A family affair – 1963 Jaguar Mk 2 3.8 manual

This Jaguar Mk 2 was brought to us by the son of the previous owner. Our client had a strong emotional attachment to the vehicle as he remembered journeys in the car with his father and of him rebuilding the engine on their front drive before he died. Sadly, his father never got to see the car restored and our client wanted to see it refurbished in his memory.

The vehicle had been involved in some minor accidents during its life on the road and had spent over 20 years off the road in garage storage.


After lengthy discussions with us a full restoration schedule was drawn up. The car was stripped back to a shell and we repaired the previous accident damage as well as improved on the original 1963 panel fit. We helped select a period correct Jaguar burgundy metallic colour which would contrast the new tan leather interior.

Most of the original chrome trim work was replaced with new stainless-steel reproductions which will last far longer than the original pieces. Important chrome fitments like the fog lamps and the uniquely numbered ‘big-cat’ bonnet mascot were sensitively restored.


The interior wood work had suffered from extensive UV damage and was stripped and re-lacquered with a deep shiny finish which is better than the original factory finish. The original seats were retained and re-stuffed and upholstered in a cream hide and a contrasting burgundy piping. Seatbelts were manufactured in a belt colour to match the exterior and featured the ‘Big-cat’ on the buckles. A handmade carpet set and headliner were installed to complete the stunning interior.

Engine and ancillaries

As the engine had been rebuilt, we focussed our attention on detailing the engine to a correct factory specification. Original parts were used and many of these were refurbished and rebuilt in order that the engine looked as original as possible. The only nod to modernity was a modern aluminium radiator.

Improvements and upgrades

Our client decided on a number improvements to make the car a more practical drive for every day. Electronic ignition was installed with a modern Dynamotor and a modern thermostatically controlled electric cooling fan motor.

A state of the art alarm system with a tracker was invisibly installed, allowing the client to be sent text alerts if his car is moving and he is not in it. In the event of a drive off theft he can also kill the engine remotely.


The finished vehicle is a worthy tribute to our client’s father. A perfect blend of a timeless Jaguar excellence, modern improvements, modern paint and the utilisation of the timeless crafts of trimming and woodworking.