This is one of exactly 1,873 Jaguar XJ-C V12 coupes ever made. Like a fine wine, I was saving it for a special occasion; but what better time to break it out than to coincide with today’s feature on Jaguar styling with Ian Callum. Undoubtedly, the XJ-C and XK-E are the two most divine, essential, and final manifestations of Sir William Lyons’ fertile Jaguarium. Never again would the leaping cat grace such a sublime creation. Given that Ian Callum’s difficult task was inspired by this very car, lets savor this fine vintage white Jag today.
We did an in-depth CC on an XJ-12 sedan a while back, so we’ll stick to mainly just drooling over this limited-production coupe version of one of the all-time handsome cars ever. Jaguar showed the Coupe in 1973, but technical production issues kept it out the showrooms until the 1975 model year. It should not come as a surprise that even with the delay, these coupes had problems with water leaks and wind noise. The Brits had none of the experience that Detroit did making pillarless hardtops; to my knowledge, this was Jaguar’s one and only attempt at this body style.
To have a graphic representation of how this car was actually built, one needs to just remove the inner door liner and see the welds of where two of the shorter sedan front doors were cut and welded together to make a coupe front door. Definitely not Body by Fisher technique. Since all the Coupes came from the factory with vinyl roofs, there was a presumption that it was done to cover up weld marks there too, but as our example shows, that was clearly not the case.
In all, just 8,378 XJ-Cs left the Jaguar works, ending in 1978. The bulk of them (6,508) were powered by the XK series six, and the rest by the V-12, whose problematic birth and early years we covered in that earlier CC. It lives up to its “turbine smooth” demeanor, when it’s working. Since this one is sitting around the corner from an exotic-car mechanic’s shop, it’s hard to say whether its turbine is spinning or not. Not our problem, right? We can just sit and ogle, and let someone else worry about the bill.