Grace and Space, but Pace…? 1960 Jaguar Mark IX

Grace, space, and pace was the famous credo of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons, and this 1960 Mark IX still shows its graceful lines and sumptuous interior, but “pace” is a big question mark—that front end is sitting awfully high up there! It’s listed here on craigslist in Kansas City, Missouri, with an asking price of $8,500 and a clean title, and a whole slew of unanswered questions. Thanks to reader tian647 for sharing this head-scratcher with us (archived ad here).

By telling you the price and the title status, I’ve pretty much exhausted all of the information offered by the ad for this car. Oh, it’s a “barn find,” too, for whatever that’s worth. Must have been a decent barn—the bodywork looks pretty sound and the trim looks nice, although only the passenger side is shown and there is a missing chrome strip that should be running along the fender line. This is the last of the very stately, upright big Jaguars; in 1961, the Mark IX would be replaced by the much lower, more modern looking Mark X, although whether that was an improvement is a matter of personal taste that I’ll leave up to you.

The interior is a bit of a good-news-bad-news situation. Like the exterior, it appears mostly complete, but there’s considerable delamination and some warping of the extensive woodwork. The seats and door panels look to have been reupholstered—with a deeply grained vinyl, a poor substitute for the original Connolly leather. Too bad, as the work seems to have been done fairly well.

On the bright side (pun very much intended), the headliner appears to be immaculate and there’s a sliding steel roof—or, as Jaguar called it, a sunshine roof. Just calling it that brings a smile to my face! The smile returns to an expression of puzzlement, though, when I go back to wondering whether there’s a 3.8-liter inline six still in residence under the hood or not. If not, Jags have always been a popular second home for small-block Chevy V8s, so certainly all is not lost—or we could get creative. What would you put into this elegant Jag to return the pace to this graceful space?


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  1. SAM61

    Nice/stately looking car. As you stated, based on stance, the engine could be missing OR I would offer it’s some Brits take on a gasser.

  2. Dirk

    She looks to be ridin’ high up front and setting’ kinda low out back like maybe the engine’s in the trunk for some reason. Either that or we just found Jimmy Hoffa.

    The seller musta wrote the ad kinda fast like he’s in a hurry to leave town or something. It don’t say much.

  3. Mark

    As stated in the right of the body looks in very good condition and wouldn’t take much to make it first-class. If the engine is truly missing I doubt you would be able to find an appropriate Jaguar engine so you would have to go to something else that was readily available. My 1st choice would probably be something like a 350 Chevy or a 351 Ford, depending in your choice of manufacture, they both would do a very good job for this vehicle.

    Obviously it was built was an automatic transmission and that would be an appropriate replacement.

  4. Alan Brand

    Grace, Space, and P̶a̶c̶e̶ … cue Meat Loaf …

  5. TowA-Trailer

    I believe a Jaguar XJ6 engine would fit, and Lord knows there’s a ton of ’em out there, replaced by Chevy V8s by those who could not appreciate the sophistication of the twin-cam six. Too bad about the Borg-Warner automatic, it may have been fine for Grandma’s Studebaker, but these are marvelous with the stick.

  6. Zapp

    What a shame to see it like this. The back-seat picnic trays all beat to heck really makes me wonder if the person responsible had any respect for anything–the sort of person who’d rip pages out of a Bible to use as fire starter…


    Assuming the original motor is long gone, I’d try to keep it light and put a Chev 305 and THM 350 in it.

  7. John H. from SC, formerly CT

    Conspicuously missing are the rear tailpipes. This and the stance certainly point to no 3.8L engine and likely no tranny either. Also no logos on boot (trunk) lid. The interior alone in correct leather, wool and wood will set you back $10K unless you were to find another for parts. There are nearly 50 wood pieces to be repaired. (I’ve done it).

    It would be far wiser to start with a much better car for $15 – $20K.

