Friday 27th April 2018,
Inopian

Jaguar 420G 1967 – 1970

With the advent of British Leyland ownership came many model changes. The Jaguar MK X was still successful but for some strange reason the new management in their wisdom, decided to give this most beautiful of cars a face-lift. It was a disaster.

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 Type5 seater 4 door saloon
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Brakes
FrontDiscs
RearDiscs
Dimensionsmminches
Length5131202
Width190575
Height138454.5
Wheelbase3048120
Cargo Volume765 L27 cu. Ft.
Engine4.2 Jaguar XK DOHC 12V Hemispherical
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement4235 cc258.4 cui
Power190 Kw255 bhp5500 RPM
Torque373 Nm275 ft. lb4000 RPM
Power/weight134 bhp/t
FuelPetrol
Top Speed193 km/h120 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph10.5 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Urban21.513.1
Extra-urban12.622.4
Combined16.117.5
Gearbox4 speed manual3 speed automatic
Weight1900 kg4189 lb
GD Star Rating
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Jaguar 420G 1967 - 1970, 7.4 out of 10 based on 10 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.

2 Comments

  1. Honoura 20. September 2017 at 21:57

    Further points are that air conditioning made the 420G a far superior touring car on hot days than the Mark X and that the 4.2 engine was better suited to the car than the early revy Mark X 3.8 engine, as was the name, with the G standing for GRAND. As the author noted, the 420G is also rarer.

  2. Honoura 20. September 2017 at 20:26

    The cars are very similar, so how can a few minor changes destroy a car? Please disclose the reason for your bias against the 420G? Are you trying to make the story sensational? All changes are reversible, but many of the changes grew out of demand from American buyers including safety regulations at the time. Think series 2 e type as opposed to series 1. Thankfully the 420G was not such a castrated cat as was the series 2 e type.

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