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Friday, December 25, 2009

cbt article: Evergreen Jaguar Mark II

FIFTY years ago, two iconic British automobiles were presented to the motoring world.

The tiny Mini Minor in August of 1959 and the elegant compact saloon from Jaguar called the Mark II in October.

Both marques celebrate their golden anniversary this year and interestingly are among the most desirable of British classic cars today.

The Mark II was launched to coincide with the country’s first inter-urban highway known as the M1 Motorway.

The model was introduced to replace the outdated and unpopular Mark I and was substantially a re-designed variant of the latter in terms of build quality, aesthetics and power.

It was also created to fill the gap between the XK sports variants and the large Mark IV.

Like the E-type which held its own in Jaguar’s sports car section, the Mark II was developed to be the marque's sporting saloon flag bearer.

The styling was refreshing although it still retained that "leaping Jaguar" side profile of the sporty XK.


-SOURCE 2-

Substantial improvements in comparison to its predecessor included a bigger glassed area, revised interior, semi spats covering the rear wheels and a wider track for the rear axle.

The classy interior of the car features leather seats, highly polished walnut door capping and dashboard which is filled with multiple gauges blending nicely with aviation inspired toggle switches.

With three different engine variants to choose from, the Mark II was an instant hit among motorists when introduced and until the end of its production run in 1967.

The base model, which came with a straight six 2.4-litre motor (2,483cc XK 16) from the legendary XK series, is capable of dishing out up to 120bhp.

After absorbing feedback from new Mark II owners on the lack of brute power to match its looks, Jaguar unleashed a new batch of 11s in 1957, this time with a 220bhp 3.4-litre (3,442cc XK16) lump which could justify the much needed power for a bit of M1 motorway rush.

Disc brakes were fitted to keep the horses in check. It did not stop there as the engineers from Coventry decided to give this "cat" more pace to match the space.


(SOURCE 3)

A 3.8-litre (3,781cc XK 16) engine similar to the one used in the 3.8 E-Type XKE, except for the carburettors and manifold set-up, was transplanted into this top of the mark, Mark II.

The engine, mated to a manual gear box, reportedly made the Mark II the fastest production car in the world at that time.

This was the turning point in the image of the Mark II as it became the favourite of fast drivers from both sides of the legal divide.

It was termed as the "ultimate getaway car of the 1960s" as it had the pace and agility that bank robbers needed.

To match those fast robbers, the British police department got themselves a fleet of 3.8 Mark IIs, which subsequently also resulted in the Mark II achieving celebrity status as one of the more popularly used automobiles on the silver screen.

Naturally, it enjoyed great success on the race track and achieved forefront status in production saloon car race series.

Today, some of the race built Mk IIs feature annually at the Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed meets.

The Mark II was succeeded by the XJ6 and took a beating in terms of value back in the 1970s and early 1980s.

In Europe, the Mark IIs that made good "banger" cars were scrapped after "retirement" from street sport.

In Malaysia, some of these models were said to have been sold for as low as a few hundred ringgit during the oil crisis and the dominance of Japanese cars.

However, in the 1990s there was a global surge of interest in the Mark II.

Car collectors poured huge sums into restoration and transforming tired old units into gleaming pieces of automobile art.

Some prime examples in the country have been reportedly sold with prices ranging up to RM100,000.

You are bound to see the Jaguar Mark II at classic car meets around the world and we know of some pristine units here.

The Mark II body line is evergreen and it even inspired Jaguar stylists to create re-interpretations like the S-Type in 1999 and subsequent X-Type.

The ability of the Mark II to hold its own after 50 years is testament to the commonly heard phrase, "they don’t build cars like they used to".



Jaguar MK II production (source wikipedia)

1. 2.4 built between 1959-1967 – 25,173 units
2. 3.4 built between 1959-1967 – 28,666 units
3. 3.8 built between 1959-1967 – 30,141 units

Total: 83,976 units

(In 1967, the 2.4 and 3.4 became the 240 and 340, and the 3.4 derivative deleted)

Final production year (1967)

1. 240 - 4,446 units
2. 340 - 2788 units
3. 380 – 12 units

Total: 7,246

END Source: Wikipedia

Above article written By Andrew Suresh (other than the Wikipedia source)

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That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this article...


SOURCES:
1) http://cbt.com.my/091212/evergreen-jaguar-mark-ii
2) http://www.heritageclassics.com/jaguar/62mk2gry/A.jpg
3) http://www.classicargarage.com/common/pictures/lexclassics/2007/0907/supersize/mk2-eng.jpg

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