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Buyers Guide to:

Jaguar XJ-C

Useful Info

Also Known As

Daimler Sovereign Coupe, Daimler Double-Six Coupe


1975 to 1977

Fuel Type


Engine Sizes

4200cc, 5300cc

Engine Type


Drive Configuration


Jaguar Owners Club

Just Kampers

01256 862288,


Jaguar’s XJ was already a fine luxury saloon, but if you wanted an extra helping of style you had to wait until April 1975 when the company launched the pretty two-door coupe. Although the Series II saloon had been launched a couple of years earlier, the Jaguar XJ-C was based on the shorter wheelbase of the Series 1 model and was available with a 4.2-litre straight-six engine or the smooth, powerful (but thirsty) 5.3-litre V12. Both manual and automatic transmissions were offered, the bigger engine fitted with a self-shifter only. The pillar-less design had caused some headaches for the designers, especially when it came to window sealing, but it was worth it as the result was truly elegant. With production lasting just two years, around 10,000 were made (including the Daimler models.)

  1. 1. Valances, front and rear
  2. 2. Front wings around the headlights
  3. 3. Front and rear wheel arches
  4. 4. Around front and rear screens
  5. 5. Bonnet and boot panels
  6. 6. Door bottoms
  7. 7. Sills
  8. 8. Rear wings

The Checklist

  • The inner front wings and around the suspension turrets as both are common rot- spots that can be costly to rectify
  • There’s no sign of rust bubbling beneath the vinyl roof. It was fitted as standard to the coupe, although some owners have had it removed for a cleaner look
  • Beneath the car as corrosion affects a number of areas including the floor of the cabin and boot, the spare wheel well, the front cross-member beneath the radiator, and the subframe mountings. Major repairs will be an expensive business
  • That the doors don’t sag when opened, or catch the bodywork as they are being closed. They are long and heavy, putting pressure on the hinges, and misalignment could also be a sign of structural issues
  • For any signs of problems with the sealing of the side windows. Jaguar engineers used a clever system when the car was new, but fixing them can be tricky so be wary of wind noise or water leaks
  • The condition of the twin fuel tanks. They can rust from the inside out, and replacement is costly so check carefully if there’s a smell of fuel in the cabin or boot – it could be leaks from the tanks or pipework
  • That the cooling system is healthy. The engines have alloy cylinder heads and proper anti-freeze levels are crucial to prevent corrosion. Previous overheating could have caused head gasket failure, and replacement is a big job on the
  • V12 motor
  • The engine for oil leaks, especially from the rear crankshaft seal; for rattling caused by a worn timing chain or tensioner; and smoke from the exhaust (you’re best walking away from a smoking V12). Oil pressure should be between 40 and 50psi when warm, so anything less is a concern. And listen for the rumble of worn bearings
  • For poor running. Problems with the Lucas ignition can be a pain to fix, although overhauling the carburettors – usually SU
  • or Stromberg items – isn’t especially difficult
  • That a manual gearbox isn’t noisy or suffering from worn synchromesh. The Borg Warner automatic suits the car better and should change gear without any jolts. Oil leaks from the differential can contaminate the inboard rear brakes so check carefully
  • For clunks under acceleration that point to wear in the prop shaft or driveshaft joints
  • The brakes for wear or seizure through lack of use. Working on the rear brakes is tricky due to their inboard position, and the pads/discs could have been allowed to wear excessively. The heat from sticking brakes could have damaged the differential oil seals, too
  • For corrosion around the suspension mounting points, worn bushes, and sagging springs and dampers. There are plenty of joints and bushes, especially at the rear, so any clunks or knocks will need investigation as a complete overhaul will get expensive
  • The power steering system for fluid leaks. The pump can get noisy, too, so budget accordingly if a replacement is on the cards
  • That the cabin isn’t scruffy as refurbishment
  • is pricey due to the quality materials used; some parts are rare, too. A sagging headlining isn’t unusual, while some models had cloth upholstery but leather is more desirable
  • The electrics as they can be temperamental, with problems exacerbated by perished wiring. The electric windows can play up, and make sure the air-conditioning is working as it can be expensive to get it going again

Everything Check Out?

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