• Classic Car Stuff

Improving Our Jaguar Mk2

At Great Driving Days one of our main priorities is vehicle reliability - if our cars are off the road or breakdown then we risk upsetting customers and, of course, they can't earn their keep. So we employ a full time mechanic and expend at least 30% of your hire cost on maintenance.

Our 1965 Jaguar Mk2 is one of our most popular cars and, until recently, also one of our most reliable. But after its enforced lay-up during lockdown it has returned to the fleet with a succession of niggling problems.

The car has been on our fleet for over 10 years. During lockdown we took the opportunity to restore the bodywork, with welding to the sills and arches and new paintwork. This year to cure the reliability problems we have had the engine rebuilt and refurbished the carburettors. The car has also had a new fuel pump and coil as these are regular weak points on a car of this age. The investment in this car during 2022 has exceeded £5,000 so far.

Our Mk2 is one of the last built and features the 3.4 litre XK straight six engine matched to a manual gearbox with overdrive. Although many people gravitate to the 3.8 litre Mk2, aficionados prefer the 3.4 as it is a sweeter engine and delivers much the same power. And of course it has to have a manual gearbox - after all, this is a four door E Type in all but name.

Compared to the rest of our fleet Mk2 is a car that requires concentration and a little more effort to drive smoothly and enjoyably. But as a customer recently explained, that effort is rewarded in spades as you get to experience a classic Jaguar that communicates with the driver and rewards spirited driving. We think that effort is well worth the reward.

Driving a Mk2 is to transport yourself back to an age of wood and leather trimmed interiors, upright driving positions and the faintest whiff of petrol. While many come for the car's beautifully designed interior - a panapoly of wood veneer and leather seats - they stay for the car's driving experience. The Mk2 was very quick for its day - and remains sprightly - but it is the car's excellent ride and great handling that make it so enjoyable to drive. Although it is possible to retrofit power steering to the Mk2, we have resisted doing that to ours because the standard unassisted set up gives much better feel and retains the car's excellent turning circle. Power assisted units tend to cut communication with the wheels and make the car difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces.

Aside from the usual old car histrionics associated with extremely hot weather, the Mk2 is now running as we want it to. Thanks to having a full time mechanic on board we can immediately respond to customer feedback and constantly check that the car is performing as we want it to.

You can drive the Mk2 as part of any of our classic driving experiences from 60 minutes to multiple days. Prices start at just £99.


Great Driving Days, 01527 893733

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