|Description||Jaguar MkIX Saloon|
|Engine size||3,781 cc|
Unquestionably one of William Lyons' finest designs, the magnificent Jaguar MkVII was launched in 1951, powered by a less highly strung version of the legendary XK 3.4 engine that was fitted in the contemporary C-Type racer. By 1956 the big saloon had morphed into the MkVIII, substantially the same car but now with an extra 20bhp and good for an easy 105mph.
In 1958 the final derivative arrived, the Jaguar MkIX. This used the range-topping 3.8-litre XK engine which had evolved into a 220bhp powerhouse, enough to haul this large saloon car up to a top speed of 117mph. The MkIX had a body identical to that of its predecessor, although it did have an improved heater and a new badge to distinguish it! This handsome saloon came with power steering, all-round disc brakes and a choice of manual or automatic transmission. At the time the Mk IX was considered on par with the then current Bentley S-Type, even though it was a third of the price. It was finally superseded by the very different MkX in 1961, marking the end of a distinguished line of separate chassis Jaguar saloons.
Despite outward appearances, this March 1960 registered MkIX is actually a pretty sound machine although it has not been on the road for around 30 years. The last owner had it from 1996 until 2008 and made various attempts at improving it over that time, though none of them got very far. In 1985 it was fitted with an exchange automatic gearbox and earlier this year the current owner rebuilt the top end of the engine. It certainly started promptly and ran sweetly enough on the occasion of our visit to take these pictures, although the exhaust is somewhat noisy. In fact the car is still said to be capable of being driven and all the forward gears engage well although reverse is more difficult to select.
The car comes with various bills for parts bought over the years, a V5C and also retains an original handbook and sales brochure. Various spares are included such as the rear bumper and the precious chrome windscreen surrounds, front and rear, which are now extremely expensive and hard to get hold of. These grand old saloons are now getting very rare and it would be nice if someone out there had the motivation to get this one back on the road again. Failing that, whisper it, but the engine and the transferable number plate alone are probably worth more than the estimate...