Wednesday 19th June 2019,

Jaguar MK II 1959 – 1968

1959 saw the launch of one of the great Jaguar icons, the MK II sports saloon. Encouraged by the success of the MK I, which both created and filled a gap in the market, Bill Lyons presented the next generation.

The Jaguar MK II was a great car. Available in 2.4, 3.4 and 3.8 it satisfied the public`s needs perfectly. The track had now been widened giving it very good handling. Lyons, ever the pioneer, fitted servo-assisted Dunlop disc brakes to the front and back. He cleverly enlarged the body while keeping the original shape. The rear window was enlarged but always had a water leakage problem. The ugly rear wheelspats were replaced with much smaller ones.

Wire wheels were a favourite option, either silver or chromed. Laycock de Normanville overdrive was standard on 3rd and top gears. Borg-Warner 212 three-speed automatic was an option. Limited-slip differential was standard on the 3.8 and optional on the 3.4. Power-assisted steering was an option on all models. The Jaguar MKII with the 3.8 litre engine was aimed at the US market primarily, but it also sold very well at home.

An often asked question was; why both 3.4 and 3.8 in production at the same time? The answer shows Lyons` shrewd thinking. A large percentage of 3.4 owners were potential Rover and Humber drivers. They wanted performance, luxury, but above all, a quiet drive. Lyons gave it to them. The 3.4 was still very quick but had extra sound-proofing. The 3.8, on the other hand, did not. What it did have was a twin exhaust and bigger jets in the SU carburetors. It only had ten bhp more than the 3.4 but it was noticeable.

On all models full leather upholstery was standard. As usual the car`s finish was impeccable. Jaguar offered a paint range second to none. Officially named `opalescent`, it was a wonderful range of metallic colours at a time when metallic paint was highly fashionable but many car makers could not offer it.

All in all the MK II was a brilliant car of it`s time, almost alive with personality. Later on in the 1960’s British Leyland with all it`s problems, took over. Change was coming. In 1967 BL discontinued the 3.8 MK II and re-badged the other two cars 240 and 340. To make them look different the proud, deep bumpers were replaced by thin ones, which did nothing for the look of the cars. Another example of uninformed meddling.

With industrial relations problems and subsequent poor build-quality, Jaguar was on course for a difficult future. Jaguar MK II production ceased at the end of 1968.

Jaguar MKII 1959-1968 Specifications
Body Type5 seater 4 door saloon
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Cargo Volume382 L13.5 cu. Ft.
Engine2.4 Jaguar XK DOHC 12V Hemispherical
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement2483 cc151.5 cui
Power89 Kw120 bhp5800 RPM
Torque195 Nm144 ft. lb2000 RPM
Power/weight83 bhp/t
Top Speed169 km/h105 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph13.1 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual3 speed automatic
Weight1440 kg3175 lb
Engine3.4 Jaguar XK DOHC 12V Hemispherical
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement3442 cc210 cui
Power157 Kw210 bhp5500 RPM
Torque292 Nm215 ft. lb2500 RPM
Power/weight145 bhp/t
Top Speed193 km/h120 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph9 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual3 speed automatic
Weight1448 kg3192 lb
Engine3.8 Jaguar XK DOHC 12V Hemispherical
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement3781 cc230.7 cui
Power164 Kw220 bhp5500 RPM
Torque325 Nm240 ft. lb3000 RPM
Power/weight146 bhp/t
Top Speed217 km/h135 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph8.1 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual3 speed automatic
Weight1510 kg3329 lb
GD Star Rating
Jaguar MK II 1959 - 1968, 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditEmail this to someone

About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

View All Posts

I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

Leave A Response