Jaguar Mk X – 1961

This top-of-the-range luxury car was completely different from its Mk IX predecessor and a bit of a monster by European standards – fully six feet (two metres) wide. That was because it was principally designed for the United States market where big was beautiful and petrol consumption immaterial.

Jaguar’s big saloon had independent suspension and a 3.7 litre engine, which was replaced by a 4.2 litre plant in 1964. Triple carburetors helped to deliver performance comparable with American V8 engines twice the size, and for all its bulk the Mk X was a speedy car when pedal hit metal. Perhaps that isn’t too surprising, as the engine was borrowed from the E-Type Jag. Power steering was standard, which ensured that this gargantuan car wasn’t hard to handle.

The Mk X was the first car to have the signature Jaguar face of four headlights set into rounded wings, and the sumptuous old-fashioned interior was notable by the ultimate wood finish. There was timber everywhere – dashboard, around windows, housing various controls – and even the handy tables that folded down behind the front seats were stoutly constructed of matching wood.

Technically, production of the Mk X ended in 1965 with the introduction of the Jaguar 420G (not to be confused with the 420 compact sporting saloon produced between 1966 and 1968, which was virtually the same as the Daimler Sovereign). But in fact this was merely a name change and the rebadged 420G was effectively a Mk X Series 2. There were cosmetic design changes and a stretched version was offered to permit the installation of a glass screen – and the floorpan was lengthened further when the Daimler DS 420 was launched in 1968, with the two luxury limousines effectively being badge-engineered non-identical twins.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

UK

FIRST MANUFACTURED:

1961 (until 1965)

ENGINE:

3,718 cc or 4,235 cc Straight Six

PERFORMANCE:

With 4.2 litre engine – top speed of 123 mph (198 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) of 10.4 secs

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

After all that effort put into producing a BIG car pitched at the American market, it did not sell well in the States. Just a small percentage of the 19,000 Mk X/420Gs built actually crossed the Atlantic.

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