A brief introduction on Leica M6 chrome Jaguar XK 1948~1998 50th Anniversary Edition, 1998 - MIR Image Library

In 1998, we had witnessed a very unique issued theme in a LEICA M6 camera that associated directly with a car manufacturer. In a literature accompanied with this special edition of LEICA M6, it states: -

Jaguar XK header
" THE JAGUAR COLLECTION AND LEICA CAMERAS FOCUS ON 50 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE" ... way back in 1948, the motoring world was stunned by the introduction of a new Jaguar sport car and its "XK" engine. The car, Jaguar XK120, went on to be a classic icon of the 1950's and the engine was to be responsible for speeding Jaguar to historic victories at Le Mans. The "XK" combination was a masterpiece and the Jaguar name, famed for generations of evocative sports cars and luxury saloons has its origin as here.

Jaguar XK120 LeMan racing Jaguar XK120 LeMan racing

To Mark the 50th years since the landmark introduction, Jaguar has specially commissioned Leica camera AG to produce this special Jaguar "XK50" version of their classic camera series, the LEICA M6. Yet another classic icon from the 1950's, the Leica "M" series has been the chosen tool of many celebrated photographers, and the current version, the M6 is an aristocrat among cameras. The camera is very distinctive, covered in green Connolly leather and featuring the classic, collapsible 50mm 'ELMAR' lens, for that 1950's look. Produced in chrome, the camera is engraved with the distinctive Jaguar trademark and the words 'XK 1948~1998'. The 'XK50' M6 is one of a special run of just 50 pieces.-Roger Putnam - Jaguar Collection (current Jaguar Sales & Marketing Director, former Chairman of Ford of Britain from 2002-2005)...".

Note: John Maries, current Executive Director, Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust has issued this via
Leica User Group (LUG) back in 24.07.1998 which states"Dear LUGgers, 1998 sees the 50th Anniversary of the Jaguar XK120. This classic sportscar was to firmly establish the Jaguar name, and went on to become a 50's icon. In celebration, Jaguar has joined forces with a select group of other "icon" companies and has specially commissioned a classic momento of that classic era from each. If you are interested in Jaguar and Leica, please email me for further details. Regards John Maries; Jaguar, UK". In Stephan's (cameraquest) article which relates to the LEICA M6 article; he has mentioned John Maries involvement in enabling the M6 Jaguar project. Anyway, as Stephan's original has been published for quite while, just let whatever it appears herein this site acts as an extension for his original write ups.
Jaguar XK120 LeMan racing
Jaguar emblem
Jaguar name

LEICA M6 Jaguar XK50 1948~1998 Edition

" ...In September 1948 Jaguar announced its first new postwar, stop-gap model in Mark V with independent front suspension and a new engine was virtually ready for production, but it was considered that the Mark V was a little too conservative to launch it in and so the Saloon and Drophead Mark Vs were offered with the usual 21/2 and 31/2 litre power units.
Lyons had specified that the output from the new engine should be that ultimately achieved with 'Old Number 8', 160 BHP. The designers bravely chose an overhead camshaft layout and .after trying several configurations, the final engine was decided upon. It was to be a straight six of 3442 cc and given the name XK. The achieved output was 160 BHP! Jaguar now had an excellent new chassis, a tremendously exciting new engine, but no sports car. So the decision was made to produce a small number of sports cars, which would generate publicity and perhaps gain a few competition successes. The task fell then to William Lyons to design a suitable body in just a couple of months for the 1948 Motor Show. It was known as the XK120 and was destined to become one of the greatest sports cars of all time..".

Leica M6 Jaguar XK50 1948~1998 Special commemorative edition
In 1950 it was decided to take three cars to France for the world famous Le Mans 24 hour race, merely to assess their capabilities against international opposition....The Jaguars were an unknown quantity and the crowd were watching the Ferraris, Talbots and Cunninghams... However, Jaguar drivers recorded a remarkable victory for the first time out for the C-types..... Jaguar with new development in disc brake and was to be Jaguar's secret weapon upon their return to Le Mans in 1953. The result was a complete walkover, the Jaguars finishing first, second and fourth. Jaguar was now a world force and the XK engine a world beater....

