Sold for $63,800 at 2014 Gooding & Company - The Scottsdale Auction. By the mid-1950s, Jaguar's lineup included the C-Type and D-Type competition cars, the XK120 and XK140 roadsters and coupes, and the Mark VII and mark VIII sedans. Jaguar's Managing Director William Lyons felt his monocoque Mark I could be popular and competitive in the smaller luxury market. The car became available in 1955 and was powered by a dual overhead cam, 2.4-liter engine offering 112 horsepower. It had an independent front suspension, rear fender skirts, and a luxurious interior with plush walnut and leather.In 1957, the 210 horsepower, 3.4-liter engine from the XK140, along with disc brakes and wire wheels, were given to the Mark I. Top speed rose to 120 mph and optional overdrive offered 100 mph cruising. The Mark I was successful in sedan racing, and when the redesigned Mark Ii was introduced in 1959 with a 3.8-liter option, it would be the fastest production sedan in the world.
This 1959 3.4-liter Mark I Jaguar is an original black-on-black car with wire wheels and four-speed gearbox with overdrive. It was sold new in Portland, Oregon and has remained there for 54 years. The Mark I has been in the same family since 1962.
The car has been treated to a restoration that took 10 years to complete. The engine and transmission were rebuilt, and new wire wheels were fitted. The walnut trim was refinished and new wool carpet installed. This Jaguar still has its original leather seats, door panels, and headliner. It has been repainted the original black paint.The car has the original tool kit, original manuals and service books, original spare wire wheel, jack, and lead hammer for the knock-off wheels. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2014
Jaguar reached a point during the mid-1950's were they were only selling luxury and sport vehicles along with a great deal of its production happening in foreign markets. The main two reasons for this was that Jaguar sold into market segments easily affected by a recession and there was too much dependence on foreign sales which could be closed at any moment at the whim of a foreign government. Wanting to move away from this stereotype, and produce a vehicle that could sell into a larger market, as well as sell strongly in the home market. The vehicle not intended as a mainstream family car, but more a vehicle that could be aspired to by the ordinary motorist. In the mid 1950's, this was a segment remarkably devoid of competition. Jaguar introduced the 2.4-liter MKI at the 1955 Motor Show. The MKI was meant to cement a stronger position by producing a vehicle that could be sold at home and to a larger market. The Coventry Company added its first unitary-built vehicle, the new compact 2.4-liter saloon, known as the Mk1. Originally, the Mk1 resembled a customized Mk2, a bit more menacing with filled in rear wheel arches and glass areas. New for Jaguar, the MKI was built of monocoque construction, immensely over-engineered. The newest model was designed to fill their product gap and appeal to the home market. Though the Jaguar Mk1 was an all-new design, it bore a striking family likeness to both of the other ranges, the front end styling of the XK, and a rear section very similar to the MK VII.
In comparison, the Mk2 was a much more capable car, due to its widened rear wheel track, but the Mk1 was both cheaper and more distinctive. Without the Mk1 there would have been no Mk2.
Several have suspected that Jaguar intended to resurrect a variant of 2-liter 4-cylinder engine that was to have powered the XK100, if it had ever been marketed. In the end a new 2.4 liter version of the XK 6-cylinder engine was developed by shortening the stroke and the height of the standard 3.4 liter engine. While the 3.4 variant was probably produced for the U.S. market, the 2.4 would have viewed as underpowered. Soon becoming very popular in the home market, production figured told the tale of how well it did at home as well as abroad. In 1957 when the 3.4 liter was first produced, the disc brakes were not ready for production, so instead the early models were equipped with servo assisted drums. Later, conversion kits were made available for owners to upgrade their brakes on both 2.4 and 3.4 liter models. The 3.4 liter was equipped with the engine from the XK140/150, and was capable of producing 210 bhp when fitted with the B cylinder head and SU carburetors. The 3.4 liter was fitted with a larger grille, as cooling had to be increased, the grille was similar o the one on the concurrent XK150. This became standard on 2.4 liter soon after to rationalize production. The fitment of cut-away rear wheel spats was the other main distinguishing external features; this was so that wire wheels could be fitted and cooling to the marginal drum brakes increased. This was soon fitted to the 2.4 variant as well.Standard features on the Jaguar MKI were leather seats, fog/spot lights and hub caps (on standard steel wheels). A very rare ‘Standard' version was a 2.4 without Rev Counter heater, Jaguar Mascot, Windshield Washers and foglights. The MK1 was produced from 1956 through 1960 with a total of 36,740 units being produced. By the end of 1960, the Mk1 had become the biggest selling Jaguar ever. To keep up with production capacity, Jaguar chose to purchase Daimler.By Jessica Donaldson
