- Post is under moderationTHE BIG PICTURE / #Jaguar-Mk2 / #Jaguar / #1967
Launched in 1967 as a final fling for the highly successful Mk2, the Jaguar 240 and 340 proved to be useful stopgap models prior to the arrival of the next-generation saloons
WORDS: PAUL GUINNESS PHOTOGRAPHY: JAGUAR LAND-ROVER
Although the Jaguar-Mk2 had been killed off by September 1967, two re-branded versions – the 240 and 340 – were then launched, with the smaller-engined of the two being featured in this classic promotional photograph of the time. The 240 and 340 featured downgraded interiors thanks to their use of vinyl upholstery and poorer quality carpets in order to keep list prices as low as possible, but in every other sense they were a fitting continuation of the Mk2. Given the age of the design, however, these were only ever intended to be stop-gap models – hence the disappearance of the 340 after just twelve months on sale, achieving sales of 2788 cars during that time. The 240 remained in production through to April 1969, giving Jaguar a useful entry-level saloon (significantly undercutting the new XJ6) that succeeded in attracting 4446 buyers.
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Mk2 Jaguar. How a detailed restoration returned a shabby 3.8 to its former glory. The Mk2 Jaguar is probably one of the most instantly recognisable classic saloons. We meet a dedicated owner who turned an impressive collection of model Jaguars into the real thing. Words Iain Wakefield. Photography Chris Frosin.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationThe #Jaguar Mk2 / The very epitome of the stylish and sophisticated classic saloon, we advise on buying the best... WORDS Chris Randall /// PHOTOGRAPHY Magic Car Pics / #1959 / #1962 / #Jaguar-Mk2 / #Jaguar-Mk2-2.4 / #Jaguar-Mk2-3.4 / #Jaguar-Mk2-3.8 / #Daimler-250-V8 / #Daimler-250
There are some classics that are a case of style over substance, and while it’s a very good looking thing indeed, that’s not an accusation that can be levelled at the Mk2. In fact, it’s the very essence of the capable sporting saloon and boasts the sort of driving manners that has you searching out the longest route just so you can enjoy everything this lithesome big cat has to offer.
And it all starts with the straightsix XK engines that are bursting with character, and that prove a joy to extend with a smooth-revving and responsive nature. This is all backed by a stirring soundtrack that encourages you to extend them whenever possible. Some people find the 2.4-litre model a little under-nourished in the power department but it proves brisk enough for most and there’s always the lure of the lustier 3.4- and 3.8-litre units, the latter ensuring the Mk2 is a genuine 120mph car with acceleration to match. Snicking through the gears is a pleasure too, and while the Moss ‘box needs acclimatisation and a short pause between selecting ratios, the Jaguar four-speeder or the threespeed automatic prove easy going companions. And this is a car that can handle too, blending an impressively composed and confidence-inspiring feel when pressed with a relaxed ride that’s perfect for tackling a trans-continental blast. The Mk2 steers and stops well, too, although the unassisted steering is heavy at parking speeds and certainly benefits from the optional power assistance.
So it’s good to drive, but what’s it like to travel in? In short, delightful. The cabin is a cocoon of the sort of old-school luxury at which Jaguar excels, with rich leathers and beautifully matched woods, and all assembled with superb attention to detail.
The sumptuous seats are comfortable for miles on end, and the clearly laid out dashboard with its array of white-on-black dials is fronted by an elegantly thin-rimmed steering wheel that’s a pleasure to hold. The upshot, then, is a very special experience indeed with the sort of feel-good factor that makes every journey one to relish.
A superb blend of performance, entertaining handling, sheer class and luxury ensure that Mk2s always remain in demand. And there’s the added bonus of a great club and specialist support, plentiful parts supply, and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fixing them. A neglected one will be an utter money pit, but avoid those and you’ll own a fine sporting saloon.
Wire wheels were a popular addition and suit the sporting Jaguar to a tee.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
The complex monocoque bodyshell is well known for being a complete rust trap, so it pays to be super-careful when looking. Examine the front and rear valances, floorpan, inner/outer sills, wheel-arches, the bottom of the doors, and the wings. And never dismiss seemingly minor bubbling. Poor door alignment could signal serious problems with the bodyshell, and remember to examine the box sections and chassis legs, the front crossmember (particularly the ‘crow’s feet’ at either end), the suspension mountings and jacking points, and the boot floor. Replacing chrome or Mazak exterior trim can be pricey, while righting poor restorations or bodgery can mean a world of financial pain.
Excessive smoke from the exhaust could mean an expensive rebuild, although don’t rule out blockages in the breather system. A leaking crankshaft oil seal is a common problem, while rattles from the front of the engine can signal impending timing chain replacement, an expensive job. That said, low oil pressure affects the operation of the hydraulic tensioner leading to poor adjustment – expect at least 40 psi when hot. Irregular oil changes will accelerate camshaft wear so listen out for rattles from the top of the engine.
Carbs and cooling
Leaking or blocked radiators risk head gasket failure and damage to the alloy head so ensure the cooling system has been properly maintained: an electric cooling fan upgrade is popular. And check for poor running caused by worn or poorly adjusted carburettors – Solex items can be more troublesome than SUs. Engine swaps are common, too, so check the chassis number stamped above the grille, beside the bonnet catch. If you’re looking at a 3.8 with a choke control on the dash, it will have started life as a 2.4.
