1961 Jaguar Mark II Sedan

In 1959, Jaguar updated the 2.4/3.4 range of mid-sized sports saloons and renamed it "Mark II." The distinct styling got a slight facelift, which resulted in a larger greenhouse, and more delicate, chrome-trimmed window frames that gave it a lighter, airier appearance. Most important to Jaguar's enthusiastic customer base was the addition of the XK150's 3.4-litre inline-six. In order to suit the luxury-sports saloon character of the MkII, the engine was slightly detuned, with twin-carburetors and the standard cylinder head. While not quite as potent as an XK150 S, there was little doubting the engine's effectiveness at propelling the svelte mid-sized saloon along with vigor. While many US-spec cars came with the proven and reliable Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic transmission, driving enthusiasts preferred the four-speed Moss manual gearbox with optional overdrive. Particularly when fitted with a manual gearbox and overdrive, the Mk II has a split personality, offering snappy acceleration and handling that could show a sports car a clean set of heels but with superb ride quality and luxurious space for four passengers. While it might seem commonplace today, the notion of a high-performance luxury saloon was quite sensational when the Jaguar Mk II was new.

This 1961 Jaguar Mk II is a beautifully restored and desirable example equipped from new with the 210 hp 3.4-litre engine, four-speed manual gearbox, and Laycock de Normanville overdrive. Per the accompanying Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate, this car was first delivered to Mr. Clay Bisley, who lived in Frankfurt, Germany at the time. Documents confirm this is a genuine manual/overdrive model, originally finished in cream over red leather. In the 1990s, it was owned by a passionate Mk II devotee, who had previously restored a similar car for rallying, and now wanted a factory-correct one for JCNA shows and other concours events. The owner performed a painstaking ground-up restoration, carefully researching the details and utilizing rare NOS parts wherever possible. To top it off, he selected a striking, period-correct shade of Opalescent Dark Blue, paired with cream Connolly leather piped in dark blue. The majority of the mechanical work was done by the highly qualified owner, except for the paintwork and chrome restoration, which he subcontracted to experienced specialists.

The result of all that effort is a stunning Mk II with superb finish quality and detailing. While some time has passed since the restoration was completed, it remains excellent, with beautiful paint, consistent panel alignment, and gorgeous brightwork. The chrome knock-off wire wheels and bias-ply black wall tires balance the elegant form with sporty aggression. The cream-colored interior trim is equally beautiful, with lovely, properly restored seats and panels. The Connolly leather is excellent, with just a few light creases in the seats to create an inviting ambiance. Wilton wool carpets are in fine fettle, as are the leather-trimmed door cards. The beautiful wood dash and window trims are restored, with a glossy finish on the dash top and door caps, while the instrument fascia displays a satin sheen. Smiths and Lucas instruments keep tabs on the goings-on under the bonnet, and the classic toggle switches on the dash recall the iconic E-Type. There is a proper vinyl lining in the boot, which houses a full-size spare wheel, factory tool kit, and original jack.

Under the bonnet sits a numbers-matching XK 3.4-l twin-cam engine. This powerful and versatile unit is rated for 210 horsepower in this configuration, providing plenty of giddy-up for the relatively lightweight saloon. Engine bay detailing is up to the same standards as the exterior, and authentic finishes and hardware are seen throughout. The head is painted the correct shade of light green and topped with a proper Coopers air cleaner. Some signs of use are apparent, most notably on the porcelain exhaust manifolds, but it is overall extremely tidy and well kept. The same goes for the undercarriage, which is clean, well-detailed, and displays just a hint of road-use.

Since its restoration, the Mk II has been driven sparingly and remains in truly exceptional condition. It is quite rare to encounter a Mk II as well-restored as this fine example, as they are costly and labor-intensive to restore correctly. This gorgeous, thoroughly enjoyable Jaguar stands above most others and is ideally suited for rallies and tours, yet beautiful enough to turn heads at your local Cars & Coffee or compete for honors in JCNA shows and concours events.


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