Jaguar 'Greatest Hits' XJ: Geneva 2018

We all know Jaguar likes to mark a special occasion fairly extravagantly, and with this year being the 50th anniversary of the XJ we have very high hopes. Kicking things off in inimitable fashion is this, the 'Greatest Hits' XJ, a collaboration between Jaguar Classic and Nicko McBrain.

Yes, that's Michael Henry 'Nicko' McBrain of Iron Maiden, a lifelong Jag man and a big XJ advocate. In the press bumf he describes it as his "favourite of all Jaguars"; having owned two previous to this one, he's pretty well qualified to proffer judgement.

Once upon a time, this was a 1984 XJ6 4.2; however, after 3,500 man hours and the reworking (or replacement) of more than 4,000 parts, it now represents McBrain's vision of a dream XJ. The bumpers front and rear are new, incorporated into new wings with bespoke chromework. The wire wheels are 18-inch diameter, nestled into new flared arches and wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tyres. The suspension is all new, the Mauve paint is new, the sills are new... a lot is new. Note as well the LED headlights, the XJ Series 2 door handles and the recessed twin fuel fillers; the latter will probably be quite handy with the 4.2 straight-six using three carbs from an E-Type...

The interior is a fascinating mix of the traditional and the modern, with up-do-date nav and 1100w sound system incorporated into a design mostly familiar from that era of XJ. The Pimento red leather and the level of fit and finish might not be so familiar, but you get the point. The wood is 'Dark Grey stained Sycamore', because that's the material McBrain uses on his snare drums, and the rotary controls on the dash are meant to look like the controls for a Marshall amp.

In addition, the XJ's usability has been further improved by the introduction of "uprated" (see: functioning) air-con, remote central locking, additional sound deadening, a retrimmed interior with new seat foam and even a reversing camera. Let's hope it gets some use, then...

"I'm so excited by its completion... it really is a Greatest Hits edition to me and it defines what the Jaguar XJ is all about" said McBrain, describing it as a "credit to the craftsmanship of the Jaguar Classic team." JLR Classic's director Tim Hannig added that the process had been "extraordinarily rewarding" and is said to be looking forward to hearing the reaction...

So, what do you make of it? A unique and interesting one-off take on a classic Jag? Or one more resto-mod project that should have been left on the drawing board? For what it's worth, Jaguar Classic, we'd love an XJ-C with the naughtiest V12 you can make - we'll talk about the commission when our numbers come up...









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Comments (84) Join the discussion on the forum

  • M666 EVO 06 Mar 2018

    Well there is wallpaper of the week right there.

    Having owned an XJ6, an XJR and even an XJS V12, I would say I am a Jag man but even so, that is a thing of beauty. The interior is a bit tarts boudoir but the exterior is seriously cool.

  • Macboy 06 Mar 2018

    I like a lot of this but the wheels are....vulgar. Some nice alloys would sort out any exterior issue for me. I like this overall direction for SVO - why let the specialists have this business?

  • unpc 06 Mar 2018

    Yeah not a fan of the wheels, steering wheel or interior colour but otherwise perfect.

  • Jim the Sunderer 06 Mar 2018

    He spends £60,000 and they've put the steering wheel in the wrong place!

  • Krikkit 06 Mar 2018

    Slightly smaller wheels and a brown rather than red interior for me, but what a splendid idea!

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