Jaguar Classic has created a highly modified XJ6 Series 3 for the rock star, just unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. Tell us what you think of it
Jaguar Classic has unveiled a bespoke Series 3 XJ6 for life-long Jaguar enthusiast Nicko McBrain, drummer with Iron Maiden – kicking off a year of celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the XJ.
The 1984 XJ6 was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, but the project has been ongoing for some time at the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, overseen by Jaguar Design studio director Wayne Burgess and Classic Works director Tim Hannig (seen below with Nicko at Geneva).
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It involved more than 3500 man hours of work, with more than 4000 parts refinished, replaced or redesigned. It incorporates significant modifications to the exterior, interior, drivetrain and suspension, to create Nicko’s dream XJ.
‘This is my ultimate XJ – my third, and lovingly named “Johnny 3”,’ says Nicko. ‘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.’
The reworked Series 3 incorporates a number of parts from Nicko’s first XJ, which spent years stood in the grounds of the home of Iron Maiden bass guitarist Steve Harris, after Nicko moved to America. These include the Jaguar leaper bonnet mascot, which first attracted Nicko to buy the car, and the original ignition keys from 1984.
The 4.2-litre in-line six-cylinder engine features three 2in SU carburettors from the E-type, which is Nicko’s favourite set-up, and the bespoke exhaust has quad tail-pipes.
The suspension has been uprated, and fitted with adjustable rear dampers, and the bodywork reworked to accommodate bespoke 18in wire wheels and 235/45 R18 Pirelli P Zero tyres.
Other body mods include unique front and rear bumpers blended in to the flared wings, bespoke chrome brightwork, flush-fit US side markers, recessed twin fillers, Series 2 XJ door handles, bullet wing mirrors, LED headlights with halo daytime running lights, and modified sills and rear-door pressings. It’s all finished in a unique mauve paint finish.
The interior was been completely reworked to include hand-trimmed leather seats in Pimento Red with black piping and embossed headrests, black hand-crafted carpet and Alcantara headlining. The dashboard features dark grey-stained sycamore veneers – the same material used on Nicko’s favourite snare drums.
The three-spoke sports steering wheel features Nicko’s unique mascot – the ‘Eddie Growler’, first seen on his specially commissioned 2013 Jaguar XKR-S.
Modified seat foams, modern door sealing for reduced wind noise, uprated air-con, additional sound deadening and an integrated touchscreen-operating sat-nav, phone, rear-view camera and in-car entertainment all add to the car’s refinement.
And there’s a last rock ‘n’ roll touch, with the 1100W audio system featuring machined aluminium controls inspired by the control knobs of Marshall amplifiers, and drum kit-inspired pedals finished in chrome and black.
‘Creating this “Greatest Hits” XJ, and the whole process of bringing someone’s automotive dream to life, has been extraordinarily rewarding for the Jaguar Classic team,’ says Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic director. ‘It’s been a pleasure to work with Nicko, and we’re looking forward to hearing the reaction to this project.’
Nicko McBrain’s custom Jaguar XKR-S
This isn’t Nicko’s first project with Jaguar. In 2012 he took delivery of a highly modified XKR-S. Watch for a quick glimpse of his previous XJ, too...