Along with the forward-looking I-Pace, Jaguar has used the Geneva motor show to peek at the rear-view mirror. The ‘Greatest Hits’ XJ6, developed for Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain, is designed to celebrate five decades of the XJ badge, and combines classic looks with tasteful modern touches.
The car you see here isn’t the work of a moment: Jaguar says the project involved 3500 man hours and more than 4000 refinished, replaced or refurbished parts throughout.
Up front, the Greatest Hits has unique bumpers and fenders, complete with North American-spec side markers and chrome brightwork. There are twin recessed fuel fillers down back, along with bullet-style mirrors and door handles from a Series 2 XJ. The look is rounded out by a unique Mauve paint job which, to our eyes, looks stunning.
The headlamps are unique LED units with a ‘halo’ daytime-running signature, while the Leaping Cat badge is actually repurposed from Nicko’s first XJ6. Apparently that was the design element that attracted him to the car in 1984, and he’s preserved it since.
Inside, the changes are more dramatic. Although the red leather and sycamore veneer could have been an original option, the touchscreen infotainment system, modern connectivity options and in-dash start button are modern conveniences grafted onto the classic cabin layout.
The steering wheel is adorned with a unique emblem, designed specifically for Nicko, and there’s special ‘classic’ badging on the centre console, lest he forgets the XJ6 isn’t a new car.
Power comes from a 4.2-litre inline-six, with three 2.0-inch carburettors from the E-Type – apparently, that’s the owner’s favourite setup. The engine breathes through a special quad-exhaust, complete with machined tips.
“This is my ultimate XJ – my third, and lovingly named ‘Johnny 3’. It has been a true labour of love between Jaguar Classic and myself,” said Nicko McBrain, owner of the Greatest Hits.
“I’m so excited by its completion and especially to be showing it at Geneva – it really is a Greatest Hits edition and to me it defines what the Jaguar XJ is all about. It’s a credit to the craftsmanship of the Jaguar Classic team. We couldn’t have timed it better, this being the 50th anniversary of XJ – my favourite of all Jaguars.”