Sunday, March 07, 2010

Ranting Stan's Sunday Drive: Jaguar 420 G

I've always been a fan of Jaguar and remain one today, but of all the saloon cars they've built the 420 G is probably the least remembered - and yet happens to be my favourite.

For me it represents the ultimate combination of style and refined luxury - the S type being just a little too jelly mould and the XJ series being a little too brash (even though I love both of those too).

The 420 G was basically a Mark X with some minor detail changes, but enough to stand out as a model in its own right. A 4.2 litre straight six engine producing 265bhp meant that the 420 G was no slouch despite the massive proportions of the car and was capable of topping 120 mph and reaching 60 mph in around 10 seconds.

The size and style of the Jaguar 420 G resulted in it becoming a firm favourite for those with the means to be wafted around in chauffeur driven luxury and thus avoid the fate of the XJ which, being short on rear space, was better to drive than be driven in and became associated with dodgy car salesmen in the Arthur Daley mould or the S type which, thanks to shows like "The Sweeney" became associated with criminals.

Of course, being a working class kid from Slough, I never got to drive or be driven in a 420 G. Nevertheless, there were enough of them about in the late sixties and early seventies to leave a lasting impression on that working class kid and it remains the classic Jaguar I would most like to own today.


Thud said...

I am thinking of buying a 'usable' classic and the big jag is a serious contender given i have already worked on a mark2 and a series 1 e type in the understated classic.

Stan said...

Presumably you don't mean "usable" as in every day use! I think it would be a little large and thirsty for that, but it is certainly an understated (and underrated) classic.

Anonymous said...

I have owned a 420G for 5 years,its only shortcomings are its overall built quality. when I first bought the Jag I had a Silver Shadow in my small collection after 2 months I sold it because it was a totally uninteresting car compared to the Jag.
If Wlliam Lyons had built the 420G to the standards of the shadow it would have been the best car in the world by a country mile.