Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant produced the first 420 (pronounced “four-twenty”)

Tuesday 23rd August 1966

Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant produced the first 420 (pronounced “four-twenty”). It was produced for two years as the ultimate expression of a series of “compact sporting saloons” offered by Jaguar throughout that decade, all of which shared the same wheelbase. Developed from the Jaguar S-Type, the 420 cost around £200 more than that model and effectively ended buyer interest in it, although the S-Type continued to be sold alongside the 420/Sovereign until both were supplanted by the Jaguar XJ6 late in 1968

Autocar magazine was the first to get their hands on a Jaguar 420 in March 1967. GKV 67D was a manual overdrive car fitted with the optional Marles Varamatic power steering and the magazine was impressed with what they found. It commented: ‘The ideal cruising speed seems to be just over 100mph. Engine silence is impressive in the lower speed ranges. Directional stability is very good indeed and cross winds have little effect; the car runs dead straight, calling for minimum steering correction, right up to maximum speed.’ The magazine concluded by saying: ‘Eagerly awaited since its announcement, the 420 in every way lives up to high expectations. It has an extraordinary dual character in that it can at one moment provide stately, luxurious travel for an elderly party, and behave like a high performance sports car the next.’

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