From the earliest days of S.S. Cars through today, Jaguar’s luxurious and sporty saloon cars have sustained the company through highs and lows. In the mid-1950s, Jaguar was riding high with the success of the XK sports cars and the world-beating C-Type and D-Type sports racers. They even enjoyed surprising success with the massive MkVII and MkIX in British Saloon Car racing in the hands of Sir Stirling Moss and others. But Jaguar wanted to appeal to a broader audience, so in a move to boost sales and help their chances on track, Jaguar introduced the smaller 2.4 and 3.4 saloons. The new mid-sized car debuted in 1955, built on Jaguar’s first fully monocoque chassis. The curvaceous body was influenced by the XK sports cars, with power coming from the same twin-cam engine which was mated to a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. Further refinements to the shape and mechanical spec brought the MkII of 1959 which featured a larger greenhouse and a host of mechanical improvements including the addition of the hot 3.8 liter engine from the E-Type. The new engine substantially upped Jaguar’s game in British saloon car racing and even rallying, making the new car an overnight sensation on track. The MkII is considered by many to be the father of the modern sports sedan, and one blast in a gutsy 3.8 makes it very clear to see why. The MkII and its derivatives would remain a cornerstone of Jaguar sales until 1969 when the XJ6 was ushered in to consolidate all of Jaguar’s four door models into one single line. While no doubt a brilliant car in its own right, the XJ6 lost some of the tough-guy appeal of the MkII 3.8.
Our featured example, a 1960 Jaguar MkII 3.8, is a beautiful, numbers-matching example that has been treated to a very high quality restoration to concours standards. Originally delivered to Kingston, Ontario in late 1960, this Jaguar is presented as it was originally equipped – with a 3.8 liter engine, smooth-shifting Borg-Warner automatic transmission and finished in handsome Cotswold Blue over red hides.
According to the history file, the car remained in Kingston, Ontario for much of its life until it was discovered in unrestored condition by Bernard Chartier of Quebec City in 2001. Mr. Chartier soon began a full restoration on the MkII, which stretched to a span of five years as he painstakingly researched every component of the car, using Jaguar Club judging manuals as reference. The process of the rotisserie restoration has been very well documented and receipts for parts and materials alone top $30,000. Only subtle deviations from standard were made, mainly in the fitment of knock-off wire wheels, which add a pleasingly sporty character to the MkII. Included in the history binder is a JDHT Heritage Certificate that verifies this as an original, Canadian-delivered car, and that it has been restored to its original colors.
Mr. Chartier debuted his completed MkII at the 2007 British Invasion in Stowe, Vermont; a wildly popular event among Canadian enthusiasts. The car debuted with a 3rd in class, and in subsequent visits to the event he corrected minor deductions to score a first in class by 2011. Since then, the car has been used lightly, driven approximately 2,500 miles a year and kept in heated storage during the winter months. Today, the Jaguar still presents in very fine condition; the rare Cotswold Blue paintwork remaining excellent and presenting a striking contrast against the red leather interior. The body is very straight with excellent gaps all around and very high quality restored brightwork. We appreciate the level of detail Mr. Chartier strove for, such as using proper Lucas Fogranger fog lamps, and fitting painted wire wheels that impart the car with a sporting and purposeful appearance.
Despite the comprehensive nature of the restoration, a good deal of the fine original interior was expertly preserved. The original red door panels and rear leather seat were saved and carefully rejuvenated, presenting in amazing condition today. The front seats were retrimmed in new red leather and the carpets replaced with proper Wilton wool. Jaguar used a veritable forest of wood trim in the MkII, all of which has beautifully restored to a high level on this car. With use, the cabin has taken on a particular warmth, the new front seats blending in nicely with the character of the original materials on the rear bench and door cards. A period-style Moto-Lita steering wheel adds some sportiness, and the car retains the original instrumentation and Radiomobile radio in the center console.
The original, numbers-matching engine remains in the car, delivering excellent performance all around, and thanks to rebuilt suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, the handing and braking are up to spec as well. The knock-off wire wheels are fitted with Vredestein Sprint Classic tires that deliver modern performance with classic looks and sizing. Engine presentation is outstanding, the 3.8 liter XK six-cylinder very well detailed with correct decals, blue cylinder head paint, correct air cleaner, glass washer bottle and even the Lucas-branded battery cover. The boot is properly presented with correct materials and finishes, and an original Jaguar tool kit is included, complete with the round metal case.
This is one of the prettiest MkII saloons we’ve had the pleasure to offer and we are happy to report that the driving experience is equally as outstanding. The sale of this fine Jaguar will include original service manuals, owner’s handbook, original tool kit, restoration manuals and a comprehensive history file including the Jaguar Heritage Certificate. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a beautifully restored example of Jaguar’s archetypal sports saloon, ready to be enjoyed on the road.
If you own vintage cars like this Jaguar MK II and you wish to sell them, you can rely on the expertise of classic car dealers at Hyman. Our classic car consignment program is a seamless service designed for collectors to leverage our global network and broker a private sale. Sellers looking for more control benefit from our expertise in valuation, preparation, tax, timing, and venue guidance.