The Jaguar Mark 2 is a medium-sized saloon car built from late 1959[3] to 1967 by Jaguar in Coventry, England. Twelve months before the announcement of the XJ6 the 2.4 Litre and 3.4 Litre Mark 2 models were renamed to Jaguar 240 and Jaguar 340 respectively. The previous Jaguar 2.4 Litre and 3.4 Litre models made between 1955 and 1959 have been identified as Mark 1 Jaguars since Jaguar produced this Mark 2 model.[4]

Until the XJ, Jaguar's postwar saloons were usually denoted by Roman numerals (e.g. Mark VII, Mark VIII) while the Mark 2 used Arabic Numerals, denoted on the rear of the car as "MK 2".

The XK engine

Adhering to Sir William Lyons' maxim of "grace, pace and space", the Mark 2 was a fast and capable saloon. It came with a 120 bhp (89 kW; 120 PS) 2,483 cubic centimetres (152 cu in), 210 bhp (160 kW; 210 PS) 3,442 cubic centimetres (210 cu in) or 220 bhp (160 kW; 220 PS) 3,781 cubic centimetres (231 cu in) Jaguar XK engine.[5] The 3.8 is similar to the unit used in the 3.8 E-Type (called XKE in the USA), having the same block, crank, connecting rods and pistons but different inlet manifold and carburation (two SUs versus three on the E-Type in Europe) and therefore 30 bhp (22 kW) less. The head of the six-cylinder engine in the Mark 2 had curved ports compared to the straight ports of the E-Type configuration. The 3.4 Litre and 3.8 Litre cars were fitted with twin SU HD6 carburettors and the 2.4 Litre with twin Solex carburettors.

Some explanation is required concerning the claimed bhp figures shown above. Jaguar used gross bhp figures throughout the production period of the Mk II and 240/340 models. A direct conversion into DIN bhp is not possible, but we know that the 3.8 Mk II engine developed around 190 bhp DIN.[clarification needed] This compares with the later 4.2 XJ6 engine which also gave around 190 bhp DIN or 245 gross bhp, according to Jaguar, both being for 8:1 compression engines. The explanation was that the lower peak for the XJ6 4.2 engine meant that the bhp was being delivered at less rpm, for the same output. The camshaft timing and inlet and exhaust valve sizes were the same for the 2.4,3.4,3.8 Mk II and XJ6 4.2 engines, so the engines throttled themselves sooner in the bigger engine sizes. The later 4.2 XJ6 engines had special induction pipes, to reduce exhaust emissions, that crossed over between the inlet and exhaust sides of the engine, which reduced bhp to around 170 bhp on later production.


Compared to the Mark 1, appearance of the car was transformed by an increase of 18% in cabin glass area greatly improving vision. The car was re-engineered above the waistline, slender front pillars allowed a wider windscreen and the rear window almost wrapped around to the enlarged side windows now with the familiar Jaguar D-shape above the back door and fully chromed frames for all the side windows. The radiator grille was changed and larger side, tail and fog lamps repositioned. Inside a new heating system was fitted and ducted to the rear compartment. There was an improved instrument layout that became standard for all Jaguar cars until the XJ series II of 1973.[6][7]

Mechanical changes

The front suspension geometry was rearranged to raise the roll centre and the rear track widened. Four-wheel disc brakes were now standard. Power steering, overdrive or automatic transmissions could be fitted at extra cost. The 3.8 Litre was supplied fitted with a limited-slip differential.[6]

The Mark 2 was over 100 kg heavier than the 2.4 / 3.4 cars.

Daimler 2.5 V8 and V8-250

1967 Daimler 2.5 V8 grille

A popular luxury derivative fitted with Daimler's own 142 bhp (106 kW; 144 PS) 2½-litre V8 it sold well from 1962 to 1967 as a Daimler 2.5 V8. In late 1967 it was re-labelled V8-250 to match Jaguar 240. As well as being significantly more powerful than the 2.4-litre XK6 the more modern Daimler engine was lighter by about 150 lb (68 kg) and also shorter which reduced the mass over the front wheels and so reduced understeer during hard cornering.

These cars were recognisable by the characteristic Daimler wavy fluting incorporated in the chrome radiator grille and rear number plate lamp cover, their smoothness and the sound of their V8 engine. They were given distinctive exterior and luxury interior fittings.

240 and 340

1968 Jaguar 340

Sometime on or about September 1967 the 2.4 Litre and 3.4 Litre Mark 2 cars were rebadged as the 240 and 340 respectively. However, there exists documentation of at least one Mark 2 car manufactured in May 1967 and rebadged as "340." According to Anders Ditlev Clausager, Jaguar Chief Archivist, in a letter dated 9 October 2009, he stated "...[t]he theory that some of these 1967 Mark II lite cars sold in the USA were rebadged here, to fall into line with the new model nomenclature introduced by Jaguar in late 1967." The 3.8 Litre model was discontinued.[8] The 240 and 340 were interim models intended to fill the gap until the introduction of the XJ6 in September 1968. The 340 was discontinued on the introduction of the XJ6 but the 240 continued as a budget priced model until April 1969; its price of £1364 was only £20 more than the first 2.4 in 1956.[4]

Output of the 240 engine was increased from 120 bhp (89 kW; 120 PS) @ 5,750 r.p.m. to 133 bhp (99 kW; 135 PS) at 5,500 rpm. and torque was increased. It now had a straight-port type cylinder head and twin HS6 SU carburettors with a new inlet manifold. The automatic transmission was upgraded to a Borg-Warner 35 dual drive range. Power steering by Marles Varamatic was now available on the 340. Servicing intervals were increased from 2,000 miles (3,200 km) to 3,000 miles (4,800 km). There was a slight reshaping of the rear body and slimmer bumpers and over-riders were fitted.[8] For the first time the 2.4 litre model could exceed 100 mph,[4][9] resulting in a slight sales resurgence.

