Despite popular opinion, today’s Nice Price or No Dice Jaguar 420 was not named after the number of blackbirds that could be baked in a pie. Let’s see if it’s priced so that only a bird brain would buy it.
The 1995 Dodge Viper ST/10 we looked at yesterday was painted in a rare emerald green from the factory. Many of you commented that the color’s rarity was for good reason, noting that it wouldn’t be your first choice for the iconic sports car. At a $39,500 asking, that color couldn’t quell lust for the Viper’s other, baser attributes, earning the asp a narrow but decisive 60 percent Nice Price win.
Today’s 1967 Jaguar 420 is also green, albeit a shade that’s more minty than British Racing Green. It does raise a bit of a conundrum: whether classic saloons have the same cachet as old sports cars.
Jaguar debuted the 420 at the London Motor Show in October of 1966. The model is based on the concurrent S-Type, itself a derivation of the earlier and popular Mark 2. As with both of those cars, the 420 carried a twin-carb version of Jag’s stellar DOHC inline-six under its bonnet. Like the S-Type, it feeds the engine’s power through an independent rear suspension similar to (but with a wider track) that of the XKE.
At the time of its production—1966 through 1968—the 420 would be one of four sedan models offered by Jaguar, the highest number in the marque’s history, even to today. And that doesn’t even count the badge-engineered Daimler models. All of those Jag saloons would eventually be replaced by the XJ series with the culling beginning in 1968.
The 420 name references the 4.2-liter edition of the Jag six that was fitted to the car and not a mystical marijuana reference nor, as noted above, the quantity of pie-bound blackbirds made famous in Sing a Song of Sixpence (and yes, I know that four and twenty means 24, not 420, but work with me, it’s a good pun). The name also allowed Jaguar to align the model with the larger 420G which was a re-named version of the existing Mark X.
This 420 has 66,000 miles on the clock. Amazingly, it comes with its original importer sales sheet denoting its options as the Borg Warner 3-speed automatic, clever Marles Varamatic power steering, chromed wire wheels, original whitewall tires, and tinted glass.
The ad describes the car as a one-owner time capsule and claims it to be in “as found condition,” touting that “No attempt has been made to tart the car up as it would diminish it in the eyes of real collectors of survivor vehicles.” The Willow Green paint still seems to be serviceable and the car rolls on what are likely its original wire wheels. Wrapping the wires are, yes, whitewall tires.
Those wheels are knock-offs meaning that they mount on a splined hub and are held in place with a spin-on cap not that they are knock-offs made by some other company.
Jag cabins from the ’60s can be splendid and this one is no exception. The wood, leather, and plastics all look to be in great shape and without issue. Under the bonnet, the engine looks to have all its parts although it needs some spit and polish.
As noted, this is the 4.2 liter, twin-carb version of the six. That was factory rated at 245 horsepower (gross) which equates to something like 200 net. That’s not bad for a car of this era, especially when considering that a contemporary Ford 289 V8 with a four-barrel carb made 225 horses. For maintenance, the car comes with its complete tool kit in the boot, resting comfortably in the grip of the spare tire well.
According to the ad, the car is a “Terrific running and driving example” and comes with a clean title and current registration. The question on everybody’s mind, of course, is what should something like this reasonably go for?
That brings us back to the debate over sedans versus sports cars when it comes to spending cold hard cash. Does this classic Jag lose points for being a saloon? Or, is it exciting and engaging enough to be desirable in its own right? More to the point, is its $17,450 asking price in alignment with that desirability?
What do you say, could this Jag command that $17,450 asking as it sits? Or, does that price put the cat back in the bag?
Orange County, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
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