Although the Mk I was a great success, selling four times as many as the larger Jaguar saloons, Jaguar boss William Lyons was not content. He knew it could be improved. Happily, virtually every aspect that had been criticised received attention in the new MkII range introduced in October 1959. These cars were to rank among the best loved Jaguars ever made and are today regarded as classics. There were some detail changes, including a redesigned interior that was more modern but retained the traditional Jaguar image.
Jaguar saloons led the field in production and touring car races during much of the 60s. Not surprisingly the quickest and most successful private entries came from John Coombs’ Jaguar dealership in Guilford. John Coombs had significant race experience and his dealership simply got it right for a fortunate few racing enthusiasts. Very early on that included Hill, Salvadori and Salmon.
Rolling off the Browns Lane production line in August 1963 finished in Opalescent Golden Sand with a Light Tan leather interior, this early Mark II travelled the world to New Zealand, where it was delivered to a Mr C. Brixton of Christchurch on 20th September 1963. After 30 years in New Zealand, by 1995 the Mark II was destined for Tokyo to be restored and repainted in British Racing Green. The Jaguar stayed in Japan for almost 20 years until purchased by the current owner. Our vendor, who happened to be living in Japan at the time, bought the car having searched for some time for an honest rust-free example of the model.
Upon his purchase in 2013 our vendor had the body stripped to bare metal to check for signs of repair and to refresh the paintwork. As expected, the bodywork came up beautifully with no evidence of rust or previous repairs. The doors still hung perfectly and the shut lines throughout were factory fresh.
After repatriating the Mark II into the UK the interior was refurbished, and local Jaguar specialist Justins of Cookham fitted either new or rechromed brightwork, and replaced the carpets. All veneers in the car was replaced and re-finished, whilst the leatherwork was sent to Trimmania in Hampshire to be re-upholstered. As the car was being tended to the wheels were removed, shot blasted and repainted, and brand new tyres were fitted. To ensure the car would run beautifully for years to come the fuel tank was replaced, the carburettors removed, cleaned and refurbished, and the distributor cap was changed along with the plugs and HT leads. As a final touch the cam covers were polished and all hoses were replaced.
The result of all this hard work is a beautiful Mark II Jaguar which not only looks fantastic, but drives equally as well. A thoroughly well-sorted example which will provide many years of enjoyable classic motoring for its lucky next owner, the Mark II will be offered with a current UK MoT certificate and UK V5.