Live Auctions

Mr. Hewlett’s 1966 Jaguar S-Type 3.4

Here’s a straightforward offering. It’s a San Mateo, California-based 1966 Jaguar S-Type saloon (sedan) here on Craigslist with the typical California rust-free body, interior havoc, and perished seals. So far so normal, but this S-Type (a variant of the much-loved Mark II) has just had $5,000 in mechanical work from a British car specialist. It’s running, though will need a full servicing before hitting the road. And it comes with a bit of provenance (if that’s something you care about), as it was supposedly previously owned by Mr. William Hewlett of HP Computers. It doesn’t add value in our book, but it’s a bit of history that could be interesting to look into.

The new parts include brakes, rotors, pads, parking brake cable and pads, fuel lines, radiator hoses, re-cored radiator, new fuel tank, rebuilt fuel pumps, hose kit, wheel bearings, axle seals, hub bearings, rebuild of the second tank, distributor cap, rotor, condenser, points, and ignition wires.

The specs are decent for one of these, though many buyers would prefer the manual four-speed transmission with overdrive and the bigger 3.8-liter engine. It has wire wheels, dual carbs, four-wheel disc brakes, independent rear suspension, and the original 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine. The owner has had the car since 2006.

The current owner got only a few years on the road with this car before putting it in storage in 2010. It was originally a British delivery car, with right-hand drive, and was imported into the U.S. early, in 1967. It’s debatable with these cars whether moderate rust (which it would have acquired if it stayed in England) is more challenging than a complete interior makeover. The leather seats and wood dash are definitely expensive to make right, and a paint job is inevitable. All the glass is going to have to come out. Something seems to be making the car ride high in front–is it on jack stands, or just rear flat tires?

The S-Type, introduced in 1963, is a refinement of the Mark II and was sold alongside it, but lost a little of that car’s classic beauty. It was an alternative to the big boat Mark X/420, an example of which once graced my garage. Both the 3.4- and 3.8-liter XK engines were available, but not the triple carburetor setup from the E-Type and Mark X—it wouldn’t fit. S-Types definitely have their adherents, though not as many as inhabit the Mark II cult.

The coil-sprung front suspension subframe was carried over from the Mark II, but the independent rear was sourced from the Mark X. It was a double-wishbone type, using the driveshaft as the upper wishbone. The steering was also made quicker on the S-Type, a welcome change. But essentially it drives quite a bit like a Mark II, or a smaller Mark X. The S-Type soldiered on until the revolutionary XJ6 arrived in 1968.

On the positive side, Classic.com lists an average transaction price of $16,000 for these S-Types. And this car really doesn’t show any significant rust or body damage save one dented fender. All the chrome is there, but some will have to be replated.

On the negative, if you add the purchase price and the restoration cost of this example it could easily exceed that benchmark. And that interior is just too grotty to leave as-is and have a classic daily driver. The author is being honest in saying it’s “poor.”

Comments

  1. Rigor Mortis

    Now if Mr Dell had owned it, welllllll.

    Like 3
  2. luke arnott Member

    There was the Mk11,the S Type,the 420,the Mk10 & the 420G(and the E type).

  3. Car Nut Tacoma Washington

    Beautiful looking car. IMHO, it’s the best looking Jaguar car until the Mk1 XJ6 debuted.

    Like 1
  4. Doug7488 Member

    My first girlfriends father had one on the side of the house
    Summer of 76
    He caught us in there late one night after a Zappa concert
    I was banned from the house from then on
    Ahh
    The good old days!

    Like 9
  5. PairsNPaint

    Back in the late ’70’s, one of my roommates had one of these. Lovely car, smooth comfortable ride. Unfortunately, one night coming home from a party he wrapped it around a tree. Fortunately, he was ok but the Jag was a total loss. He claimed the brakes failed on him but who knows? Another roommate claimed the same thing when he crashed his XK-E a few months later.

  6. greg

    Question for you guys, will this year still accept a SBC easily attached to the transmission so it could become a reliable and affordable car to drive?

  7. That Guy

    Without documentation, I’d be skeptical that Bill Hewlett owned this car. He would already have been an extremely wealthy man at this time, and it seems unlikely that he’d privately import a year-old RHD car when he presumably could easily buy a new one locally. It’s probable there are still people around who could remember what he was driving in 1967; if one was inclined to play History Detective, maybe they could be found.

  8. Kurt Member

    “Fuel pumps” plural. At 4£/liter, yikes!

    Like 1
  9. steve sammut Member

    Looks as though HP hit on hard times!

  10. Louis Alvarez

    I am the seller of this S type.

    * The car is sitting in an inclined driveway.

    * I understand the skepticism. However, I have no need to inflate the Jaguar from something it’s not.
    I saw and read the title with my own eyes. Addressed to him and his wife residing in Palo Alto, CA ( 20 minutes south of me). While I found it interesting, it wasn’t something that meant much at the time. Besides, I had to surrender the title in order to have it registered in my name.

    * I understand that a MARTI report can be obtained for $300 which should have all of its pertinent info there.

    At any rate, a cool Jaguar for someone with common sense and love of British iron.

    L.

    Like 2

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