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Jaguar, the ultimate luxury sports car


If you ever watched the hugely successful English mystery television series featuring Inspector Morse, then you’ve seen the quintessential British auto design and workmanship. Prominently featured as Morse’s personal transport, this gorgeous 1960 Mark II Jaguar is probably one of the best known and recognizable Jaguars in the world. The Mark II was popular with the public and sold well. Looking at the Jaguar’s sleek, sophisticated lines, it’s hard to imagine its beginnings—in a company manufacturing motorcycle sidecars.

In 1922 the Swallow Sidecar Company was formed by two motorcycle buffs, Sir William Lyons and William Walmsley. Their first auto was produced in 1935. Called SS Jaguar, it had a small (by today’s standards) 1.5-liter engine. Larger 2.5- and 3.5-liter engines were optional, giving buyers more choices for what were primarily sports cars. The SS designation was dropped in 1945 because of its German World War II connotation, and the name Jaguar was applied to the entire operation including the adoption of the familiar leaping cat hood ornament.

Jaguars in Competitions

As a performance auto, Jaguar has proved itself in winning multiple international races. Its performance in the 24-hour Lemans in 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956, and 1957 helped project the name of Jaguar into the public spotlight.

In 1949 the company began production of what was to become the famous XK in-line six-cylinder dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) engine. Its popularity kept it in production until 1986. The twin camshaft layout allowed for an efficient head with combustion chambers making the most of the free flow of intake and exhaust gases. Opening the hood provided a visual treat with the twin aluminum valve covers giving a sparkling hint of the power inside. Aluminum heads not only gave a weight-saving advantage over traditional cast iron but equally important, the aluminum is more efficient for heat transfer. This engine was installed in the XK120 sportster displayed at the 1948 London Motor Show as a marketing test. It was a huge success, establishing the XK’s solid reputation for performance as the fastest standard-production model auto in the world at that time.

Driving a Jaguar is a unique experience with a particular “feel” that you’ll not find with many other cars in today’s market. There’s an adrenaline rush and sense of exhilaration that’s almost intoxicating as this superb, finely-tuned animal responds instantly to your slightest command. As the steering geometry and tuned suspension play in harmony, it’s easy to find yourself driving a hundred miles per hour—without even being aware that you’ve touched the accelerator.

For the time being you have tamed this Jaguar and made it your pet, but remember, keeping that stunning performance at its peak requires regular maintenance. Here is where you can save a bucket of money by ordering replacement parts from your aftermarket online specialist.

Jaguar parts online

“The Jaguar has a reputation of being expensive to maintain,” said Chris Grosso of PartsGeek LLC, “but purchasing Jaguar parts online can help tremendously. In modern models such as the XJ6 and XJ8, simple things like changing the air or fuel filter can go a long way towards maintaining peak performance.”

Although modern engines require costly computers to repair, regular maintenance can be performed by even the most novice owner and maintaining a Jaguar is much like maintaining any other car. Even a top-of-the-line Vanden Plas benefits from a monthly check of fluids, hoses, and belts, and everyone agrees it’s best to order and install replacement parts on your schedule rather than suffer an expensive breakdown and be held at the dealership’s mercy.

In addition to spare belts, fluids, and hoses kept as replacement parts, Jaguar parts you may wish to keep handy include filters for fuel, automatic transmission fluid, and the PVC breather, which helps prevent sludge buildup in the engine. Pre-purchasing spare replacement parts such as vacuum hoses, temperature sensors, and O2 sensors, ready to install on a regular maintenance schedule, will lower costs dramatically and possibly prevent expensive repairs later, even if you need a certified mechanic to install them for you. Cutting the middleman by purchasing your own Jaguar parts at PartsGeek can be much less expensive than buying them through the mechanic or the dealer.

Jaguar Maintenance

During maintenance, it’s a good idea to pull out the spark plugs, one at a time to prevent confusing them, and check them, as well. Even though low-maintenance Jaguars require changing spark plugs only after 100,000 miles, checking them can tell you a lot about how your engine is running and also prevent them from seizing in the block, requiring expensive repairs later.

Jaguar Specifications

For more information on Jaguar Cars check the NorCalCars section on Jaguar Specifications