volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
Nov. 10, 2016 9:24 a.m.

I have never owned a British car. I've had German cars, Swedish cars, American cars, a couple of Japanese models, but never anything built by a British firm. (There's never been an Italian car in my stable, either, but that's a frying pan I'm not ready to jump into...yet.)

However, I do have a friend who continually searches Craig's Website of Temptations for sub-$5k cars with manual transmissions, and a few weeks ago he stumbled across something....a bit different.


It was a 1966 Jaguar, 3.8S. The first of the "S-type". It was nearby, it was cheap, and I wanted it. I have too many projects going on already, and I sure didn't need another, but...dang. I couldn't stop looking at the pictures. It was gorgeous. And my wife loved it, too.

And so...


And now:



What have I gotten myself in for?

Vigo PowerDork
Nov. 10, 2016 9:32 a.m.

Oh man. That's lovely.

RossD UltimaDork
Nov. 10, 2016 10:15 a.m.

When you tire of it, let me know. Any interior pics?

oldeskewltoy UltraDork
Nov. 10, 2016 10:16 a.m.

hehehehehe...... this is the ONLY car my wife would get involved in... she so loves that body type

Plan: rewire entire car - remove all Lucas electrical parts and replace with Denso, or other quality manufacturer/supplier -

As to how I'd like to go about it... Jaguar MkII resto-mod

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
Nov. 10, 2016 10:32 a.m.

In reply to oldeskewltoy:

Oh wow, that's neat.

My plans aren't anything so dramatic. Basically, get the car up to good operating nick and use it as the occasional daily. But yes- I expect there will be many feet of new wire involved.

The seller of the car was somewhat pessimistic about the car's condition. It did run, but had been sitting for a couple of years, and he was un-trusting of the binders and clutch. So we pulled it onto the trailer with a tractor and strap. Once home, though, I bled the hydraulics and found, after running fresh fluid through everything, that everything worked. So, I drove it off the trailer.

And around the yard.

Last night I tackled the first project- replacing the steering column bushes. The steering shaft rattled in the column, a common issue. New bushes from XKs Unlimited arrived and I got the column out last night.


Oh yes- the interior's in nice shape. The driver's seat looks to have been redone, as was most of the wood. Everything else has that nice, lightly worn patina of age. And smells like British Luxury.

ultraclyde UberDork
Nov. 10, 2016 10:34 a.m.

wow. beautiful car. I'd be tempted into ownership by that.

Dave Reader
Nov. 10, 2016 10:46 a.m.

That looks to be a great buy. A real looker and if the aren't as big as suspected by the seller than a huge bonus.

Lof8 HalfDork
Nov. 10, 2016 10:51 a.m.

Very pretty!

java230 Dork
Nov. 10, 2016 10:53 a.m.

Wow that looks really nice, how much did that run you??

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
Nov. 10, 2016 11:53 a.m.
java230 wrote: Wow that looks really nice, how much did that run you??

I'm not one to kiss and tell, but it was well, well under $5000. Like, "15-year old beater X-type" money.

dculberson PowerDork
Nov. 10, 2016 12:04 p.m.

Gorgeous. Well bought.

HappyAndy PowerDork
Nov. 10, 2016 12:07 p.m.

If it's not rusty it should be smooth sailing.

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
Nov. 10, 2016 12:54 p.m.
HappyAndy wrote: If it's not rusty it should be smooth sailing.

Mostly just the door bottoms as far as corrosion goes. Floors and such are solid and good. But the doors definitely could stand some love.

java230 Dork
Nov. 10, 2016 2:31 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse:


Nov. 10, 2016 5:18 p.m.

Very Cool!

When I was a kid, my Dad dragged home a '63 3.8 Jag sedan that had belonged to some country music star. It had thrown a rod, but the old man was wiley. He lifted it up several feet with one of those A-frame and a chainfall contraptions, blocked the car up, dropped the front suspension, then the engine and trans as a unit (wouldn't come out the top), and rebuilt the 6 cyl. A plaque, and according to him, bubble gum, but I suspect JB weld, covered the hole in the crankcase. At my tender young age, this was one of the most fantastical things I had ever seen. The fact that it ran like a top afterwards was equally impressive. My spot was the folded down armrest in the back seat. Many adventures in that car.

Hope you don't mind, I had the urge to share.

fasted58 UltimaDork
Nov. 10, 2016 5:23 p.m.


