2 October 2017

More than an old car #38: Jaguar Mark X

From my observations, I would say that old Jaguars are 'endangered': you can find them in the wild but you need luck and skill to find one. However, this 1963 Jaguar Mark X seems to be the only one of its kind here, and this was a seriously coincidental encounter! I was walking back home when I chanced upon this wedding convoy for an Indian couple it seems and clearly this specimen was the star of the show.

The Mark X [Mark 10] was Jaguar's top-range saloon car from 1961-1970 and it was primarily aimed at the US market. It had a unibody car frame [the whole body was made in one piece rather than being welded together] and had a unique 'independent rear suspension' system unheard from British cars at that time. This was the first car to introduce the 4 level headlights and the slanted front end, which is recognizable as a Jaguar feature today. The most striking part would certainly be its svelte curves and how massive it was--even cars today lack the gracefulness and poise of this gentleman here. Beneath the hood lies a 3781cc XK 6-cylinder engine, though later cars were later upgraded to 4235cc from 1964. It could reach a top speed of 203km/h with an acceleration of 11.8 seconds [0-100km/h]. As a car positioned towards heads of state, diplomats and film stars, it was a hefty 5.13m long and weighed 1880kg.

Although it received rave reviews, it never really sold well in the US as it was considered 'too dated' or 'too big'. Only 13,382 were made in the 3.8 litre edition, and this is the only one in Singapore at the moment. I do not know whether this behemoth has been on our roads back then or a recent import. An interesting thing to note is that it has no rear view mirrors, which makes parking challenging at the very least. However, it is really rare for cars to be so advanced in its time--perhaps you may see this some day!

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