Monday, 1 November 2010

The Ugly Duckling - Jaguar S-Type

Amongst two classic vehicles I recently found in the car park of the Morgan Motor Company was this beautiful Jaguar S-Type that in silver epitomises Sir William Lyons maxim "grace pace and space", though it was considered the ugly duckling of its two contemporary 4 door siblings the smaller MKII and larger MK X.

The S-Type was a reworking of the Jaguar MKII / Daimler V8 250 shell and ended up looking like a half way house between the MK11 and MK X indeed when I first saw this car from the back I thought it was a MK X.

This particular vehicle is powered by a 210 hp twin carb 3442 cc / 210 cui cast iron bloc 6 cylinder motor which was significantly less popular than the 3.8 litre variant. The 3.4 was capable of reaching 60 mph from stationary in 13.9 secs and had a top speed of 115 mph figures that were down on the lighter 3.4 litre MK II.

However where the S-Type excelled was in its superior traction ride and cornering capability thanks to an independent rear suspension whose origins can be traced back through the MK10 Jaguar to the E-Type and it's D-type prototypes E1A and E2A.

Back in the day companies that excelled in exporting products were given a Queens Award for Export in recognition of their contribution to minimising the UK's balance of payment deficit with the rest of the world.

Production of the S-Type commenced in 1963 and continued until 1968 with 9,928 examples of the 3.4 litre being built compared to 15,065 of the 3.8 litre variant. This vehicle appears to be one of the last 909 3.4 litre vehicles built in 1968. Mr Crouch a Jaguar Body Engineer allegedly reported "that everyone (at Browns Lane) was glad to see the end of the S" a sentiment I find difficult to agree with 42 years later.

Thanks to Phillip Whiteman over at The Nostalgia Forum for bringing the role of E2A to my attention.

Slightly off topic, 20 years after Dale Earnhadt pulled off one of the most spectacular finishes in history by making up 16 places to take his final win, Talladega produced another thriller yesterday, an absolute heart stopper for fellow Kevin Harvick fans I am sure with over eighty lead changes amongst 20 odd drivers.

I was most despondent when Kevin T-boned someone with around a third of the race left to run, yet somehow the Happy pit crew kept Kevin on the lead lap after patching his car up with copious quantities of tank tape and Kevin crossed the finish line first with one lap to go (white flag lap) however the big one occurred as Kevin being pushed by David Reutimann on the outside of Turn One fell slightly behind team mate Clint Bowyer who was himself being pushed by pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya.

Though AJ Almendinger ended up on his roof it was noticeable that none of the vehicles at Talladega went airborne in the same way as last year which might be attributable to the switch from the rear wing to the rear gurney flap earlier this year. Fortunately it would appear no one was hurt either and after agonising minuets off decision making Bowyer was declared the winner.

Harvick has closed the points deficit to 38 on Johnson who got shuffled down the pack on the last restart to an eventual 7th and sits just 14 points ahead of Dangerous Denny Hamlin who had a torrid race going a lap down but thanks to a lucky dog still salvaged a ninth place finish by the end. They don't call this race the Alabahma Lottery for nothing.

Next week NASCAR moves to Texas where Denny Hamlin won last time out and he Happy and Johnson will have it all to play for, my only prediction is that Johnson will be staying well away from the #77 of Sam Hornish Jr.

Thanks for stopping by wishing everyone a momentous Monday, don't forget to come back now !


  1. We thoroughly enjoyed the race which we were able to finish watching thanks to the DVR we have. I'm pulling for Happy!!! This is quite an exciting season!

  2. Best season since I started watching again in 2004 :-)

  3. I was hoping that they would declare Happy Cupcake the winner, too. Bowyer was so excited to get the win that I was happy for him. At least Jimmie Johnson isn't running away with it this year.

    Interesting blog, Art. How is that Jag can make some beautiful cars as well as the ugliest? I guess all makers are guilty of the same thing.

  4. Cup cake paid the price for being on the outside line at the wrong time, I guess ugliness is a relative thing in terms of Jaguars Kim :-)