The Jaguar Mk VIII  1956-1958

Years MK VIII  1956-58,  MK VIIIB 1958-1961(1962?)
See also MK VII   MK IX
Notes This model is an update to the original MK VII, and MK VIIM and is visually similar. For almost a year it was sold alongside the MK VIIM and seems to have originally been seen by Jaguar as an additional, more luxury model, rather than a replacement. External identifiers are a one piece windshield replacing the previous models "split" windshield, and the rear wheel spats now included some extra cutout, allowing more of the rear wheel and hub cap to be seen. In addition the chrome surround on the radiator was made bigger and more prominent and a chrome plated leaping Jaguar was added. A chrome plated swage line was added following the line of the fenders. and a two tone paint scheme became available, with this swage line providing the separation point between the colors. Changes to the engine included fitment of the latest B type cylinder head which had larger valves, and a twin exhaust system. Inside the car the trim was improved, featuring better wood veneer, picnic tables which folded down from the backs of the front seats, and improved seating.  Cars fitted with automatic transmission had a bench type front seat, whereas manual transmission models had individual seats.  A magazine rack for the rear compartment was fitted to models with a bench front seat. A few late model MK VIII's were fitted with power assisted steering which was to become standard on the later MK IX model.

The MK VIIIB was a special low production model, visually similar to the MK VIII. It was intended as a car for the carriage trade, and most became hearses, limousines, or were sold to governments or the military. Right from the start of production of the original MK VII. many of these cars had been sold as limousines, into government service, or to famous people, and it appears that the MK VIIIB was an attempt by Jaguar to produce a semi production model to cater for this trade. They were usually fitted with a low compression version of the standard engine (7:1), a bench front seat, and a glass divider between the front and rear seats, This allowed fitment of blind, magazine racks, cocktail cabinets etc as required. Most were delivered in black. Production apparently started late in the life time of the MK VIII and all through that of the MK IX, and even for a short time after that.     

Description 4 door sedan (saloon), separate chassis
Colors See the large sedans colors page
Pictures 1957 Jaguar MKVIII sedan
p1-3007.jpg (15733 bytes)

courtesy Benedikt Lehner and Chris Vellender
Note one piece windshield, chrome surround to radiator grille, and the Jaguar leaper. Also cut-outs in rear wheel spats.

Model Engine Bore/Stroke Power
MK VIII 3442cc 6 cyl twin ohc 83 x 106 mm 210 bhp @ 5500 rpm
MK VIIIB 3442cc 6 cyl twin ohc 83 x 106 mm  
both models win SU 1/3/4 inch HD6
Engine is a version of the XK 3.4 engine first featured in the XK120, but originaly designed for the MK VII
Brakes Hydraulic drum servo assisted (Girling)
(Various sources differ, slightly)
MK VIII  (RHD) 4644 Total 6332 not including  MKVIIIB
MK VIII  (LHD) 1688
MK VIII 3892 pounds
Length 16 feet 4 1/2 inches
Height 5 feet 3 inches 
Width 6 feet 1 inches 
Top speed 106 mph 
Wheelbase 120 inches
Transmission 4-speed manual.  optional  Borg and Warner 3 speed automatic transmission. Laycock de Normanville overdrive fitted on the standard transmission car.
Front Independent. wishbones and torsion bar, anti roll bar
Rear Live axle, half elliptic leaf springs.
Chassis Numbers BW Suffix indicates fitment of Borg Warner automatic transmission
DN Prefix indicates firment of overdrive (De Normanville)
MK VIII Sedan 760001 and up - Right hand drive
780001 and up - Left hand drive
Standard Equipment Leather seats, fog/spot lights.Hub caps, sun roof. A very few late model cars were equipped with power assisted steering.
Options No information