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Jaguar S Type (1963–1968)

Published: 28th Apr 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

S-Type was even posher than the MK2 S-Type was even posher than the MK2
3.4 or 3.8 but car slower due to weight 3.4 or 3.8 but car slower due to weight
As much wood as a MK X, an interior restoration can cost big money to do right As much wood as a MK X, an interior restoration can cost big money to do right
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What is a Jaguar S-Type?

It’s a Jaguar MK2 with more grace, space and, in some cases, pace. On paper this sensible mix of MKX, E-Type and MK2 sounds the ideal 1960s sports saloon and yet the S-Type is still overlooked by Jaguar enthusiasts in favour of the car it is based upon. Don’t follow the herd, because the S Type is arguably the better classic and cheaper to buy as well.

History

With the MK2 going well, Jaguar introduced its S-Type saloon in October 1963 as an upmarket offshoot and a useful bridge between that now iconic saloon and the cruise liner MK X. Rather like the X-Type of today, the S-Type was a mix and match of body styles. The hull was mainly MK2 albeit with a flatter roof, with a MK X style rear end to gain added boot space plus accept the famous IRS rear end first seen on the E-Type. It sounds simple yet the shell had to be considerably redesigned and strengthened to achieve this at a cost of almost 350lb in weight. To balance the car’s look, the front end was tweaked with hooded headlamps while slimline bumpers (which were to be fitted to the revamped 240/340 in 1967) gave the car a somewhat sleeker appearance.

Well, that’s the theory but even at launch the S-Type was criticised for its ungainly stance; numerous magazines hinting that the Jag looked as though it was designed in a hurry, which considering it was a stop gap range was a justifiable comment and probably goes some way to explain why the car has never lived in our hearts like the focused MK2. Inside, the MK2 cabin was revamped to MK X levels of luxury with even more veneer plus a useful full-width parcel shelf under the facia for much needed added storage space. As befitting its posher status various other updates, including automatic transmission and power steering options were more popular with the S-Type than on the sister car.

Those trusty XK engines were offered in familiar tune, but this time only in 3.4 and 3.8-litre guises; the sluggish if smooth 2.4 was rightly deemed too underpowered in the larger, heavier S-Type. Apart from receiving MK2 mechanical upgrades, including the Jag gearbox to replace the old Moss unit in ‘65 - usually identified by the ball-like gear knob (together with the Borg Warner Type 35 auto), S-Type remained largely unchanged but was downgraded like the MK2 in ’66 with Ambla instead of leather, cheaper carpets and the deletion of those fog lam



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