The sexual revolution of the sixties was a bold and sloppy reaction to the staid and puritanical fifties, and no car brand better revolutionized sex in the ‘60s than Jaguar. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 3.8S would have been great if the sex was for groups, but is its current-day price a total turn off?
If you were looking to have sexytime and wanted your car to play the role of wingman, yesterday's tatty Siata Spring would likely not be your pick. That's because it looked most likely to be plied by either Shriners or Clowns and neither Shriner nor Clown sex is anything anyone wants to even contemplate. Adding insult to injury, its 62% Crack Pipe loss proved it as infelicitous a Spring as the one in Fialta was for Nabakov's Nina.
Jaguar flourished in the ‘60s. It was a period that was post Browns Lane fire and pre- British Leyland castration in which brilliant cars like the jaw-dropping XK-E and prototype XJ-13 with its 5-litre V12 debuted, along with a series of sedans which imbued that same sporting potential.
Back in the ‘30s bank robbers preferred Ford's V8 for their getaway cars for their speed and reliability in outrunning both the cops and the inevitable banjo music that followed their every exploit. Three decades later and an ocean away, British bank robbers grew equally fond of Jaguar's MKII sedan for its similar qualities - sans banjos of course.
Today's 1965 S-Type sedan is an upgraded edition of that bank robbers' best friend. Introduced a year after the E-Type, the S is essentially a Mark II with the larger Mark X's IRS set up hiding under an elongated tail. The nose is also a bit roundier on the S and this particular one is fronted by a silver star which the ad claims was ordered affixed by the car's original owner,
Patrick Star a general in the military.
The rest of the car appears near purr-fect in its updated ‘Bentley Champagne' paint. The body lines of the S-Type are not quite as tidy as those of the Mark II but there's no denying that design possesses gravitas while escaping the larger Mark X's protuberate excesses. On the inside this Jag is an exemplar of what made ‘60s European cars in general, and British ones in particular so special. That's copious amounts of wood and leather, here claiming to have been fully restored.
The drivetrain is headlined by Jag's legendary DOHC XK straight six - here in 3.8-litre guise and sporting a pair of 2-inch Skinners Union side draughts - making it good for 220-bhp. A scan of the firewall data plate indicates that this is one of the rare 9.0:1 compression models, just like Scotland Yard used to employ. It's said to have been maintained by Bob Cutler, a Jag specialist well known in the Pasadena, CA area, and aside from issues with the water pumps, rear main seals, and engine cooling, these are considered to be robust beasts. A three speed Borg Warner automatic backs up the six, and is shifted by means of a delicate column-mounted lever. So fitted, the 3,300-lb car was good for zero to sixty runs of about nine and a half seconds.
On the down side with this particular car is the paint, which while claimed to have been resprayed, is showing signs of cracking in at least one place on the front fender. Then there's the brightwork which even in the pictures is obvious for having lost much of its luster, appearing as though much of the chrome has been polished away and now the nickel sub-coat is having to fend for itself. Also, the pot metal license plate cap shows some serious pocking.
In its favor, the car otherwise appears in excellent shape and eminently drivable as-is. There's a ton of extra small bits and paperwork, and the tool kit appears almost complete. Also, the vitreous enamel on the exhaust manifolds doesn't show signs of heat-related stress - which is a sure indication of an engine frequently driven in anger.
When new, this Jag commanded around $4,800, or about the same as a loaded - and significantly larger - Buick Electra. Today, this ‘60s refugee is asking more than three times that amount to take its command. What do you think, is this S-Type worth that $15,000 asking price? Or, is this a Jaaaag that is the worst bargain. . . . in the world?
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