The Moss manual gearbox can be slow in operation, but apart from worn synchromesh and selectors is otherwise reliable; the later full-synchro Jaguar ‘box is smoother. The overdrive unit itself is generally trouble-free and can be replaced without removing the gearbox but replacing a worn clutch means the engine has to come out so check it carefully on the test drive. A failed master or slave cylinder could be the cause of clutch problems but you’ll want to be sure. The Borg Warner Type 35 automatic lasts well with regular fluid changes but beware of a whining back axle and check it for oil leaks. Conversion from manual to automatic, or vice versa, isn’t uncommon, so ensure the work has been done properly.
Springs and dampers
The Mk2’s suspension isn’t known to be problematic but a knocking from the front of the car can indicate broken coil springs while a change to coil springs at the rear is a popular upgrade so see if this has been done on the car you are looking at. Replacing the springs, dampers, or bushes isn’t particular y difficult but the costs will soon mount so budget accordingly, and watch for rot around the Panhard Rod mounting at the rear.
Brakes and steering
Dunlop disc brakes were standard but can seize on little-used examples while a weak handbrake is normal. Replacement parts are reasonably priced, though, so a system in need of overhaul shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Movement in the steering column means bushes need replacing, while the fitment of power steering (a period option) is a popular modification and worth seeking out. If wire wheels are fitted check for wear in the spokes and splines as professional refurbishment can be costly.
Leather an wood
Major cabin refurbishment can cost the thick end of four figures so check the leather and wood carefully as even minor damage can be a wallet-bashing experience. Secondhand parts can reduce costs – a complete set of wood trim can be had for around £2000 or so – but could involve a lengthy search for the right bits. A damp interior not only damages trim but can play havoc with the electrics so check for wet carpets and ensure everything’s working, including the dials. And many cars have been converted to an alternator set-up so worth checking for this.
DAIMLER 250 V8 A big seller for Daimler, and the Edward Turner-designed V8 was a gem
Comfortable and sporting with plenty of wood ‘n’ leather in the fi nest Jaguar tradition. It’s costly to refurbish, though, so be wary.
Straight-sixes offer plenty of character, although neglect will result in a hefty bill for re-building.
OWNER’S VIEW SIMON CRONIN
‘I’ve owned my #1965 3.8 model for 36 years now, having loved Jaguars since boyhood. And as a marshal at Silverstone I saw the Mk2 racing in the 1960 International Trophy meeting with drivers such as Stirling Moss and Colin Chapman at the wheel, so I had to have one. After looking for a while I bought mine privately, and although the automatic gearbox wasn’t ideal it was in the perfect colour of opalescent maroon and came with wire wheels. It’s had plenty of work done over the years, including a swap to an overdrive manual transmission and the fitting of a limited-slip differential, and the engine has been rebuilt to racing spec. The brakes have been uprated, and the bodywork has received attention as well.
So far, my 3.8 has covered 250,000 miles and still gets plenty of use, including trips across America and Africa, and touring around Europe. As well as using it to tow a caravan, I also enjoy taking it on circuits. It’s been round Le Mans and various British tracks and its great fun to really use all of its performance. It’s certainly not a car that I could ever imagine parting with.’
Simon Cronin (right) with John Sergeant during filming for a new TV programme about Inspector Morse.
WHAT TO PAY (JAGUAR MK2 3.8)
Values here are for a Mk2 3.8, but you’ll pay a few thousand less for a 3.4 in excellent condition and around £5000-10,000 less again for a 2.4-litre engined example. Condition is the most important factor with the Mk2 rather than age, and it’s vital to bear in mind the potentially eye-watering restoration costs. Still, according to the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club, values have been relatively static of late, so now is a good time to get behind the wheel of this desirable Jaguar. If you’re thinking of taking on a project you’ll need a strong constitution as well as restoration skills – or at least the means to pay for them.
Front wing £2552.00
Outer rear wheel arch £239.29
Head gasket set £71.66
Timing chain kit £278.39
Front coil spring £33.71
Front brake discs (pair) £85.04 (Prices for a 3.4/3.8 from SNG Barratt and including VAT)
1963 JAGUAR MK2 3.8 – VALUE £29,000
45-year-old male living in Cambs, club member, car garaged and used as second vehicle, 3000 miles pa £80.42 or £97.42 inc Agreed Value.
TORQUE 240lb ft@3000rpm
MAXIMUM SPEED 125mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION 15-17mpg
TRANSMISSION RWD, four-spd manual, plus opt. overdrive/three-speed automatic
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 180.8in x 66.6in x 57.5in
CLUBS & SPECIALISTS
Jaguar Enthusiasts Club www.jec.org.uk
Jaguar Drivers’ Club www.jaguardriver.co.uk
JD Classics www.jdclassics.co.uk
SNG Barratt www.sngbarratt.com
David Manners www.jagspares.co.uk
West Riding Ind www.westridingjaguar.co.uk
Heritage Car Co www.heritage-car.co.uk
XK Classics www.xkclassics.uk
MV Classics 01489 878059
Past Parts www.pastparts.co.uk
Aldridge Trimming www.aldridge.co.uk
JAGUAR MK2s FOR SALE
1968 Jaguar Mk2, £3500 – Good bodywork and chassis but some re-commissioning needed.
1969 Jaguar Mk2 3.4, £9450 – Very original and a good example according to the vendor.
1966 Jaguar Mk2, £35,000 – A 3.4 with manual overdrive gearbox. Super condition and lots of recent work.
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