EXCLUSIVE: Well Documented 1965 Jaguar 3.8S

What Makes It Special? Originally a U.S. Ambassador’s car which comes with all the original shipping paperwork and other documentation from Jaguar. Fun fact: Bill of Sale from Jaguar is for $1.00 – the cheapest new Jaguar ever. It was bought by my family in 1972, which at that point the car was in rough shape as it was blowing oil from some broken rings, the interior looked as if someone let a tiger loose in it and the paint was pretty tired. The story goes that it was owned by some rock drummer after owned by the Ambassador but I’ve never been able to confirm this. My parents had plans to restore the car but that didn’t happen until I took on the project in the early ’90s. The car is an older restoration but it still looks like a nice presentable driver. The car has been in dry storage and has since gone through a recommissioning as I’ve gone through the car and checked all systems. The car has won many awards and has always been a smooth driver on the road. The car comes with a lot of Jaguar paperwork from the original owner. Over the years with career changes and family, we haven’t been able to fully enjoy this car as it should be and it needs to go to someone that can truly enjoy it.

Body Condition: Overall the black paint is presentable with a deep shine although there are some road chips but no rust. The underside of the vehicle shows solid floors and no rust issues. There is a small crack in the paint over the front right turn signal that appears to be where the paint separated. There is also a chip on the passenger front door. The bumpers have been re-chromed along with other trim pieces. The door window trim as well as the front and rear window trim are presentable but have not been re-chromed. Wire wheels are in presentable shape with the chrome showing well with slight pitting on the center sections of two of the rims.

Interior Condition: Leather seats are supple and free of cracks. Woodwork is finished to a high standard. Carpets are in great shape with little wear or aging. The boot area is presentable with the spare tire showing new tread depth. Tool kit which usually goes missing is present and had approximately 85% of the tools.

Mechanical Condition: The numbers matching 3.8 Liter DOHC 6 cylinder engine has been rebuilt. It runs good with good compression through all six cylinders. Carburetors have been upgraded to 2” verses standard 1.75” with a mechanical choke and K&N air filters. Carburetors will need final adjustments.

Drivetrain Condition: The 4-speed transmission shifts smoothly. O/D solenoid engages but O/D slips in and out (most likely needs the gear oil change). Rear-end and front suspension have been rebuilt. The suspension has been upgraded with GAZ adjustable shocks in the front with standard Koni shocks in the rear. PAS steering box has been rebuilt but still leaks. The car comes with XJ-S steering rack and the proper mounting bracket that has been prepared for installation if the new owner chooses. The car originally came with air conditioning which is currently not installed in the car but all parts are present. Stainless steel Eagle exhaust system. Currently, two of the fours mufflers have been removed and replaced by straight pipe (I liked the sound). The two mufflers are included for the new owner. The car comes with a lot of spares including a spare engine from a 65’ 3.8S which spins freely, many, many mechanical and interior parts, windows, manuals, 71’ XJ6 straight port head, tri-carb intake, extra sets of carburetors and intakes. Along with all the spares is a rebuilt distributor with black sparkplug wires (7mm). The yellow are 8mm.

What a lovely car! Reader Chris B clearly did a great job fixing it up and has done an amazing job presenting it. All the spares are a great bonus, you can’t go wrong having a spare Jaguar 3.8L engine sitting around. Be sure to message Chris B via the form below with any questions or to make him an offer!

  • Asking Price: $15,000 OBO
  • Location: Norwich, CT
  • Mileage: 71,907
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: P1B76376 DN

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  1. Mitch Ross Member

    My absolute favorite Jag. It may not be everyone’s cup of Earle Gray, but I love it.

    Like 2
  2. Francisco

    What a beautiful car! What a great deal!

    Like 1
  3. SMS

    A few observations:
    Would put back the stock air cleaner and carbs. With this you will be chasing the carb settings.
    Front suspension already rebuilt is a big plus. Parts are not expensive but it is a lot of labor.
    Agree with the great sound when the second muffler is removed.
    ’71 head will allow you to go to fuel injection if you want.
    Leather looks good. A little bunched in places but looks good.
    4 speed is the way to go. These are fun to drive.
    He has used the proper hoses so to me that means he cares
    Would cross over the plug wires. This looks good but can result is a miss at high RPM.
    Change radiator cap to the 4lb one
    Varnish looks thick. Could do some sanding and polishing. Be careful as the veneer is very thin.
    Oil pressure is above 40psi which is good, for the pressure and also means the sending unit is working which is a pain to change.
    Not sure what the bolts through the floor by the rear end are for. S-Types have three point seat belt mounts for both front and rear seats.

