Regular Barn Finds readers will be aware that I’m looking to eventually find a Jaguar Mk. VII, VIII or IX for my wife. So when reader Peter R. sent in this find and suggested it could make a nice wedding car, I immediately had other thoughts, especially when I saw the pictures of what looks like a decent body. Then I noticed that the drive train had been swapped for a Chevrolet 350 V8/automatic combination.
Ah, those curves! My wife fell in love with a Mark IX at a car show and has wanted little else since (but we’re not in a hurry because we’ll have to sell something else first). I’m not sure I like the idea of a swapped power plant, though, and we’ve run into a lot of them when looking for this type of Jaguar. I’m not sure whether it’s the desirability of the power plant for XK-series Jaguars that need them, or the complexity of the XK series engine, but there seem to be a lot of these big Jaguars out there with swaps. This one seems to be in particularly nice shape, but it has some things I don’t care for that seem to be common on this type of swap.
Many of them have the beautiful leather/vynide interiors replaced with velour. Why? Someone spent a lot of time either refinishing or preserving the wood here–why not return the interior soft goods to their former glory too?
On the other hand, the seats are brown. Why? With blue sides? Why? And this seems to be the case in a lot of swapped big Jags. Anyway, the seat does seem to be in nice shape, just not the same color as the interior sides.
Considering the swap, I would have thought they would have shown under the hood. As a matter of fact, I’m somewhat concerned about not being able to see the engine installation. All this thinking about the big Jaguar swaps had me wanting to ask you folks a question: if a classic is in nice shape with the exception of the drive train, how do you feel about inserting a readily available modern engine and/or transmission to keep a classic on the road? And if you’re interested in this Jaguar in particular, it can be found here on craigslist for a reasonable $6,000.