Yesterday at the Geneva Motor Show Jaguar Classic was proud to present Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain’s custom-built ‘Greatest Hits’ Jaguar XJ6, kicking-off Jaguar’s XJ 50th anniversary celebrations in 2018.
The bespoke commission is a collaboration between Nicko, the expert engineers and craftsmen at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, and Jaguar Design studio director Wayne Burgess. The project involved more than 3500 man-hours of work, with more than 4000 parts refinished, replaced or redesigned. Unlike any 1984 XJ6 before, it incorporates substantial modifications to the exterior, interior, drivetrain, and suspension, resulting in Nicko’s dream XJ.
This is my ultimate XJ – my third, and lovingly named ‘Johnny 3’. It has been a true labour of love between Jaguar Classic and myself. I’m so excited by its completion and especially to be showing it at Geneva – it really is a Greatest Hits edition and to me it defines what the Jaguar XJ is all about. It’s a credit to the craftsmanship of the Jaguar Classic team. We couldn’t have timed it better, this being the 50th anniversary of XJ – my favourite of all Jaguars.
— Nicko McBrain, Iron Maiden Drummer
Inside, classic Jaguar style meets modern day convenience. The leather seats are hand trimmed in Pimento Red with black piping and embossed headrests, while a black hand-crafted carpet and Alcantara headlining finishes off the trim. The dashboard features Dark Grey stained Sycamore veneers – the preferred material for Nicko’s favorite snare drums.
Further nods to the owner’s art include machined aluminum rotary controls on the dashboard – inspired by the control knobs of the guitar amplifiers created by Nicko’s great friend Jim Marshall, and drum kit inspired pedals finished in chrome and black. The custom three-spoke sports steering wheel features Nicko’s unique mascot – the ‘Eddie Growler’, first seen on his specially commissioned 2013 Jaguar XKR-S.
Bespoke soft down lighting illuminates the revised dashboard, in which a state-of-the-art Alpine touch screen controls the 1100W sound system, powering speakers from Nicko’s preferred Jaguar audio installation, the 12MY Jaguar XF.
Incorporating a number of reconditioned parts from McBrain’s original XJ6, the 4.2-litre in-line six-cylinder engine features three 2-inch SU carburettors from the E-type – Nicko’s favourite set up. Machined quad-exhaust tail pipes finish-off a specially-designed exhaust system.
Creating this ‘Greatest Hits’ XJ, and the whole process of bringing someone’s automotive dream to life, has been extraordinarily rewarding for the Jaguar Classic team. It’s been a pleasure to work with Nicko and we’re looking forward to hearing the reaction to this project.
— Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director
Preserved components from Nicko’s first XJ6, which spent many years stood in the grounds of the home of Iron Maiden bass guitarist Steve Harris, following Nicko’s move to America, are present elsewhere in the build too: from the iconic Jaguar leaper bonnet mascot, which first attracted Nicko to buy the car, to the original ignition keys from 1984.
- Unique front and rear bumpers – seamlessly blended into the modified fenders with bespoke chrome brightwork and flush-fit US side markers
- Flared and re-profiled front and rear wheel arches accommodating bespoke 18-inch wire wheels fitted with 235/45 R18 Pirelli P Zero tires
- Unique sills and modified rear door pressings
- Uprated front and rear suspension with adjustable rear dampers
- Unique Mauve paint finish
- Conversion to elegant Series 2 XJ door handles and bullet wing mirrors
- Conversion to LED headlights with ‘Halo’ daytime running light signature
- Conversion to recessed twin fuel fillers
- Modern door sealing for reduced wind noise, and additional sound deadening
- Integrated touch screen operating satnav, phone, rearview camera and in-car entertainment
- Re-trimmed interior with modified seat foams improving refinement
- Bespoke audio system with USB connectivity, featuring guitar amplifier-inspired control knobs machined from aluminum
- In-dash starter button
- Uprated air-conditioning
- Remote central locking