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3 Luxury Jaguar with E-Type engine: Driving report Mk IX, 420 G and XJ6

Rossen Gargolov
Jaguar MK IX, 420 G and XJ6 driving report
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Forget Rolls-Royce!

While the XJ6 series is the epitome of the large, luxurious J aguar applies, the two predecessors Mk IX and 420 G are always a bit out of the way. Completely wrongly, as this driving report of the three generations proves. Because: Forget Rolls-Royce! Anyone who has taken a seat in the rear of a Jaguar Mk IX comes to the simple conclusion: It couldn't be better. Wherever the eye looks, you can discover wood in various designs, red leather, chrome-plated window frames, chrome-plated handles and chrome-plated metal operating levers. You can't live more beautifully - and you can even drive.

The fastest sedan of its time: Thanks to the powerful engine from the XK, the Jaguar Mk IX achieved a top speed of 185 in 1958 km /h.
Rossen Gargolov
With the Mk IX, Jaguar wanted to close the gap between the Mk X models and the Mark II or S-Type. Only 5,542 units of the 420 G were built between 1966 and 1970.
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The Jaguar XJ6 was built in 3 series: Series I from 1968 to 1973, Series II from 1973 to 1979 and Series III from 1979 to 1992.

In the Jaguar Mk IX you can travel around the world in 80 days

3 Details of the perfectly finished interior of the large Jaguar limousine from 1960 should be particularly emphasized: The one made entirely of wood like a partition Bright decorative strips inlaid on the back of the front seats, which also frame the two folding tables and the lid of the central storage compartment.

The opening windows of the rear doors can be operated using a smooth, complex, sliding lever mechanism. And in the two front doors of the Jaguar Mk IX there are storage boxes for the very well-stocked on-board tools - so you can travel around the world in 80 days.

Riding in the rear of this Jaguar Mk IX almost becomes a completely unreal experience, as if several Flatscreen monitors displayed the landscape passing by outside. Because no automobile can actually be furnished in such a high-quality and stylish way. But it is - and only a 'profane' Jaguar Mk IX.

Old shell, modern core

The Jaguar Mk IX also offers no less than four hydraulically operated disc brakes with hill holder function and a modern DOHC in-line six-cylinder that delivers 223 SAE horsepower and lets the British reach the impressive top speed of 185 km /h. That marked a record in Europe at the time.

In short: the Jaguar Mk IX, which was introduced in 1959 and produced until 1961, and its two optically almost identical, but somewhat weaker motorized predecessors, the Mk VII (from 1950) and Mk VIII (from 1956), were among real car connoisseurs at the time one of the most sought-after, because affordable luxury cars.

Jaguar Mk IX used as a state limousine in many countries

In the In the 1950s, the big Jaguar saloons took on government-related tasks even before Cadillac or Rolls-Royce. They chauffeured Charles de Gaulle through Canada on his visit or the Queen Mum through London for years. The Nigerian government even bought a fleet of 40 company cars painted in the national colors of green and white for ministers and higher officials. Nevertheless, a modern pontoon-style successor was urgently needed, which should logically be called the Jaguar Mk X.

The new, big Jaguar was presented on October 10, 1961 and only took over the 3.8-6 from its predecessor. Liter in-line six-cylinder. This epochal Jaguar machine celebrated its premiere in 1948 with the Jaguar XK 120 roadster and remained in use until 1992. Most recently in the 5.7-meter-long Daimler DS 420 representative sedan, used conservatively by many royal families.

Jaguar 420 is a mix of MkX and Mk II

That the Mk X only Half a year after the super-fast Jaguar E-Type was presented, it was no coincidence, as it had the same rear axle with independent suspension and the same engine with identical output: 259 SAE PS. From October 1964 the Mk X was available with the same output with 4.2 instead of 3.8 liters displacement, and again from October 1966 its name changed to 420 G.

The only visual difference to the Mk X is the more pronounced central strut in the radiator grille. At the same time, Jaguar introduced the 420 model - a mix of Mk X (rear and front section) and Mk II (central body section and doors).

The 'G' of our photo vehicle from 1968 therefore differs from the short Jaguar 420 for 'grand'. It also gave the big Jaguar the nickname 'Big Gee' ('big G'). And it's definitely big.

Little distance to the steering wheel and a sporty seat height

Especially those back then Overdue pontoon shape with the long, sloping rear end and the diagonally storming radiator nose left the Mk X or Jaguar 420 G grow so dramatically in length. The shape of the roof structure, on the other hand, is very similar to that of the predecessor, but has a panoramic windscreen and a significantly larger rear window.

If you want to take a seat behind the steering wheel, you have to overcome a wide side sill and find yourself with rather modest space content. Not in width, but at a distance from the steering wheel. Compared to the Jaguar Mk IX, it has only increased slightly, while the seating position is significantly lower and, in direct comparison, almost sporty.

