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Jaguar MK2

Jaguar MK2 Published: 12th Jun 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!
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Jaguar MK2
Jaguar MK2
Jaguar MK2
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Everybody dreams about owning a Mk2 Jag at some point in their lives – perhaps it’s your turn to make it a reality in 2015?

WHY IT’S A WINNER

Ever since the classic car movement was founded back in the early 1970s the Mk2 has been at its forefront, despite only being discontinued five years earlier. Now 56 years old, the Mk2 remains the classic car most of us aspire to at some point in our motoring lives.

What makes this Jaguar saloon so special is quite simple; the car epitomised Jaguar at its very best and there’s never been another cat quite like it. Or likely to be.

HISTORY

1959 The Mk2 was a logical development to the original sports saloon, which in turn became known as the Mk1. Mechanically, the biggest change was to the rear suspension with a wider track while it’s often forgotten that the front end gained re-angled wishbones at the same time.

1960 The (uprated) 2.4 and 3.4 models were joined by the now iconic 3.8-litre version, using the legendary lump that was soon to feature in the E-type, albeit in lower 220bhp tune. But the car did have a limited slip diff plus the option of a higher-geared power steering system.

1962 Daimler V8 2.5 was the resultant child from a marriage of convenience after Jaguar acquired Daimler using the latter’s rather lovely 2.5-litre 140bhp V8.

1965/66 Jaguar gearbox replaces the old heavy and slow Moss unit. A year later the models were downgraded (apart from the Daimler) ditching the standard leather trim for cheaper Ambla, those fog lamps became optional as did the old traditional, tuneful Windtone horns.

1967 Jaguar took the step of further downmarketing the Mk2 with the 240 and 340 models identified by their slimmer S-type bumpers and 420 style hubcaps along with modernised badging. But the 240 was amply compensated care of a healthier 133bhp. Although it was kept quiet, the new 340 model also received the superior E-type straight port cylinder head.

RIVING

You may fantasise about owning and driving a Mk2 but don’t be too disappointed if you discover that the handling feels woolly, the steering heavy and low geared, a gearchange that’s surprisingly slow and cumbersome.

Our advice to all is to adjust your hats and accept the Mk2 for what it genuinely and unashamedly is; a wonderful nostalgia drive that always raises a smile. One department where this Jaguar still puts up a good fight is engine performance. The 3.8 is GTi fast while the 3.4 is no slouch either, especially the tweaked 340. A positive word about the 2.4; yes it does feel sluggish but if you are more interested in cruising then, it’s perfectly acceptable. The later 240 has much more respectable performance over the original 2.4, so much so that you may have second and third thoughts over a more expensive 3.4. The Daimler is more suited to genteel jaunts even though the lighter V8 makes the car not so heavy and lumbering.

For the majority of wannabe Mk2 owners, the pleasure comes more from the Jag’s easy cruising and splendid drawing room interior. Despite their age, a Mk2 is still a special – if not overly roomy – place to travel in but with overdrive fitted, any model can lope along at the legal limit with ease.

BEST MODELS

The dream drive is and will always be a 3.8-litre, manual with overdrive, sitting on wire wheels. But if you don’t want to drive like a bank robber who thrashed Mk2s to their full back in the 1960s, then even a 2.4 is okay albeit best in uprated 240 tune.

Arguably the mid range 3.4 is the best all rounder although there’s little difference at the pumps; overdrive certainly helps on a run. The Daimler is more an acquired taste being less popular probably due to its stuffier image. Yet with less weight up front so less nose heavy, they handle better while in manual guise after 1966, those 140 horses are really let loose.

PRICES

For top value for money go for a 240/340 model. Traditionally these cut-price cats lag behind the more fashionable earlier Mk2 at similar levels to the Daimler; perhaps worth up to a third less.

Mk2 values have stagnated of late and so good value. Specimen 3.8s nudge £30,000 (2.4s about 50 per cent less!) but a typical average 3.4 costs around £15,000 upwards.

VERDICT

Mk2s are the stuff legends are made of. You may find that the reality doesn’t quite live up to the dream but with the wail of the XK up front and smell of old leather inside, you won’t be anything like disappointed either.


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