Tempting Me: 1961 Jaguar Mark IX

Normally I’m a little scared about buying a car from a salvage auction house, especially sight unseen. This is no exception, but darn, this car is tempting! If you’ve read my posts for a while, you know my wife is in love with Mark IXs and has been looking for a good but not great one for a while. It’s located in Waldorf, Maryland and is up for sale here on eBay with a buy it now of $13,800.

I realize these curves aren’t for everyone, and even a lot of enthusiasts see the Mk. VII, VIII & IX as engine donors for the XK series. We both like them, however, and have been looking for a while for a nice but not perfect car that would make a good driver. If the description of this car is true, with mostly original paint and mechanically sound components, this would be just that kind of car. Now isn’t the time for us, though–bummer.

There’s a small dent in the front fender, but apart from that I don’t see a lot of cosmetic issues on the outside. Of course, there aren’t close up shots either. By the way, this is a classic case of someone flipping the car before it even leaves the Copart yard. As far as I’m concerned, if the price is still low enough for you to want the car, I’m okay with that.

Of course, one of the most attractive items about a Mark IX is the interior, and this one is just right for me. Some reconditioning of the original leather, re-stitching where things need to be and a general clean up and this car would be in just the shape we want–not perfect enough to be incredibly expensive, but nice enough that we wouldn’t be embarrassed to drive it anywhere! The fact that the wood looks passable and the tool kits are intact is just that much of a bonus.

The big XK six surprisingly still has its original air cleaner housing and looks remarkably stock, apart from the garish modern looking battery (nothing against Interstate, but I think I would have chosen a black battery). So, what do you think about this Mark IX that I wish were on my post-Christmas shopping list?


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  1. Dave Wright

    That looks wonderful, about as good as a non restored one gets………time to go into hawk Jamie. I haven’t followed the prices on these but it seems that twice what they are asking would not be out of reason.

    • K. S. Felton

      This comment left in response to all previous commentaries….

      I was one of Les Bowen’s customers, with my MkIX. He did the perfunctory trannie exchange, but revealed his hand one repair day when I arrived at his shop early; he pulled in after me, in MY CAR, looked sheepish, and emptied the trunk of new tires!

      I, like many (so I imagine), had his riposte when I nearly fainted over one bill: “If you no aire a rich mann, Meester Felton, yew oughtn’t drive a Jahg-u-arrr!”

      I drove my MkIX from Los Angeles to New York City, where I amused the cabbies with my panicked driving. One of them got out of his cab, walked back to my car, and said, in his best instructor’s voice: “Keep one eye on the left side, and one eye on the rear. Forget about the front and the right; they’ll take care of themselves!” He was right….

      The only “mechanical” problem during the entire 6,000+ miles trip was that the spring in the windshield pull-knob broke….Good luck, whomever gets this beauty! (Oh, almost forgot: Try and beat my cost record: One Jaguar Mark IX, in pristine condition: $1,000! (1965)

  2. Cassidy

    looks like exactly what’s been on your wishlist Jamie!

  3. Palandi

    I’m not a fan of the exterior color combination. but I’d love me this car and would repaint it dark blue.

  4. Bob Payne Member

    2 speed Borg-Warner! YIKES!

    • alan gibbs

      Please no actually the dg250 borg-warner automatic is a dream, if it functions correctly; 2nd speed hold on dash keeps car in 1-2; flip to out and it goes to 3rd(direct drive.) When in 2nd speed hold it will free-wheel(go to neutral) if not accellerating, say down hill so that helps you achieve the sought-after 20 mpg. The borg-w auto holds 9 pints(or 9 qts.?) the engine takes 3 gallons of your best zinc-added oil—gibbs

  5. boxdin

    Around 1972 or so I considered buying a 1960 Mark IV and although it was 13 yrs old or so it had been in a barn and looked terrible. I’m glad I passed on it. But it is fun watching old videos of these saloons racing.

  6. Peregrine Lance

    In the foolish spirit of the undergraduate, I bought a ’61 Mark IX. It needed nothing! So–what d’you do with a spiffy Jaguar, which most bystanders think is a Rolls Royce? If you’re me, you (1) drive it to the Los Angeles slums (downtown hotel hovels) to conduct your County social worker tasks; and (2) drive it from L.A. to New York City and back!

    Nary a peep out of that sweet beast–even though under my ownership it DID behave like a Jaguar, and need the Borg-Warner trannie later on.

    Anyone remember Les Bowen, Spanner Jockey and Scot Extraordinaire? His advice to me after putting in the new trans: “Mister Lance–if yer not a rich man, dunno buy a JAG-UAR!”

    • Bob Nathanson

      I worked for “Les Bowen’s Exclusive Jaguar Repair”, on Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA, in the mid-1970’s.
      LOVED that job!
      Met many movie and tv personalities!
      I made Tim Conway scream with laughter at something I did when I saw him!
      Richard Anderson, the 6-Million Dollar Man’s boss, and on, and on…

  7. Racingpro56

    Beautiful. Rolling art. I would clean this beauty up and start a limo service for weddings, graduations etc.

  8. Bruce Best

    I do not mind the color. With these most of the mechanical bits are far better than you might think with the exception of the transmission. The killer on these cars is the interior. They are terribly expensive to put right. I suspect a new interior would cost more than the car itself. That being said the interior seems good.

