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Thread: Looking for my first Jaguar, MK 2, S-Type (1960's) or a MK10 / MK10 derivative.

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    Question Looking for my first Jaguar, MK 2, S-Type (1960's) or a MK10 / MK10 derivative.

    Hi there folks,

    This is my first foray into the jaguar forum, so please be gentle..!!

    Having reached the old age of 55 I am now looking, finally, to buy a car I want, but don't need, rather than a car I need but don't want (kids,school etc.).

    I am looking for a Sunday lunch, special trip type of car, and will possibly travel to N Scotland every year or so, but would guess less than 5,000 miles yearly.

    I wonder if there is any useful material, guidance etc on what to look for when looking at this era of jaguars?

    Some of the adverts look great for a £10k car and others for a £35k car..but i cant tell the difference.

    I suppose it helps to also say I am not mechanically minded, but my Son is as he worked on RAF strike aircraft for some years.

    Any pointers, guidance or warnings most welcome..

    Many thanks in advance

    John

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    Hello John,

    Have you any experience driving cars of that era, as you may find them a bit of a culture shock? Consider trying one from a classic car hire company?

    I think that if you look at the same model with large price differential you will see why there is a difference. That said, with Mk2 saloons there is the desirability factor which significantlly affects price, from a basic automatic 2.4 or 240 to a manual overdrive 3.8, with wire wheels. (The latter feature I can do without, personally)

    Buy the best you can find for your budget and, if possible find someone who is familiar with the model you consider buying to assist with viewing.

    Alec
    2004 2.5 X Type Estate, MK 2 3.8 (Long term restoration), 2.5 P.I. Triumph saloon, 564 Hymer motorhome.

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    There is a ‘snobbery ‘ about Mark2s with 2.4/240s being poor relations rather undeservedly but this affects price as well as desirability. A good 240 would be better in real life than a crap 3.4 but you would probably pay a lot more for the latter.
    I agree you should hire one first then if you like it search for a suitable one. You will also find it wise to join the JEC and will probably find a technical expert who will be prepared to view and give an opinion without prejudice on a potential purchase.

    Good luck
    PETER DAVIES, 2016 XF 2.0 diesel Portfolio. 1967 Mark2 (240.)

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    Senior Member XJ for two's Avatar
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    If you are looking for a Jaguar Small Saloon, the 1963 to 1968 S type is a better Jaguar than the MK-2, with its twin fuel tanks, Independent Rear Suspension (same suspension as the E type and the XJ ). Roomier interior, wonderful wood dash, huge boot, and a rear end look like a small Bentley. The MK-2 looks like a Volkswagen at the rear end.

    the MK-2 is a primitive car when compared with the S type. Why does it sell for more than the S type when so many MK-2 were made? Maybe because people like Volkswagens?

    Only about 25 thousand S type were made for the entire world market in the 4½ years of its production. Replacement Parts supply is excellent, you can find most anything, new or used.

    yet, the S type sells for less than a MK-2. Go figure.

    Another under-rated Jaguar Small Saloon is the 1966-1968 420, (not the 420-G). The 420 is half S type and half MK-X / XJ. It has the 4.2 liter engine, from the front windscreen back it is an S type. From the front windscreen forward it is a MK-X or XJ more or less. Parts supply is iffy, particularly body panels and trim. It was only made for 2 years.

    To answer your main question:

    Never buy a car sight unseen, always check it in person. Pictures do not tell the whole story. Pictures could be 15 years old and they usually are.

    Look for RUST and ROT, carry a magnet with you. run it around the car. Where the magnet does not want to stick, you might have Bondo / Plastic filler covering prior damage to body panels. Cars in England rot due to weather. Let the car speak, it will tell you clearly its condition.

    check the exhaust system, an expensive repair if you have to replace it.

    then check the transmission and engine for massive leaks underneath, (all old cars leak, and old Jaguars are no exception).

    If you want a classic car without rust or rot, you'll have to look in the Western and Southern USA, where old cars are well preserved. But they are Left Hand Drive. One step forward, two steps back.

    Good luck.
    1965 Jaguar 3.8 'S'
    1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2

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    Hello XJ for two,
    it's a matter of taste. The S Type is too big and bulky for me, mostly automatics and not as sporty. That is why they are not as sought after and this is reflected in the market price.
    Alec

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    Hi John, it is always difficult to choose between the various classic saloon models and the aesthetics are really a matter of opinion. My father drove both a Mark 2 and an S Type from brand new and we enjoyed both of them touring right across Europe several times a year. The Mark 2 is indeed more of a basic car than the S Type or the 420 in terms of the rear suspension, the size of the boot, the space inside and the single rather small fuel tank. However, I ended up buying a Mark 2 partly because I happen to prefer the shape (and I don't like Beetles !) and partly because I wanted to use it for the occasional hill climb and track day where I firmly believe the Mark 2 (suitably modified to Coombs/Equipe Endeavour standards and spec) is a better car. When I could finally afford to buy my own Mark 2 in the mid-80s, I relied heavily on Nigel Thorley's book - Mk I and Mk II - The Complete Companion. While, as I later discovered, it doesn't cover every aspect of what is good and bad, it's a great start and I bought my car with confidence as a result. 30 years later and I've never regretted it.

