Jaguar is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its iconic XJ model with something really special. They have built a one-off, completely bespoke Jaguar XJ Greatest Hits for a very special customer, Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain who is a huge Jag fan.
The project has been a three-way collaboration between Nicko, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, and Jaguar Design studio director Wayne Burgess. It has taken more than 3500 man hours of work, with more than 4000 parts refinished, replaced or redesigned to bring the 1984 car back to original glory. But the result is spectacular, and it has such a cool and apt name too: Jaguar XJ Greatest Hits.
This is not, mind you, a strict restoration. Jaguar XJ Greatest Hits is more of a restomod, as they have changed a fair few parts to make the car look cooler and drive better. The main highlights include revised front and rear bumpers, flared wheel arches to house bespoke 18-inch wire wheels fitted with 235/45 R18 Pirelli P Zero tyres, upgraded front and rear suspension with adjustable rear dampers, LED headlights, Mauve paint finish, new seals for reduced wind noise, and additional sound deadening, re-trimmed interior, touch screen satnav, phone, rear view camera and in-car entertainment, high-end audio system, and upgraded air conditioning. The engine, too, is modified, but not very deeply. The 4.2-litre in-line six-cylinder engine features three 2-inch SU carburettors from the E-type, and features quad-exhaust tail pipes.
“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. 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.” Nicko McBrain