Stunning restoration, multiple JCNA award winner. Desirable 3.8/automatic combination. Factory AM/FM radio, full tool kit, wire wheels, WWW radials. Superb driver still capable of winning awards.
The dark blue paint simply glows on the curvaceous Mark II bodywork and sadly, the lights in our studio simply don’t do it justice—in the sunlight this car is a traffic-stopper. Finish quality is surely better than Jaguar’s own work in 1960, with even gaps, laser-straight sheetmetal, and precise fit and finish that makes it feel far more expensive than it is. As a unit-body car, the Mark 2 is particularly susceptible to rust, but as a lifetime southern car this one had no such issues and demonstrates almost 100% original bodywork and floors, so there are no concerns about nasty surprises hiding underneath. And as an upscale machine, there’s lots of chrome—all of it restored to show standards—which adds the right amount of elegance to the mid-sized Jag. Accessory driving lights, bumper guards, and fender-mounted mirrors help with the sporty elegance. This is the kind of car you can spend a great deal of time admiring and still not see all the wonderful details.
Nobody else on the planet has yet matched the British for their interior craftsmanship. Aromatic leathers, deep, plush carpets, lustrous burled walnut, all of it makes for one of the most inviting passenger compartments ever devised. THIS is what luxury looks like. During the restoration, the interior was restored to factory specifications and is just delightful. Thanks to rare reclining front seats, it still feels sporting and the large steering wheel was very much in fashion in 1960. Big Smiths gauges are traditional British fare and they all work properly, as does the original-equipment Blaupunkt AM/FM radio, which must have been cutting-edge tech in 1960. Seat belts were added at some point and look like they were born in the car and there’s virtually zero wear on any of the leather seating surfaces—this car is extremely well-preserved. Rear seat space is reasonable for adults and it includes such niceties as fold-down tray tables, opera lights, and a center armrest. The trunk is surprisingly big for a car this size, and it includes a matching full-sized spare, original jack, brass hammer, and a complete factory tool kit.
There are stories in England of the Mark 2 being bank robbers’ favorite getaway car, and that’s surely due to the burly 3.8 liter DOHC inline-6 borrowed from the XK150. Fully rebuilt and highly detailed, the numbers-matching six was rebuilt by noted Jaguar expert Earl Gibbs at North Coast Exotics. As a result, this cat runs as great as it looks, starting easily and idling with a bit of an anxious burble from the twin stainless pipes out back—this is a sports car engine, after all. The giant Coopers air cleaner dominates the engine bay, hiding the lovely polished aluminum cam covers and side-draft SU carburetors, but there’s no hiding the 220 horsepower it generates. Chokes were automatic by 1960, so it starts right up and on the road, the combination of all that creamy-smooth torque and the automatic transmission make this car shockingly easy to drive quickly. The exhaust manifolds are properly porcelainized and the polished aluminum bits shine just right. Did you expect less from a former JCNA award winner?
The Mark 2 was a unit-body car, using subframes and welded chassis members to provide strength. The car was not disassembled down to the molecular level for the restoration because there’s some merit to the idea that good original cars simply work and feel better than cars that have been disassembled, and that’s certainly the case here. Since the car comes from a warm, dry climate, there was no need for any rust repair to the underbody and the structural members are completely sound. The front suspension was rebuilt and the 4-wheel disc brakes remain very modern-feeling and effective. The Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic transmission should not be considered a demerit in this car, as it has great ratios and quick reflexes suitable to the Jag’s grand touring mission. Combined with power steering, it remains eminently easy to handle for any driver at any level. A new exhaust system offers the same soundtrack enjoyed by the owner of a XK-150 sports car and the independent front suspension offers the same steering precision so it’s just joyous to drive. Sparkling chrome wire wheels have been fitted, along with a set of modern 195/75/15 wide whitewall radials for a period look and modern performance.
This is surely one of the finest of its kind available anywhere. Prices are on the move for the Mark 2 as enthusiasts discover the joys of a sporting car that can carry the entire family. The restoration cost a good deal more than the asking price, not counting the cost of a clean California car, making this the right car to buy if you’re ready to drive. It measures up in every way that matters and is still one of the prettiest cars we’ve ever featured. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com
Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections on any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.