July 2013)
Registration: LBE 777P
Sellers original description:
A 1976 Series 2 Jaguar XJ6 4.2 Automatic with factory option Vinyl roof, very rare factory special order with electric steel sunshine roof and Vanden Plas chromed swage line and bonnet trims.
Just 37,000 miles from new.
Owned from new by a Vice Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire until 1994 during which time it was used in his official capacities to convey members of the Royal family including Prince Charles, Princess Ann and the Duke of Edinburgh.
One elderly private owner since who covered less than 5,000 miles in almost 20 years.
Totally original retaining factory fitted panels and glass.
Always garaged, practically unused and kept under covers in dry storage for the last 10 years.
Just fully re-commissioned for use by our Jaguar specialist with service and new MOT.
VERY ORIGINAL, VERY CORRECT, ULTIMATE PROVENANCE AND JUST GORGEOUS!
By the mid to late 1960’s competition for the lucrative luxury car market was led by Jaguar with the successful Mk 10, MK 2, S-Type and 420 saloons. However, it had been clear for some time that if Jaguar were to remain at the top of this sector into the 1970’s and beyond there was a pressing need to develop just one saloon to replace all of the cars in the existing range.
To succeed the new car would need to be very special indeed. It was- the XJ6 made its debut in 1968 at London’s Earls Court Motor Show.
The car was an immediate success with the public, show goers were overwhelmed by this new large luxury Jaguar. However, perhaps of greater importance was the attention from the motoring press. It is doubtful that any car had ever received such unqualified praise from the press as the XJ did.
Almost overnight the XJ became and remained until production ended, the “must have” luxury car.
1973 saw the introduction of the improved Series 2 range. Luxuriously appointed and with a ride quality unequalled in its day it is no wonder that it won the accolade “The Best Car in the World”.
The new model had more power, featured a raised front bumper and shallower grill, the interior was redesigned the ventilation improved and the car benefited from more rear leg room in the now standard long wheel base form.
By the mid seventies by far the most popular of The XJ’s was the silky smooth 4.2 version with automatic gear box.
XJ6 series 2's have really shot up in desirability and value of late and are now highly sought after by Jaguar collectors and enthusiasts alike.
It is incredibly hard to find an original unrestored car toady. To find one in totally correct and original condition with less than 40,000 miles from new in the hands of 2 owners though really would be a tall order – wouldn’t it?
Well actually it would – nevertheless though……….
In early July 1975 the first owner of LBE 159P, then in his fifties, travelled from his home in Yorkshire to neighbouring Humberside, as it was then, to the counties only Jaguar distributor, Richard A Bellamy Ltd. The purpose of his visit was to collect his New Jaguar XJ6 Series 2 4.2 automatic.
The car had had to be purchased through Distributors Bellamy's rather than through his local Jaguar dealer in Dewsbury Yorkshire as it had been a unusual factory special order, as opposed to a car that had just had factory options added.
Enhancements fitted pre delivery were not the usual factory options that were generally available and required an individual and rare factory order.
These were an electric sliding steel sunshine roof, in addition to the vinyl roof that was a factory option, chrome bonnet trim with correct matching leaping cat mascot and swage lines along entire length of body sides (usually only available on the more luxurious Vanden Plas and Daimler Double Six models) the unique style Daimler doors cards with black top section and an almost unheard of in the early seventies cruise control (untested).
Also ordered and supplied prior to delivery were gold coach lines, which in 1975 were not stick on vinyl but would have been hand painted by a sign writer. Almost forty years later the majority of theses hand painted coach lines remain with LBE 777P.
The first owner, managing Director of a textile mill, first registered the Jaguar in his company name. Although despite being registered in the company name LBE 777P was not in fact very often used for Company business but more civil duties. The car was cherished and cared for with a passion. When he retired in 1982 and became High Sheriff of West Yorkshire LBE 777P was transferred into the owners private name and address.
The owner now retired from business had freed up more time to perform his civil duties and went on from being High Sheriff to become Vice Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.
Lord-lieutenants are the monarch's representatives in their lieutenancy. It is their foremost duty to uphold the dignity of the Crown. They are appointed for life, although the customary age of retirement is 75 and the sovereign may remove them.
The responsibilities of lord-lieutenants include:
Arranging visits of members of the Royal family and escorting royal visitors;
Presenting medals and awards on behalf of the Sovereign, and advising on Honours nominations;
Participating in civic, voluntary and social activities within the lieutenancy;
The lord-lieutenant is supported by a vice lord-lieutenant who takes over when the lord-lieutenant is abroad, ill, or otherwise incapacitated.
