Saturday 24th August 2019,

Jaguar 420 1966 – 1968

British Leyland`s influence was being felt at Jaguar. This facelift completed the metamorphosis from MK II to MX X. Jaguar simply put a minaturised MK X front onto the S type and fitted the 4.2 XK engine to produce a mini MK X. The result sounds, at first, disappointing but it was not a bad car if you didn`t worry about BL`s shoddy build quality.

The interior specs were equal to the MK X although there was less space. It drove well enough due to it`s pedigree but it was not big enough to be a true `executive` car and it was too heavy to be a sports saloon. It handled quite well as long as it was not cornered too fast. It was heavy on fuel and along with it`s face-lifted big brother, the Jaguar 420G, it was not destined for popularity or longevity.

The general opinion was that the car was expensive, heavy, thirsty and a step too far. All 420s had power steering as standard and, apart from the engine size, were mechanically identical to the S type. Transmission options were also the same as S type. Sales were poor and the 420 was discontinued with the S type in 1968.

Short of character and personality, even today the 420 examples available are not particularly popular among the classic car collectors. The good news for the Jaguar faithful was that the XJ6 was almost ready to launch, though the compact saloon was gone. By 1968 the 240, 340, 420 and the S type were all discontinued.

The 420 was the last compact saloon in the line. Jaguar`s next compact was not to come until the new S type in 1999.

Jaguar 420 1966-1968 Specs
Body Type5 seater 4 door saloon
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Cargo Volume3 boddies would get in easily
Engine4.2 Jaguar XK DOHC 12V Hemispherical
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement4235 cc258.4 cui
Power183 Kw245 bhp5500 RPM
Torque384 Nm283 ft. lb4000 RPM
Power/weight156 bhp/t
Top Speed198 km/h123 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph8.2 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual3 speed automatic
Weight1575 kg3472 lb
GD Star Rating
Jaguar 420 1966 - 1968, 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

1 Comment

  1. John 1. October 2015 at 23:14

    Was hoping I’d be watching a video of the beautiful Jag 420, and hearing the sound of driving it. Oh well . . .

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