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This 1959 Jaguar Mark IX is a car you don’t see very often, though it might seem familiar. This model was only produced from 1958-1961 with a total of about 10,000 cars. However, not only does it look very similar to the predecessor Mark VIII and Mark VII designs (dating to 1950), but this very stately saloon car also shares many design elements with the prominent Rolls Royce models of the era.
Still, Coventry made sure the Mark IX would stand on its own merits. This model was the culmination of Jaguar’s experience to date and was their last body-on-frame design. It also introduced the larger 3.8L engine, 4-wheel disc brakes, and recirculating ball power steering. And with less weight and more power, it offered more performance than the competition.
This example is an unrestored survivor that is still a very comfortable car to drive. It spent many years in California and as such is a solid car, though rust is noted at the bottom of the spare tire well and just ahead of the right rear wheel. The frame and floors are all in good condition. The body appears to have original 61-year-old paint with varying degrees of lacquer checking along with some peeling by the left fuel door. Still it remains a nice looking automobile after all these years.
The standard 3.8L DOHC engine was factory rated at 220hp, while the transmission is the optional Borg Warner automatic. As mentioned, the Mark IX was the first Jaguar with 4-wheel disc brakes, which was rather unique for 1959. The power steering makes this 4,000 pound car very easy to maneuver. Recent maintenance includes a rebuilt brake caliper, new brake pressure switch, new lower ball joint, and new stabilizer bar link bushings.
The interior is very English. The Connolly red leather seat covers appear original and are holding up well for their age. They are nicely contrasted by all the burl wood trim which Jaguar used liberally. There is also the sunshine roof along with picnic trays for the rear occupants (after all, many of these cars were chauffer driven). The speedometer and tachometer both work, as do the oil and temperature gauges. Both fuel tanks have working gauges and pumps. The wipers and horn also work, as do the heater / defroster and parking brake. All headlights and turn signals are functional too.
This Mark IX is clearly a product of another era. They do not come around very often, especially in running and driving condition, making this a nice find. Whether you want to pursue a full restoration or enjoy as-is, this distinctive Jaguar is a car that would make a fine addition to any collection.
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