The converters : Harrods XJ6
Two cats for the price of, well, two…
THE above picture gives little clue as to why, at £35,000 in 1983, this rather special Jaguar should have cost well over twice the list price of the standard 4.2-litre XJ6 on which it was based. Indeed, the most noticeable external modification was a very 1980s, boomerang-style TV aerial mounted on the bootlid. A colour photograph would have revealed the respray in Harrods’ distinctive shade of green (carried out to coachbuilders’ standards, involving some 15 coats of paint!), set off with the application of a metallic gold finish to all external brightwork, and even to the alloy wheels. Some extra badging completed the picture: one on each front wing carried the Harrods logo, while a small plaque mounted on the bootlid declared “Styling by Panther”.
Launched at the 1983 London Motorfair, the car had started out as a Panther initiative to provide a car that could fill the gap in the market between the top end of Jaguar/Daimler ranges and the dizzy heights of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. It was only after they had approached Harrods as a potential supplier of some of the interior fittings that the marketing tie-up was conceived, with Harrods’ identity being firmly stamped throughout the car – right down to the bespoke Wilton carpets with their repeating “H” motif – and the car being offered for sale through the store’s mens’ shop during the Winter of 1983.
The opulent rear passenger compartment. Just visible in the top-right corner of the photograph is the leather-and-walnut-clad, roof-mounted console, which housed a Tenvox “Bijou” hi-fi system…
The real work was reserved for the car’s rear compartment, where a pair of individual rear seats from the Daimler Double Six replaced the standard bench seat. Between them ran a very substantial, hand-crafted console which a colour television and video recorder (with individual headphones and infra-red remote control), air conditioning controls, a manicure set and even a gold-plated carriage clock. Built into the back of each of the front seats was a walnut cocktail cabinet, stocked with crystal decanters.
The seats were retrimmed in beige leather with contrasting piping, while complimentary brown leather was applied to front and rear centre-consoles, dashboard surround, headlining and special three-spoke steering wheel. The privacy of the rear seat passengers was provided for by tailored curtains fitted to the rear side windows, while in the boot was a set of custom-made luggage.
Alas, despite the interest the car had attracted at the Motorfair, it was not a commercial success. In fact, only two examples were ever sold…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.
Latest posts by Keith Adams (see all)
- Concepts and prototypes : Metro saloon - 8 August 2017
- Our Cars : Keith’s Civic – and out with the Mondeo - 5 August 2017
- History : BMC/BL/Rover Timeline – 1952 to 2005 - 31 July 2017