The replacement for the first small unibody sedan, the 1955 Mark 1, the Mark II was an extremely elegant sedan that has been considered the most eye-catching, most compact Jaguar sedan ever. The Mark II featured a larger greenhouse, larger side and rear windows, an updated grille, fitted fog lamps, a wider rear track without the full fender skirts, and standard four-wheel disc brakes. Jaguar postwar saloons have always been denoted by Roman Numerals until the introduction of the XJ. The Mark 2 used Arabic Numerals denoted on the rear of the vehicle as 'MK 2'. The interior of the Mark II was truly a masterpiece with its beautiful walnut veneer dash, plush leather seats, and multiple gauges now placed in easy distance from the driver along with a row of toggle switches. The cabin space was updated with 18% more cabin glass area, which majorly improved the visibility. The Mark II had a wide windscreen thanks to new slender front pillars. The rear windows nearly wrapped around to the enlarged side windows now with the familiar Jaguar D-shape above the rear door and completely chromed frames for all of the side windows. The larger side, tail and fog lamps found a new home as a the radiator grille was updated. A new heating system was added to the Mark II and ducted to the rear compartment.Powering the Mark II was the DOHC aluminum six-cylinder, in 2.4-liter, 3.4-liter and 3.8-liter displacement from the Mark I. The fast and capable Mark II had a top speed of 125 mph and had an estimated 210 horsepower. The saloon came with a 120 bhp, 210 bhp or 220 bhp Jaguar XK engine. The 3.8 engine is very similar to the unit used in the 3.8 E-Type and shared the same block, crank, connecting rods and pistons but had a different inlet manifold and carburetion, so it was 30 bhp less. Compared to the straight ports of the E-Type configuration the head of the six-cylinder engine in the Mark II had curved ports. The 3.4- and 3.8-liter models were fitted with twin SU HD6 carburetors while the 2.4 was fitted with twin Solex carburetors.
The transmission was typically a four-speed with overdrive though some Borg-Warner automatics were purchased, usually in the U.S. The Mark II featured independent suspension all around, and most of the models were constructed with wire wheels. Four-wheel disc brakes were standard and the 3.8-liter was supplied fitted with a limited-slip differential. The Mark II was more than 100 kg heavier than the 2.4 / 3.4 models.
In 1961 The Motor magazine tested a 3.4-liter Mark II with automatic transmission and found it to have a top speed of 119.9 mph and the ability to accelerate from 0-60mph in just 11.9 seconds. The 3.8-liter car with the 220 bhp was found to have a top speed of 125 mph and could accelerate from 0-60mph in just 8.5 seconds. The Jaguar Mark II has a history of racing success in the European Touring Car Championship. A total of around 85,000 of the Jaguar MK II models were produced during its lifespan from 1959 to 1967. For the last twelve months of its production period the MK II was re-labeled Jaguar 240 and Jaguar 340. The Mark II has been portrayed in the media as either the perfect vehicle to start a car chase in, or to apprehend the lawbreakers in. With a top speed of 125 mph the 3.8 liter model had room for up to five adults and was a popular getaway car choice. The car was also employed by the police to patrol British motorways. Fictional TV detective Inspector Morse drove a Mark II with a 2.4 L engine, steel wheels and Everflex vinyl roof in his popular television series, which later sold for more than £100,000.The Mark II cars were re-labelled 240 and 340 in September of 1967 as interim models to fill the void until the XJ6 would be introduced the following September. The 3.8-liter engine was dropped from the lineup. Once the XJ6 arrived on the scene the 340 was discontinued, but the 240 continued as a budget priced model until April of 1969. Carrying a pricetag of only £1364 the Jaguar 240 was only £20 more that the original 2.4 in 1956. Output increased from 120 bhp at 5,750 rpm to 133 bhp at 5,500 rpm of the 240 engine. The torque was also increased and the engine now had a straight-port type cylinder head and twin HS6 SU carbs with a new inlet manifold. The 240 received an upgrade to a Borg-Warner 35 dual drive range instead of automatic transmission. The 340 now offered power steering by Marles Varamtic. The 2.4-liter model could go faster than 100 mph for the first time, which resulted in higher sales. The servicing intervals were increased from 2,000 miles to 3,000 miles and there was a bit of modification in the shaping of the rear body while slimmer bumpers and over-riders were fitted. Amble leather-like material and tufted carpet replaced the rich leather upholstery that had graced the earlier Mark 2. The front fog lamps were replaced with circular vents and optional fog lamps for the UK market. The price of the 240 was reduced in an effort to compete with the Rover 2000 TC. Total production of the 240 and 340 series totaled 7,246 units with 4,446 240's sold, 2,788 340 models and 12 380 models before the XJ6 was introduced in September of 1968.
Despite its hefty pricetag and rigorous maintenance schedule, the timeless MK II is quite a popular collectible today. The bodylines of the Mark II (derived from the Mark I) proved to be the inspiration for the Jaguar S-Type introduced in 1999.
Sources: http://www.hagerty.com/price-guide/1962-Jaguar-Mark_II http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguar_Mark_2 By Jessica Donaldson
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