Curbside Classic: Jaguar XJC V12 Coupe

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
curbside classic jaguar xjc v12 coupe

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.

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3 of 38 comments
  • Merc63 Merc63 on Mar 08, 2011

    Gorgeous cars. Always loved the look of them, and wil own one someday (but NOT stock). I'v ehad a couple Series III XJ6s, and other then rust on one from living in Connecticut all it's life, only a couple simple mods made them completely reliable daily drivers. Cleaning the alternator contacts made teh charging systems work all teh time, same with cleaning the fuel tank switchover contacts. But a stakedown kit in the head (a $35 part and a half hour of time) cured internal engine unreliability, and replacing the lucas starter with a bosch gear reduction unit cured all starting problems. I'd love an XJ12C like the one shown, and since there's no reason to leave it stock, redo the wiring with a street ord wiring harness and update the carbs/fuel injection and ignition with a MegaSquirt setp. Vastly simplify what's underhood as the engine itself is pretty solid.

  • Bigworm Bigworm on Mar 08, 2011

    paul you took these pictures of my car without asking for them so im gonna have to ask you to take them down now! you have no right take picture of peoples cars without asking them so im asking nicely please take them down and the mercedes and bmw in the pictures are mine too and you have no right posting them. so take my pictures down and we wont have a problem

    • Paul Niedermeyer Paul Niedermeyer on Mar 08, 2011

      If you don't want your car to be photographed, don't leave your private property with it, ever. The legalities of photographing cars on public property is a non-issue. Maybe you better tell google street view not to photograph people's cars and houses, and even the people themselves... Photographers have been shooting street scenes forever, fortunately. It makes for interesting history. Anyway, I don't work here anymore, so you'll need to take it up with the owners of this site, a corporation based in Canada. I'm sure your attorney will be happy to spend some time to look into it for you.

  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.
  • RHD Any truth to the unconfirmed rumor that the new, larger model will be called the bZ6X? We could surmise that with a generous back seat it certainly should be!
  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.