V8 Coupe Conversion: 1976 Jaguar XJ6

To me, the Jaguar XJ6 coupe is one of the prettiest Jags ever made. While many would argue that honor belongs to the E-Type, I disagree – the pillar-less XJ6 two-door is a stunner, and because it’s so overlooked by many collectors, I like it even more. The E-Type is the easy answer because they made a ton of them and you can still find one in pretty much any condition you want at a moment’s notice. The same cannot be said for the XJ6 coupe. This particular car solves the biggest issue which is that of the unreliable drivetrain, as it now sports a very clean Chevrolet V8 conversion with a whole host of upgrades. Find it here on eBay with bids to $10,800 with the reserve unmet.

While a lot of Jaguar owners execute a V8 conversion on a vintage XJ6, very few of them are done to such a thorough degree. This particular car has numerous performance upgrades and custom touches, with my personal favorite being the valve covers that make this conversion look convincingly factory. The engine and transmission were rebuilt before being installed in the XJ6, and the list of upgrades is long: performance camshaft; high compression pistons; bored .030 over;  Corvette aluminum heads with big valves; high volume oil pump; double roller timing chain; and much more.

The best part is the interior is still pure Jaguar. I sometimes find these conversions are good in one way and not another. In other words, the engine will be a very basic 350 with a beautiful interior, or it will be hot-rodded under the hood with a cockpit that’s been destroyed by the sun and moisture. Fortunately, this XJ6 is as good inside as it is on the outside with a classic interior featuring beautiful woodgrain trim everywhere you look (brand new, according to the listing), luxurious wool carpeting from the UK, and leather seats with no major flaws. The dash pad is new so no cracks up there, and the instruments have been rebuilt and rewired with new sending units with LED backlighting. Oh, and the air conditioning works!

There’s been one repsray in its original colors and the Jaguar is originally from Texas, so no rust or rot to contend with. The suspension has also been updated and enhanced with new shocks and a “sports suspension”, according to the listing. The Jaguar also sports a new power rack and pinion steering set up with a fresh steering pump. Overall, this XJ6C has been significantly refreshed with a modern drivetrain that will serve the next owner for years to come, all while delivering stirring performance in a classic body that is essentially timeless. I hope the bids climb higher because this is a car that appears to deserve it.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Love transplants done right. Beautiful car here.

    Like 26
    • JudoJohn

      Except for the ratty battery cable. Details matter.

      Like 1
  2. crahm

    Nice. V8 would be fun. It is not a difference of 400 pounds to go from a 650-680 pound aluminum Jaguar V12 to a cast iron 350 Chevy.

    Like 2
    • KMead

      You clearly have never dealt with a Jaguar six. It is one heavy lump of cast iron, a very heavy crank and accessories. It may have an aluminum head but even that is heavy due to the configuration with two long steel cam shaft.

      The weight is much better placed in the chassis as well with the V8.

      Like 2
  3. Uncle Buck

    I love this thing

    Like 9
  4. Phipps

    Very cool car. And now you can get parts at Autozone. The fact its a coupe is incredible

    Like 12
  5. Doone

    Roofline very much like a late body Corvair coupe.

    Like 7
  6. Tom

    Ditch the door edge guards

    Like 2
  7. RexFox Member

    One of the best looking Jags, even considering the beautiful XKEs. I wonder if anyone ever tried to transplant a BMW straight 6 and a 5 speed. If it worked, you’d have a beautiful and reliable driver.

    Like 6
  8. Russell

    Looks to be a great car, but the eBay description turned me off. How difficult is ittonotrunwordstogether and capitalize jaguar etc.

    Like 5
  9. Mountainwoodie

    On my bucket list! I love these coupes! If it had the metal or even the collapsible sunroof I’d be in serious trouble :)

    We had a ’73 Jag XJ. Blew it up on the 405 a long time ago. As a purist I decry the engine transplant, as a practical man I applaud it!

    It was the quietest car I’ve ever had. Like riding on a cloud.

    Like 4
    • DelBoy

      Not kidding there Mountainwoodie. Rode in the back of a friend’s Daimler Double Six years ago. It was barely ten years old, but with terminal rust, he was using it as a runaround until the road tax expired. Rolling down the motorway at 70 mph, the only noise I could hear from the back seat was the analogue clock ticking the seconds away. This coupe is ‘to die for’. Always adored them.

      Like 5
    • Melton Mooney

      A while back, my neighbor dragged home a non-running, rusted out rat trap 70’s XJ6 to ‘fix up’. To his credit, he eventually got it running well enough for us to drive around his yard.

      Though it smelled like wee, I’ll never forget how quietly it glided through the dandelions and crabgrass and how solid it felt as it dawdled along. No squeaks or rattles whatsoever. Truly remarkable for such a dilapidated machine.

