Junkyard Find: Small Block Chevy-swapped 1969 Jaguar XJ6
April 2nd, 2018 8:03 AM Share
The Series 1 Jaguar XJ, built for the 1968 through 1973 model years, sold fairly well in the United States but became a rare sight in self-service wrecking yards well before the 20th century was through. I photographed this ’69 in a Northern California yard all the way back in 2007, when I was busy harvesting clocks for my collection and gauges in general for my team’s 24 Hours of Lemons Volvo, and I think it’s time to share them.
Jaguar straight-sixes weren’t horribly unreliable, at least by the standards of the 1960s, but the good old Chevy 350 has always been tantalizingly affordable when the Jag’s original engine gives up. This was a very, very common swap, given the Jaguar’s spacious engine compartment and the overabundance of cheap small-block Chevrolet engines going back to the 1950s.
The shadow of the yellow-on-blue California plate, drawn in road dust, remains visible. The first year for the blue plates was 1969, so this may have been the car’s original license plate.
Would you trust any of the Lucas– or Smiths- built electrical components you see here? As I recall, I bought the clock and voltmeter, neither of which worked.
It was beat-up and showed ample evidence of liberal application of body filler, but it didn’t seem rusty. Worth restoring in 2007, with the Great Recession just getting into gear? Probably not.
It’s better to imagine a car like this when it was a very luxurious status symbol, not what it became during its decline-and-fall years.
#1960s #1969 #BritishCars #BritishLeyland #California #DownOnTheJunkyard #Jaguar #JaguarXJ #JaguarXJ6 #Junkyard #XJ #JunkyardFind
Published April 2nd, 2018 8:03 AM
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