1968 Jaguar XJ6 Series 1 4.2 Litre PHP 42G

Sir William Lyons’ Car 

This was the 370th XJ6 4.2 litre right-hand drive car. The colour is Sable, with Cinnamon interior trim. For the first two years of its life, it was the personal transport of Sir William Lyons, the Chairman of Jaguar Cars Limited. It was kept on the road until 1976 by which time it had done some 60,000 miles. It became part of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust collection and was stored until 1994, when it was finally restored and put back in running order, with sponsorship and assistance from the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club.

Sir William Lyons and PHP 42G at Bloomfield Road in Blackpool at that time home to the Central Bowling Club

Not long after the XJ6 was launched, Sir William took the car, along with his family, on a trip back up to Blackpool and he was photographed, with the car, outside Swallow Sidecar’s original factory site in Bloomfield Road, which at that time was the central Bowling and Social Club.

During the 1960s, Jaguar’s product policy became a little confusing. By 1967, there were no less than four basic saloon ranges in production (Jaguar 240 and 340 versions of the Mark II, 420G, S-Type and the Daimler V8), with a total of nine different models. Behind the scenes, a new policy and a new model were slowly coming to fruition. Broadly speaking, the existing unwieldy range would be replaced by a single basic design, with a choice of engines, and available in either Jaguar or Daimler form.

The project was code-named XJ4 but the production version, launched in September 1968, became the XJ6, for six cylinders, with a choice of 2.8 litre or 4.2 litre XK engines. The body was new in every respect, and was the pinnacle of the elegant Jaguar design which Sir William Lyons had refined over so many years. The new car was notable for its suspension which chief engineer Bob Knight had developed to reach new standards of handling and road holding, coupled with remarkable passenger comfort.

PHP 42G was one of the cars featured in the video montage – Jaguar XJ50 – which Jaguar Cars produced to celebrate 50 years of the XJ in 2018, showing the evolution of the XJ Saloon.

The XJ6 was a typical Jaguar in offering value for money. At launch the 4.2 litre car cost only £2,258, and high performance, with a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h) for the 245 bhp 4.2 litre model. The car was an instant success, and for a few years there were lengthy waiting lists. In its original Series 1 form, the XJ range was produced until 1973, and total production amounted to 98,527 cars of all models, including the XJ12 twelve cylinder car introduced in 1972, and the Daimler versions.

Though Jaguar was now part of British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) the launch of the XJ6 on 26 September 1968 was very much a triumph for Jaguar and Sir William Lyons. He had worked long and hard on the model and it was well-received by the press and public alike. To mark the significance of the model, Lyons appeared in the advertising including publicity shots of Jaguar collecting the award for the Car of Year in 1969. He was not keen on self-publicity but to promote and help sales for Jaguar he agreed to spearhead the campaign.

PHP 42G was featured in the Summer 2018 edition of Jaguar World magazine:
Our Top Ten Most Important Jaguars

1969 XJ6 wins the Car of the Year Award

Registration Mark: PHP 42G

Chassis Number: 1L/1370-BW

Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust

Inventory Number: 065/J.25

Price when new: £2,258

Price: 131 Weeks Average Wage