1963 Jaguar MkII 3.8 'Manual' Saloon
|Engine||In-Line 6-cylinder, 3781cc|
Jaguar launched a new range of compact sports saloons in 1955 to complement both the larger Mark VII luxury saloon and XK series of sports cars. Sold in both 2.4 and 3.4-litre versions, the new model proved hugely successful for the Coventry marque, generating much needed export revenue. In October 1959 a revised model, the Mark II, was unveiled (the earlier version being retrospectively dubbed the Mark I), addressing many of the shortcomings of the earlier model. In particular criticism of the high speed handling was overcome by widening the rear track. With slimmer pillars and greater glass area, the Mark II had an airier cabin featuring a redesigned instrument panel - still in the traditional rich timber veneer - with much improved layout. Mechanical improvements included disc brakes all round as standard equipment, while the option of a 3.8-litre variant of the classic straight six transformed the Jaguar into a super saloon. Indeed the Mark II equipped with the 3.8-litre engine was the fastest four-door car on the market for several years in the early 1960s and proved equally popular with both sides of the law. Unsurprisingly the Jaguar Mark II also enjoyed a long and successful competition career, particularly in touring car races England and Australia and examples can still be found competing in historic events around the world today. A sales success, with nearly 90,000 built in ten years of production (just under a third of these were equipped with 3.8-litre engines), the Mark II is regarded as perhaps the finest saloon ever to wear the leaping cat by many Jaguar enthusiasts. No model better epitomizes the Jaguar slogan of 'Grace, Pace and Space' and the Mark II remains an eminently useable classic saloon today, with excellent support provided by the many clubs and specialists around Australia.