The changes would have been mitigated if there had been any serious improvements made. There were none. The Jaguar 4.2 MK X had been the ultimate big Jaguar. Leyland covered the walnut pelmet over the dash-board with black vinyl and mounted a square clock on top of it.
They also fitted a chrome strip (rust-trap) on the waist of the car and offered two-tone paintwork as an option. The two-tone paintwork made the `shark` body look cumbersome and bulky. The most horrifying `option` was a black vinyl roof, admittedly many manufacturers were fitting them as standard at this time, a fashion that happily disappeared quite soon.
The difference in appearance amounted to blind, manic vandalism. A friend of mine, a Jaguar sales manager observed that it was like pushing your Grandmother down the stairs! (he didn`t like it much !) To add insult to injury they British Leyland played with the specs and reduced the bhp from 265 to 255 bhp.
Examples today are quite rare, mostly because the market rejected the cheap facelift and sales were poor. It was a sad end to a wonderful car. Even today as a classic car they are not worth a lot and with restorations being much more expensive than the value of the car, there will be even less Jaguar 420Gs on the road in the near future.
If the 420G had come first it would have been well received and the Jaguar MKX would have been a tidy face-lift to replace it with. Another example of British Leyland logic was based on `the cheaper the better`. This logic almost destroyed one of the finest car brands in the world. Jaguar customers and the motoring public deserved a lot better.
In those dreadful years between 1967 and 1970 British Leyland scrapped the Jaguar MKII, the S-type and the ill-starred 420. Absolute carnage! Strange how most of them are classics now. Many people are still mystified by the demise of the British motor industry. I can`t think why! However, out of this chaos came the fine Jaguar XJ6, just to prove the old wisdom: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!”
Jaguar 420G 1967-1970 Specs
|Body Type||5 seater 4 door saloon|
|Drive Type||Rear wheel drive|
|Cargo Volume||765 L||27 cu. Ft.|
|Engine||4.2 Jaguar XK DOHC 12V Hemispherical|
|Displacement||4235 cc||258.4 cui|
|Power||190 Kw||255 bhp||5500 RPM|
|Torque||373 Nm||275 ft. lb||4000 RPM|
|Top Speed||193 km/h||120 mph|
|Acceleration||0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph||10.5 s|
|Fuel consumption||l/100 km||Imperial mpg|
|Gearbox||4 speed manual||3 speed automatic|
|Weight||1900 kg||4189 lb|
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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.