From the days when the Jaguar firm was operated under the watchful eye of Sir William Lyons, each and every Jaguar has been produced with bodies defined by glamorous, stylish lines. Included in that list of gorgeous Jaguars is the MK II saloon.
In 1962, $4,800 would buy a Jaguar MK II sedan with a 3.8-liter, inline six-cylinder engine beneath the sculpted hood — the same engine that propelled the classic E-Type Jaguars.
One such medium-sized Jaguar saloon left the factory in Coventry, England wearing a cloak of British racing green with a black interior.
Driving the Jaguar was an experience enhanced by the four-speed manual transmission with an overdrive unit assisted by the power steering and four-wheel disc brakes to bring the chrome-spoked wheels to a halt.
Inside the cozy cabin under the immaculate original wool headliner is a walnut dashboard in the front and integrated into the back of the front seats are fold-down wooden picnic trays.
When new the 3,360-pound Jaguar could race from zero to 120 mph thanks to the twin S.U. carburetors feeding the 220 horses under the hood.
As Christopher Perrotta grew up in Springfield, Mass., he learned about the Rolls-Royce experience of building the luxurious cars in Springfield. That knowledge kindled a life-long interest in British automobiles. “I’ve always been nuts about cars,” Perrotta says.
The 1962 Jaguar MK II that Perrotta now owns was initially sold in California and to this day retains the original black California license plates with the yellow letters and numbers.
The 1962 Jaguar came equipped with: 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine, chrome-spoked wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, walnut dashboard, wool headliner, power steering, picnic trays, and AM radio.
Perrotta purchased his Jaguar in 2008 and once he had his prize at home in Florida, he gave it a careful inspection. He discovered that the car has always been beautifully maintained and was repainted in 1989.
Since acquiring the car he has had the brake system completely overhauled with the theory that it is more important to be able to stop than it is to go. Along that same line of thinking he replaced the tires.
Inside the cabin the black vinyl upholstery has been replaced, although the need for that was questionable. The carpets remain black. A rare feature on any Jaguar at the time was the reclining front seat option that made for comfortable long-distance motoring.
“I don’t like to run a car hard,” Perrotta says. Consequently, his Jaguar purrs like the cat whose name it shares.
The Mark II 3.8 Jaguar is handsome and can more than fulfill any need demanded by the driver. The car was unbeatable among performance sedans almost 50 years ago and to this day offers performance capabilities beyond the skill of most drivers. — Vern Parker, Motor Matters