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The XJ line has had a long history, with the first model released in 1968. The original model was the last Jaguar saloon to have had the input of Sir Williams Lyons, the company's founder, and the model has been featured in countless media and high profile appearances.
Commonly referred to as the "Series II", the XJ line was facelifted in autumn 1973 for the 1974 model year. The 4.2 L I-6 XJ6 (most popular in the United Kingdom) and the 5.3 L V12 XJ12 were continued with an addition of a 3.4 L (3,442 cc or 210.0 cu in) version of the XK engine available from 1975. Visually, Series II cars are differentiated from their predecessors by raised front bumpers to meet US crash safety regulations, which necessitated a smaller grille, complemented by a discreet additional inlet directly below the bumper. The interior received a substantial update, including simplified heating and a/c systems to address criticisms of the complex and not very effective Series I system.
We had to wait until 1973 at the London Motor Show for the unveiling of the elegant short wheel base XJC , a new, two-door pillar-less coupé version. It had been delayed as production didn't begin until the 1975 due to economic troubles of the era, the difficulty of complying with the continually changing “intentions” of emissions, safety & other regulations.
Another factor was due to the problems of perfecting the pillarless window seals of the complex window mechanisms, which saw the windows fold down and forward at the same time to disappear completely into the body, giving the breathtaking side profile of the XJC.