The 2.4 saloon of 1955 had been a major step for Jaguar, marking as it did the change from a coachbuilt chassis to one of unitary construction; it was a necessary move, however, Jaguar being aware there was a strong market for a more compact saloon than the big Mk IX. Powered by a 2,482cc version of the superb twin cam straight six XK engine first seen in the XK 120 (which had already seen four Le Mans victories), the 2.4 offered luxury, performance and value for money. Using coil spring/wishbone front and semi-elliptic spring rear suspension, it possessed fine road manners and proved a great success, both on and off the track, particularly when the Mk I, as it subsequently became known, became available with the 3.4 litre engine in February 1957.
It was in October 1959 that the Mk II version appeared, making a good car even better. Similar in appearance but with a much larger glass area, it boasted a wider rear track to improve road-holding together with minor front suspension changes to reduce body roll and all round disc rather than drum brakes. Engine options included the 120bhp 2.4 litre, the 210bhp 3.4 litre and, for the first time, the 220bhp 3,781cc unit of the Mk IX. Naturally performance was excellent, respective figures for maximum speed and 0-60mph being 101mph/13.1 seconds, 121mph/9.5 seconds and 125mph/8.5 seconds; it was the 3.4 litre, however, which proved the most popular, offering the best compromise between performance and economy. And notably, as well as being the most successful Jaguar then yet produced, the Mk II was also an enormous hit with the criminal fraternity, perceived as the ultimate getaway car! In competition it was unbeatable too, driven by such greats as Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss, Ivor Bueb, Roy Salvadori Archie Scott-Brown and Don and Erle Morlev.
Finished in Opalescent Silver Blue with magnolia interior, this very tidy MK II comes to sale having enjoyed a sympathetic restoration and a complete engine rebuild by renowned Jaguar specialists VSE. With a list of receipts totalling over £22,000 it is no surprise that the body, wood and chrome are all described as being in good and smart order along with the usually troublesome floors and sills. The car drives exceptionally well through all the gears, the engine feeling particularly strong with a good turn of speed and fully functioning overdrive on 4th gear.