60 Years of Sporting Saloons - 1965 Jaguar S-Type 3.4 Litre EKT 979C

This particular S-type was built in December 1965 and originally went through the London distributor Henlys, although the first owner, a Mr Breen, lived in Sevenoaks in Kent.  Finished in the typical Jaguar colour of Opalescent Silver Blue, the car is fitted with power steering and an automatic gearbox, in which form it cost £1,918 when new. The car was purchased by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in 1994 after extensive restoration by Leslie Thurston.

Although the Mark II saloon retained its popularity throughout the 1960s, after 1961 its sales declined. Jaguar began to think of a successor which would improve and update the Mark II, but still retain the much admired styling and features of the original. This became the S-type of 1963, which was developed using the basic floorpan and centre section from the Mark II, but with a new rear end which was based on the design of the Mark X.

In mechanical terms, the S-type followed the Mark II, with a choice of the 3.4 litre and 3.8 litre engines (the 2.4 litre engine was not available) and the usual options of automatic gearbox, overdrive and power steering.  The four-wheel disc brakes and the front suspension were also the same as on the Mark II, but new on a small Jaguar saloon was the independent rear suspension, as found on the E-type sports car and the Mark X Saloon, in place of the live axle of the Mark II.

The S-type was the car for the customer who wanted speed, comfort and style, in a car smaller than the Mark X, but without the overtly sporting image of the Mark II.  The S-type, being heavier, was naturally slower although still with a 120 mph top speed in 3.8 litre form, but offered more interior comfort, boot space and a better ride than the older sister model.  The differences between the two cars, and their prices, were big enough for Jaguar to keep both models in production.

The S-type however was made in smaller numbers, with 24,993 cars being produced between 1963 and 1968.

Registration Mark: EKT 979C

Chassis Number: P1B5965BW

Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust

Inventory Number: 060/J.21