Order on the dashboard

The most important difference is that in the Jaguar 420 G clearly designed dashboard with a toggle switch strip and two large and four small round instruments grouped towards the driver. In the Jaguar Mk IX, on the other hand, switches and instruments seem a bit random. In addition, the black housing of the small automatic selector lever with the gear indicator sits like a foreign body on the steering column.

So while the square, four-spoke valance of the Jaguar Mk IX is traditionally primarily intended for machinists and chauffeurs, the clearly designed cockpit of the 420 G also appeals to the male driver and perhaps even the lady of the house.

Hardly any differences when driving

When driving, however, the differences are not as great as the two cockpits suggest. The older Jaguar Mk IX can also be steered playfully through city traffic thanks to power steering and three-speed automatic. The acoustic accompaniment consists almost entirely of a faint rustling and howling of the engine when driving off.

There are almost no vibrations. The only thing that needs getting used to is the super-soft, somewhat indirect steering without any feedback about the driving conditions. In fast corners, this is taken over by the lean of the body and - as a clear alarm signal - the whistling of the tires.

420 G with slight starting weakness

The more modern Jaguar 420 G can do all of this a tad better, but despite the larger displacement it needs a firm accelerator when driving off. Although the gas pedal offers little resistance and can be pressed onto the ground with almost no resistance, the 1.9-tonne, five-meter ship needs a brief moment of thought before moving gently but relentlessly - just like in a modern, almost noiseless tram. But once the Big Gee has started moving, it hangs well on the gas, accelerates quite well even at higher speeds and avoids any form of speed hysteria: More than4,000 rpm are never necessary.

We immediately accept the fact that things are comparatively tight behind the steering wheel of the 420 G when we open one of the two rear doors and marvel at the similarly splendid interior design as we are already in Jaguar Mk IX have admired. There is still the red leather sofa with rounded corners and a leather-covered partition to the front compartment, as if you were sitting in a box at La Scala in Milan. And two wooden folding tables still invite you to study files or to eat a small packed lunch.

Jaguar 420 G a third more expensive than Mercedes 300 SEL

The price of the Jaguar 420 G However, it was not as hot in Germany as with the predecessor Mk IX. In 1968 it was in the price list with a hefty 31,250 marks. For comparison: a similarly comfortable Mercedes 300 SEL (W109) was already available for 23,400 marks. Nevertheless, Jaguar only took the Big Gee out of the sales program in 1970, where it had already had a strong competitor since 1968 with the newly introduced XJ6.

The new Jaguar XJ6 sedan, which replaced the short 420, was by the way the last model that Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons was personally involved in developing. The head of the company opted for a more gentle, more evolutionary design development for the sedans, while the sports models XK 120 to 150, E-Type and XJ-S differ radically from one another.

Our relative too The young Jaguar XJ6 photo model from 1980 from the 3 series is reminiscent of the predecessor Mk X or 420 G with its four-eyed cooler face leaning forward and the gently sloping rear of the car.

Jaguar XJ6 for the 21st century

Again, the large rev counter and the speedometer are in the center of the driver's field of vision, who is now holding a leather steering wheel as thick as a thumb, and despite that still relative finds a comfortable seating position in the tight footwell. Welcome to the 21st century. This is how you drive a car today, except that you cannot see the bonnet - on the Jaguar XJ6 with 4 rounded headlights.

The power steering, which now works precisely and with a little feedback, is also really fun. Only the massive wooden splendor from the 50s and 60s had to give way to some black plastic elements in the Jaguar XJ6.

Jaguar XK engine now with injection - and only 205 PS

The long-stroke inline six from the Jaguar Mk IX is still hissing at the front, which now delivers 205 DIN PS to the rear axle via a somewhat sleepy three-speed automatic. Thanks to a powerful kick-down, the comparatively slim cat gets going and sprints faster than its two predecessors from 0 to 100: in 9 seconds, top 200 km /h.

Thanks to the successful andAlways gently revised design, the basic shape of the XJ6 retained its validity until 2009 as the XJ8 with V8 engine. Anyone who speaks of a Jaguar limousine therefore means first and foremost the XJ6 and its direct successors. That is actually a shame, because the two very well motorized predecessors have their own charm.

This is how much the Jaguar Mk IX, 420 G and XJ6 cost

The oldest of this Jaguar trio is at the same time also by far the most expensive: well-maintained specimens in condition 2 cost around 41,000 euros - although the car still seems undervalued to us in view of what is offered. The significant price difference compared to state 4 cars (11,000 euros) is surprising in view of the robust ladder frame and the resulting inexpensive restoration of the body.

Many Jaguar 420 Gs were misused as cheap spare parts suppliers for the E-Type. They were robbed of their technology and disposed of in the nearest junkyard - if things went well for them. They are therefore rare - but still not expensive. The prices are 23,000 euros (condition 2) and 5,800 euros (condition 4).

The Series 3 models of the Jaguar XJ6 are significantly more rust-resistant than its rarer predecessors. In good condition, they cost around 12,500 euros (condition 4: 2,800 euros).


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