Factory-refreshed classics appear to be all the rage these days, especially amongst collectors of high-end British cars from Aston Martin and Jaguar. The latter has dusted off some of its most revered models, releasing them as factory-fresh recreations for massive sums. Sometimes, spec-sheet perfection is thrown out the door in accordance with the customer’s wishes, much like Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain’s factory restomodded 1984 Jaguar XJ6.
McBrain has long been a Jag devotee, buying his first in 1987. In 2012, he commissioned an XKR-S with a handful of bespoke touches. At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Jag pulled the covers off McBrain’s custom XJ6, which wears bits from every generation of XJ.
Over 4,000 individual components were refinished or redesigned in the build process, resulting in a semi-modernized XJ6. It’s an incredibly striking car, wearing special Mauve metallic paint and 18-inch custom wire-spoke wheels. Some of the changes are more subtle, including reworked front and rear bumpers, restyled wheel arches, and XJ Series II door handles.
Inside, a deviated red-and-black leather interior blends vintage design with modern comfort. A new set of gauges sits front and center, offset by a new infotainment system sitting flush in the upper portion of the center console. Little homages to Iron Maiden are scattered about the cabin, including an “Eddie Growler” motif on the horn button and control knobs inspired by those found on guitar amps.
Underneath all these changes, the original 4.2-liter inline-six now breathes through three SU carburetors from an E-Type. At all four corners, an updated suspension with adjustable rear dampers are supplemented by Pirelli P Zero tires.
Considering the time and care spent designing the XJ, McBrain is pleased. “This is my ultimate XJ –my third, and lovingly named ‘Johnny 3’. It has been a true labor of love between Jaguar Classic and myself. I’m so excited by its completion and especially to be showing it at Geneva,” he said in a release. “It really is a Greatest Hits edition and to me it defines what the Jaguar XJ is all about.”