1964 Jaguar MkII 2.4 'Manual' Saloon
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 2483cc|
|Colour||Opalescent Golden Sand|
The Jaguar Mark II, in any of its various guises, remains one of the most desirable four-door cars of all time. The combination of ‘Grace, Space and Pace’ offered by Jaguar’s compact sports saloon was unmatched by any rival of the era and the Mark 2 found favour with racing drivers, the police and criminals alike. Launched in 1959, the Mark II range evolved from Jaguar’s earlier 240/340 models (retrospectively tagged as Mark 1s) but was far more than just a simple restyling job – significant changes to the suspension set-up, including wider rear track, endowed the new car with greatly improved handling characteristics. The classic six-cylinder XK engine was available in three capacities: the 2.4-litre (with a new cylinder head), the 3.4 (using a new twin exhaust system) and – for the first time – the 3.8 motor shared with the big Mark IX. Buyers could opt for a four-speed manual (overdrive was optional) or a Borg Warner three-speed automatic. In 2.4-litre guise the XK motor developed a healthy 120bhp at 5750 rpm along with 144lb/ft of torque at 2000 rpm on the standard 8:1 compression ratio, fed by twin Solex downdraught carburettors. In manual overdrive trim this equated to a top speed of 96.3mph and the standing quarter mile in 20.8 seconds, figures recorded by Autocar in March 1965. The Mark II’s revised bodywork boasted a greater glass area for improved visibility in all directions, along with semi-recessed fog lights, a new grille and tail lights. Inside, the Mark II retained the traditional timber veneer facia but featured a new dashboard layout, along with a fully adjustable steering column, centre console and new front seats equipped with deeper squabs and folding tables recessed in the seat backs. Considered by many to be ahead of its time when first sold, the Jaguar Mark II remains an eminently useable classic saloon today, with excellent support provided by the many clubs and specialists around Australia.