Not a bad birthday bash at all.

Jaguar is taking a convoy of XJ across the English channel to celebrate the flagship's 50th anniversary.

Starting at Jaguar's Castle Bromwich plant in the UK, the convoy – which features all eight generations of XJ produced since 1968 – will end up at the Paris motor show which opens later this week.

More Jaguar XJ

Jaguar XJ Series 1

The special collection will be led by the Series I, and finish with the most recent XJ50 special edition. The 521 mile route will also take in significant locations along the way, such as Jaguar Classic, Bicester Heritage Centre and the Goodwood and Le Mans race circuits.

"The Jaguar XJ story is one of design, desirability and performance and over the past 50 years it has become a true giant in the automotive world and it’s only right that we pay homage to it in this special way," said Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design. "When I started at Jaguar, the XJ was already an icon of car design, so to have been part of this story that has been told over half a century has been an absolute privilege."

Jaguar XJ Series 2 Coupe

The cars taking part in the convoy from Castle Bromwich to Paris are:

  • Jaguar XJ Series I: 1968
  • Jaguar XJ Series II: 1973
  • Jaguar XJ Series II Coupé: 1973
  • Jaguar XJ Series III: 1979
  • Jaguar XJ XJ40: 1986
  • Jaguar XJ X300: 1994
  • Jaguar XJ X308: 1997
  • Jaguar XJ X350: 2003
  • Jaguar XJ X351: 2009
  • Jaguar XJR575: 2017
  • Jaguar XJ XJ50: 2018

The final destination is one of great significance to Jaguar and the XJ. The car made its debut at the Paris motor show way back in 1968, with Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons pulling the covers off the car on that occasion. He claimed the car would be a saloon car but with the sporty handling of the then-contemporary E-Type. Since then a number of other XJs have been revealed at the event, including XJ 'X300' was unveiled at the event in 1994 and the revolutionary lightweight aluminium monocoque XJ 'X350 made its debut in Paris in 2002.

Jaguar XJ X350

The return to Paris caps of a year of celebrations for the XJ, which began with the introduction of the new XJ50. The special edition model comes with 'Autobiography-style' front and rear bumpers, a new 20-inch Venom wheels, black front grille and unique badging to the rear and side vents. Inside, the luxury interior includes an embossed leaper on the headrests, an XJ50 logo on the centre armrest, unique intaglio branding and XJ50-badged illuminated treadplates.

Gallery: Jaguar XJ 50th anniversary