1966 JAGUAR MK IIView vehicle description
The car of choice for the discerning 1960’s armed robber, the Jaguar MKII is the perfect high-speed luxury express with its decadent interior and sporting chassis. That it is one of the best-looking saloon cars ever built just adds to its already considerable appeal.
Launched as a full-spectrum, three-model range from the very beginning, the 2.4-litre, 120bhp engine formed the bedrock of the MKII line-up, with the performance-oriented customer able to choose between 3.4-litre and 3.8-litre engines that offer 210bhp and 220bhp respectively, a more-than-adequate output that offered the well-heeled driver more performance than almost anything else in its class at the time.
Launched in 1959 to a post-rationing Britain still reeling from World War II, the Jaguar’s independent front suspension and trailing arm suspension at the rear offered sparkling handling, while all-wheel disc brakes meant that it stopped as quickly as it accelerated.
In fact, the chassis and engine were so far ahead of their time that it was raced very successfully in period by luminaries such as Denny Hulme, Roy Salvadori, and Duncan Hamilton – and later driven by Inspector Morse, but let us never speak of that again…
Finished in a discreet dark metallic blue, you might be forgiven for thinking this wonderful MKII Jaguar is as staid as George Roper’s cardigan. But you’d be wrong because it also has a wonderfully vivid bright red leather interior, a four-speed manual gearbox and 210bhp at its disposal, therefore making it a street sleeper half a century before street sleepers were even a thing.
First registered in April 1966, it has had just five previous keepers – and careful ones at that if its current condition is anything to go by - and that careful curation was supported by what we are told was a full body-off between 2008 and 2012; please see the receipts and photographs here in the advert for more details.
On the Outside
The dark blue metallic coachwork is stunning. Much more discreet and subtle than the usual red, silver or white, it’s almost black in certain lights, giving the car an upmarket menace we love.
It’s in great shape too, with good shutlines and great panel alignment thanks to the restoration we mentioned earlier. New rear spats were purchased in 2011 along with some other body parts in 2012 (please see attached invoices for the full details of what was purchased), which makes us think that this is the point at which the bodywork was restored and painted.
There’s plenty of good chrome trim on it too, including those iconic twin spotlights that are a crucial component of the MKII look. Speaking of which, the Jaguar ‘leaper’ is present and correct, and there are a pair of black and silver numberplates to finish it all off.
The 15-inch, centrelock, chromed wire wheels appear to have been fitted new in 2012 and look as good now as they did then, which isn’t too much of a surprise as the MoT history suggests that it has only covered a couple of thousand miles in that time. The tyres, Hankook on the front and Forceum on the rear, are in great shape and have good levels of tread.
Problems are few. There are some swirl marks from over-eager polishing that could do with being polished out but, aside from the usual minor stonechips and scuffs that every car collects no matter how carefully it’s driven, there’s nothing for the new owner to do other than to remedy some tiny rust spots on the door shuts (e.g. slide 57), sort out a small crack in the paint on the lower edge of the offside rear wing (slide 130), and flatten some paint imperfections (see slides 64 and 77 for details).
Oh, and while it is badged as a 3.8-litre model (and the V5 registration document says it is too) it isn’t, it's a 3.4.
On the Inside
The interior has been retrimmed in red leather. The work was done by B. W. Cates and comprised recovered seats, door cards, A, B, C, and D post covers, the centre console, the parcel shelf and the underdash trims. The work cost £2,500 in total but was worth every penny as it still looks stunning.
The retrimmed seats are still firm and supportive with that old school bounce to them that lets you know you’re sitting in a 1960’s Jaguar. They’re free of rips, tears and other damage too and the only sign they aren’t still brand new is some very light creasing to the edge of the driver’s seat. The rears seats look like they might never have been sat on and their occupants have access to a pair of fold-down picnics tables, which is a lovely period touch and something your children or grandchildren will never tire of.
Not that the driver and front seat passenger should feel neglected because they get to gaze upon a row of toggle switches and classic Smiths’ dials. Plus, acres of wood veneer and red leather and some of the neatest labelling in the business. The Jaguar also benefits from a pair of Britax Auto-Lok front seatbelts and there’s a classic twin-spindle Clarion radio and tape deck in there as well.
The headlining looks to be good still (we’re told it was new when the seats and interior was retrimmed), remaining taut and clean.
The boot contains a jack and a spare wire wheel, albeit not in the same great condition as the rest of the wheels. The rubber seal around the perimeter of the boot aperture is tired too and would benefit from being replaced. The rest is good though, and lifting the carpets shows only superficial surface rust on top of solid metal.
Other work to do is limited. Aside from cracked veneer on the front and top of the dashboard, the chromed handbrake handle isn’t to the same high standard as the rest of the interior. Neither issue is at all bad and they only really stick out because everything else in there is so good. (Oh, that all our classic car problems should be so small…)
The engine bay is neat without being fussy. Those of us with a touch of OCD might want to tidy it up a little (one of the HT leads isn’t braided, for example, and there are some modern crimped electrical connectors) but we reckon many of you would be very happy with it as it is.
More importantly, it’s clean and the engine fires up readily. We're told there's a £3,800 power steering system fitted, comprising a proper hydraulic system that includes a new alternator and pump.
We also understand it has had a new clutch pressure plate fitted plus a new rear main oil seal, although the latter still weeps a little, pointing out that no-one ever gets this seal leak-free.
The underside is very clean and solid, with only a few areas of peeling underseal to sort. Still, a couple of hours with a wire brush and a pot of decent underseal would sort that, leaving it fighting fit and combat-ready for the coming winter, should you choose to use it all year round.
It is currently MoT’d, until 12 October 2023.
From the online MoT history we can't see anything of concern but then the history file does show plenty of expenditure over the years, so this isn’t too much of a surprise.
It has a current V5 registration document and a copy of the Jaguar Drivers’ Club magazine from October 2021, in which it features.
What We Think
This is a solid, well-fettled example of a perennially popular classic British sporting saloon – in fact, many would consider this to be THE classic British sporting saloon. Finished in a discreet metallic dark blue, the interior is every single one of your MKII fantasies made real. That it’s solid and goes well and has a new power steering system fitted is the icing on top of an already very appealing cake.
Of course, the elephant in the room is that you really want the 3.8-litre, don’t you? After all, more is always better, right?
Wrong. Just like the Bentley Continental, a car who’s V8 engine is a far better proposition for most folk than the W12, the 3.4-litre Jaguar is thought by some to be a sweeter option; with a deficit of just 10bhp over its larger sibling, the 3.4 revs beautifully and still offers a top speed of 120mph and a 0-60mph time of under 12 seconds. This makes it the perfect choice for the canny Jaguar enthusiast with an eye for a bargain.
How much of a bargain are we talking about? Well, we think it’s going to sell for somewhere between £25,000 and £35,000, which is small change really when you see what inferior 3.8-litre examples can fetch…
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- Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
- Seller Type: Private
- Odometer Reading: 13007
- Chassis Number: P234586-DM
- Engine: 3442
- Gearbox: Manual
- Steering position: Right-hand drive
- Colour: Blue
- Interior: Red Leather
- Estimated Price: £25,000 - £35,000