Good Oil: Rocker’s Jag XJ6 is a thing of beauty
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It turns out that Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain is a big Jaguar fan. Sure, he has an XKR-S — doesn’t every veteran metaller? — but the latest addition to the US resident rocker’s collection is a heavily modded 1984 Jaguar XJ6.
Sounds rather dreary until you check out some of the detailing.
Pieced together using original refurbished components and bits taken from a 2012 Jaguar XF, the XJ6 was created by Jaguar Classic, the in-house restoration service dealing with cats of all colours at Jaguar Land Rover.
The purple — sorry, mauve — beast, which sits on 18-inch wire wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tyres, was a special order for the Iron Maiden mainstay.
It also kicks off 50th anniversary celebrations for the XJ this year. Yes, that’s right; every dilapidated XJ you can find for sale online is about to go up in value. (Although in most cases, we’ll wonder why.)
McBrain’s XJ features a heap of new tech, wrapped in old. Most panels have been subtly modded for a lower, leaner look and the exterior includes restyled door handles and ‘bullet’ wing mirrors.
Up front, LED headlights with ‘Halo’ Daytime Running Lights have been fitted, while at the rear, the twin fuel fillers that were always a lumpy feature of any XJ have been recessed for cleaner exterior lines.
Inside, everything has been updated, with modern air-con, remote central locking and an integrated touchscreen infotainment system offering all the mobile device-steaming capabilities the modern motorist expects.
There aren’t any details on how powerful the stereo is, surprisingly, but the system’s machined aluminium knobs have been fashioned to resemble those of a guitar amp.
Our favourite feature though? An ‘Eddie’-esque (the band’s mascot) take on the Jaguar ‘growler’ face in the steering wheel boss. Nice touch, lads.
The Saint’s Volvo P1800 on show
Before he did some spying in space and perfected medium-paced fight scenes while wearing an action girdle as, arguably, the cheesiest interpretation of Ian Fleming’s James Bond, Roger (later Sir Roger) Moore starred in the popular ITC television show The Saint.
Running from 1962 until 1969, The Saint, as remembered in pop culture, has become one of the first instances of the hero character’s mode of transport being almost as iconic as the remainder of the cast. Simon
Templar, better known as The Saint drove a Volvo P1800.
It just so happens that the car — registration ST 1 — will be on show this month for the first time, at Techno-Classica in Germany.
Here’s a nice twist though: Moore liked the car so much, he bought it. Sir Rog is the documented first registered owner, with London registration plates, NUV 648E issued on 20 January 1967.
Despite the sleek P1800 becoming synonymous with the character of The Saint, it appeared only in the last two series of the show, making its debut in an episode called A Double in Diamonds, which was filmed in February 1967.
Less than two years later, Simon Templar was gone from the small screen for good.
Moore later sold the car to actor Martin Benson, who had previously played Mr Solo in the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964). What’s Swedish for “It’s a small world”?
Stretchy Rolls-Royce you can’t take your eyes off
Rolls-Royce has grasped the concept car media hype machine by the handlebars of late; under its — whisper it — German stewardship, the fabled Brit brand has discovered a rekindled love of hyperbole and teaser shot.
Of course, there’s nothing in the press bumpf for this striking Exterion concept to suggest its designer, Sergey Dvornytskyy, has anything to do with Rolls-Royce. In fact, look a little closer and it’s probable this car only exists as pixels, rather than as physical panels and paint.
But it’s nice to imagine, and Dvornytskyy’s imagination is clearly obsessed with the jet age. About the only recognisable elements are the trad Roller grille and the marque’s logo in the centre of the wheel caps.
Otherwise, this thing — rear scoop, enormous squared-off external wheel arches, non-existent bonnet shut-line and all — is thoroughly otherworldly. And strangely attractive with it.
Oh, and yes, you’re right: the concept doesn’t appear to have windows as such.
Either the auto glass has been designed to be paintable so as to match seamlessly with the body panels (a cool idea), or it’s a nod to the fact the Exterion is an autonomous vehicle.
Mind you, with a chauffeur up front, isn’t every Rolls-Royce autonomous to a degree for its owner, anyway?