It matters not what some may say about the original Jaguar S-Type, the reality is that this is an old Jaguar and hence worthy of respect even if one knows nothing else of it. It may have ran when it was parked, it may have seen better days, it may have even tried to keep calm and carry on. The end, though, now seems nigh and this emissary of the Queen shall face it with dignity and stoicism, a very long way from Browns Lane indeed.
Some say that Sir William Lyons wasn’t particularly proud of the S-Type, to which I say poppycock. He loved all of his children, even the ones that appeared to be a bit of stopgap. Yes, some of the earlier-born received greater accolades and some of the later-born were hailed as even greater works of art and engineering, but one can’t always choose how others perceive things, when the S-Type was introduced in 1963 it was the new shiny thing.
Not a huge seller in today’s terms, but it did alright for what was a very small specialty maker. 1965 was the highwater year for the S-Type with 9,741 powering through the gates, the first year that sales exceeded those of the older Mark 2. Note that’s 9,741 in total, the number that were left hand drive and made it to the United States was but a fraction of that.
A lot of the lustre has worn off of this one over the last 57 years, but some of the exquisiteness shines through. The somewhat pinched looking front end with the close headlights still clearly shows a lot of that formwork that was a Jaguar hallmark for so long and would keep going on to be replicated/imitated not just obviously with the reborn S-Type of the late 1990s but also to a degree or another in every other Jaguar after this one until the very most recent ones. But let’s lift that bonnet and see what earthly delight awaits us.
Lovely. It looks fairly complete, doesn’t it? This is the 3.8litre version of the XK inline-6, the only one offered in the United States. The peasantry across the pond made do with a more basic 3.4litre unit although they could also pay a little extra dosh for the 3.8.
A different angle shows the other side, this was fed with twin carburetors and produced enough power to propel a manual equipped car to 60mph in just over ten seconds and an automatic one in around eleven and a half and on to a top speed of around 122mph and 116mph, respectively. While on paper the heavier car should be slower than the older Mark 2 with the same engine, in actual use over the road the S-Type was quicker point to point due to its superior chassis and suspension. Let’s take a closer look at that date plate I spy in the back there.
That’s quite a comprehensive chart of recommended lubricants if I do say so myself. But above it are a bunch of numbers, what do they mean? The Car Number P1B76568BW means the following: P denoted Power steering, the 1B is the S-Type designature, 76568 is the serial number (starting with 75000 for left hand drive 3.8litre cars), and the BW means it has a Borg Warner automatic transmission.
The Engine Number at the top right starts with 7B meaning it is an S-Type engine, the next four or five digits are the engine serial number and the suffix (either 7, 8, or 9) indicates the compression ratio. As is proper for an American market car, a bigger number is always better, so we have the highest compression ratio of 9.0:1 here. After all, we do have a “special relationship”…
The Body Number on the lower left will always start with a “4B” and then be followed by four or five digits.
And lastly, the Gearbox Number is in this case called Automatic Transmission Number and thus defaults to starting with JBC and followed by four or five numbers. Of course all of these numbers are also found on the originally fitted components themselves. Good record keeping starts in the engine bay.
Let’s move on.
Suspension was independent at all four corners, as were disc brakes (front here, what’s left of it), ensuring that this cat could both corner and brake confidently and making the most of its power to rapidly cover ground.
Looking under its tail is the rear end and suspension bits, doing its bit to keep progress moving ahead while keeping its occupants comfortably cosseted.
The rear end generally gets panned somewhat but it works just fine for me. Somewhat pert with a decent amount of sculpting there’s nothing to be ashamed of here If there’s any junk in the trunk it does a good job of hiding it. Well, at least until I came along.
Blimey, now I’ve done it. There IS a lot of junk in that trunk. Still, seems pretty spacious in there.
Ah, there’s part of the reason, the cargo floor is laying behind the car along with the jack. This presumably covered the space for the spare tire which is gone and thus the junk comes to the fore.
Lots of stuff back here, including a number of new old stock gaskets in factory packaging, who knows how far back these date. Let’s peek into the cabin, why don’t we.
Well, it appears to have been a silver-blue over blue car, the pull out door pocket is a nice touch and the armrest has seen a few elbows in its time.
Oh dear me, it seems to be a bit of a dog’s breakfast in here. This might be advertised in an enthusiast’s publication classified ad as “99+% complete, just needs some reassembly and TLC.” I’m up to date on my shots so let’s get a little closer.
The Brits never were ones to skimp on Lumber and Leather. You’d think they’d be bare of forests and cows by now. That’s some thick hide and even thicker planks of wood there.
Under the mess was the speedometer/odometer. 92,052 miles, not terrible at all for a 1965 car, right? It probably isn’t needing a 1 in front but you never know. Still, this car apparently saw some good use, I come across newer Jaguars in the junkyards with less miles than this one. And like a dog kicking its leg in its sleep, this cat thinks it’s moving along at 29mph. Me-ow!
