2010 Jaguar XJ75: Cat Scratch Fever

Galpin Auto Sports and Jaguar team up to build a showstopper.

Story: Michael Crenshaw

Photography: Andrew Link

Jaguar’s newest model, the XJ super sedan, is one hell of a luxury barge straight from the factory, but let’s be honest: In the fantasy world of elite English road haulers, Bents and Rolls are the monarchy. Enter Galpin Auto Sports, whose goal was to make this sultry sedan play with the big boys and then rip those standards to shreds.

Following the lead from Jaguar corporate to build a one-off concept for Pebble Beach, Galpin’s fabricator, J.D., went right to work on building a jaw-dropper worthy of competing with the best of Britain’s offerings—the XJ75 Concept. “We were hired by Jaguar to build the car for them, stemming off their design,” explains J.D. “We had to make their drawings come to life.” With the sketches in hand and tools at their disposal, the team at Galpin got to work.

Using production methods usually reserved for assembly plants and mass-produced cars, Galpin fabricated a custom jig by creating molds out of clay, coating them in fiberglass, then grafting the finalized product onto the car. The result is a one-of-one body kit that gives the XJ75 road-holding presence while still retaining stately elegance.

To give the behemoth a ghostly image, Galpin and Jag worked within a tight schedule to apply a subtle stain of white. “It’s a semigloss; it’s a 50/50 mix, 50 percent flat, 50 percent gloss clear, which gives you the look of matte with the gloss of a regular clear,” J.D. specifies. “It’s a combination of the Jaguar team over in the U.K. and us here.”

Though Jaguar was amazingly compliant throughout the whole build, Galpin had to push them on the wheels. “We encouraged them that we should go with a larger wheel to give it a better look—a lot more aggressive, but staying with the elegant and clean style, not gaudy or anything like that,” explains J.D.

After completing the exterior finessing, one would think the obvious next step would be to turn up the system a few decibels. This is where you’d be wrong. This sultry Jag’s audio is already the best in the biz, hands down. The 1,200-watt, 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system was specifically designed for the XJ using proprietary B&W parts, such as aluminum dome tweeters and Kevlar drive units.

As the final touch, they opted for an old-time look in the interior. “It’s kind of a tuxedo look, where you open up a jacket and there is a bright color, such as a red or purple,” J.D. reveals. It’s these little touches that give this $170,000 cat a purrrfect résumé for a future owner to cop. So if you’ve got the funds and are looking for a British beast full of character, strike fast.

Spec The Technique:

Performance: Supercharged 5.0-liter 470hp

Interior: Custom leather seats with diamond suede inserts; suede headliner; lit side sills; felt-lined glove box and center armrest; embedded Bremont clock in center console

Exterior: Custom body kit with matte/pearlescent white paint; piano-black accents

Ice: 1,200-watt, 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio

Wheels/Tires: 22-inch Forgiato Monoleggera Concavo-Ms; Nitto Invo tires, 245/30/22 front and rear

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