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Jaguar MK2

Jaguar MK2 Published: 7th Feb 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Jaguar MK2
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The Mk2 quickly became one of the most desirable family cars of the sixties and 1970s, where you could buy a used one for relatively little cash. Relatively speaking you still can as the market has relaxed of late, but the gulf between good ones and top cats is large so buy with care.

Driving

If you think you’ll be able to jump into an original Mk2 and drive it like a modern you’ll be disappointed. Sure it’s quick – especially in 3.4 or 3.8-litre forms – but the brakes will feel marginal and the steering quite vague if you’ve just jumped out a Mondeo. What the Mk2 does is provide a sense of occasion. When the Mk2 was launched, it was like a rocketship compared with what else was on the roads at the time and the 3.4 and especially the 3.8 remain pretty fast. The handling is better than a Mk1 although the S-type is better but there’s much you can do to sharpen its claws.

Don’t ignore the 2.4! Yes it’s sedate but if all you want is a cruiser all are fine although the later more powerful 240 is much better and many earlier 2.4s have been so converted. In much the same vein, the Daimler 2.5 is worth considering; performance is midway between the 2.4 and 3.4 and that V8 is a gem plus, being lighter then the Jag engine, makes the most agile Mk2; try a few Mk2s to see what suits you best.

Values

Surprisingly few really good cars are about, as proper repairs are so costly. There’s a gulf between the 2.4 and its bigger-engined siblings but a usable Mk2 with a 3.4 or 3.8-litre engine can be bought for as little as £20,000 to £25,000 but you’ll generally need to spend closer to £30,000 to secure a really nice car; superb cars with the right improvements and you can pay £60,000 for it, especially if it’s got the right spec/colour.

Timeline

1959 Replaces Mk1 with airier look and revised suspension

1960 220bhp 3.8 joins range with limited slip diff plus optional high ratio steering

1962 Daimler added to the range using SP250 2.5-litre V8, automatic standard plus higher trim level

1964 Daimler models receives high gearing. MkX style steering boss for all models is fitted.

1965 The slow, old Moss manual gearbox was replaced by Jaguar’s own (signified by rounded gear knob). Limited slip diff option for the Daimler

1966 Mk2 trim downgraded, but Daimler left alone plus also gains manual transmission option.

1967 240/340, identified by slimmer S-type bumpers. 240 gains power boost as does 340 with E-type head

Best models

Daimler


Until recently, unfairly overlooked and goes well in manual guise plus lighter V8 engine make it the best handling Mk2 of them all

3.8


A legend and why they are double the price of a 2.4. Still a very quick car and a scalded cat if tuned or is near priceless Coombs version

240/340


Last of the line but the best drivers, especially the 240; 340 gained more power too and is only fractions slower than many 3.8s

Top five faults

Price


Don’t underestimate cost of repairing, let alone restoring which is why top cars sell for so much. A basket case for a few grand may sound tempting but will work out the dearer, more painful route in the long run unless you are a real DIY enthusiast prepared to make and mend

Rust


Main areas are box sections, front cross-member (particularly at its ‘crow’s feet’ which are welded to the valance and crossmember). If it’s really bad here then the car may only be fit for spares. At rear, check floor (including the boot), rear axle and the leaf suspension spring hangers

Engine


Rattly timing chains (a tough DIY job to replace), over-silent tappets that have closed up in service (requiring expert re-shimming and usually carried out alongside a decoke) and oil leaks from the cam covers and that notorious rear crank oil seal

Running gear


Worn springs, dampers common. Daimler differ to Mk2 due to the lighter alloy engine

Rust

Check suspension for worn bushes, clapped out front wishbones and ball joints and seized or past it disc brake callipers



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