Dirt Cheap $600 Jaguar Mark II Project


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Stately British sedan seeking single American V8. Straight from Barn Finds “Dirt Cheap” department is this 1963 Jaguar Mark II sedan. located in Highmore, South Dakota. The asking price is $600. It appears here on craigslist in Bakersfield, California, but I did not find it on any of the Dakota pages. Exactly why that is would probably be one of my first questions for the seller.


This is a rolling body only, currently lacking in the engine and transmission department. Rather than trying to source originals, I would likely look toward the “Street Sleeper Fun” Jaguar we featured a couple of weeks ago, for direction on how to proceed with this one.


The body looks relatively decent, and the photos show a couple of extra panels that are presumably included with the purchase, although no mention is made of the missing grille, bumpers and other miscellaneous trim items. The one interior shot shows front seats in need of some tough love, but all this may be worthwhile if the floors and rockers are solid.


As is unfortunately so common with vehicles in the “Dirt Cheap” category, this one does not include a title, so that too can go on the list of problems to solve if one were to purchase this car.


I’d almost bet we could count on one hand the number of early ’60s Jaguars in South Dakota, and that could be the reason the seller has chosen to list this one elsewhere. The wide open spaces visible in some of the photos make me want to visit the area again. So what do you think? Do you see any possibility in this fine British ride?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Jamie Palmer JamieStaff

    Can’t argue with the logic, but I would offer an alternative. Running but tatty XJ6’s are pretty easy to find for <$1k, that would be another transplant possibility. Either way you'd be putting a handsome car back on the road!

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  2. Bruce

    You might only spend $600 on the car, but you will spend $8,000+ to refinish the interior. Nice cars when finished properly.

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  3. skloon

    Words that don’t belong together ‘Charlie Sheen-respnsible’ ‘Lindsay Lohan- Unprotected’ ‘jaguar-project’

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  4. Charles

    This one fits in the win the lottery fantasy for me. If I win the lottery, it will be cool to take a car like this and restore it to OE specs on the outside and the interior. The driveline would be a GM Crate LSA which is the Caddy supercharged version of the LS small block. Tuned right, about 625 HP. Run it through stock mufflers with resonators so that it is very quiet. Imagine the look on the faces of people at traffic lights…

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  5. HoA Howard AMember

    While I’m all for dropping American V-8’s ( and not fire-breathing monsters) into these British sedans, this car is too far gone. It’s sad to see the interior, as, I feel, these older British cars had the nicest dashboards ever. You could probably buy a running Mk.II for what it would cost to repair this. Sorry, parts only here (if any)

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  6. Mark S

    Who said you got use factory original seats. Do some measuring than go to your local bone yard and pull the seats out of a modern car. The door panal can be recover yourself with out braking the bank, And flooring can be refitted out of a wreck as well. For about $500.00 you would have pretty nice interior. As for the engine trans I’d use the 5 cylinder inline engine and trans out of a wrecked canyon. Nice find.

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  7. ClassicCarFan

    Yes, I think Howard is absolutely right. This one is of no value at all other than as parts. If you wanted to buy this fro $600 and part it out I’m sure there are far more than $600-worth of detail parts, trim, etc, and scrap metal.

    As a viable restoration, it is hopeless. As the saying goes “there’s nothing quite as expensive in life as a cheap E-type Jaguar” (OK, this is a MK II not an E-type but the principle is that same). To bring this back to life just as a respectable driver quality car would cost far more than you might pay for a decent finished one. Interior leather and wood restoration is hugely expensive even assuming you are talented enough to do much of the labor yourself.

    I’m guessing this car probably needs extensive bodywork. You can’t really see from those photos but just going on the rough, neglected condition of the car generally, I think it’s a safe bet.

    My understanding is that these are very complex and difficult bodies to work on? From what I’ve read of the history of these cars, the Mk I (which shares a very similar body-shell with this Mk II) was Jaguar’s first foray into uni-body construction and because they were paranoid about it being structurally strong enough it was heavily over-engineered. There are a lot of extra bracing, box sections, double-skinning etc in there – so if it has rust deep in the structure it is a big job to fix. They also need lead-loading of the panel joins I believe? which is another skilled and tricky job.

    So, even if you were going to do the V-8 swap for this car – I agree with Howard, you could find a better rolling shell to start your project with. Any car is in theory restorable and I hate to see a great genuine classic like this “taken out of circulation” completely – but this one makes little sense to me as anything other than a source of parts. Shame.

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  8. Rancho Bella

    Anyone under 60 vaguely interested in these any more? And the number dwindles daily

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    • Jamie Palmer JamieStaff

      51 and more than vaguely interested… :-) That being said, you probably have a point.

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  9. Gearheadengineer

    Why so quick to condemn this car? Hard to tell from the photos, but if it’s solid it could be the start of something fun. Not all cars have to be restored to 100% original concours condition.

    It’s got the suspension. It’s got the glass. It’s nearly complete. From what I can see, it is WAY, WAY more solid than most old Jags you’ll find where I live.

    Oh, and it’s ONLY $600!! That’s not a lot of money in 2016 dollars.

    If this thing were anywhere near me, I’d be on my way to look at right now. Cash in hand.

    – John

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  10. dave h

    I do not know enough about old Jags – but if this one has the independent rear suspension, then that unit, plus the front suspension stuff means that there is more than $600 worth of parts there for a hotrodder’s use. and THAT is likely why it is listed on the west coast

    For example, I might want to use those pieces in my ’56 F100 which will have a Caddy 500 engine as well when done.

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    • Jamie Palmer JamieStaff

      Dave, this is a solid rear axle. IRS started with S-Type and Mark X.

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  11. John H. in CT

    No gauges or other dash controls, too much else missing. Only good for parts. Why only $600 you ask? Try shipping it to anywhere from South Dakota. That will be roughly another $1,000. Not such a great deal if you have to factor in that cost, depending where you are located.

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  12. Pod

    Love these cars, as I have 3 60’s Jags (in South Dakota!). I’ve seen this one on more local Craigslist locales over the last year or so, obviously with no takers, hence the random remote Craigslist ad.

    SD uses salt on the roads for (long) winters, so underbody pics are a must with this one; I’d venture to guess it’d be pretty rough. At least the rear suspension hasn’t collapsed (yet). I’ll admit that I’ve never (disclaimer: I’m 38) seen a MK2 or 340 on the road around here, even at car shows, so it very well may not have been local car when it was roadworthy.

    This most assuredly has been used as a parts car before (missing dash, rear bumper, drivetrain et al). IF the underbody rust isn’t bad, it might be good base to compile a few parts cars into one good roller.

    The title issue is annoying, but not a deal breaker, just takes a few $$ and a little time.

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  13. MattMember

    well, this car was on sd craigslist, it was there fro probably 2 years

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