1972 Jaguar XJ6 Is Junkyard Treasure

·1 min read
Photo credit: Murilee Martin
Photo credit: Murilee Martin

The very first Jaguar XJ rolled off the Browns Lane Plant assembly line in Coventry as a 1968 model, and production of the first-generation XJ6 continued through 1973. While the XJs of the 1980s and 1990s aren't too difficult to find in the self-service wrecking yards I haunt, the Series 1 cars have been thin on the ground. Here's a once-swanky '72 XJ6 in a Denver-area yard.

Photo credit: Murilee Martin
Photo credit: Murilee Martin

1972 was the first model year for the XJ12 and its 5.3-liter V12 engine, but the 4.2-liter XK straight-six in the XJ6 made plenty of smooth power: 186 horses with 240 lb-ft of torque. Check out those classy Stromberg 175 sidedraft carburetors!

Photo credit: Murilee Martin
Photo credit: Murilee Martin

As someone who daily-drove a 1973 MGB-GT for a few years, I can say that all of the Lucas Electrics jokes you've heard have a depressing basis in reality. Get home before dark! Still, the Series 1 XJ6 was a fast and comfortable saloon for its time, and many Americans were happy to pay $7683 (about $51,280 today) for one.

Photo credit: Murilee Martin
Photo credit: Murilee Martin

With registration paperwork from both California and Colorado from the middle 1980s through middle 1990s, plus a big stack of 1990s issues of Forbes, it appears that this car alternated living between the two states before getting parked forever in about 1995. The rust must have set in during that quarter-century of outdoor Denver life, and that alone would have doomed this car to its final parking space in Englewood.

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