Monday, November 19, 2007

Jaguar Mark II (1959-1967)

Paul W. Cockerham's Jaguar: Spirit of the Cat explains that the 1950's got Jaguar thinking about producing a smaller car—something that would be sporty and elegant at the same time. The end result was a neat little car.
By the mid—1950's, Jaguar had realized that the market for saloon cars might easily accommodate something smaller than it normally produced, so in 1956, after £100,000 in development costs, its first small saloon, the 2.4—liter, was launched. ... The updated Mark II rolled out in 1959, which featured an airier cabin ... a larger rear window, and a rear track widened by 3.25 inches. ... The car was now available with the XK engine in 2.4—, 3.4—, and 3.8—liter sizes. (Cockerham 37)

The Mark II was quite a nice little car for its time. I have never driven one but its small size, luxurious interior, and powerful engine must have made for an enjoyable ride. According to Google, it was fast enough to ... well ... uh ... okay, just go ahead and read it yourself!
The Mark 2 gained a reputation for transcending the borders of class and breeding in the 1960s, breaking down barriers in the name of good taste, owned by city bankers and bank robbers alike. The 3.8 specifically gained a reputation as a capable car for bank raids, being fast (over 200 bhp (149 kW) and 125 mph (200 km/h) in 1959), roomy enough for five adults and with a big boot. (Jaguar Mark 2)
Well then, moving right along ... As I was looking over the internet pictures, my wife walked into the room and commented about the car's front end. Amazingly, she actually liked the car! Apparently, Jaguar did too as they resurrected the style for its retro S—type. Everything from the grille to the side countour made it back into production. Time will tell how that turns design fairs in today's market.

Reading Cockerham's four paragraphs about the car caused me to wonder if any were presently being sold on Ebay. Sure enough, several were listed and even at semi-reasonable prices. But as you would have guessed, the price increased drastically after restoration. Buy-it-now prices ranged from $14,000 to $55,000. But a nice green 1966 model was sitting at $510 with nine says left. :) Wouldn't that make for an interesting daily driver!

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