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Car Tales: Absolute Class, The Jaguar XJ12C Coupe

‘It was her birthday.
‘Never an early riser and still in her robe – it had been a late one the night before, after all – at some time around noon the beautiful blonde model drew apart the drapes of the elegant west London townhouse she lived in with her rock star husband.
1976 Jaguar XJ12C Coupe for sale
‘And then she gasped! Parked beneath her, an enormous pink ribbon wrapped around it and tied into a bow on its roof, was a sparkling Jaguar XJ12C, a 1976 model, one of the most beautiful coupes ever built, with not a bad line on it anywhere. Her birthday present from her husband.

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‘This was ten or so years later so it wasn’t a brand new model. But that wasn’t the point: the Jag XJs were so classy, so desirable, with what at the time to a certain English set seemed like London gangster chic. Though in this model’s case, it was simply a perfect car for ferrying her two small children to school.
1976 Jaguar XJ12C Coupe side view
‘We have one of these very classy beauties right now here at Beverly Hills Car Club, an exclusive 1976 Jaguar XJ12C Coupe featured with matching numbers and 47,817 miles on the odometer.
‘What is notable about this Jaguar XJ12C that we have is that this 12-cylinder model is one of only 686 of these cars produced for the U.S. market. It is a two-door pillar-less example, one of a limited production run.
‘Finished in Greensand and black vinyl roof combined with a tan interior, this car is equipped with an automatic transmission, V12 engine, front wheel disc brakes, power steering, sunroof, Smiths instruments (battery condition indicator, oil pressure, water temperature gauge, fuel level gauge, tachometer, speedometer), quad headlights, side marker lights, grille badges, chrome trim, two-spoke steering wheel, Dunlop white-line tires, Jaguar-branded hub caps, jack, tool roll, and a full-size spare tire fitted in the trunk.
‘Amenities include air conditioning, a Kienzle dashboard clock, a Panasonic radio, an ashtray, a lockable glove box with a concealed vanity mirror on the left-hand side of the lid, map light, an armrest center console, dual-side mirrors, sun visors, electrically operated windows, cigar lighter and a rear folding armrest.
‘In addition to the equipment, this 1970s classic comes with the owner’s manual booklet and manufacturer’s literature.
‘This is a limited production fuel-injected XJ12C Coupe that is ready to be enjoyed and is also mechanically sound.
1976 Jaguar XJ12C Coupe rear view
‘The Jaguar XJ was a series of full-size luxury cars that were produced by the British automobile manufacturer Jaguar Cars from 1968 to 2019: from 1970 the XJ was Jaguar’s flagship model. There were five basic platform generations, debuting in 1968, 1986, 1994, 2003, and 2009. The original XJ was the last Jaguar saloon to have had the input of Sir William Lyons, the founder of the company, one that in the UK received a Royal seal of approval.
‘Within those separate generations there were often interesting amendments.
1976 Jaguar XJ12C Coupe interior
‘After the first generation had a facelift in the fall of 1973, the last Jaguar models with direct input from Sir William Lyons, the XJs born before this were referred to as ‘Series 1’. At first Series 2 had a standard wheelbase version and a long-wheelbase model. But this only lasted for a year. From the 1974 London Motor Show in October of that year, the standard wheelbase was discontinued.
‘From then on all XJs had an additional 4 inches of passenger cabin length; in total the car was 196.5 inches long. These improvements only enhanced the beauty of the Jaguar XJ12.
‘The series II Jaguar XJ cars were visually different from their predecessors: to meet U.S. crash safety regulations they had raised front bumpers. This necessitated a smaller grille. Meanwhile, the car’s sumptuous interior received a considerable update, with improved heating and A/C systems.
‘And in April 1975 these adjustments went a step further. For North America the XJs were given a revised set of front bumpers with rubber over-riders that covered the entire length of the bumper.
‘And the V12 cars had their Zenith-Stromberg carburettors replaced by Bosch-Lucas electronic fuel injection. For such an impressively large car, the Jaguar XHJ12 had impressive performance figures, sports-car-like. It would get you from 0-60 mph in 8.8 seconds, with a top speed of 140 mph. The list price in 1976 was $17,000.
1976 Jaguar XJ12C Coupe engine
‘Of course, our beautiful blonde model receiving her XJ12 as a birthday gift was in the UK. Pulling up to her bumper was not hampered by rubberwear. All she needed to do was to undo that fetching pink ribbon. Although the car has long moved on, she still has that ribbon, tucked away in a dresser drawer.
‘A memory of the greatest birthday present she ever received.
-Alex Manos, Owner
Jaguar XJ12C buyer Alex Manos

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