      That torquey tuned port motor would be a good complement for that weighty chassis…best truck motor never put in a truck.

  10. Joe Haska

    I love this car! It’s at 14 K plus now and reserve not met. I think unless the reserve is just stupid someone is going to get a good car. Even though it is Jaguar

    Like 3
  11. Tompdx Member

    Such a shame. With a restoration and original drivetrain – easily afforded with the cost of conversion – it would be worth $30k.

    Like 4
    • Ward William

      Except that it could not be used as a DD as it is now with a reliable and more modern drivetrain. It’s not always about value. To have 30k worth of original Jaguar is only of value if it can be used daily.

  12. Vern

    all original cars came with vinyl roofs to cover the cut lines made when the car was reduced to two coupe. I think they look best without the vinyl roof. Well done!

    Like 3
    • Hank Member

      I was in the Jag factory in ’78 on a tour while I had a day off from the Navy. Watched ’em fabricating the doors. They just took two front doors from a 4 door car, cut ’em in half and welded them together.
      I’ve had several Jag sedans over the years..I’ve.got a ’95 XJ6 now, and love it. When I had earlier models I was told that the Chevy V8 swap wasn’t done for more power. The load the A/C put on the Jag 6 in our hot summers caused them to blow head gaskets. I never had any problem with mine in Arkansas and Tennessee. The fact that HP is easier to make with SBC and improved handling due to less weight are just added bonus.

      Like 1
  13. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Nice job well done. I like it when they put heat wraps around the front exhaust pipes. Engine compartment very well done. It’s the best conversion of this Jaguar I seen in a very very long time. They knew what they were doing they did it right the interior is beautiful. Oh I would love to have this one. The only thing I would do is change that antenna in the back to a power setup Chrome. And go out on the streets and have fun. Good luck to the next owner I will be jealous of that person. 😂🐻🇺🇸

    Like 4
  14. Mitch

    Disagree. Some just lack knowledge. Jaguar used this engine
    onto 1996 if they where junk they had replaced them earlier.
    The straight 6 six is a long lasting workhorse. XJ where good
    built from 1984 as John Eagan was the new boss for Jaguar
    and Daimler. The quality raised, the complaints from customers
    went to zero.

    The kitschy steering wheel doesn’t fit. You lack the sense for details.

    Like 2
    • Hank Member

      Why not comment on the cars, not the commenters?

      Like 5
      • 370zpp 370zpp Member

        Hank, I completely agree. For some reason, some individuals here seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to rip on the other commenters as well as the writers. It is great to have an opinion, but it doesn’t need to be at someone else’s expense.
        Fortunately, it is only a few here that feel the need to “sing along with mitch”.

        Like 4
      • Dave

        Like you just did? Lol 😆

  15. Scot Baker

    This coupe would look even better with the 18″ Jaguar Asteroids on it. No idea if they would fit though.

    Like 1
  16. BIMMERBILL

    This is on my Top 10 list cars as is the six cylinder XKE. Over the years there have been a couple reviews that the body is not structurally as strong as they should be which would not keep me from buying one and enjoying it to the fullest extent. I envy the buyer and wish him or her a basket of good luck, I would install front and rear strut bars also.

    Like 2
  17. oilngas

    So sad to see the chevy under the hood. Bought one in mustard yellow with brown top and interior. Removed the vinyl top, painted it black, with early bumpers. Dyed the interior black. When the Borg-Warner auto lost reverse installed a 700. Which was the single best improvement. Quicker take off with quieter hiway cruising. But it cranked and idled like a Jag. Not an Impala. Best looking Jag ever built.

    Like 1
  18. Big C

    Ah yes! Another Jag that won’t be stranded on the side of the road! Nice!

    Like 3
  19. Dave

    This one’s a beauty. Doubly so because of the Chevy swap. I don’t know when it was done, but the TPI motor was obsolete long ago. The motor does have lots of upgrades though and is easily re-configured to suit the owners preferences. Dozens of choices for intakes, hundreds of choices for off the shelf cams, unlimited selection of affordable custom cams. Pistons, cranks and rods galore. Everything from mild to wild. Jaguar motors. . . Not even close.

    Like 1
  20. geoff a

    All good but no mention about replacement of the prince of darkness. And clearly people on this list have not tried to adjust the valves on a Jag 6. Best thing that can happen these cars is drop in in a SBC and the relevant trans. Borg Warner just does not cut it. And yes I have worked on a couple of these and my brother in law had the 12 version of this car. It was a nightmare.

    Like 1
  21. JoeNYWF64

    Still another car after ’72 that somehow ignored/sneaked past the rollover no hardtop rules.
    Any Jaguar dealer would not be very happy AT ALL if you brought this in for an oil change – & you HAD to give him the proper new AC Delco(preferably) oil filter. Not to mention him seeing the Jaguar name on the Chevy valve covers. lol

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