Accomplishing the position of Vice lord-lieutenant is deemed an extremely high honour indeed. The role was unpaid and no official vehicle was provided - it was expected that the Vice lord-lieutenant would provide his own vehicle for escorting Royal visitors. It goes without saying that not just any old car would do and that any such vehicle should be something rather special.
LBE 777P was, and still is for that matter, that special vehicle. Maintained, garaged, cherished, and pampered with a passion it could hold its own with the best of the best when it came to Transporting members of the monarchy. “The Best Car in the World” and British to boot!
Many Royals, dignitaries and VIP's would have been passengers in LBE 777P it is known and documented that Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, Anne The Princess Royal and Prince Charles The Prince of Wales were amongst them.
In 1994 the, now retired from duty, vice lord - lieutenant of West Yorkshire reluctantly had to part with his beloved LBE 777P that had given him such good service over 2 decades and covered just 32,000 miles in that time. He was most particular that it went to a new owner who would care for it with the same passion that he had. He knew just the man - and he lived less than 10 miles away!
The second owner (although shows as 3rd on the V5 because of the change from the owners company name to his private name) of LBE 777P had admired the car for many years and had been promised first refusal if the first owner ever wanted to part with it. The second owner, then in his late fifties, acquired the car of his dreams on the 6th September 1994 after faithfully promising the first owner that he would continue to care for it in the same way that it had been cared for in the past.
The second owner was, of course, true to his word. LBE 777P was never intended to be a car for everyday use he owned several other vehicles for that. LBE 777P was always intended to only be used on high days and holidays and was to be a car to keep. As it turned out that is exactly what happened.
The second owners tells us that during the first few years of ownership the furthest he ever travelled was on regular Sunday outings to Harrogate during the summer months, a 70 mile round trip. MOT's in the history file up to 2002 with the mileage then at 36,121 support this. The total number of miles covered whilst in the care of the second owner for almost 20 years was just over 5,000.
In later years as the owner reached his seventies the car was hardly used at all, in fact from 2003 until its MOT in 2008 (37,496 miles) it never left the confines of the dry storage in an industrial unit, owned by the second owner, where in was stored covered in dust sheets.
The MOT in June last year records the mileage at 37,603 and today the genuine mileage is just 37,704.
Today LBE 777P is presented in outstanding original condition it retains original panels and in places its Browns Lane applied paint finish.
XJ6 Series II Jaguars are becoming rare now. They have really come into their own in the last year or so helped by the classic press proclaiming them as the Jaguar XJ6 to have and the one most likely to be a wise investment for the future. Unrestored original cars are rare and exceptionally low mileage examples with low ownership very, very rare indeed.
LBE 777P is low mileage, original, just 2 owners, is a unique factory special order and has incredible provenance consequently it will attract worldwide attention and be highly sought after by Jaguar enthusiasts, collectors and investors alike.
The Dark Blue (that's the name) paintwork suits the car so well, in fact you could say it has a very Royal look - complimented by the factory fitted black Vinyl roof and contrasting leather hide.
Since the second owner acquired LBE 777P almost 20 years ago the only paint rectification carried out, and confirmed by him in writing as such, was to a scrape to the off side doors after a parking incident in Harrogate over 10 years ago which also necessitating in the 2 hand painted coach lines on those doors to being replaced with vinyl.
The only paint rectification we have had to attend to was a small dent to the front valance and we carried the new paint across the whole of the valance.
While in the care of the first owner the car would have always have had to be immaculately presented of course, given its duties. It would not do at all to have members of the Royal family transported in vehicles that were blemished in any way. Consequently there are signs that localised areas received paint rectification at differing times during its early life. However in places the paint finish would seem original and even the 1975 hand painted original coach lines, apart from on the off side doors for the reason mentioned, remain intact.
All of the work carried out is many years old and we know that other than the 2 doors none was carried out for at least 20 years and some of it no doubt dates back to dealer rectification when the car was new or under warrantee.
LBE 777P is remarkably rust free for an XJ6 that is approaching 4 decades old and has never had and does not now require any welding. This in itself is highly unusual with a Series II Jaguar as many of them have received extensive body and paint work over the years.
The boot, bonnet and door shuts are in excellent condition.
The bright work is in 40 year old excellent original condition.
The floors are in fantastic condition and the underside is remarkable.
There is the odd stone chip and mark that has been touched in with a touch up brush and there are a couple of pin head sized blisters on the N/S/F wing.
The paint finish is excellent and retains a wonderful lustre - hardly surprising really as LBE 777P is not a car that is has been unfamiliar with the best quality wax polishes!
The vinyl roof fitted at the factory in 1975 is excellent and is not worn or ripped and has the correct factory fitted chrome retaining trims. There is a little unevenness/bumpiness under the Vinyl roof especially to one edge around the sunroof aperture.
