Featured: This 1975 Jaguar XJ-C Is One Man’s Link To His Past

This 1975 Jaguar XJ-C Is One Man’s Link To His Past

Ted Gushue By Ted Gushue
March 16, 2016
12 comments

Why are pillarless super-’70s coupes so sexy? Do they represent a time in automotive design where cars were built to a standard, not to a price tag? They’re remarkably silly at times, for instance, the Jaguar XJ-C pictured below for instance has two, completely separate fuel tanks that are not only filled separately, but toggled separately as well.

When Christopher Glancy of Heavy Atelier got in touch about his latest acquisition, I was floored to see the level of care and restoration that had gone into a car that most would pass over. Read on to learn a bit more about why this particular Jag is so special to him.

Ted Gushue: Tell me the story of your 1975 Jaguar XJ-C.

Christopher Glancy: I was looking for this car for quite a long time. Searching online, searching virtually every nomenclature for the car—because there’s the XJC, the XJ6-C, XJ Coupe, they were referenced so many different ways. I couldn’t find anything that was of the quality and restoration that I was after. They have such a mixed history of being unreliable if not properly cared for, various electrical issues, things like that. One night, I was on YouTube late at night looking at videos of XJs, and came across one with over 15,000 views at the time. All it had was the owner’s email, not knowing where he was, or if the car was even his.

I shot him an email, and got a reply the next morning with his phone number and instructions to call him. I gave him a call, we ended up talking for over an hour. The first story he told me was how when he was young, he saw this car with a beautiful young girl in the back, and she looked out of the back quarter window at him, smiling. From that moment he knew that someday he had to own that car.

The car was originally a California car but had been living with the current owner in Pennsylvania for the past 15 years. Within a week, I had booked a flight to see the car and was able to purchase it from the owner who had taken amazingly good care of the car over the years.

TG: I love origin stories like that.

CG: While looking over the car in Pennsylvania, I ended up telling him the story of how my father had one of these back in the day and how I’d been trying to track one down for quite some time.

TG: Expand on that a bit. Why was this car significant to your father?

CG: My dad had an XJ6 in 1970, it was a Series I Sedan, he wasn’t even aware that a Coupé had come out around that time as they were so rare; I’ve been told about only 1,200 were originally imported to the US. I always remember looking through photo journals that he kept, specifically of one trip to Alaska from Detroit, where he and his friend hooked up a trailer to the back of a Jaguar, towed it from Detroit to British Columbia, ditched the jag with the Trailer in BC.

They took the two motorcycles on a Ferry over to Alaska, where they became the first people to ever do the Alaskan Trail on motorcycle. This was before the pipeline, before it was paved, it was truly the wild west of his time. They slept in sleeping bags on the side of the trail and documented their entire trip. They were both two bearded, hippie dudes. The photo journals have photos of them with knives, joking around, just two buddies on an adventure.

TG: And this was decades before hipsters would be able to post photos like this to Tumblr!

CG: [laughs] Yeah! My dad was so much of a hippie, that even when I say that he’s a hippy, he refutes the story.

TG: Ahhh, the mark of a true hippie.

CG: I grew up idolizing these photos of all of my dad’s toys back then, and he came from a very different lifestyle than I was raised in. His father, and his father’s father, and his father before him, were all part of the Detroit motor industry. All at GM—my great grandfather, Alfred R. Glancy, named Pontiac, for example. There’s a wing in the Detroit history museum of his toy train collection, too. But to me it was always this myth, because I never met any of them. My grandfather was murdered before I could ever meet him.

TG: Murdered?!

CG: It’s a long story. But essentially, my father moved his family from Detroit to South Florida to create his own legacy. He purchased 20 acres of endangered Rockridge Pineland and began a 30+ year process of restoring the rare and invaluable ecosystem to its original habitat. At the time growing up on this property I didn’t understand why he sacrificed so much, but now have immense appreciation and respect for what he has accomplished.

In my earlier years ,I grew up in a trailer, in the middle of the woods, but looked back at photos of my father with his parent’s huge mansion in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. So it was a very sort of ying and yang childhood.

TG: Do you feel that in some sense, by you tracking down this car, that you are reclaiming a sort of lost kingdom?

CG: Absolutely. Even if it’s just the nostalgia of it, I have a tremendous respect for the way that things like this Jaguar were engineered and built back then. I look towards that as sort of a design aspiration, compared to just leasing a new car.

For me, when it was time to invest in a another car I needed something that would tie me to the past, that I had a connection to, even if slightly removed. Not only was it a smart investment I believe, but something that I can continue to enjoy and preserve for my family in the future.

Photography by Ted Gushue // Historic photos supplied by Christopher Glancy 

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Rotem Gill
Rotem Gill

I was fortunate to actually own one, great looking car and a great road car with the classic Jag rear-end, the story behind this model was that Jaguar introduced in 1974 the all new XJ6L long wheel base version that replaced the XJ6 and in 1975 there was a decision made to use all the leftover chassis for building this limited production XJ6C, a total of 1350 were predicted and 80 percent were exported to the U.S. All cars had a special plush interior and went thru a hand assembly line, the only thing that sucks on this car is… Read more »

Alejandro Armendano
Alejandro Armendano

One of my all time favorite cars. Gorgeous!

Roger Bass
Roger Bass

The late Mr.Glancy also owned the Empire State building. Beautiful car.

Per Christensen
Per Christensen

This Jaguar XJ6C is stunningly beautiful. Looking at the pictures brings up a lot of questions. Was this originally a European-market car or a US car that has been modified? The US-bound cars had ugly rubber bumpers, side reflectors, and smaller outer headlights to meet Federal regulations. This one has the Euro-spec beautiful chrome bumpers, no extra reflectors, and larger headlights. These cars originally had black vinyl roofs (long story — it was the seventies after all), this one seems to have shed its vinyl along the way. The badge on the front grille is a Danish automobile owners association… Read more »

Peter Ferri
Peter Ferri

I would like to see the Youtube video of this fantastic example!

Lazar Octavian
Lazar Octavian

One of my all time favorite Jag’s. And what a great story to go with it.

Richard Detoy
Richard Detoy

My three favorite details on this coupe are the stereo, the 7 inch outer headlights (the size that the car was designed to have) and the Nardi steering wheel. I had walnut Nardis on both my series one XJ-6s…the finishing touch for a very clubby interior.

Justin Hunt
Justin Hunt

Great looking car, even better story!

Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt

The real question is why does this have black plates?!!!
BLUE CA tags started in 1969, this is a 1975 and should have blue plates, not black!

Richard Detoy
Richard Detoy

California has very recently begun to issue black and yellow plates again.

CruiseMulholland
CruiseMulholland

On my way to LAX last Sunday I was passing by this glorious Jag which was standing in front of Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.
I gave a thumbs up.
still under the radar these stunning coupes.

Fredrik Assarsson
Fredrik Assarsson

Epitome of cool