The big, luxurious Jaguar Mark X saloon debuted in 1961 and was Jaguar’s largest and best equipped car to date. The massive Jag was fitted with the 3.8L XK six-cylinder engine, four-wheel disc brakes and was the first Jaguar saloon with fully independent rear suspension. The body styling was long, low and wide, and sported the now-familiar four-headlight design theme that would evolve into to the XJ6 and go on to become the face of every Jaguar sedan for the next 40 years. While the XK engine was certainly adequate, performance was never the Mark X’s strong suit. The car was quite heavy and it sat a bit awkwardly on 14” wheels and a relatively narrow track. But in spite of somewhat lazy performance, one thing it did have going for it was a limousine-like interior. One could even order the Mark X with an optional divider window for the true aristocratic experience. This was also the last regular production Jaguar with a fully hand-made, wood, leather and wool laden cabin. Large picnic trays have book-matched veneer, the dash is a vast expanse of polished timber and even the radio and analog clock are trimmed in wood. The Mark X interior is a very special place indeed.
This 1966 Mark X started life as a solid, rust free example that was ready for a restoration. But rather than a return to original spec, it was carefully and expertly grafted to the running gear and drivetrain of a 1996 Jaguar XJR-6. The XJR’s supercharged 4.0L inline six, electronic fuel injection, fully independent suspension, high performance ABS brakes and 4-speed automatic transmission were all seamlessly blended into the Mark X shell. This is not simply an XJR-powered Mark X; it is, in essence, a rebodied XJR. It still manages to maintain the look and feel of the original car, but now boasts massive performance thanks to 322 hp and 378 ft-lbs. of torque from the supercharged 4.0 liter.
The quality of the finish is up to the same standard as the engineering. Panel fit is outstanding, and the body has been finished in a beautiful, laser straight black paint. It sits low and mean on a set of Aston Martin DB7 alloys that properly fill the wheel arches. Chrome and bright work have been restored to show quality levels and remain outstanding. The opulent original interior remains largely stock but has been restored in simply gorgeous burgundy leather. Ample woodwork is exquisite and has been refinished with no expense spared. Only the console has been modified to fit the climate control panel and the XJR’s “J” gate shifter. No details have been left untouched and everything functions as it should, from the power windows down to the ABS brakes. This is a show-quality car that could easily be driven every day.
This Mark X has been built with an attention to detail that is very rarely seen on vehicles of this nature. It is so much more than just a back yard swap. It is an extensively reengineered and exquisitely built one-off special that takes the best of both donor cars and seamlessly melds them into one incredible machine.
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