1965 Jaguar S-Type 3.8 MOD
From long term ownership; unused for many years; VSE fully reconditioned engine fitted in 1999 but never run in the car; stainless exhaust; easy and worthwhile project
Initially work had commenced at Browns Lane on a direct replacement for the Jaguar MkII, but it continued to sell so well that Sir William Lyons decided to use the new car to plug a gap between the MkII and the recently introduced and extremely large MkX. Making good use of the excellent IRS set up that was introduced in both the new E-Type and MkX in 1961, the resulting S-Type proved popular when unveiled in 1963, supplied with either 3.4-litre or 3.8-litre XK engines fitted with twin carburettors. The excellent rear suspension offered a wider track than the MkII which gave more interior space as well as a much improved ride. The rear section of the bodywork was restyled to emulate more closely the MkX (although obviously not as big) and a version of the front of the MkII was incorporated, but sharpened up with thinner bumpers and more deeply recessed fog lights. It did the job well, remaining in production alongside a slightly modified version marketed as the Jaguar 420 until 1968, at which point the whole range became redundant (with the exception of the gargantuan MkX) when the stunning new XJ6 arrived on the scene.
This low-owner S-Type dates from 1965 and was ordered with a manual gearbox and the larger 3.8-litre engine. Painted gold, it sports a full-length Webasto sunroof, although we are not sure when this was added.
It changed hands several times before it came into our vendor's late father's ownership way back in 1985. He used it as his everyday for a while, the vendor remembering trips to school in his youth.
By the late '90s, it was decided that it needed a major overhaul and work commenced. The engine was sent to Jaguar specialists VSE for a full rebuild. Duly completed, paperwork on file shows a lead-free conversion, water pump and distributor overhaul and the full nine-yards internally, with a rebore, new pistons, core plugs, a crank grind, new bearings, balance, new little end bushes etc...it was fully dyno tested in February 1999.
The manifolds were enamelled black and the unit installed, but never run, so the engine in the car is effectively in fully rebuilt condition. A stainless exhaust had also been acquired and appears to have either never been fitted, or seen little use.
The car has been sitting ever since in a dry barn which has protected the bodywork well. There are some areas of corrosion, but the photos show it has remained remarkably solid. It also appears to be complete, although we couldn't locate the hub caps.
Three old MOTs on file would suggest it has just tipped over the 100,000 mile mark, the file also containing a handbook, lubrification chart and a spare handbook for a 420G...
Altogether a very worthwhile project which should pose few challenges. Thanks to the rebuilt mechanicals, the costs associated with returning this car to the road should be relatively modest.
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