Capsule Review: 1985 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas

Posted on 11. Jun, 2010 by in Auto News

I could bore you all with the long story of how I ended up in the check-cashing business – it involved an assault with a broomstick and a cup of coffee – but we simply join the action in medias res some time in 1996. I'm standing on the used car market much beyond Welsh Enterprises choosing my XJ6. Bill Welsh, the owner had just treated me to lunch at "Jäggin 'Around", the restaurant, which he heard in Steubenville, Ohio. A millionaire several times by his intelligent decision to buy some sixty E-Types for pennies on the dollar in the seventies and sell them to the peak impact in the eighties, he was merrily burning his afternoon when I was not among the less than six drifted solid-state Series III Jags, no fixed over $ 4995. Obviously, this was more about money than amusement.

After its introduction in 1968, the Jaguar XJ6 was almost certainly the best sedan in the world. It was a fast and smooth thanks to its large six-cylinder, as comfortable as a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow (if not nearly as big and thick) and beautiful undisputed. It was also a really terrible, completely unreliable car. The absorption of Jaguar in British Leyland and the subsequent "Series II" model does not help matters. Series II XJ6s are completely hopeless. My neighbor at the time had one and wanted to sell it to me for four wings. I asked the Jaguar USENET group and was told to see, Bill Welsh for a decent XJ6, so I did just that.

Welsh and as I walked through the narrow, old brick buildings, which is his loosely assembled company, we stopped coming to Series III XJ6es, nose-first into a wall with a stack of boxes or peeking from under rotting old car parked covers. If Jaguar privately owned again by John Egan, he claimed that the quality of Pininfarina restyled Series III are brought up to par. It was mostly, though, as already mentioned, was my father's '86 XJ6 notoriously unreliable. That did not deter me want one. Of my own

Although I was beaten with a gray base XJ6 with red leather interior, was my favorite. Welsh flock a cat '85 Vanden Plas in champagne with cream interior It was $ 3995. The "Vanden Plas" badge was a strange artifact Jaguar U.S. branding. In England were as upscale XJ6es "Daimler Sixes" sold since Jaguar owned by the "Daimler" is trademark. (The history of Daimler and Jaguar is a fascinating history of its own.) Jaguar could not the car badge as "Daimler" in the United States, so they used "Vanden Plas", the name of a Belgian coach maker to indicate the full Kit cars.

In comparison to a regular the XJ6 Vanden Plas Connolly Autolux leather had in a quad-seat assembly. The interior has walnut wood instead of standard Burr Walnut. Most options are standard, and a series of plush floor mats are also available. My car also had real Jaguar wheels. These wheels were, ironically, by the Dayton Wire Wheel Company. That's right, Jaguar had thrown some "D's" on it.

My Vanden Plas had 86,000 miles on it. I have another seven thousand to over a hot Ohio. Summer before storing for the winter In one memorable incident, I was an urban rally drive-through when some of the youths took place before kick-off due to the fact that I had a wonderful African-American women in the Jag roll with me. I was "pimping the sisters' accused. The "sisters" who were in fact managers check-cashing stores themselves disagreed vociferously. Something that looked like a gun in someone's hand appeared. I floored the throttle and hoped the Jag not be stalled.

Not that it ever falter. In my possession, it was dead reliable, runs like a top and fabulous. On the highway at 80 miles per hour Worked the tape deck. Hell, the Air conditioning blew cool. Ish. I have heard a lot and driven luxury sedans, but the Series III XJ6 remains the benchmark for me. The driving position was a pure sports car, the XJ6 delivered what the Panamera promises falsely. It was not fast by modern standards, but it was torquey and rarely needed to move the three-speed automatic make forward progress. A weakness of the XJ6 is required substantial pressure on the accelerator, it was allegedly voted on the brake pedal for any reason. Getting in my other cars out of the Vanden Plas always resulted in a "sting" out of the driveway when I gave the gas has a Jag worth push.

The dual fuel tanks were a delight, with its top-mounted, real fill chrome and metal caps. On-the-fly changes, a rectangular button tanks, causing the swing fuel gauge on the appropriate reading for the selected tank. It was positively Supermarine, old boy.

Even after twelve years, was the depth of the champagne color on the Vanden Plas amazing sight. My detailer accidentally dropped his sander on the car, the handle cut a solid dig through the rear quarter panel, but did not reach the primer. Very few corners were cut on the Series III. As a result, it was the most successful Jaguar in modern history, effectively makes the rescue of the company and it is possible that Jaguar XJ40 finalize the successor.

We all know how that ended, of course. My personal history of Jaguar was not much better. I lost everything I. In the world owned by a number of personal reversals The Jag was sold at a loss for cash from my wife while I was away from home. You could keep only one thing out of the business. Our Vanden Plas was equipped with a spare tire. No tire was mounted. If the car is sold, the purchaser would not worry about it. The wheel sits in my garage next to my now green Audi S5, remember: Nothing is permanent, not joy, not sorrow.