    By the sound of it though, you want a car more suited to gentle touring etc, and while the Mark 2 is fine for that (I've done Spain, France, Andorra, Italy as well as pretty much the entire UK) the S Type or the 420 are likely to be more comfortable and roomier. A couple more suggestions to help you contrast and compare: Paul Skilleter's Jaguar Saloon Cars and Jaguar All The Cars by Nigel Thorley.

    Other advice? Definitely don't buy the first car you see, hiring is a good suggestion, don't necessarily go for the larger-engine versions (my experience is that the 3.4 is the best, smoothest engine while still carrying sufficient poke) which tend to be over-priced. If looking for a 2.4 then aim for the later 240 which is quicker (indeed, the 340 is quicker than the 3.4 Mark 2 and almost as quick as the 3.8 but I prefer the thicker bumpers. Finally, if you do look at a Mark 2, try for a later car (September '65 onwards) as they have pretty much every upgrade Jaguar made to the model, in particular the all-synchro gearbox.

    Hope that's helpful.

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    Senior Member cass3958's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piman View Post
    Hello XJ for two,
    it's a matter of taste. The S Type is too big and bulky for me, mostly automatics and not as sporty. That is why they are not as sought after and this is reflected in the market price.
    Alec
    Alec you are completely wrong with everything you have just said apart from it being your taste.

    The S Type was roughly the same size as the Mk2 other than 7 inches longer in the boot which gave it a larger boot capacity.
    180 inches on the Mk2 to 187 inches in the S Type.
    S Type 66 inches wide Mk2 67.
    S Type 56 inches high, Mk2 58.
    How does this make it bulky surely this makes it more streamlined and sleeker in comparison to the Mk2 which looks more like a VW Beetle. ( No offence intended to Mk2 owners as I still love the shape.)

    Being one of the keepers of the S Type Register I can assure you that the split between Manual and Auto cars is roughly the same as the Mk2 being two thirds Auto to one third Manual. The S Type was made to capture the American market as was the Mk10 so more Autos were made and exported but the UK ratio remains the same as the Mk2.

    The interior of the S Type is more refined and has more wood, more rear head room, it was advertised as a better car than the Mk2 and why should it not be. Is there a manufacturer out there who on the second attempt has not upgraded items to make it better.

    The S type Jaguar has the E Type rear independent suspension which gives it not just a smoother ride but also a better performing suspension set up than that of the Mk2 Jaguar which is the same set up as a horse and cart. Due to this rear axle set up a lot of S Type Jaguars were broken apart to steal the running gear for high performance kit cars such as the Kougar's and Cobra's as this was cheaper and less sacrilegious than breaking an E Type Jaguar for its running gear. So to say the S Type was not sporty is wrong as you may as well say the E Type, Kougar and Cobras are not sporty.

    The main reason people like yourself knock the S Type over the Mk2 is purley image. The Mk2 was seen in its 3.8 MOD form as a racing saloon but the S type would have been better if history had allowed it. Unfortunately if you study the history of Jaguar when the Mk2 was being produced in the early 60s Jaguar promoted and had a racing division. Come 1963/4 Jaguar were losing money and Jaguar merged with BMC in 1966 then later with the Leyland motor company in 1968. All funding for racing and development was withdrawn in 1963. This is why the Mk2 had a racing heritage and the S Type did not.
    Because of this racing heritage the Mk2 has a higher retail price than the S Type but that makes the S Type a better buy. You have all the good parts of the Mk2 with some better parts added and its cheaper.
    Less of them left so a rarity factor. We only have 60 on the UK register but reckon there is possibly double that so only 120 left in the UK. I was at a show only two weeks ago, 2500 cars and only my single S Type on show. Lost count of the number of Mk2 Jaguars and E Types. Better handling and more refined car.

    Hope this clears your foggy mind in relation to why the S Type is actually a better buy.
    Rob.C.
    1968 Jaguar S Type 3.4 Auto Old English white
    2006 X type SE 2.0d Estate
    1966 Ford Anglia 1760 X flow
    1993 Yamaha FJ1200
    2012 Old English Sheep Dog White and Grey

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    Hello Rob,

    it seems that I have touched a raw nerve with you.

