Buy A Jag, Help A Library: 1959 Jaguar Mk 9

Rodney McDonaldBy Rodney McDonald

You can scratch your itch for a classic Jaguar sedan and do a good deed for a library in Parksley, Virginia at the same time when you buy this imposing 1959 Jaguar Mark 9. It’s listed in Hemmings for $20,000 or best offer.

The seller’s description states that the big cat was purchased in an estate sale by their donor in 2004, after which he lavished around $6,000 on repairs on the car. After driving it for less than a year, he put the car away in a building on his farm where it sat for 14 years. This year the car was donated to a nonprofit foundation with a mission to construct a new library and heritage center in the rural Virginia town on the Eastern shore.

These big sedans (or saloons in British parlance) are powered by Jaguar’s legendary 3.8 liter dual overhead cam, six cylinder XK engine fed by twin SU carburetors. In standard tune, the engine produced 220 silky smooth horsepower in the Mark 9. The standard transmission was a four speed manual, but the car for sale has the optional Borg Warner three speed automatic.

The interiors were what you would expect in a classic big British car: leather and wood of the highest quality.

The XK engine is normally quite reliable and there are numerous sources in the US for both parts and service.  Just make sure that the cooling system is up to snuff – like other British manufacturers, Jaguar really didn’t understand American roads and driving styles. Radiators adequate for highway driving might be only marginal in stop and go driving.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Lucas electrics are no more troublesome than other electrical systems of the era. Problems can usually be traced to poor grounds and hacked wiring.

For a car that’s going 60 years old, this Jaguar is in reasonably good shape and would be a great preservation project or restoration candidate.  And maybe the library would look the other way on those late return fines.

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Comments

  1. OA5599

    Definitely worth checking out.




    2
  2. Classic Steel

    The boot,bonnet and windscreen looks are bang on bloody nice 👍
    I luv jags 🤠

    Bullocks to old beater Porsche’s buy this!




    4
    • Ike Onick

      “Bollocks”




      4
    • Ken

      But I haven’t the dosh at the moment! Might I acquire it on the hire purchase instead?




      0
  3. rod444

    That interior wood is amazing.




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  4. Mike

    How on earth did the people at Jaguar knew to put in computer laptop tables in the back 50+ years ago? There’s some really forward thinking going on there.




    8
    • bobk

      No, no, no. Those tabletops are there for your Grey Poupon. 😉




      10
  5. johnfromct

    I’ve partially restored a very nice one of these to near concours. I would not advise taking this one on. The wood is crazed and in all likelihood lifting in spots. (There are over 50 separate wood pieces. ) The connaly leather is gone. Based on the look of the engine compartment and tool kit, I see a lot of past moisture/ condensation.

    Save your pennies and buy a decent one for $40K and you will be far ahead.




    1
    • Alan (Michigan)

      Sage advice.

      Prospective buyers should consider what being stored in a barn for a decade and a half will do to a car.




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  6. Chinga-Trailer

    I’ve owned one and driven more than a few others. Big, dumb, clumsy and clunky come to mind. Dumbo on roller skates! Combined with Jaguar’s legendary crappy build quality and extreme difficulty to repair and service, I can think of no good reason to own one when a slightly smaller and much more athletic as well as infinitely more reliable and easier to service Bentley Mark VI or Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn can be bought, certainly for less than the $40,000 figure an earlier commentator threw out as being the cost of a good one! (That’s assuming there is such a thing . . . as one might guess, my experience with Jaguar has been less than favorable or fun!)




    2
    • Donek

      I think it would be only fair to dispute the ‘legendary crappy build quality and extreme difficulty to repair and service’, even without comparison.




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  7. johnfromct

    C-T, no vitriol is needed here. If these are so bad, why were they raced in their day? Why, when the equivalent RR was 2x their cost then, is there Hagerty value of the Jag more than the RR today? What exactly was so unreliable? The venerable 3.8L 6cyl that was also the basis of the 24hr lemans winners? How about a couple of Prince of Darkness jokes?




    4
    • Kevin

      Hey John, I believe Chinga is from Australia. Have you ever seen some of there offerings? No wonder they don’t build cars there anymore.




      0
      • Chinga-Trailer

        While Chinga-Trailer has spent some time in Oz, (and crossed the great Nullarbor Plain in both a supercharged 1927 Mercedes SSK and a 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost) he is actually a product of southern California and no doubt you’ve seen him, (but perhaps didn’t know who he was) on the Velocity Channel, on TNT, the Discovery Channel and more. But to those who want to blast the Australian automobile industry, it would help if you did your homework first. Many great motorcars have originated in that nation continent, the most recently sold here, the Holden Monaro badged as a Pontiac GTO, and unfortunately not sold here, the ultra high performance Ford Falcons, the six-cylinder Mopar Hemis and going further back in time the concept for the car/truck such as the El Camino and Ranchero was an ingenious 1930s Australian concept.




        2
  8. Derek

    It was XK120s that had cooling issues in the US, wasn’t it? And that was down to the small radiator grille, which this one doesn’t have.

    Bear in mind that poor build quality was available in more than one place in the 60s and 70s, C-T…




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  9. Mountainwoodie

    In 1976 I was in London taking a break from being an “undocumented “worker in Sweden and I came within a whisker of buying the very model, a ’59 Mark IX.
    Instead for reasons lost to the mists of time and my crusty recall, I bought a 1952 MGYB. Shipped it to Baltimore and had a friend from Washington pick it up at the docks and drive it to New Orleans.
    Financed my way to California a couple of years later. It had a beautiful wooden dash that a furniture restorer redid…. but it didnt consist of 50 pieces!




    1
  10. Jose Delgadillo

    The car looks pretty good, straight and complete. The level of wear is acceptable. It should preserved as it is, just fix what it needs to run reliably and safely. Clean polish and preserve. I think that twenty grand for this one is way too much though. Maybe ten grand at best. Obviously, if you’ve got plenty of money you can buy a car in any condition. These are beautiful inside when restored but you you would be making a big investment that you won’t likely recover. The question is, “Can you live with a car in this condition?” I bought an earlier model Mark VII which is really rough compared to this example. But it was cheap enough for me to afford it, and I think that I can improve it to an acceptable level over time. That’s how a low buck car guy has to think. Time will tell. Here’s a photo of a restored interior.




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  11. Ben T. Spanner

    I agree with John from Conn on all points. In the late 1960’s and early 1970″s these were super cheap. One reason wa that 16 inch car tires were expensive, but truck tires were cheap. We would change to 15 inch Buick rims. (We are talking $600 or $700 cars.)
    We test drove one example at high speed on the freeway and the big thick fan belt broke and slashed the radiator. We had one in the spares pile, but IIRC, the grill etc. had to be removed for replacement.
    A friend had a nice Mark VIII purchased cheap because the unique rear window was broken. Those were hard to find.




    0

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