Featured: Cops, Robbers, Or Otherwise, A Jaguar Mark 2 Stakes Many Claims

Cops, Robbers, Or Otherwise, A Jaguar Mark 2 Stakes Many Claims

Jayson Fong By Jayson Fong
February 22, 2017
5 comments

Photography by Jayson Fong

Not many other cars can claim to have built a reputation in as many ways as the Mark 2 Jag has. From stints as a star car of television, a race car driven by the likes of Sir Stirling Moss, to an infamous bank robber’s getaway vehicle of choice, it is perhaps one of the most iconic British cars of the 1960’s and is remembered fondly by many. Though a lot of Mk2s have fallen into disrepair, its lasting influence on enthusiasts has kept its fans at the front lines of preserving this bastion of British culture, keeping the remaining good ones from going extinct.

One such enthusiast is Bob Fisher, whose labor of love to restore his 1965 Jaguar reflects the profound and enduring impact of the Mk2 in particular. For Bob, the Mk2 3.8 has always been his dream car and despite this one arriving at his garage as a rusty shell and needing more than just a little attention, his affinity for Mk2s meant that this one was destined to be saved. Trials and tribulations aside, he remarks that it was an experience of essentially building his dream; going over pretty much the entire car, including the body, engine, and interior brought a certain level of satisfaction that doesn’t come with buying a pristine example. Thanks to his passion, his car allows us to catch a glimpse of what made the Mk2 such an icon.

Finished in a hue of ‘Golden Sand’ like Bob’s, it’s easy to see how the Mk2 garnered a following behind its looks, however it was more than just the aesthetics that helped the Mk2 make its mark. Adhering to Jaguar founder William Lyons’ maxim of “Grace, pace and space”, the Mk2 was refined with adjustments to suspension geometry, a widened rear track, larger windscreens, and it would take a step into the future as one of the world’s first sports saloon cars to utilize disk brakes on all four wheels as standard. 

With polished timber throughout the cabin, the Mk2 is spaciously comfortable, and with the optional 3.8 engine from the XKs all of this decadence could move pretty quickly, even by today’s standards—all four doors could make it to 60mph in 8.5 seconds before going onto a top speed of 125mph. Not a bad proposition for a family car, especially when at the time the Aston Martin DB4 also took 8.5 seconds to reach 60, and cost twice as much as the Jag.

As a result, the Mk2 naturally became the sports saloon of choice for all kinds of disparate people, claiming victories in European and Australian touring car championships on the track while its street models were becoming a highly effective tool for both criminals and law enforcement alike; no matter who out-accelerated their rival, a Jaguar won.

With its dignified appearance, the Mk2 would also star in multiple television shows, sealing its place as a symbol of British culture that would go on to influence the design of the 1999 Jaguar S-Type. The car was held in such high regard by Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum, that in 2014 he recreated his personal Mk2 with a combination of engineering and design from the past with modern additions.

The Jaguar Mk2 managed to create an impressive list of achievements over its 8 years of production, and with such variety amongst the fans, it’s no wonder that it remains as a quintessential image of the 1960s’ Britain. Thankfully then, for lovers of classic cars, there is a loyal battalion of enthusiasts like Bob Fisher who remain captivated by the Mk2, and are willing to save the remaining machines, preserving their cultural significance and giving them the life to continue onwards.

Join the Conversation
Related

5
Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
2 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
Richard BondyMichaelGuitar SlingerMatthew Lange Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Richard Bondy

Looks like my twin, I have a 64 which is the same color, Opalescent Golden Sand and it is my all time favorite Jaguar. I previously owned a XK150 S and an E Type but the grand kids fit in the back of the MK2! My MK2 can be viewed at a Jaguar data site, http://www.saloondata.com, enter 167128DN in the search block. If you enjoyed these photos this site has thousands more covering Jaguar saloons. Wonderful summary and outstanding photography!!

Michael
Michael

I’m working on a 1966 Mk 2 currently that will become my daily driver. It is nice to see one on Petrolicious!

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

When it come to the Mark 2’s many claims you’re forgetting its most iconic claim to fame . Twas the car of choice for Endeavor Morse in both the ” Inspector Morse ” and ” Endeavor ” BBC TV series … broadcast across the US via PBS and available in DVD / On Demand via Acorn

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Fun fact the Mk II used in Morse was actually a Daimler with a Daimler V8. The modified it to have a Mk II grille. I have no idea why they couldn’t find a real MK II or the character couldn’t have just used a Daimler?

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Actually Mr Lange it seems your fun fact is in fact ‘ fake news ‘

http://www.morsejaguar.co.uk/index.html

As to Morse’s character driving a MKII .. read the books …

So .. err .. not to be rude or anything but … you missed … again good sir !