    Just plan on the following, NEW wiring loom, New Fuel pump as spare in the trunk, extra set of points, and condenser, again in the trunk and then have the tools and knowhow to put them in on the side of the road and you should have no problems. Just to be careful change all belts, have the radiator flushed or replace as well as the water pump. Those are the main things that break the rest is just down to care and attention.

    I have too many already but I have worked on a number of these and driven them and while they look old and elegant they can also be a great deal of fun to drive. Just get ready for the attention. I expect at 4 way stops you will be ushered across first just so people can watch it go by. There is a great deal of fun in that

  9. matt grant

    when i was a kid, back in the early 60s, my folks had friends that would host them for cocktails, and the husband had one of these in the garage. i would go out and sit in the back seat marveling at the picnic tables and the plentiful red leather. the car was navy blue and it was just as luxurious as a rolls royce silver cloud. just smaller. riding in the car was always such a treat, and it always smelled like gasoline, something old brit cars always seemed to do. memories.

  10. Michael Hartigan

    I just sold a black ’61 MK IX on eBay last year. I regretted it but I lost my garage space. These are incredible cars. The size is big by modern standards but most drivers would be surprised how well and smoothly these handle for their age and era. All wheel disc brakes, child safety locks, power steering and a 3.8L 220 Hp power plant, and these are the most comfortable and nimble massive touring cars you could drive. They look older than they are but the mechanics were pretty advanced for the time. My only advice is if you rebuild the front end take advantage of modern poly bushings as these will greatly enhance steering feel combined with original spec shocks. I had a 55 xk 140 and my MK 9 got all the attention. They are seductively beautiful cars that drove so much better and faster than any Rolls.

  11. David Frank David F Member

    The seller’s pitch sounds very familiar. “I have been with EBay for several years and I want to keep my reputation with EBay at 100%.”
    “I bought this vehicle with the intention of bringing it to California to add to my collection because I’m into classic cars…” and “this vehicle is a classic clean vehicle and they have a salvage yard so it’s not the best place to sell this vehicle there.” He has 9 vehicles for sale now, and has listed 11 other vehicles all with the same verbiage, all located in a Copart facility in different parts of the country. Does anyone else smell something funny? If this pitch is phoney, what else is there?

    • Mark

      I’m sure this will be unpopular to mention, but “curbstoning” is the legal term for such flippers, and it’s actually illegal in many states. Licensed dealers pay big bucks to have the proper insurance, paperwork, and training in selling cars which can and do have problems after the sale (including safety-related issues), but private sellers do not. I knew a fellow who used to buy junkers from the salvage yard, clean them up enough to sell, and claim ignorance when the buyer discovered their ‘clean’ vehicle would not pass a basic safety inspection. Unfortunately, wherever money is concerned, there will always be such shenanigans. Third-party inspections can avoid a world of pain after the sale.

  12. DRV

    The brakes are a major concern if original.
    I can remember a nightmare of trying to ID the 3 way valuing system when I was 20 about 43 years ago.
    The presence of one is only topped by a mark V.

  13. John H. from CT

    This looks like potentially a very good deal. From the pictures, it needs new carpeting, but the wood is decent and it appears most everything is there. The air cleaner was a one of two premium options over the long barreled version. The toolkit by itself is worth over $1K. Given that this thing runs, it can easily bring 2X this price. A 2+ to 1- car will bring $45 – $50K. No apparent rust in the usual places. You won’t find a better one for this price. And if you don’t like the BorgWarner 3 speed ( not a 2 speed as someone suggested) kits are available to put in a 700R4 that matches really well with the 3.8L 6 cyl.

  14. Skloon

    In 87 pulled one of these out of a field for a friend’s wedding the back upholstery was good the front a blanket, ran it on a jerry can for a fuel tank and repainted the passenger side sadly the car was stripped for mechanical bits for an xke restoration, the other wedding car was a mkvii 3 position dhc that I still lusthink after

  15. Woodie Man

    I actually went looking for a Mark IX in London in 1976…for reasons lost to my cloudy memory (probably because it was smaller) I bought a 1952 MGYB and brought it back to New Orleans through the Port of Baltimore. The Mark IX is a beautiful car.

  16. Scot

    On copart the buy it now is $24k.

    Something’s not right.

  17. A.J.

    Do you know what the most expensive Jag is you can buy? The cheapest one!

    I have always liked these too, but the places you can spend money are innumerable.

  18. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Shows as relisted and then sold for $12,800.

  19. steve

    My dad came to this country in 1948 from an island that was part of the British colony. His first car? A Hudson Hornet. Later, he sold it to purchase a MkVII Jag and it was a beauty. Sunroof with a 4 speed. No automatics for him! He purchased another so he had two in his stable. He did ALL of the work on them himself. He was’t a mechanic by trade but there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t and couldn’t work on. He would swear to the day he died that Jags were as dependable as any car out there. Of course, if he heard a strange noise, he was right on it that evening! I’ll never forget the night he took me and my twin brother, both new with DLs in SF, to look at four…FOUR…Mk IX’s as potential first cars for us. You had to purchase all of them together, We lived in SF and I found out later that the cars belonged to the Jefferson Airplane. I remember him uttering words I had not heard until then: your mother would kill me. So no big saloons for us. They still hold a huge part of my heart and memory.

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