Most buyers selected the two-tone paintwork option and the car was nicely embellished with extra chrome. The interior was the stuff of legend. Conolly hide leather and walnut everywhere.
For the first time overdrive was offered as an option on 3rd and top gears which gave the car an effectively six-speed gearbox. However, most purchasers selected the Borg-Warner automatic option. The chassis was little changed from the Jaguar MK VIII, using torsion bar independent at the front and semi-elliptic springs on a live axle at the rear.
The big improvement was the installation of Dunlop disc brakes all round, boosted by a servo. The Jaguar MK IX was the first car to be so equipped. Fuel tank capacity was 17 imperial gallons which was just as well as the fuel consumption averaged only 15.5 MPG.
Another relevant improvement was an engine revision. The XK motor now displaced 3.8 litres, producing 220 bhp and 240 ft/lbs of torque with a compression ratio option of either 8:1 or 9:1. The motor was equipped with twin 1.75 inch SU carburettors.
The steering was also improved with power-assistance. The recirculating-ball steering was powered by a Hobourn-Eaton high-pressure pump in an unusual installation. The pump was fitted to the rear of, and driven by, the dynamo (generator) rotor. As far as can be ascertained, this was quite successful. However, on the later Jaguar MK X the system gave terrible reliability problems caused by hydraulic fluid leaking into the dynamo. Once flooded, the dynamo ceased to function.
Today the Jaguar MK IX does not look particularly sporty but it was very fast overall. With decent handling and superior braking, the competition in 1959 found it hard to compete with. The car was heavy, at 1803 kg, but still had a power-to weight ratio of 122 bhp per ton. It had a top-speed of 115 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 11.3 seconds.
Like the previous Jaguars it was very popular in the US, offering everything the Americans desired added to a styling that was quintessentially British. They also liked the relative compactness compared to American cars which at the time were very large. The MK IX exuded the same sort of prestige as Rolls-Royce and Bentley while being sporty and reasonably priced. It was a lot of car for the money. Production was healthy for a car which, by Jaguar`s standards, was getting old.
It should be remembered that Jaguar was at the cutting-edge of innovation and so much that is taken for granted in the present day took years of experiment and development to achieve back then. Happily, many examples survive today. During the three year run of the MK IX the Jaguar R&D department were hard at work developing the next big surprise for the industry and the public. A totally new and revolutionary car, the beautiful MK X.
Jaguar MK IX 1958-1961 Specifications
|Body Type||5 seater saloon|
|Drive Type||Rear wheel drive|
|Cargo Volume||Could fit 2 bodies|
|Engine||3.8 Jaguar XK 12V DOHC Hemispherical|
|Displacement||3781 cc||230.7 cui|
|Power||164 Kw||220 bhp||5500 RPM|
|Torque||325 Nm||240 ft. lb||3000 RPM|
|Top Speed||185 km/h||115 mph|
|Acceleration||0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph||11.3 s|
|Fuel consumption||l/100 km||Imperial mpg|
|Gearbox||4 speed manual+overdrive||3 seep automatic|
|Weight||1803 kg||3975 lb|
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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.
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