    Over all if this had been listed just a couple of months sooner I would have a black S-Type in my garage instead of a white one.

    Like 2
    • Chris

      Thanks for the comments. The HD6’s carbs originally came with TL needles which runs too lean for open air filters so after talking with Joe Curto, the guru or SU’s he thought I should go with TM’s which it ran great with. The HD8’s came with UM needles which I switched to UVO’s. There are a couple of good books on SU’s and power tuning that cover the different needle profiles (which come with the car) that were a big help in setting up the SU’s.

      You are correct that the bolts through the floor are for the seatbelts. I put rear belts in when my oldest daughter was a baby so we could put the car seat in for a drive. I suppose I could’ve trimmed the bolts back but I guess I really wanted that baby seat to stay in!

      You are correct on the oil sending units being a bit questionable which is why this car has a S2 XJ filter spin on filter head (verses the cartridge) and a 100lb mechanical TR6 oil pressure gauge. Outside of the difference in pounds you can’t tell the difference from the original oil gauge to the 100lb version. I feel the mechanical gauge gives me a better level of comfort on what’s going on inside the engine as far as the oil is concerned.

      The only part I’m lost on is when you say “crossing over the wires”. Where should I do this? I always try to keep sparkplug wires away from one another if I can, (hence the D-type wire holder), to avoid spark jumping from one another. I’ve never had misfires at high rpm’s but should I be doing this differently? I’m always trying to learn more.

      Thanks again.

      • SMS

        Hi Chris,

        First off I would like to point out to anyone considering this car please notice the number of people with S-Types that are hopping in to offer suggestions. When I first got mine I was concerned about it being a Jag. What I have found is a great support network in both suggestions and parts. That was how I found out about installing the seat belts.

        Got it about the carbs. Guess I am getting lazy and am liking not messing with them anymore.

        For the seat belts if you wanted to you could use the built in mountings. The bolt thread was the same in the car as the bolts that came with my seat belts for the back seat. Pop out the top and bottom seat and you will find the mounting holes. They have plastic caps covering them. For the shoulder belt the mounting holes can be found by feeling around in the corners of the parcel shelf. You need to cut out a little bit.

        Like the mechanical pressure gauge. Solves one of the standard problems.

        Sometimes running plug wires parallel for a distance will cause inductive crossfire. If you look at how the wires from the factory are run in most cars they will often have one wire cross over other wires even when it would look cleaner to run them all parallel. Now yours might have enough space between the wires to not do this or they may not be long enough to build up the charge. Can’t tell from the image.

  4. luke arnott Member

    The number plate indicates it was registered in 1964,not 1965.

    Like 1
    • Chris

      I agree with on the number plate however, the bill of sale from Jaguar Cars, Browns Lane lists the year as 1965. The bill of sale was signed on October 14, 1964. It’s always been my understanding the cars built in 64’ were for the 65’ sales year and that’s why it ends up titled as a 65’.

    • Chris

      The bill of sale from Jaguar Cars LTD, Browns Lane lists the year of manufacture as 1965. The bill of sale was signed on October 14, 1964. I’ve always wondered why it wasn’t listed as a 1964 as I have additionally paperwork showing it was taxed in Coventry on October 26, 1964. The car was shipped by Jaguar Cars LTD. on November 5, 1964 on the S.S. Saxonia per the Lloyds of London insurance certificate. It appears that it arrived in the U.S on November 11 (or 18th), 1964 per the U.S Customs form. So all I can gather after all these years is that it was a 65′ model (all they were basically all the same) that was built during the last quarter of 64′ and that is why they had 1965 on the bill of sale.

  5. JagManBill

    nice driver for the price. On the O/D – it uses auto-tranny fluid not gear oil…least mine did in the 59 Mk1

  6. JohnfromSC

    WRT steering box leaks, the only place in the world (not exaggerating) I’ve found that rebuilds them correctly is Vintage Jagworks in Blackfoot, ID. He will build back the shafts to proper od and do other machining as necessary.. Everyone else simply replaces all the seals, which means the steering box stll leaks, when the cause was shaft wear. Had them do my Marx IX box and I’m a happy camper.


    Hi Chris,
    I don’t seem to be getting response to my interest in this vehicle via the Barnfinds submit box. Have you already sold it?

    Stuart W

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