A little higher on the dash the tachometer was dangling. One would know exactly the rpms that were turning with this finely delineated gauge. The clock though seems to have been lost to the mists of time.
Mummy, the amount of electronics in this car is a trifle worrying. That’s a lot of wiring. In the foreground is the fuse layout guide. What does all of this here belong to?
Aha, Central Command! Buttons, toggles, switches, and gauges galore. Mr. Bond’s rides have nothing on this. While I understand that a gentleman does not motor about dark, the light switch is right in the center flanked by the important gauges and then everything else is clearly labeled below including the cigar lighter as cigarettes are not for those worthy of Jaguar ownership. Light your fags up somewhere else mate, this is a real man’s space here! Presumably the cigar cutter is under all the crap laying around here somewhere, if you must find it, just ask Jeeves.
The view from the other side is no more illuminating, except that there’s a light amongst the forestry!
Ooh, a spare inboard headlight marked Lucas! The front already had two but one was a Lucas, the other a Westinghouse (as were the larger outboards). Could it be that the other Lucas still installed shines brightly when summoned to do so? Hope springs eternal.
How quaint and proper, an oval shaped mirror (hole) in the passenger sun visor. Let’s head to the backseat for some adult fun.
Hey now, not that kind of adult fun! You might get a splinter in this car, guv’nor… A (sadly empty) box of Old Taylor Whiskey sits next to a grille. Yes, the same grille pictured earlier, I found it here and had to reshoot my front pictures after putting it in its rightful place. It turns out that Old Taylor is a Kentucky Bourbon, while the name is still in use currently, the ownership has changed over the years, I wonder how old that box is.
The sun is setting on this particular bit of British Empire in more ways than one. The old girl though sits with her spirits high and her outlook indomitable, in the back row of the ‘yard facing whatever may come head on. Never mind the bollocks, Jaguar lives on!
Related (Required) Reading:
Tatra87 gives a great overview of the 1963-1968 S-Type
Great write-up, Jim! It seems odd to me that this has wound up at a junk yard as I’ve seen much much worse for sale. This one appears to have all of the glass, most of the interior trim and rust doesn’t seem to be a problem. It ought to be saved.
Being “For Sale” and actually selling are two different things.
This owner did a public service by not trying to sell it, sparing the next owner the same agony he went through. The reality is that this car’s value does not justify the amount of work it would take to restore. It’s a sedan, after all. If it were an XK-150 convertible, it wouldn’t be here.
People had their chance to save this one. See that sticker on the top left of the windshield? That’s a sticker for Copart. They’re an auction place that mostly does insurance salvage, but they do some donation cars and the like. I’ve bought a few cars through them- I’d know that sticker anywhere. They’re a total pain to get off
Then you open a door…Suspect the cost of a new leather and wood interior would cost more than the restored cost of the car. Looks like a nice rust free body mind. But,but its not a MK 2 3.8 ltr manual with overdrive.
Nice parts car the should keep another S type stay alive.
Smashing study! She also sported knock off wire wheels.
There is a reason it’s spending it’s final days in the wrecking yard…too expensive to fix….it looks like it was a project car that someone got tired of or was in over their head and finally decided that it was time to cut their loss and just move it on…sure it could be saved but at what cost…likely much much cheaper in the long run to search for a decent running/driving example of this car than what it would cost to fix this one…ie: it’s a Money Pit!
I want the engine to restore and display in my man cave!
I’m with you on that…
Always a fan of these. More modern looking than the previous Mark II, not as obese as the Mark X. I think it was brilliant of Ford/Jaguar to launch the modernized version 35 years later, though buyers didn’t seem to agree. Unlike BMW and Mercedes, and even to a certain extent Cadillac, I feel like Jaguar has lost all of the visual brand identity that had endured for decades.
Jim, now that you’re a Jaguar expert I think your next project needs to be a D type Jaguar replica! All the major parts are there Jim, and a kit is only $36k:
These old Jags are beautiful. I hate to say it, but before this one winds up in the crusher, that nose would look great on my garage wall. Break out the Sawzall, you can’t save em all.
The body looks better than the example rotting away in a back garden local to me. The rear bumper fell off earlier this year but has been placed on the back, off the ground, so maybe there’s a glimmer of hope, but their rust is far from the surface variety like this one and that’s just what’s visible.
When the 1998 Lincoln Town Car appeared, I knew I had seen somewhere before its big piece of decklid bling sitting right above the license plate. Now I recall where I had seen it before.
Splendid find, and superlative write-up.
Note that’s 9,741 in total, the number that were left hand drive and made it to the United States was but a fraction of that.
Yes, a fraction, but fractions can be quite large. In this case I’d guess it was north of 3/4, maybe 25/32? Like Porsche and a few others, the US market absorbed the majority of Jaguar sales.
One of the guys at the tv station in LA had the last name of “Factor”, as in Max Factor being his grandfather. He had access to the family car pool, which included a MB 250SE and an S Type. Got to ride in both of them; and a lovely ride it was. Not terribly spacious in back, but the ambiance was delicious.