    I said it was bigger, which it is, mostly automatics, which they are as you have confirmed and not as sporty. I did not say they were not sporty, merely putting it as a comparison. From my observations at Classic Car meetings etc, there are very few automatic MK 2s now, no matter how many were made originally.
    The rear suspension is better but added weight to some degree and there is the added complexity of twin fuel tanks because of that transplant. You do Jaguar a disservice by comparing the Mk 2 suspension to that of a horse and cart. They scrimped with that short Panhard rod but the spring and control arm layout is good, even exeptional for that era. It certainly was a car that racing drivers enjoyed for it's handling, and you only have to see the Goodwood Revival, for instance, to see that handling being exploited to this day. (I trust you are aware of the distinction betwen handling and roadholding as I would concede the 'S' Type is probably better in the latter category)

    Value for money goes to the 'S' Type but it is not as sought after as the MK 2, that is undeniable and for the perceptions that I mention.

    Alec
    2004 2.5 X Type Estate, MK 2 3.8 (Long term restoration), 2.5 P.I. Triumph saloon, 564 Hymer motorhome.

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    Senior Member cass3958's Avatar
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    "it seems that I have touched a raw nerve with you. "
    Not a raw nerve but I dislike people who quote their opinion as if it is fact when it is not. Then come back with a reply which only highlights the parts of their opinion to match the facts they have been confronted with.


    "I said it was bigger, which it is" You also said it was Bulkier which it is not. It is a Mk2 Jaguar with a larger boot.

    "mostly automatics, which they are as you have confirmed" As were most of the Mk2 Jaguars that were exported to the USA but not to the UK market.

    "and not as sporty." Define Sporty, it has the same engine, Gearbox, Manual or Auto and in fact had the better synchromesh manual box fitted. Exactly the same front end set up but the S Type had a better but I agree heavier back suspension set up. 0 to 60 timings are the same as is the top speed model to model.

    "there is the added complexity of twin fuel tanks because of that transplant." Where is the complexity of twin tanks other than better weight distribution.

    "You do Jaguar a disservice by comparing the Mk 2 suspension to that of a horse and cart." "even exceptional for that era" As I said the rear suspension of the Mk2 is a leaf spring design first used on a Carriage drawn by a horse. Nothing changed until the E Type, S Type and MkX were given the IRS system and then every Jaguar after this had the same IRS system and they have not gone backwards to the leaf spring era.

    "It certainly was a car that racing drivers enjoyed for it's handling," The Mk2 Jaguar handled like a pig. The body roll was appalling. I have both raced and rallied a Mk2 Jaguar and can assure you it handles like a pig. The only good thing about its handling is that it was consistent. When you threw it into a corner you knew it was going to handle like a pig.

    "you only have to see the Goodwood Revival, for instance, to see that handling being exploited to this day." All Mk2 Jaguars that race at Goodwood bare no resemblance to the original Mk2 Jaguars of the 1960s. Yes they have all the same set ups and are meant to be stock but all run brand new modern springs and dampers designed for racing not 1960s stuff. Their engines have all been sorted and ported. Bigger valves, high lift cams, Forged pistons, titanium conrods. Their brakes are not the original single pot Dunlop or girling brakes but multi pot calipers and vented discs. The guys that race these Jaguars spend more on setting these cars up and tuning them for this one race meeting than you and I earn in a year combined.There might be a couple of original unmolested Mk2 Jaguars in the race but they will be the ones at the back that get lapped.

    "I trust you are aware of the distinction between handling and roadholding as I would concede the 'S' Type is probably better in the latter category" I will treat this remark as an insult having been racing all sorts of cars for the last 30 years. Having said that there is no difference between roadholding and handling. There is a difference between
    roadholding/handling and ride comfort and I think from experience if you were to push both an S Type and a Mk2 on a track the S Type would handle better and have a more comfortable ride purely because of its superior IRS back axle setup.

    "Value for money goes to the 'S' Type but it is not as sought after as the MK 2, that is undeniable and for the perceptions that I mention." The main reason for this discrepancy in value is down to those with lots of opinion but very little knowledge casting dispersions on a better model of Jaguar The "S Model" as it was originally know not the S Type. The difference in value does not matter to those buying them and as they hold or increase their value it again does not matter. If you want to pay more for an inferior Mk2 based purely on internal fittings and rear suspension be my guest.

    As my mother always used to say to me Alec. "If you do not know what you are talking about, it is best to keep your mouth shut!"
    Rob.C.
    1968 Jaguar S Type 3.4 Auto Old English white
    2006 X type SE 2.0d Estate
    1966 Ford Anglia 1760 X flow
    1993 Yamaha FJ1200
    2012 Old English Sheep Dog White and Grey

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    Hello Rob,

    definitely, it has hit a nerve.

    How you can say that my opinion is presented as fact, it's my opinion, no more and no less. It's undisputable that Mk2 prices are higher because of a perception that it is sportier, whether you like it or not or whether it is realistic.

    From my perspective, handling describes the ease with which a car can be driven on the limit, roadholding is the measure of ultimate grip and cornering speed.

    Alec
    2004 2.5 X Type Estate, MK 2 3.8 (Long term restoration), 2.5 P.I. Triumph saloon, 564 Hymer motorhome.

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