We just love the interior of this car, it is so original and correct. It is also a very nice place to be indeed.
The front seats have minimal aged creasing and are in superb original condition they are not ripped or worn the leather seat facings have never been re-dyed. The material on the front seat backs remains taught.
We love the seats in these Series II XJ’s they are so comfortable they seem to hug you as you waft along.
When we acquired the car the factory bespoke head lining (owing to the sunroof) whilst in good condition had sagged. It was fixable but on a Jaguar of this standard our trimmers recommended a complete new one.
This we have done and it looks striking.
The veneer on the dash is unmarked, apart from a tiny area to one edge of the glove box surround.
The door cards which set the interior off so well with their exclusive black Daimler top sections, centre consul and the rest of the trim are all excellent and unmarked.
The Brown velvet pile carpets are in excellent overall condition with just a small split and the stitching coming apart to the piping on the drivers mat.
There is absolutely no trace of there ever having been any damp in the foot wells and the moulded foam under the carpets is excellent.
A period Philips cassette player remains.
The steering wheel is unmarked showing none of the common signs of being worn away by rings on fingers or being chipped.
The centre consul is unmarked.
All in all - just fabulous!
UNDER THE BONNET:
Under the bonnet the engine bay is gleaming.
Original stickers remain.
Presents as only a low mileage example can.
All the numbers match.
IN THE BOOT:
Original black hardura mat in as new condition.
Black side panels virtually unmarked. We removed them to check for rust behind and found absolutely none.
Steel spare wheel with original factory fitted Dunlop tyre.
Jack and handle and wheel brace in their original Hardura bag.
Original, complete and unused tool roll with all tools even the tyre pressure gauge is still in its factory wrapper.
ON THE ROAD:
We gave LBE 777P to our Jaguar Specialists and asked them to re-commission it, go through it with a fine tooth comb, service it and MOT it, even though the existing one had several months to run.
A new battery was fitted.
When we acquired the car it was running quite lumpy on choke. A common problem with series 2 XJ6's caused by the antiquated and troublesome Automatic Enrichment Device (AED).
Our Jaguar specialist changed the diaphragm and gaskets in the AED which improved things somewhat - but it was not perfect.
They suggested replacing the unit with a second hand one as new units are all but impossible to get. Obviously though they could not guarantee that it would be any better or if it was how long it would last as even new units tend not to last very long at all when used with modern fuels!
Our Jaguar specialist recommended a far more permanent solution that they now fit to almost all series 2's. A manual electronic switch conversion be fitted which would do away with any potential problems that may arise in months/years to come and make an all round more reliable solution for the future as it will last. This they have done and very well it works to - even in this cold weather.
LBE 777P now starts well after a couple of turns when cold and first turn when warm. As Soon as normal temperature is reached - a flick of the switch and it runs beautifully without the worry that the AED, with a mind of its own, is going to inject extra petrol when it's not needed and cause poor running and fuel consumption.
There is excellent oil pressure both from cold and at normal running temperature.
There are no undue noises or smoke.
The electric aerial does not seem to function.
On the road the car drives like a dream. We absolutely love it.
The automatic gear box has just been fully overhauled by a gear box specialist and the gears change up and down as they should with a silky smoothness and without noise.
The power steering is light and precise.
Often with Jaguars that have been little used and stored for a while it’s the mechanical items that you cannot see or hear that can cost the money to renew.
Both tanks were drained of old fuel. Several gallons of fresh fuel were then replaced. Both tanks are working as they should.
A new elbow for the Speedo drive has been fitted.
The radiator had a leak but could be easily repaired once removed from the car. However on removing the radiator it was found that the leak had caused some minor corrosion to the front cross member - to which the radiator was attached. This again was repairable the cost though to repair the cross member and the radiator was over 50% of replacing them both with new items. Having weighed it up and taken the advice of our Jaguar specialist we decided to go ahead with the replacements - so they have both been renewed.
Top ball joint and 4 top shock absorber bushes have been replaced.
Renewed the gear box “cotton reel” mount. Grease all points
Replace several bulbs.
Full engine service including tuning of carbs oil & filter points plugs fuel filters etc.
Road test and take for MOT, according to our Jaguar specialist the car performs and drives very well indeed and just how it should of speeds up 80mph with the newly overhauled gear box superbly smooth and quite.
Particularly noteworthy was the underside of LBE 777P when fully inspected on the ramp our Jaguar specialists gave it an absolutely clean bill of health to the point of saying that it was as good an example as they had seen for many years.
All in all re-commissioning and service charges circa £2,500 at trade prices.