1987 Jaguar XJ6

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1987 Jaguar XJ6
RCR Jaguar XJ6 Thumb.jpg
Car Details
Make Jaguar
Model XJ6
Year 1987
Owner Matt W.
Episode Details
Episode Link Watch
Season The Great Maybe
Air Date January 5, 2015
Credits Bertman

A car so British, it apologizes for being on time. This is a car for looking like old money. When we were filming this, a lookie-loo walked up to the Jag and us..and said: "Do you have any Grey Poupon?" For real.


1987 Jaguar XJ6: a car so British, it apologizes for being on time. 



The Jaguar is not a truck,
But it sleeps with lady luck,
XJ is down to f-



This car came out the year Rowdy Roddy Piper retired for the first time and it always sort of rankled that he never got the chance to be world champion, but if you think about it, when you can put asses in seats from Greensboro to Seattle and from New York to Atlanta, do you really need to be world champion? You’re drawing card on your own, without any championships or flashy robes or Rock music entrance themes. The Jaguar XJ6 is the Rowdy Piper of cars. 

The series three Jaguar XJ model came in three engine specifications: a 2.8-liter XK straight six, a 4.2-liter XK straight six, and a 5.3-liter Jaguar V12. This model here has the 4.2. Look inside of this engine bay, most components in here are metal, not plastic, and I know we like to thump our chests and claim to know how to bring peace to the Middle East, but wait until one of these little connectors cracks or a reservoir begins leaking, or god forbid a head gasket goes.

Owning an old Jag looks romantic, but it’s boat level nickel-and-diming. Plagued with tire problems, not only were the issues too frequent, replacing tires was too expensive. Also the valve gasket occasionally spewed oil onto the exhaust manifolds in some of these older Jag models, perhaps because of all the outmoded tech carried over from earlier iterations. This thing has an IRS unit from the Mark X, for example, and multiple forums recommend finding a mechanic who specializes in series three Jaguars only, because working on these things is a delicate process, not unlike removing the funny bone during a game of Operation. 


But that’s selling this car short because there’s a lot to like about it. This Jaguar XJ loves lead foot drivers and high octane fuel because it likes to deny you things, seriously when you drive this car, this is the first car I’ve ever driven that doesn’t accelerate; I don’t even know how it gets up to speed. What you do, is y- you mash this pedal on the floor, and go nowhere. It’s the entire character of the car. It doesn’t accelerate, it advances. 

But that’s its character, that’s its gumption. Like Rudy, everybody saw Rudy right? Sure the laying down jerseys things never happened and maybe the big chant at the end was tongue in cheek, but MANLY TEARS WERE SHED ON THAT DAY! YESTERDAY, WHEN IT AIRED ON TV!

The Jaguar XJ6 swallows tires like the ocean swallows sandals, but it makes up for it by being both very fast and very quiet.


Mr. Regular: What happens if I keep it in two?

Matt (owner): It’ll probably rev a bit but let’s see what happens. 

Mr. Regular: Whoa! That was the kickdown. 

Matt: That’s first gear I guess.

Mr. Regular: harrum harruhrur rarrararrrarrrrrraararara, erhherrrarrara! There’s no way it’s gaining revs that fast!



It handles like an N64 controller in a lot of ways. Cumbersome at first, but second nature in a matter of minutes. This is because the brake discs are inborn, or inboard. Take the wheels off this and you won’t see the brake discs. They’re behind the hub. Yes, that makes sense if you have a light car, but the Jaguar XJ6 is Chevy Caprice level heavy. 

But that doesn’t matter because like Ferraris, Jaguar, the word Jaguar, has power. Jaguar, or Jag-u-ar, or Yankee trying to pronounce this. It’s easy to imagine a white collar, buck passing asshat of industry in the mid-80’s cruising down Lexington and 57nd street in a Jag while getting road head from Phyllis in accounting. He takes the senior group on his way to a power lunch and he takes a call from a brick shaped cell phone to set up a meeting with the CEO of Sumitoyo practicing his best Engrish jokes out loud, confident that he’ll be taken in good humor because racism can only come from positions of power right? He gave up on purity rings after his first taste of second base and he cuts you off at the pass while reaching for the check. “Your money’s no good here,” he says with a smile while his cock throbs with superiority under the table. 

1987 Jaguar XJ6: the official car of, “I think we’re done here.” But that’s buying into the apex fallacy and the apex fallacy has to do with people in the top echelon of a group, who represent that whole group. Just because some Jaguar owners were jack wagons back in the 80’s doesn’t mean that every Jaguar was, or is, or ever will be. Nor does the extraordinary nature of the ’87 Jaguar in its prime preclude it from being a regular car today. So when you drive an XJ6 in modern traffic, during the day, you look rich. Not important, but rich. You look old money. Look at the way the front of this car is designed. It looks down on you even when it’s below you. The wood inside, real wood. The automatic shift lever, dainty, delicate, like a powerful man with thin hands. It has two gas tanks, two of them. They’re saddle tanks, there’s one on either side of the car, one to get you to the gas pump, and the other one to get you home. 

Everything on the dash is heavy, even though that these are plastic buttons, they’re heavy, there’s authority in pressing them. But, should you own an ’87 Jaguar XJ6? No. No. No. No. No. No. No no. no, No. No. No. No! No no! NO! NO! NO! No! No! URHH NO! NOOO! NOOOOO DON’T EVER! DON’T DO IT! DON’T! NO!


87 was great,
Except for but wires fade,
Contravor the arcade with double dragons
Oh lord, don’t you know it’s nicer than Honda Civic wagon.