  8. grant

    Is a clapped out Jag with no motor worth $8500? I just don’t see it.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Me neither, Grant, but someone might see the value.

      A V8 swap is pretty straightforward, with the narrower SB Ford the easier option.

      Then again, a Nissan RB25DET with a 5-speed would be even better, and the rear end, assuming it’s in decent shape would take the HP.

      • james sterrey

        Hell YES! Would love to see and hear an RB engine on this car. Easy to tune and they sound great spooling. Blow off valve and FMIC of course

        Then you could put a JDM shopping list on the front quarters. I’m excited.

  9. No more XKs in the barn

    Grab a modern Jag V8 if you want to keep it in the family – would an S52 be sacrilege?

  10. Mike

    A 5 word description. This dude is a CL pro!

  11. Rube Goldberg Member

    With the front end up, it clearly has no motor. British purists will scream bloody murder, and the Jag motor is a fine precision machine, but realistically, a small V8 and trans. would be the ticket here. Be one classy, dependable ride.

    • JoeBazots

      I have always wanted to take a shell & Chassis like this and put a 3.7L Infinity w/ a 6 spd. manual in it. I think it would be a great combo to upgrade a graceful old lady such as this. It would make for one heck of a sleeper for sure, but have the refinement that is befitting a ride like this.

  12. Classic Steel

    I think the high front is from all the Grey poupon in the trunk with the Crown Jewels.

    Seriously the jaguars always had a great stance ! The interior in great condition
    is a georgus feel and comfort.

    Parents had a 68 saloon in early 70s in 🇬🇧
    They were sweet driving and riding luxury .

  13. Ben T. Spanner

    In the late 1960’s we bought several for $600 to $800. The paint and the interiors would be worn. Mechanics would be good. The tires woud be shot, because 16 car tires were expensive. Truck tires were cheap, but ruined the ride and handling. We would fit 15 inch Buick? wheels and drill the rims for the posts that held the wheel covers on. This kept Mark 9’s and 8’s on the road.

    A late night shake down drive broke a fan belt which sliced the radiator. No problem, as there was an extra in the parts pile. The bummer was that it was installed by removing the grill etc.

    One of these with the original engine could be driven in modern traffic. Plenty of power, good 4 wheel disk brakes, and a decent suspension. There is a racing series in England. Converting to a Turbo Hydramatic 350 with a lockup torque converter would be a great upgrade.

  14. ben

    No motor? no problem a nice Toyota diesel. That way it would be trouble free noisy and slow but trouble free.

  15. Palandi

    V12 swap it. I dream of shoehorning a Jaguar HE V12 in a Mark IX or a Mark X.

  16. Alistair Brown

    My father had one of these when I was a kid, I remember sitting on the roof in 1964 when the Beatles rode into town from the airport. Sunroof leaked after that, dad wised up and bought Impalas. The walnut picnic tables and the push button start were cool. Nice to see a LHD.

  17. Robert W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    I own two of these. A VIIM and a IX.

    It doesn’t have an engine, they don’t sit that high, plus I’m guessing if you called, he’d tell you, “no picture, no engine plain as day”.

    I’ve seen better for less more complete. $8500 will buy a running example with the same interior issues.

    Mist of that dream looks like clearcoat on the wood. When the veneers go bad, it’s a lot more noticeable. If the veneer lifts and separates, but is still attached, usually saveable.

  18. Randy W

    Just for info. my dad had one and the tranny went bad. His friend at an oldsmobile Dealership said he could buy one from England for 1,000.00 or he can bolt right up with studebaker auto tranny for 100.00 That was in 1961

  19. EHide Behind

    Sorry folks but Chevy small blocks are so pase, big block, stock low compression and all, w/ O D auto tranny.
    Bring back quality of stately Bling, perfect streight body panels, nice stately British racing green of old outside, gold real spokes wheels.
    Beigh leather or dark brown upholstery.
    Flower vases on post in back, for roses or carnations, and a real sweet audio system.
    Always wanted to go full route on older Jag, Bently or Rolls., but this is worth way less than asking.

