Towards the end of 1959 Jaguar expanded its range of cars with the release of the new
Mark II saloons. This provided a range of ten basic models which also offered a choice of
transmissions and disc or drum brakes for the standard 2.4 and 3.8 saloons, XK150 series
body styles and a wide range of exterior and interior colour schemes.
The Jaguar range at that time comprised the large and luxurious 3.8-litre Mark IX saloon,
the 2.4 and 3.4 standard saloons and the 3.4 XK150 and 150S as before, together with the
new Mark II 2.4, 3.4 and 3.8 saloons, with major body and mechanical changes. As well,
they released an additional XK150 model using the new 3.8-litre engine.
Basically, the specifications of the Mark II Jaguars resembled that of the standard models.
The well-known twin-overhead camshaft engine, coupled to a four-speed synchromesh or
Borg-Warner automatic gear box, was installed in a four-door, all-steel, integral body and
chassis structure. At the front there was an independent coil spring suspension, whilst at
the rear long cantilever half-elliptical leaf springs were used. By altering the front
suspension and widening the rear track superior suspension qualities and reduced corner
roll were achieved.
Under the bonnet extra power was achieved in the 2.4-litre engine by fitting a different
cylinder head with larger valves fitting into an angled seat. This head was developed from
the famous D-type engine. The 2.4-litre engine had a twin Solex downdraught carburettor
and a dual exhaust system employing two mufflers. For owners who wanted more
performance either the 157kW 3.4-litre engine or the 164kW 3.8-litre engine were offered.
Both had twin SU carburettors with automatic choke control and 254mm diameter
The body fitted to these Jaguars received high praise. The deep wide windscreen, wrap
around rear window and narrow screen pillars for improved driver visibility came about
following exhaustive laboratory tests. Plated frames were used for all the windows and roof
guttering. Although the Mark II models bore a strong resemblance to their fellows in their
exterior lines, many changes were made in the interior.
Redesigned front seats had a more comfortable and practical shape which gave the
occupants more support. New seat designs with additional cushioning and folding central
arm rests gave maximum comfort for occupants of the rear seat, who also had foot room
under the front seats, and folding tables recessed into the back of the latter.
The 3.8-litre Mark II was the choice of many racing drivers for touring car racing but also
behaved with impeccable manners for town or city motoring. The 3.8-litre unit was the
same as used in the Mark IX saloon and in the S model was equipped with three SU
carburettors to produce 350 Nm at 4000 rpm and 198 kW at 5500rpm.