Overall condition: Very Good
Number of owners: 7
MOT: 30th April 2024 (MOT Exempt)
The original Jaguar S-Type was introduced in 1963 and was built until 1968. It was intended as a replacement for the Mark 2 and was a major evolution that included a number of advanced features such as independent rear suspension compared to the solid rear axle of its predecessor.
However, with the Mark 2 still selling well, it was decided to keep the older car in production alongside its replacement until eventually the XJ6 replaced both in 1968.
Originally sold in South Africa by local dealer Tozer Kelsey & Milbourne Ltd, this example is a CKD (Completely Knocked Down) car and therefore very rare to find in the UK. These were partially assembled in the UK factory before being packed into a crate, with the roof and window pillars inside the car, and shipped to the overseas assembly plant where it was then completed and sold.
This particular S-Type remained in South Africa until 1971 when it was returned to the UK. In the 1990s, the Jaguar was stripped back to bare metal and treated to a full body restoration. The current owner has continued to lavish the same level of care and attention to the vehicle, rectifying any issues as they appear as well as carrying out some subtle, yet effective enhancements such as the fitting of a power steering system.
More than three decades on from its repaint, the Jaguar still looks superb and with the current owner having had the nearside front door and roof repainted since, the white bodywork gleams and there are very few stone chips or marks to speak of.
The S-Type is currently fitted with chromed wire wheels and ‘knock-on’ spinners that are all in excellent condition, whilst the Hankook radial tyres all have very even and deep tread present.
The bright work looks to be original and although generally good, with the bumpers in particular being in excellent condition, there is some light pitting present on smaller parts such as the door handles – not unusual on components of this age.
The S-Type is fitted with Jaguar’s legendary XK straight-six engine and the 3.8-litre, twin-carburettor unit fires up easily, emitting its fabulous, trademark growl. It revs willingly and pulls away as expected with the automatic gearbox shifting smoothly.
With this particular model using the same independent rear suspension as the E-Type and Mark X, it was a huge improvement over the Mark 2 and provided owners with an incredibly comfortable ride and sports car-like handling, setting a benchmark for other manufacturers as well as subsequent Jaguar models in the process.
In 2020, the current owner had a power steering system fitted and had various other parts replaced or overhauled in order to maintain the impressive condition and working order – spending £9,000 in the process. More recently the fuel lines were cleaned out, fuel pump and carburettors rebuilt, reconditioned radiator fitted and the car treated to a new coil, water pump and distributor fitted with electronic ignition in order to ensure that the Jaguar continues to drive beautifully.
The deep red ambler interior provides a perfect contrast to the gleaming white exterior paintwork – a classic combination that always looks good. The condition of the seats is superb, with just some light patina on the hide and some light marks on the driver’s seat bolster that is commensurate with age.
The matching door cards are also in excellent condition, as are the wooden door caps – the beautiful timber extending to the wooden dash which has a beautiful lacquered finish and houses a series of original controls and instruments, all of which are in extremely good condition.
A modern JVC radio has been fitted in place of the original factory option, and the ‘intermediate speed hold’ switch has been ingeniously repurposed and now controls an additional, electric cooling fan.
Under foot, the matching red carpets are generally in very good shape, although as is to be expected, there is some wear to those in the driver’s footwell.
This Jaguar has been lavished with care by its current owner, who estimates that he has spent close to £20,000 on improving and maintaining the S-Type. As one might expect, this investment has certainly been worthwhile and as a result, the car is absolutely beautiful inside and out as well as including a number of sensible upgrades to make it reliable and enjoyable. This is a sleek and glamorous example of British classic motoring that is ready to be driven and enjoyed.
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