  20. Tom S.

    Because I can be picky about cars that I’ll never buy anyway, I’d prefer a nice MkII or 3.8S.

  21. Dave

    Bought a 1954 mark VII back in the mid seventies for $375 and drug it home and got it running. Then bought another for parts. Sold them both to one person for $1,200. I was only around 25 yrs old at the time. Could kick myself now. It was such a cool car to drive.

  22. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Rather elegant car. the woodwork isn’t necessarily an issue, I’ve made solid wood dashes in the past a couple of times. Here’s one I found a picture of I made some years back. I cut out the glovebox door out of the same piece of wood so the grain ran across the full dash.

  23. Bill McCoskey

    I went down into the garage and did some measurements to the ’60 Jag MK IX sitting there. Compared the height of the hubcaps to the fender openings. The car is sitting about 4 inches higher on all 4 corners. the bottom of the sills are parallel to the ground. The suspension has been raised for some reason.

    I’ve seen that “white stuff” on British luxury wood facia panels before. It’s what happens when you try to refinish the wood with a modern urethane using a brush, the white is trapped moisture trying to escape from the wood.

    When you consider the interior has been replaced with all vinyl upholstery; seats, door panels and headlining, the wood refinishing, and all the thin chrome side trim has been removed – the holes welded over too, someone spent a lot of money on the car a while ago. I suspect the car still has a drive train. Original or not, that’s the question.

  24. roundhouse

    No pictures of engine or underside; you could get away with that if the price was $850.

  25. JagManBill

    Pace?..heck yeah. These (along with its older brothers the Mk 7 and Mk 8) were quite popular in Saloon racing in the UK “back in the day”. As for an engine – up through 1983 is a bolt in. The late 4.2’s still had the engine mount bosses in the same place as the 3.4/3.8 engines. Starting in 84 they moved the mounts forward. Bosses are still there, just not drilled. So find a rusted out S3 XJ (of which I’ve got) with a good running 4.2 (also in same car) and drop in and go.
    Also, someone said something about the tranny. Yes, the tranny in the automatics was a BW250, same as the mid-50’s Studebaker.

  26. CanAm302

    I think that’s an MkVIII rather than a MkIX ?

  27. charlie Member

    My XK 150 S had that BW transmission, it was very fast, and never gave me a problem, and the 2nd of the three gears would take it up to 75 or so, and then 3rd would lurch it up to 80 with no problem. And, you could drive it in traffic, kept it in 2nd a lot in traffic and on country roads if I was being “sporting” (well, when it ran, that is). Having just driven my son’s WRX with a standard transmission all over LA, I can vouch for automatics.

  28. Royal

    I’d drop a three or four rotor Mazda motor in this. That would be different.

  29. JagManBill

    there is a 55 Mk7 here in the Denver area on CL right now. Someone stuffed a 454/turbo 400 in it. unfinished project reported as having a clear CO title – $2,800. There was a grey Mk9 on Denver CL a couple of months ago. No engine and fairly clean body offered at $1,000. Me thinks $8,500 is a bit optimistic

  30. Jose Delgadillo

    That is way too much for this particular car, especially without the motor. I’ll bet the motor was taken out to be used in a a XK120 or XK140. The early XK engines used in the Marks have the same classic appearance. I just bought my ’51 Mark VII last Summer from the estate of the original owner. It has the four speed manual transmission with bucket type seats. It was a daily driver up into the early 1990s. The original owner had it re-trimmed in blue vinyl during the 1970s. The veneer has de-laminated beyond repair except for the actual instrument panel itself. I’m cleaning it all up. It ran when parked, engine is free, rebuilding brakes and clutch hydraulics. Many other things are a priority before I consider the wood work.

    Personally I would never swap in a Chevy V8. Later Jag sixes are very common and available. That XK six is the heart of this Jaguar.

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