Jaguar's classic Mark II could well be the most beautiful sedan ever made. Here's how Jaguar's head designer Ian Callum made it even better.
The Mark II started production back in 1959, but it's really a Sixties car. Jaguar made them until '67 and they were well-known criminal's cars, with space enough for a whole gang, powerful straight six engines, good brakes, and an affordable price. Not that bank robbers were buying Mark IIs so much as stealing them, but their low price made them common, like the WRX of their day.
And they were so, so pretty. Perfect proportions, flowing curves, and an ornate front end.
How did Callum try and improve the car? He aimed for "simplicity and clarity," which is designer-speak for bigger wheels, lower suspension, and some fender vents.
"The stance of the Mark 2 is already excellent, but I wished to make it even better. The car's form is now 30mm lower and sits on 17" split rim spoke wheels. The bumpers are now part of the overall form. It is a fine balance of extracting and adding.
"I have always loved traditional louvres as seen on many older race cars. Four louvres appear on the side of the car to add to that sense of power and 'something different'. Of course they had to work, so they have been designed in a low-pressure area for a better internal airflow from the modified engine."
Oh yes, the modified engine. Callum had this car built at Classic Motor Cars Limited in Shropshire, where they tuned the car and gave it a unique rear setup. They uprated the 4.3 liter six, the front brakes, the steering, new suspension wishbones, new springs, adjustable dampers, solid subframe mounts, an anti-roll bar, and outboard rear brakes.
There's also an infotainment system in the cabin now, with a new sound system and a hideaway touchscreen. Check out how good that all looks inside.
If you think about it, this is Callum's job. His cars are always judged against the classic Jags: the new XJ is seen as a successor to the old one, the F-Type as a successor to the XKE.
It takes a very sharp mind to modify a classic car to make it even cleaner and simpler before. That's why Callum is such a rare talent, I guess.
Photo Credits: CMC