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…

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics 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 unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

3 Comments

  1. A cocktail cabinet built in to the front seat backs? where were the rear passengers expected to put their legs while opening the thing? SIII leg room is far from generous despite using the LWB shell..
    Did either of the cars sold survive?

  2. I worked for the company who supplied the Tenxox (Fujitsu Ten) systems that went into these Jaguars and a very advanced piece of kit it was at that time. The system for the home market was fitted to the Toyota HiAce van (an upmarket one, but still a van).

    Set into the van roof, were two rectangular speakers from if memory serves, a dozen in total. They were air transfer system, which was a bass driver set in a sealed cabinet, with a second bass speaker which was just a cone. As the one speaker cone pounded, the other would “soak up” the frequencies that annoy neighbours, giving a very flat bass (described in laymans terms). Because these were too big to go into the Jaguar, I managed to cop a pair to take home. Being 4 Ohm impedance, they went lovely with my B&O Beomaster 1001. When I moved back to the midlands, I wall mounted them in my old Victorian built flat (thick walls) and could turn the system up to enjoy the most amazing sound. I don;t have them any more, but I often think of the Harrods Jaguar.

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