Something for the weekend - the Jaguar Mk2

| 1 Sep 2012

Nostalgia can be a dangerous game. You only have to recall the saying ‘schooldays are the best days of your life’ to know quite how much time can warp perceptions.

Except, that is, if you’re a bank robber. Back in the old days things were easy. There were no security boxes, no timed safes, no bulletproof glass, no helicopters. You simply walked up, threatened the hapless guard and made off with the cash. And you made off with it not in a four-wheel-drive turbocharged Japanese saloon, but in a Jaguar Mk2.

Mk2 prices have gone up in recent years but, if you want a usable classic to enjoy driving quickly or slowly, four up, the Jag makes a compelling case for itself. And it needn’t break the bank, or require you to rob it.

Proof of this can be found in our own classifieds, where you can find this (above). We will readily agree it’s far from mint and we’d pay particular heed to corrosion, but as a rolling restoration for the brave it’s hard to fault, especially in this car’s 3.8-litre, €11,000, form.

A few years down the line you could end up with something like the example (shown below). Perfect in every way, it is easy to see why owners hold these cars in such high regard, with a fantastically appointed interior and a beautifully proportioned exterior. This car is a 3.8-litre manual and has had what is sold as (and looks like) a high-standard restoration in ’96. It has covered only 60,000 miles, too, and comes with a portfolio documenting all the work.

But if reliability is a big concern there’s an answer, this re-engineered Mk2 Vicarage.  It manages to look (almost) completely original and comes with impressive figures such as £40,000-worth of parts and 1000 man-hours invested. What that gets you is an upgraded radiator, rearseat belts, halogen lights, a stainless-steel exhaust, a Kenlow fan and uprated suspension. We’re not too sure about the interior, though – purists look away now!

You’ll easily spot the changes, though, unlike some of the other pitfalls of Mk2 ownership, but you have our free buyers guide for that, choose the right one and you’d be hard pressed to do better.