Super-depressing subject, but terrific shots and prose. A proper sendoff for this once-fine luxury motorcar.
Thank you, high praise indeed from one of our prose- and photo-maestros!
These were a sight to see when new. I recall as a kid, a retired couple drove a black, wire-wheeled version to their lakeside cottage every summer. They passed by my parent’s farm, whenever they drove back and forth into town. My friend and I jokingly nicknamed the owner and his Jag, ‘the Colonel’, as he was likely ex-military. I remember being impressed how quiet his was, and how out-of-place it looked, on those rural country roads in Canada.
Excellent, very colourful analysis and pics!
Fiddly Bits! Jaguars are full of them, I suppose that all Brit cars are also. Since Jaguar was once almost the top of the food chain in Britain, it had more than it’s share. This isn’t like a’49 Chevy pick up, which is all plain steel inside except for the upholstered bench seat. This is full of a variety of natural materials and what appears to be meters and meters of fabric wrapped wires.
The engine was a marvel of it’s time, heir to an outstanding racing pedigree established in the 1950’s. Five time winners at Le Man! The independent rear suspension was legendary, for some reason Hot Rodders transplanted them under their home made T Buckets. And four wheel disc brakes! Even with all that, not worth saving.
Once one of these cars deteriorates past a certain point, there’s no going back. Only a preserved specimen is worth any investment.
I threw in the towel with my ’51, which was in much better shape than this poor S. I sold off my XJ6 because I decided to concentrate on my other cars, and wanted to reduce distractions. That leaves only the XJS, which has been safely stored in my garage. It’s a runner and driver and looks pretty good too. Right now I’m fiddling with the ABS system and the jury is still in deliberation.
Queen Elizabeth was 39 years old when this car rolled off the line. I dare say she’s holding up better than the subject vehicle.
I was being a bit fatuous saying that this should be saved as I would imagine just about any restorer losing their mind trying to get this back into shape. That said, I do see completely rusted out and incomplete “cars” being offered all of the time that are half buried in some field, total basket cases, compared to this. Hopefully someone who needs them gets some decent parts from this.
I don’t recall Lizzie ever living in a garage or roughing it on the mean streets of Denver though, so except for perhaps a bunker or two in the big war…It has outlasted the vast majority of other 1965 model year cars that ever were.
This seems the kind of car that someone had and doted on for a long time, then someone else perhaps took it over and it may have changed hands a couple of times after that, getting a little more disassembled every time. Or not and something happened to the original old chap and a new surprised family member owner needed to just rid himself of it. It’s an odd one for this yard, while they do get some ’80s stuff and every once in a while something ’70s that’s usually pretty mainstream, mostly it’s a lot of Altimas, Fusions, CRVs and newer Euro-lease-iron. But you pick through the pebbles and every once in a while a gold nugget jumps out…like this one!
Jim, Jim, Jim – I am not British, but we need to do a little editing:
“There IS a lot of junk in that trunk.” – – There IS a lot of loot in the boot.
“the light switch is right in the center ” – – in the centre
And you missed your chance to point out the aluminium!
It is no secret why this car ended up here. Anyone who drinks Kentucky bourbon is not fit for a proper British car. Had the man been a tippler of Plymouth gin instead, this big cat would still be napping in a ga-rage ready for an afternoon run to the cricket club.
Kidding aside, I really like these big pre-XJ Jag sedans. Sadly, this one is just a niggle beyond my set of skills.
“Anyone who drinks Kentucky bourbon is not fit for a proper British car” especially if he buys litre bottles……
Diligent write-up of a find which recalls the old Empire maxim, “to be British itself is a distinction.”.
I chose Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey by Paul McCartney to play while reading this a second time earlier this afternoon. lol
Nice cars when they still go, a friend had one in slightly better condition than this one most of the dash and instruments were awol it did have a revcounter but no speedo he claimed 5000rpm in top was 100mph and it would go into the red in top gear quite readily, it did ride and handle fairly well but it wasnt long until it met the same fate this one faces, last seen in the wrecking line up at Rodney Jaguar & Rover wreckers with a large hole in the engine block one of the bigends escaped.
Awesome post as always, Jim. One could almost smell the dried out leather from those interior pics.
Cars really rot differently out where you are. The temperature difference is more extreme, but that is compensated by the drier air. As a result, even a 60s Jag can still look whole. In Japan or the UK, that car would have turned into compost by now.
I do miss junkyards. Like a box of mouldy chocolates, you never know what’s going to get you. I have found a couple I need to write up, but the cars never look as good here as they do in your posts.
Thank you. If you ever find a way to visit I can take you on a tour of all of the main locales…you’ll see things you’ve only read about 🙂 Out here the sun does a lot of the damage both inside and outside.
When I saw that wire sticking out of the hood, I thought could this be the very first ever Jaguar EV!