Motoring Monday: 1966 Jaguar S-Type

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Long-time Barn Finds readers know that I’ve been looking for a nice Jaguar S-Type for a while. My parents had one when I was growing up and I have fond memories of the smell of the leather and ample performance (it was a serious upgrade from the Morris 1300 we had before)! I wish this one were closer and that our housing search were finished, because if those things were true I’d be showing this one to Cristina with a plea. Located in sunny San Diego and for sale here on craigslist for $5,900 or best offer, this former wedding car is just begging for a sympathetic hand for reassembly.

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Here’s a picture of the car during its former role as a wedding car for the owner’s friends. The car was taken off the road to deal with a slipping overdrive (yes, it has overdrive) and the engine was removed at the same time.

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The transmission was repaired and stored for later installation. The owner was planning on refurbishing the engine compartment which is why the engine is out of the car. Unfortunately, the project stalled at that point, and the owner is now looking to sell the big cat on to someone else.

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Jaguar made a big deal about the luxury of the S-Type in an effort to define its market position in between the Mark II and the Mark X. The S-Type was basically an extended Mark II with a version of the independent rear suspension fitted to the E-Type and Mark X. Front styling was almost identical to the Mark II, while the rear styling was very similar to the Mark X. The S-Type hasn’t captured most enthusiasts in the way the Mark II has, though, with S-Type values trailing the Mark II’s considerably.  For example, NADA has an average 1966 Mk. II with 4-speed and overdrive at $43,500, where a comparable 1966 S-Type is only at $20,400, which is a huge bargain comparably if you ask me, as you are getting a related but more technically sophisticated car for less than half the price. I suppose I shouldn’t publicize this as I’m still looking for that bargain manual/overdrive S-Type in the southeast! Although the pictures aren’t great, what I can see of the interior of the car is pretty nice, and the seller states that the woodwork is “in great shape.” The midnight blue paint is “decent.” The seller also mentions that some arm rests need repair and the carpet could stand a replacement.

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Just in case this little story has wetted your appetite for an S-Type, but you don’t live on the west coast, here a link to one located in Madison, Connecticut (pictured above) that’s listed here on eBay for a buy-it-now price of $7,400 and a great back story. Either way, you would be purchasing a terrific example of a under-appreciated British touring car. After looking at both, which one would you choose?

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Comments

  1. Doug M. (West) Member

    I, too, am very much a follower of Jaguar sedans. However, for me, the “S” styling in the rear just doesn’t do it for me, as the awesome lines of the Mark II do. But maybe that’s just me. I have owned two of the Mark II’s, but was trying to take over a project for cheap. Should have waited for a better one! But they are such great cars for many reasons. I would really like to end up with one in my garage (driveable, though!) some day!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      @ Doug M. — I know the styling is a matter of personal preference; me, I like the S-Type’s better, but I certainly understand your point of view!

      Is there such a thing as a cheap Jaguar project? Seems to me the only differences are the entry price — all the ones I’ve known end up being expensive, either at the beginning or throughout! I’ve only “made money” off one Jaguar, and that was an XJS that I should never have taken on–if I charged $0.01/hour for my labor I would have lost a ton!

      Good luck with your search!

      • RayT Member

        A “cheap Jaguar project?” I used to own one…I think it was a Dinky, or possibly a Corgi.

        But real Jaguars are worth what they cost, at least to me. I’ve wanted a Mark II since at least 1960, which is the first time I can remember seeing one in person. BRG, please, and brought up to the spec. of the two raced at Riverside (CA) that year by Walt Hansgen and Augie Pabst. They were as quick as most of the local hotshot Corvettes, and looked both fast and elegant.

  2. jim s

    i like the white one but it has an automatic. i like the blue one because it has a manual but it needs more work. i wonder if the motor/trans was out because it was going to get a SB transplant and think that fate still might await this car. i hope they both go to good homes. great finds.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      @ Jim — that would sure be a waste of that overdrive transmission! I’m going to pretend you didn’t make that SB transplant comment!

      • jim s

        if you bought them both then you could keep the SB transplant from happening.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        @ Jim S — not in the cards at the moment, I’m afraid :-( Someday, I hope!

  3. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    I’m a big Jaguar fan/owner. Own a variety of them from 1934 to 1982. A 1965 MKII that I brought back from the UK in 1982.

    There are a couple of benefits with the S, though I prefer the MKII. The S has a little more room in the trunk and the rear seating. You also have the benefit of the 3.4 engine option having the straight port head, a performance advantage over the 3.8 and the benefits of better mileage over the same.

    Frenched headlights are loved and hated. The slimmer bumpers are nice looking but I prefer the larger ones.

    The IRS has the usual issues. Not something that likes neglected use, things tend to seize up when little use involved.

    The lack of access, no cutout like the MKII, to the rear wheels make changing the tires a pain.

    Had a friend buy an S-Type that was rear ended, totaled cosmetically. Spent a couple months looking for a rear clip. Couldn’t find one. Stopped over a few months later he was putting the finishing touches on the car. He made it work as he was tired of waiting to finish it.

    One thing….. the rear clip was from a MKII. He was ecstatic as he liked the spats on the rear. Looking at the car, I’m convinced it was more attractive plus it had the extra room in the rear.

    Seen it at two Jag Concours, totally messes up the Judges as no one notices it initially when judging.

    • 365Lusso

      Ross, great story about your friend’s S-Type with the MK2 rear clip. Twisted my brain around 180d, because I’ve thought several times to put an E-Type/MKX IRS under my 1962 3.8 4sp/od MK2. He has the MK2 look and an IRS–well done….! It’s not an easy R&R to put an IRS under a MK2.

  4. jos

    I have one of these in the next town over from the one in Madison, a blue ’65 3.8S, grey interior, prize winning restoration, that I’d be willing to part with for a serious buyer. Have owned it for about 5 years, but now found myself driving my more recently purchased Silver Cloud, as they are both similar cars in terms of purpose but the SC speaks to me more.

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