This blog documents the restoration of a 1961 Jaguar Mk2 (or Mark II), one of the classic Jaguar saloon cars built between 1959 and 1967 with a 2.4 liter engine.
Disassembly loosely follows Lin Rose’s outstanding ValveChatter blog. Rather than simply repeat what Lin has already clearly presented about the Jaguar Mk2, we highlight new material, additional details, or vehicle differences.
Restoration progresses through the major mechanical systems and terminates with interior upholstery and troubleshooting.
How to navigate
There are many ways to navigate. For a broad overview, a complete Chronological listing begins with the first post on June 26, 2014 through the final completion in late 2016.
The Disassembly and Restoration menus display their respective posts in a format that follows the organization of the Jaguar Service Manual. The Restoration menu also has download links to wiring and CAD files.
Click the clock symbol for a listing of the 35 most recent posts, starting with the most current one. Click the tag symbol for a word cloud guide to the posts by process step. Click the quote bubble symbol for a list of recent comments.
The default right column view is the clock symbol, and each post is represented like this:
The title in RED CAPS is the category; if you click it, you’ll see a listing of all posts within that category. Below the category title is the post name; if you click it, you’ll go directly to that post.
Near the bottom of the right column is a small calendar. If you click on any highlighted date, you’ll see the post on that date. The calendar scrolls by month; just click the red links at the bottom.
Below the calendar is a drop-down list by major category with the number of posts in parenthesis. Select a category and all relevant posts will be listed.
Finally, at the end of the right column are links that track current status in terms of maintenance tasks, specifications, wood treatment, parts, and troubleshooting:
- Jaguar saloon chassis number decoder
- Jaguar Terminology Dictionary
- classic saloon forums at Jag-Lovers.org and JaguarForums.com cover the Mk2
- SaloonData.com with owner-provided photos on 600 surviving LHD Mk2 cars (including twenty-nine 2.4 liter engine models and our car)
- Jaguar Clubs of North America
- excellent coverage of the Jaguar XK140, a cousin of the Mk2
- Phil’s 2.4 liter Mk2 restoration in New Zealand
Knowing the ownership history of a classic car increases its value, and provides a perspective on its condition. The Mark II model was introduced to the public on October 2, 1959, and the first vehicles were sold about two months later.
Based on the chassis number and information from Jaguar Heritage, our Jaguar was dispatched from the Jaguar factory on October 11, 1960, registered in Coventry as 7213 DU, and sold to Glenn R. Smith, a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant stationed in Shefford, Bedfordshire (UK).
Based on Jaguar Heritage information and written comments from a later owner, the Jaguar was handled as a Personal Expert Delivery via UK Exchange Service, shipped to the U.S., and spent the first twenty-five years or so in the West. This helps to explain why the chassis and body have so little rust.
Around 1986, the Jaguar was purchased by Richard Bohl, the proprietor of Custer Antiques in Toledo, Ohio. A prior owner remembers that Bohl obtained the car from the widow of the original owner in California or Nevada. Bohl displayed the Jaguar in his store for many months, and it was then sold to a local Toledo man in 1987. This buyer, for whatever reason, did not want the car, and it was advertised for sale again in late 1987.
Larry Erd, a Toledo car collector, traded his 1937 Kord for the Jaguar in 1987. Erd appreciated the original paint and vinyl interior (note: after a visit to Bassett’s in October 2015, we learned that the suede green vinyl seats were, in fact, inexpensive replacements for the original factory leather), and noted the rust on the jacking points. He replaced the carpets, clutch, and tail light. Some of the chrome was pitted, so several pieces, including the Jaguar hood ornament, were replaced. Erd also switched to knockoff wire wheels, and made other repairs.
After extensive detailing, Erd entered the Jaguar in various competitions and did extremely well. Between 1990 and 1993, the Jaguar placed 1st in Class 9, North Central Region of the JCNA Concours D’Elegance. Erd also earned a third place finish in the national JCNA championship. In 1990, for example, the Jaguar earned 98.75 points making it one of the finest examples in the country.
On November 16, 1993, Larry Erd sold the Jaguar to a friend, Bruce Earlin, the owner of Motoriety in Milford, Pennsylvania. At that time, the car’s odometer read 54,879 miles.
Within a year, on September 21, 1994, Earlin traded the Mark II for another classic Jaguar, a 1953 Mark VII (chassis number 718542) owned by Brett Leonard of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts.
Leonard overhauled the engine in 1995, and subsequently sold the Mark II on December 23, 1996 to John Poduska of Belmont, Massachusetts with the mileage at 56,830. When we purchased the Jaguar in March 2014, it had 59,535 miles on the odometer. So, in the past twenty years, this Jaguar has been driven less than 5,000 miles, or an average of 200-250 miles a year! (Read more about prior ownership history.)
Disassembly began with the odometer at 59,769 miles.
Jaguar test drive video before disassembly: