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  Jaguar and Daimler XJ Coupes


Jaguar and Daimler XJC - Paint & Trim


The XJC was built during the psychodelic seventies, so it is understandable why we have some interesting colour choices! As well as being the psychodelic seventies it was also the Leyland seventies as far as Jaguar were concerned. This meant that quality controls were occasionally not of the highest standard as factory morale dwindled. As a result, some experts have gone on record as saying that the series II was the least desirable of all the XJ's. Paint in particular came in for some criticism, but it is most likely that your coupe has been resprayed already. If you do have one with the original paintwork then consider this... just how bad could it have been if it has lasted about 25 years!



This Paint & Trim chart was produced in 1974 for the North American market


Paint

Before any paint was applied to an XJC each body shell was given a thorough cleansing to remove impurities, then carefully inspected by hand and eye. The bodies were then dipped into a rust preventative that heavily covered the front, rear and undercarriage sections.

Then a coat of oxide was applied to the upper body and hand-sanded to perfect smoothness.
Before the primer and colour coats of paint were applied, a special caulking solution was applied to all the inside seams. As the body was baked, the solution 'melted,'  seeping into the seams where it hardened and sealed. In all, there were 39 different stages in the exterior finishing process, including rust proofing, undersealing, three primer coats of paint, one sealer coat and finally three colour coats. 

The XJC was available in 15 standard colours as follows:

British Racing Green; Carriage Brown; Dark Blue; Fern Grey; Greensand; Heather; Juniper Green; Lavender; Moroccan Bronze; Old English White; Opalescent Silver Grey; Regency Red; Sable Brown; Squadron Blue; Turquoise.

There were four colours available as an extra cost option:
Azure Blue; Black; Primrose Yellow; Signal Red.

The list above corrects errors that appeared in the parts catalogue where some paints were spelt or listed incorrectly. In the Series Two Parts Catalogue which covers the two-door coupe, Greensand is listed as Green Sand, Opalescent Silver Grey is listed as Light Silver, Sable Brown is listed as Sable and finally Lavender is listed as Lavender Blue. Steve Gibson informs us that Squadron Blue and Carriage Brown were late entrants to the list and were only available to new buyers from October of 1977.


The most maligned of all these colours is Greensand, which is also one of the most popular XJC colours! Often mistakenly called Mustard, Greensand does make a striking contrast with the Black vinyl roof and really does epitomise the period in which it was born.

Apart from Mustard, other incorrect colour names were given to some of the other colours available. Dark Blue is often called Midnight Blue, though you have to admit it does sound more attractive. Carriage Brown is sometimes called Chocolate Brown and Fern Grey is occasionally called Fern Green for the most obvious reasons.

Australian Paint

Of the 300 or so XJ Coupes in Australia we have the recorded colour details on 216 of them. The most popular colour choice down under is Old English White with 46 of them in total. Second on the list is Signal Red with 35, third is Opalescent Silver Grey with 23, followed by Greensand with 21 and Squadron Blue with 20. The rarest colours in Oz are Lavender and Primrose Yellow which have one apiece. The Lavender coupe is chassis 2J1414 which was last heard of for sale in Sydney 2 years ago. If you currently own '1414' then we would love to hear from you.



Trim - leather, vinyl and wood

Jaguar interiors are known world wide for their luxurious and elegant style.

Only elegance of design and finish could do justice to the engineering and craftsmanship with which the cars were built. Two hides of top-grade leather adorn every XJC interior. The hides were selected by a skilled pattern-maker whose purpose in life was to make sure that the grains and colours matched exactly. He examined each hide for any traces of imperfection before cutting the patterns by hand, and carefully selecting the best from each hide.

The seamstresses then sew the patterns together as they would a Saville Row suit. Then the leather went to Jaguar upholsterers who fitted it to the seats which had been built up on metal frames. The result was a comfortable firm seat with the feel of fine furniture. 

The interior colour of your coupe is probably more important because you spend more time sitting in it than looking at it. There were 15 colour options to think about when it came to the interior, although once again, not all options were available in all markets. The 15 colours were broken down into two groups, one for leather-faced seats and one for cloth-faced seats.

There were 10 colour options in leather seats, which were:

Cinnamon; Biscuit; Russet; Moss Green; Olive Green; Dark Blue; Black; Chamois; Tuscan; Deep Olive.

There were 5 colour options in cloth seats, which were:

Sand; Garnet; Jade; Navy; Ebony.

XJCs for the North American market were only available with leather seats, while countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand had the cloth seat option. In fact, cloth seats may be a much more practical option in the heat of an Australian summer.


It was in the Jaguar woodworking shop that master cabinetmakers and finishers prepared the burled walnut veneers for the XJC interior. The grains were matched by hand before being hand cut and hand finished. Each masterpiece was then given four coats of lacquer and was then finely sanded by hand. The final stage of this wood-finishing process was called "mop" polishing that brought out that high lustra, deep sheen in the grain. 

Unfortunately some of the original materials used to trim the XJC coupes are no longer available. The correct grain of Russet Red has long gone out of circulation as well as the vinyl which was used to trim the roof area. There are some cheap alternative vinyls which you can use to re-do the roof, but quite frankly the finished product will not give very good results. Some resourceful coupe owners have been known to use the same vinyl which was used to cover Rolls Royce cars from the same era. The grain is almost identical.