Love it

fasted58 UltimaDork
Nov. 10, 2016 5:24 p.m.


Love it

wvumtnbkr SuperDork
Nov. 10, 2016 6:11 p.m.

Before throwing out the baby with the bathwater, put dielectric grease in every plug and socket of the wiring.

Clean the grounds and add dielectric grease. Lucas stuff isn't bad, it just requires proper maintenance.

Do the above tasks and I bet you don't have electrical issues for another 50 years.

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
Nov. 11, 2016 5:28 a.m.
wvumtnbkr wrote: Before throwing out the baby with the bathwater, put dielectric grease in every plug and socket of the wiring. Clean the grounds and add dielectric grease. Lucas stuff isn't bad, it just requires proper maintenance. Do the above tasks and I bet you don't have electrical issues for another 50 years.

In my years of fiddling with ancient cars, I've found the electrical systems in all of them to be universally terrible. And usually it's because they are 50 years old and corroded. I've had generally good luck with cleaning things, adding dielectric grease, and replacing fuses. A lot of the electrical stuff on this car still works, so I'm hopeful a bit of love will help rejuvenate it. And if not...there's always that huge spool of new wire in my garage.

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
Nov. 11, 2016 5:29 a.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy:

Not at all. I love hearing these stories. It's the main reason I go to car shows, to talk to owners of cars and hear the history behind the cars.

Nov. 11, 2016 10:15 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse:

Cool, I'll post as they re-surface. To whit:

Fresh from purchase, bringing the Jag home on a tow bar, the bumper mounts let go, and the car was holding on by a thread. Dad managed to get it over to the side of the road-If I remember correctly, Mom was riding in the Jag as a safety measure(she, too was, and is quite wiley). Anyway, one of the bumper over-riders was ground down pretty badly, and remained that way throughout our ownership.

(EDIT: Talked to Mom. While definitely wiley, she was not behind the wheel of the Jag. She said they were both in the middle of a busy street, madly filing the bumper mount holes to bolt the tow bar on, sans bumper, once Dad had wrestled the procession to a stop)

Another time, after the rebuild, Mom driving, the steering let go. As in driving on a country road, wheel spinning, front tires doing whatever they wanted, that kind of let go. We ended up in the ditch, but miraculously unhurt-people and car. I forget the circumstances, but I believe my brother may have come out in the VW double cab to collect us, and Dad came back later, and cobbled together some kind of wobbly fix to limp it home, until a more permanent fix could be devised. I'll talk to Mom, and get some clarification. Maybe my brother (Tedium850) will chime in, too. Great memories. Stoked to follow along with your build,

The_Jed PowerDork
Nov. 11, 2016 11:09 a.m.

That is beautiful!

That's one of those cars you slowly walk around staring at, taking in the artistry and craftsmanship.

wspohn HalfDork
Nov. 11, 2016 3:58 p.m.

You don't need to go crazy on wiring unless the car really needs it. Most of the problems with old Lucas wired cars come from the joints, not the components.

We've found that if you go through the system and pull the bullet connectors out of the joiners, make sure the inside of the barrel the bullet plugs into isn't corroded (bit of emery cloth around a stiff wire usually cleans that up quickly) and reassemble with a dab of dielectric grease (non-conductive so no short circuits if you slather too much of it around, and it excludes water) it can be quite reliable.

Biggest issue on old Jags is rust - how is the body?

johnnie Reader
Nov. 11, 2016 4:17 p.m.


volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
Nov. 14, 2016 10:59 a.m.
wspohn wrote: You don't need to go crazy on wiring unless the car really needs it. Most of the problems with old Lucas wired cars come from the joints, not the components. Biggest issue on old Jags is rust - how is the body?

Yes, the bullet connections seem a bit sketchy. Most of them come apart quite easily. I plan to heed your advice on cleaning and di-electric greasing them.

The Jag appears to be converted to Neutral ground. Not sure if everything has been, but there is a newer aftermarket radio wired conventionally that works.


I've gone down the rabbit's hole a bit already. The hood, radiator, and grille are off. I'm replacing all of the coolant hoses, fixing a budge of cludged electrics and vacuum, and other stuff. The vacuum lines to the booster and vacuum canisters have something like 4 or 5 splices, hard pipes interspersed with tubing, rusty clamps, etc. Pretty sure this was NOT how Coventry did it.

Rust- confined mostly to the door bottoms- non structural. But ugly, and will be dealt with once we're up and driving around.

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