Jaguar Heritage/History


Leica M6 Jaguar XK50 1948~1998 Special commemorative edition front view Leica M6 Jaguar XK50 1948~1998 Special commemorative edition rear section view

Leica M6 Jaguar XK50 1948~1998 Special commemorative edition with chrome ELMAR-M 1:2.8/50mm with special engraving
Frankly speaking, the LEICA M6 XK50 1948~1998 edition has a very well laid out specification with cleverly matched components. It was the second M6 special edition body that uses a familiar Jaguar green colored leatherette that symbolizes with Jaguar corporate color; it fits in such a selection very well and very eye-appealing (the same goes for the Leica/Jaguar 1,000 units limited edition of Z2X* compact camera, except the latter was not using leather but plastic). The package was supplied in a white corrugated box with an oversized Jaguar emblem with XK work imprinted. Inside, a light colored veneer presentation box was laid with the same deep-green velvet. I was glad at least it was not a black body, if not it may loss the elegant look in a chrome body. You may also notice the Jaguar XK50 M6 here was not the M6 TTL, probably it was among the last of M6 Classic body being used as a special commemorative kit.
* NOTE: the "XK50" used here for this Limited Edition M6 Classic body probably refers a short form for 50th Anniversary for the birth of the famed Jaguar XK model.

The lens was quite a smart adoption, instead of the more popular selection of Summicron-M 50/2 as seen on many of the Leica M6 special releases; those who had involved in the M6 Jaguar project had chosen a unique matching lens for this M6 Jaguar edition with a Collapsible ELMAR-M 1:2.8/50mm in chrome finish. One way or another, like the 1994's LEICA M6J releases, it had instilled a sense of "good old days" look and feel to the combination.

The top panel of the LEICA M6 Jaguar Edition is very distinguishable via another feature of an engraving of a corporate leaping Jaguar emblem with XK 1048~1998 at the empty slot, left section at the top plate of the camera. Like most of the other special M6 edition bodies, the M6 Jaguar special edition Serial Number which begins with XK xx/50 was engraved at the other end of the accessory shoe with Leica standard production S/N. Each of this release, Leica has the colour brochure which acts like part of the authentication and at the bottom right corner, the serial number for each unit was printed as well.
LEICA ELMAR-M 1:2.8/50mm 50 years JAGUAR XK lens
There is another engraving at the front lens data ring where "50 years JAGUAR XK with S/N xx/50" is engraved. A dedicated lens hood is supplied.

Credit: Image courtesy of J-camera Korea®. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
New Jaguar XK-R series link to JAGUAR SITE
As mentioned, the entire edition of he LEICA M6 Jaguar XK 1948~1998 was only limiting to 50 units; obviously this special issue was not so profit orientated (but the compact Z2X* probably yes). But it was not known whether Jaguar was using such an edition to create another impact to attract attention of observers at the British luxury goods market. As we all know, a few auto makers such as the German Porsche (Design), British luxury automaker Aston Martin etc. had created new business extension while Jaguar may see potential in an old trade name and a icon in Jaguar XK to explore such potential and/or creating a new wave of business expansion.
NOTE: Prior to this Leica M6, Jaguar actually had started quite early with a line of designer eyeglass frames and has extended to others such as apparels and even fragrances and footwear etc. distributing via licensing through specialist boutiques in a few countries. Jaguar still maintains the XK- series in their lineup, the latest being XK | XK60 | XK-R | XK-RS. Any comments ? Yes. Not with this Leica M6 (full marks !) but I would think Formula-1 circuit misses a leaping Jaguar...
Leica M6 Jaguar XK50 1948~1998 Special commemorative edition top plate Leica M6 Jaguar XK50 1948~1998 Special commemorative edition XK logo on camera top plate Base plate, Leica M6 Jaguar XK50 1948~1998 Special commemorative edition Walnut veneer presentation box, Leica M6 Jaguar XK50 1948~1998 Special commemorative edition

Jaguar black logo

Credit: All images courtesy of J-camera Korea®. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.


Jaguar LEICA Z2X link
* NOTE:- Leica partnership was not just confined to this 50 units edition of M6 Jaguar XK50 1948~1998 Edition; for those who had not the budget or no interest in a rangefinder classic type of camera, the Companies had an alternative of a compact film camera, Leica/Jaguar Z2X edition (76k Jpeg view), issued in a limited 1,000 units in the same year of release.

Jaguar emblem link to Jaguar site

Main Index Page - Leica M6-series models / Main Index Page - Leica-M Rangefinder camera Models

Nomenclature / Main Reference Map for Leica M6 Standard Model(s) applicable to this M6 Limited Edition
Instruction Manuals:-
Leica M6 Classic in PDF (3.8mb) applicable to this M6 XK50 Jaguar Edition by Niels H. S. Nielsen

MIR.com.my - link to Index Page

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Credit: Image courtesy of J-camera Korea®. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.