XJ6 Series III made in New Zealand?


I just joined, a true Jag lover since '65 (1963 E-Type Roadster – my first Jag.) I have had many Jags since and loved them all. Even the '63 which totally swallowed my paycheck every week!

I never knew XJ6s were also built in NZ. Well, I have an opportunity to buy a Series III built there in 1990 (if I read the VIN correctly). Trying to find out more about the car before I make an offer. This one has the 4.2 with two carburetors! Never knew such an XJ6 ever existed!

Any comments greatly appreciated!

I never heard of it either…but I learn something new each day.

I know there were some So. Africa assembled Jags circa late-70s, so the idea of some being assembled in NZ isn’t totally implausible. It’s a bit odd, though, that this hasn’t come up before.

What do you see in the VIN that brings you to this conclusion? VIN deciphering can get tricky as at least two VIN systems were/are in use.

Conventional wisdom is that Series III XJ6 production ended in April 1987 and the only ones running on carburetors had the 3.4 engine, not the 4.2


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I completely agree. It made no sense it was built in 1990, but after a full day of investigating, it all appears legit.

Here is the VIN:
What do you conclude?

That VIN is nothing at all like a typical Jaguar VIN…which might lend credence that it wasn’t factory built. Nor does it look like a post-1980 VIN where the manufacturer and country are identified by the first few characters.

The first portion (7L…) looks like an engine number. The second portion looks vaguely like the type of serial number used by Jaguar much earlier…like the 1970s.

“BW” was used on Series III body numbers (not VIN numbers) to signify an automatic transmission.

Where on the car did you find this? Are there any other tags/labels in the engine bay or door openings? Look at the top of the firewall where the two diagonal fender braces are affixed to a flat ledge. Is there a VIN stamping there?

Very curious situation here. What in your investigation brings you to the conclusion it was NZ built? (I’m asking, not arguing)


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I’ll try to figure out how I deciphered that VIN. Something about the 7 meaning ‘Oceana’ which made sense. It took a LOT of digging, should have taken notes. Give me awhile…

Here it is:

Gotta run for now, but I think the 7 meant World and it was the L2 that was Oceana. Or was the L2 for 1990? Yes, I think so. Will confirm tomorrow. Sorry for all the confusion!

That table was for ‘Used Import’ so who knows WHERE it was actually built! I think there is a factory code in it somewhere but I didn’t go that far. Will do so tomorrow. The BW is in the unique number field and probably does refer to the trans.

I believe only the S11 were CKD units built up in Nelson in the South Island 1990 is too late for a 4.2 S111 I believe they were only V12s by then having been replaced by the XJ40

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I agree with Robin. Only a few series 1’s and a relatively low volume of series 2 XJ 6 cars were assembled in New Zealand with some local content to avoid import tariffs through the 1970’s. It’s possible a handful of S2’s were completed in 1979 - 80 after the S3 was introduced. A quick check is that NZ cars had loop pile carpet. The NZTA (New Zealand Transport Agency) didn’t exist then. Their allocation of Vin numbers only applies to cars that are imported with out a vin (vintage or veteran cars) or to low volume home-built cars or specials made in NZ.


Aha! That explains everything. The car is a S2, which thrills me because other than for mechanical reasons, I much prefer the S2. This car does have loop pile carpeting which clinches the issue. Because I had determined the car was probably a CKD, I incorrectly thought maybe a dash panel with rocker switches was installed (perhaps to simplify) but now I happily realize I was wrong – this is a Series 2! Many other mysteries now are solved! I have some photos which I will post if I am able to figure out how to post JPEG files on this forum…

Interesting thread.

Learn something new every day. It never fails ! :slight_smile:


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A few Jaguars were reputedly assembled in New Zealand from parts imported, Donald…

…to circumvent the currency restrictions - which required foreign currency to by imported cars. So ‘built’ is not the right word - the VIN would likely be assigned by Jaguar production number. Whether this was applied as late as 1990 seems unlikely…

And a ‘6’ of that vintage would be an xj40 - though there are registration practices do vary from country to country. If it is a SIII it is more likely to be a late second hand import…?

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

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So where abouts are you based Don?
Also 4.2 with carbs = S11,
S111 were injected.

Thailand, the “Land of Smiles”

It does remind me of my '72 XJ6 engine. It had two Zeniths which I removed, switched the manifold, and put in three 2" SU carbs. With a different cam that car ran like a Jag should.

One way or another I am going to buy this car. I had long ago given up any hope having one here in Thailand. In 10+ years I had only seen one, also a S2. Then a friend told me his friend was selling one, and here we are.

Now here are the details, not all good.
Has only 54,700 km, but it had been “unattended to” for many years I am told. Trying to find out for what years. Original dark blue paint it appears and perhaps the original Michelin tires. No lumps or dents. Minimal rust if any. Glass ok. Beige interior absolutely flawless. Not sure if any service records are available. Trying to find out more information but person selling is very busy and is selling for father, knows little about it himself. Hard to determine what to offer. Supposedly it had been started sometime fairly recently but it has been parked since. Chances are the engine needs at least some refurbishing, perhaps a complete rebuild but for some unknown reason I am thinking not. Paint definitely needs renewing, but a thorough rubdown could make it look decent. Your helping me determine a reasonable offering would be very much appreciated. Soon I will drive to go see it but it is in the far NW of the country and is a half day drive for me. More later.

So its a S11, but the overflow tank looks to be a S111, my S11 has a steel tank bolted direct to the inner guard.
Very difficult to advise on a purchase price, need to compare with local sales.

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Sales here are few and range from about $3000 for a 150,000 miler up to $18000 for a beauty, and most are S3s or newer probably imported from the motherland. Hard to compare anything sold to this car. Owner wants to sell “as is”, which pleases me. Minimal hassle. How much pre-sale evaluation is uncertain, but what IS certain is the quality of the inspection, etc. Everything is for sale here, and little is done to prevent fraud with any recovery impossible. Especially for a “farang” (foreigner). The old man (I assume) is asking the equivalent of US$8000 as is. Could be reasonable, maybe not, only the Shadow knows. In different times I would write the check and take my chances on the engine, but those days have long ago gone. Since 2007 I’ve been receiving SSA only, due to a blasted unforeseen disability at the worst possible time.

I think the essence of my question is: how much engine damage is possible/likely given so few miles driven and a decade or more years of storage?

I don’t have enough engine repair experience to even guess.

If the engine ran recently, have it started. It should at least turn over evenly. The idle can be a little lumpy in good engines, so expect it to be bad. Good surprises are better! Don’t forget the paperwork and hope the brakes do something.
You will need to replace all rubber hoses and of course the wheels, change the fluids and I‘d assume the coolant hasn’t been changed often with that description so it might have very thin head studs by now that make the whole thing a little more complicated if it needs dismantling. I fear spare engines are scarce where you are.
If the cars are far and few, 8000 for good paint and very good interior and a working (ish) drivetrain sounds okay I‘d say, especially if you always wanted it. Get it. Just look for rust and small repairs others did to it, and hope the engine is good. It could fire right up and run somewhat decent, and if the gearbox feels okay too (all gears should work, at least) you should definitely take it home.
60000km are nothing, but they benefit from being used, so it’s not necessarily a great aspect. But not bad either.

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