Picture Of The Day_Jaguar Mark 2_The Ultimate Gangster Car

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Published on September 8th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Picture Of The Day_Jaguar Mark 2_The Ultimate Gangster Car

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If you are a gangster and looking for a car to suit your tough image, can we suggest this classic ‘tough’ car, the Jaguar Mark 2. This medium sized luxury saloon car was built from 1959 to 1967 by the Jaguar company in Coventry, England, as successors to the Jaguar 2.4 and 3.4 models, manufactured between 1957 and 1959. These retrospectively became known as the Jaguar Mark 1 following the release of the Mark 2 in 1959. Many early English TV police series and gangster movies had the Jaguar Mark 2 as the default gangster car and was so popular that it remained so even with some recent Movies.

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Adhering to Sir William Lyons’ maxim of “grace, pace and space”, the Mark 2 was a beautiful, fast and capable saloon. It came with a 120bhp 2.4 L, 210bhp 3.4 L or 220bhp 3.8 L Jaguar XK6 engine. The 3.8 is similar to the unit used in the 3.8 E-Type (XKE), having the same block, crank, connecting rods and pistons but different inlet manifold and carburetion (two SUs versus three on the E-Type in Europe) and therefore 30bhp less. The head of the six cylinder engine in the Mark 2 had curved ports compared to the straight ports of the E-Type configuration. For markets other than the US the 3.4 was fitted with twin SU carburettors and the 2.4 with twin Solexes, but three Solexes were used in US spec 3.4s and 3.8s in order to meet SMOG emissions legislation. This reduced power output over the equivalent SU carburetted examples.

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The Daimler 2.5 litre engine was fitted to the Daimler 250 derivative of the Mark 2 (In European markets known as the Daimler 2.5-V8 then Daimler V8-250), having first been used in the Daimler SP250 sports car (the SP250 was originally known as the Daimler Dart but “Dart” was a trademark of Dodge and had to be dropped by Daimler under threat of legal action.) The aluminium alloy Daimler engine was lighter than the cast iron block Jaguar sixes, therefore reducing the mass over the front wheels and hence reducing understeer compared to the XK-powered versions under hard cornering. These models were recognisable by the characteristic Daimler wavy fluting incorporated in the chrome grille instead of the Jaguar badge and figurine.

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The Mark 2 was discontinued in September 1967 and replaced by the 240 and 340, so named to distinguish them from the old 2.4 and 3.4 which, as noted above, became known as the Mark 1 following the introduction of the Mark 2 in 1959. The Jaguar 240 and 340 were interim models to fill the gap until the introduction of the XJ6 in September 1968. The 340 was discontinued immediately but the 240 continued as a budget priced model until April 1969.

The economies of the new 240 and 340 models came at a cost, the leather upholstery was replaced by ‘Ambla’ leather-like material and slimmer, more economical front and rear bumpers were introduced. Other changes included the replacement of the front fog lamps with circular vents and optional fog lamps. The sales price was reduced to compete with the Rover 2000 TC.

The 240’s performance was improved over the old 2.4 model by upgrading the 2.4’s cylinder head and twin Solex carburettors to the straight port ‘E-Type’ head and twin SU carburettors. For the first time the 2.4 litre model could exceed 100 mph resulting in a slight sales resurgence.

A 3.8 litre car with the 220bhp engine was capable of accelerating from 0-60mph (97km/h) in 8.5 seconds and could reach a top speed of 125mph (201km/h).

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