The Mk2 Jaguar has become a motoring icon by virtue of its substantial performance prowess as much as its imposing design. For some enthusiasts, it’s the car they saw tearing around the nation’s race tracks in Touring Car grudge matches; for others it’s the hero of many a cops-and-robbers car chase on the big- and small-screen. The car that Withnail went on holiday in by mistake. The supremely impressive luxury saloon owned by every bank manager, politician, doctor and lawyer through the 1960s and beyond.
With a handful of drivetrain options being offered over the model’s production run, the 3.4 is arguably the sweet spot: all the power that the chassis demands, with a smoothness and usability that was unrivalled in its class. When combined with the manual transmission, with its superbly judged ratios, it makes for a usable classic that’s both sporting and cosseting depending on what mood the driver happens to be in. With a sumptuously appointed interior featuring all of the wood and leather that characterised premium car design of the period, along with an advanced chassis sporting disc brakes all round and agile suspension, it adds up to the quintessential British classic.
Handsome, quick, athletic, well-equipped, solidly built, roomy, comfortable, practical… it’s surely all the car a person could ever need.
If there’s one thing that’s reassuring above all else when looking at a classic car, it’s finding out that the owner is a lifelong marque enthusiast who knows exactly what they’re talking about. Such is the case with this Mk2, owned as it is by a Jaguar expert who’s had more Mk2s, E-Types, XKs and so forth than you could shake the proverbial stick at. He purchased this car locally five years ago, as a solid and honest example which had been laid up for a while and needed a few jobs doing to get it tip-top. Over the course of the last few years he’s carried out those jobs with gusto, and the key thing is that he’s done it all to his own standards: there’s a distinct difference between a car that’s been restored to sell and one that’s been restored out of passion, and this is very much the latter. Anything that needed to be done has been done, no expense spared. And the reason for selling now? Quite simply that there are too many Jaguars and not enough time – the moment’s right for this car to move onto its next owner.
This car comes with an impressive history file, with a substantial sheaf of receipts detailing all of the parts that have been acquired and work carried out in recent years. The V5 shows the car being registered on May 2nd 1966, just a couple of weeks after Time magazine coined the phrase ‘Swinging London’, and it’s only had four owners since.
A receipt from 2016 outlines materials for the fresh Old English White paintwork, and another from 2017 shows the extensive engine works, as outlined below under ‘mechanicals’. We also find receipts for having the radiator re-cored, shock absorbers, gaskets, brake lines, fuel pump, and many other parts, with lots of quality parts being sourced from the renowned specialist SNG Barratt Group. All of the work carried out has a paper trail, and the owner is also a fountain of knowledge and can provide all the evidence you need regarding how the Jaguar has been rejuvenated.
The interior of a Mk2 Jaguar is a marvellous place to be, largely because it feels so improbably light and airy. It’s easy to forget in modern cars quite how imposing the pillars are; it’s only when you sit in something like a Mk2 that you realise just how slender and elegant the design is.
The appointments and details are a real snapshot in time, with extensive swathes of wood trim and wonderfully era-defining seats. In this instance, the seats have received a quality retrim in blue leather, and are presented today in flawless condition having barely been sat in since. The carpets are also new. The wood trim is gently patinated, and the seller suggests that if the new owner were pursuing concours trophies then the woodwork might go on the to-do list – although it’s perfectly presentable; all solid and matching, with no cracks, damage or missing bits. There’s a little lacquer peel and spidering here and there, but some might say this adds character to the 54-year-old classic. All of the switchgear is present and correct, the dials are in good working order, and the steering wheel is in excellent condition. The windows are without fault and wind up and down as they should.
Inside the boot, we find everything dry and solid, with excellent carpet and strong hinges.
One particularly important point with this Mk2 is that all of the exterior chrome is present and in excellent condition – this is often an area that’s compromised on and can lead to surprisingly big bills, but there’s no such concern here.
The bodywork is all impressively straight and solid, and wears its fresh shade of Old English White paint beautifully. The body panels all sit straight and true with even gaps, and there’s no visible sign of corrosion – whatever work has been required over the years has evidently been done well, as the Mk2 presents itself beautifully. The wire wheels are in superb and gleaming condition, and are fitted with a quality set of brand new tyres. The window glass is all good, as are the seals surrounding them. All of the light lenses are present and complete, and so are the correct Jaguar badges and emblems. Underneath, the car is solid and free from any visible corrosion – it’s had some necessary welding as you’d expect of a British car from the 1960s, but everything’s been done well and it’s all strong and correct. It speaks volumes that the current owner has been keen to display the Mk2 at shows, as its finish is very befitting of the showground. We wouldn’t be surprised if the new keeper were able to take home a few trophies with it.
The seller also has a tailor-made car cover to fit the Jaguar, which cost £350 and will be included in the sale.
The current owner is a dyed-in-the-wool Jaguar obsessive, so it’s no surprise that no stone was left unturned when it came to fully revamping this Jag’s oily bits. The engine has had the head taken off and core plugs out so that everything can be assessed and serviced; the block was cleaned, and the radiator has been re-cored with an uprated core. The engine recently enjoyed all the fresh items you’d expect of a service and refresh, including all fluids and filters, plugs and leads, as well as being mated to a new stainless steel exhaust system. Also featuring in the list of new parts we find the Panhard rod, Monroe shock absorbers to the front and rear, master cylinder, battery, rear brake seals, brake pads all round, front subframe mounts, coil, coolant hoses, heater box valve, fuel pump, copper brake pipes, flexi hoses… everything’s been gone through, he even had a new fusebox cover specially made. The only blot on the engine’s copybook is a slight ticking noise which is believed to be related to the small ends – it’s always done it in this owner’s tenure and has never presented an issue beyond sounding ever-so-slightly rattly at idle.
The transmission is strong, with the gearbox shifting smoothly, the overdrive functioning correctly, and no noises from the diff. The owner reports no issues with the brakes, steering or suspension – all in all, it’s just a lovely thing to drive.
Mk2 Jaguars will always be popular – it’s the nature of their design as much as their engineering prowess. This model really is a high watermark for the British car industry, offering everything you could want from an automobile: it’s stylish and well-built, with eager performance and reassuring handling, along with being extremely comfortable and luxuriously appointed.
This particular Mk2 stands head-and-shoulders above most others on the market today, because it ticks a number of desirable boxes: with low owners and low miles, it’s an attractive proposition in itself, but the fact that it’s been cherished and revivified by a keen enthusiast tips it over the top. With many hours and many pounds spent on refining and finessing the aesthetics and mechanicals, this honest, solid and admirably presented Mk2 3.4 is a compelling prospect indeed.
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