All the good stuff, no filler

When he isn’t chopping wood on bangers like “The Trooper” or “Run To The Hills,” heavy metal drummer Nicko McBrain entertains himself with a collection of handsome Jaguars. Now, he’s got another Bad Cat to indulge in following the debut of this customized XJ6 at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain Gets a Custom-Built ‘Greatest Hits' Jaguar XJ6 Exterior
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Over 3,500 man hours went into its creation, with more than 4,000 individual parts either refinished, replaced, or redesigned during the build.

Built in Coventry by the skilled hands of Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works, this custom XJ6 heads to Geneva as part of Jag’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the XJ nameplate. Over 3,500 man hours went into its creation, with more than 4,000 individual parts either refinished, replaced, or redesigned during the build. From the exterior, to the interior, to the powertrain and suspension, every facet of the machine was customized to McBrain’s specification.

Outside, the updates include new customized front and rear bumpers embellished with chrome detailing, as well as flared fenders front and back. Under the larger wheel wells, Jag stuffed in customized 18-inch wire wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber. There’s also new sills and rear door pressings, as well as Series 2 XJ door handles and mirrors. The fascia gains LED headlights with “Halo" daytime running lights, and the whole thing was slathered in Mauve paint.

Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain Gets a Custom-Built ‘Greatest Hits' Jaguar XJ6 Interior
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Step into the cabin, and you’ll find new seats covered in leather with a Pimento Red finish and black piping

Step into the cabin, and you’ll find new seats covered in leather with a Pimento Red finish and black piping. Up top is an Alcantara headliner, while the dash uses a Dark Grey sycamore veneer, much like McBrain’s snare drums. The pedals also get a musical nod, rocking a design similar to that of a kick drum pedal. An “Eddie Growler” badge (basically an Iron Maiden-ized Jaguar) was added to the steering wheel.

A new infotainment system, complete with a touchscreen and a rear back-up camera, bring it into the modern age, with aluminum switchgear inspired by the controls of a guitar amp used for inputs. Unsurprisingly, the XJ also gets a kick-ass stereo pumping out 1,100 watts of raw acoustic power.

Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain Gets a Custom-Built ‘Greatest Hits' Jaguar XJ6 Interior
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An “Eddie Growler” badge (basically an Iron Maiden-ized Jaguar) was added to the steering wheel.

Mechanically, the are new adjustable dampers added front and back. Under the hood is a 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder, which makes fun noises through a bespoke quad-tipped exhaust.

“This is my ultimate XJ - my third, and lovingly named ‘Johnny 3,’” says the multi-platinum selling musician. “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 - it really is a Greatest Hits edition, and to me, it defines what the Jaguar XJ is all about.”

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Press release

Today at the Geneva Motor Show Jaguar Classic is 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

Key features include:

Unique front and rear bumpers – seamlessly blended in to 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 tyres
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, rear view 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 aluminium
In-dash starter button
Uprated air-conditioning
Remote central locking

“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

Inside, classic Jaguar style meets modern day convenience. The leather seats are hand trimmed in Pimento Red with black piping and embossed head rests, 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 favourite snare drums.

Further nods to the owner’s art include machined aluminium 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.

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.

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