Jaguar mark 50 years of XJ with historic European road trip
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A convoy of Jaguar XJs will journey from company headquarters in the UK to the Paris Motor Show in a historically fitting tribute to the British sedans 50th birthday.
The line-up features all eight generations of XJ produced since 1968 and will be lead by the car that started it all, the 1968 Series I and finish with the most recent XJ50 special edition. The convoy will also include significant models such as the Series II Coupé and X350 XJR.
Paris has a special significance to the Jaguar XJ. In 1968 the XJ made its debut at the show, with Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons revealing his vision for a saloon car with the handling of an E-type.
1968 Jaguar XJ Series I. Photo / Jaguar UK
The luxury model proved to be a revelation with its compelling combination of beauty, poise and performance. Since then, the presentation halls of Paris Motor Show have played a regular role in the life of the XJ – the XJ ‘X300’ was unveiled at the event in 1994 and the XJ ‘X350’, with its lightweight aluminium monocoque, made its debut there in 2002
Returning to the Paris Motor Show 50 years after its first appearance caps a series of celebrations for one of the world’s most iconic sedans, which has been the choice of car for business leaders, celebrities, politicians and royalty for five decades.
The celebrations began with the introduction of the XJ50 earlier in 2018. The special edition model includes Autobiography-style front and rear bumpers, new 20-inch Venom wheels, black front grille and unique badging to the rear and side vents. Inside, the cabin features an embossed leaper on the headrests, an XJ50 logo on the centre armrest and XJ50-badged illuminated treadplates.
The convoy starts where the luxury sedan is produced at Jaguar Castle Bromwich plant, UK, before the 839km drive stops in a series of important locations, including Jaguar Classic, Bicester Heritage Centre and the Goodwood and Le Mans race circuits, which have all played a significant role in the life of Jaguar and the XJ.
Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design, said “The Jaguar XJ story is one of design, desirability and performance and over the past 50 years it has become a true giant in the automotive world and it’s only right that we pay homage to it in this special way. When I started at Jaguar, the XJ was already an icon of car design, so to have been part of this story that has been told over half a century has been an absolute privilege.”
The cars taking part in this one-off journey:
- Jaguar XJ Series I: 1968
- Jaguar XJ Series II: 1973
- Jaguar XJ Series II Coupé: 1973
- Jaguar XJ Series III: 1979
- Jaguar XJ XJ40: 1986
- Jaguar XJ X300: 1994
- Jaguar XJ X308: 1997
- Jaguar XJ X350: 2003
- Jaguar XJ X351: 2009
- Jaguar XJR575: 2017
- Jaguar XJ XJ50: 2018