The economies of the new 240 and 340 models came at a cost – the leather upholstery was replaced by Ambla leather-like material and tufted carpet was used on the floor—though both had been introduced on the Mark 2 a year earlier. Other changes included the replacement of the front fog lamps with circular vents and optional fog lamps for the UK market. The sales price was reduced to compete with the Rover 2000 TC.[10]


Four forward speeds and (electric) overdrive

Mark 2: 83,976 produced between 1959 and 1967, split as follows:[5]

2.4 Litre – 25,173
3.4 Litre – 28,666
3.8 Litre – 30,141

240 and 340: 7,246 produced between 1967 and 1969, split as follows:[5]

240 – 4,446
340 – 2,788
380 – 12 (not a standard production option)

The XJ6 was introduced in September 1968.


A 3.4 Litre with automatic transmission tested by The Motor magazine in 1961 had a top speed of 119.9 mph (193.0 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 11.9 seconds. A touring fuel consumption of 19.0 miles per imperial gallon (14.9 L/100 km; 15.8 mpg‑US) was recorded. The test car cost £1951 including taxes of £614.[2]

A 3.8 Litre with the 220 bhp engine was capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 8.5 seconds and could reach a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h).[11][12][13]


Influence on modern Jaguars

The Mark 2's body lines, derived from the Mark 1, and overall layout proved sufficiently popular over time to provide an inspiration for the Jaguar S-Type introduced in 1999.

Portrayal in media

Jaguar Mark 2

The Mark 2 gained a reputation as a capable car among criminals and law enforcement alike; the 3.8 Litre model being particularly fast with its 220 bhp (164 kW) engine driving the car from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 8.5 seconds and to a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h) with enough room for five adults.[11][12][13] Popular as getaway cars, they were also employed by the police to patrol British motorways.

The Mark 2 is also well known as the car driven by fictional TV detective Inspector Morse played by John Thaw; Morse's car was the version with 2.4 L engine, steel wheels and Everflex vinyl roof. In November 2005, the car used in the television series sold for more than £100,000 following a total ground-up rebuild (prior to this, in its recommissioned state in 2002 after coming out of storage, it had made £53,000 at auction – £45,000 more than an equivalent without the history).[15] In the original novels by Colin Dexter, Morse had driven a Lancia but Thaw insisted on his character driving a British car in the television series.

In the 1987 British film Withnail and I, a light-grey 1961 Mark II 2.4 litre[16] in very poor condition serves as the main transport for the eponymous main characters' disastrous trip to the Lake District.

In the late 1980s to early 1990's the Character Joey Boswell drove a black Jaguar 240 in the British TV comedy "Bread".

In the Rivers of London (novel) series (2011-present), Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last officially sanctioned English wizard, drives a Mark 2 (3.8L engine). The main character, Police Constable Peter Grant, is forbidden from driving it after he deliberately drives an ambulance into the River Thames.

Detective John Stone and his partner, Carmen Dehan, drive Sone's Jag, a burgundy 1964 Mark II, with right-hand drive, in Blake Banner's "Dead Cold" mysteries.


  1. ^ US sales brochure for Jaguar 3.8 Sedan, www.jag-lovers.org Retrieved on 25 October 2014
  2. ^ a b "The Jaguar 3.4 litre Mark 2". The Motor. 16 August 1961. 
  3. ^ (new) British Cars At Paris Show. The Times, Friday, 2 Oct 1959; pg. 9; Issue 54581
  4. ^ a b c Eric Dymock, The Jaguar File, 3rd edition, 2004, Dove Publishing
  5. ^ a b c Robson, Graham (2006). A to Z British cars 1945–1980. Devon, UK: Herridge. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3. 
  6. ^ a b British Cars At Paris Show. The Times, Friday, 2 Oct 1959; pg. 9; Issue 54581
  7. ^ Improved And Continued. The Times, Saturday, 24 Oct 1959; pg. 20; Issue 54600
  8. ^ a b New Jaguars, The Times, Tuesday, 26 Sep 1967; pg. 3; Issue 57056.
  9. ^ Skilleter, Paul & Whyte, Andrew: Jaguar Saloon Cars. Haynes (1980), ISBN 0-85429-263-2
  10. ^ Cardew, Basil (1966). Daily Express Review of the 1966 Motor Show. London: Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd. 
  11. ^ a b "Jaguar Mk II". Conceptcarz.com. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  12. ^ a b "Jaguar Mk II 3.8 litre". Motorbase. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  13. ^ a b Philip Green. "Jaguar Mark II". GB Classic Cars. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  14. ^ The Motor 6 hours, www.touringcarracing.net Retrieved on 21 October 2014
  15. ^ Morse Jaguar makes over £100,000 at BBC
  16. ^ http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_78961-Jaguar-MkII-1961.html


  • Schrader, Halwart: Typenkompass Jaguar – Personenwagen seit 1931, Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart (2001), ISBN 3-613-02106-4
  • Stertkamp, Heiner: Jaguar – die komplette Chronik von 1922 bis heute, 2. Auflage, Heel-Verlag, (2006) ISBN 3-89880-337-6

External links