||1961 was a year of renewal for Jaguar. In that one year it
replaced the venerable XK range of sports cars with the exciting new E Type (or XKE) sports car, and a few months later in
October showed the all new replacement of the MK IX, a design which had not changed much
since the launch of the MK VII in 1950.
Both these new models had some pieces of their
design in common - both featured the triple 2 inch carburetored version of Jaguars new 3.8
XK engine, as had been fitted to the XK150 "S"
, both had monococqe bodies, replacing the previous models body on chassis construction,
and both featured Jaguars new design independent rear suspension mounted in a separate
sub-frame, which it turned out was still being used 25 years later in the XJ6.
There the similarities between E Type and MK X ended. The MK X was a massive car
meauring 16 feet 10 inches which was almost 6 inches longer than its predecessor the MK IX (and about 22 inches longer than the
contemporary MK II). It was also extremely wide, at 6 feet
4 inces. The only dimemsion which was reduced when compared to the MK IX was the
height, which was reduced from 5 feet 3 inches to 4 feet 6 3/4 inches. Some of this
reduction was due to the adoption of 14 inch wheels, rather than 15 inch.
Being longer and lower the MK X 's bulk was quite well disguised, and apart from the
somewhat bulging sides, the car looked quite sleek. The car retained some of the
styling cues of the "big" Jaguars. The chome plated window frames, and the
imposing radiator, which was now sloped forward to reduce the height at the front. For the
first time on a Jaguar a 4 headlight treatment was used.and the traditional Jaguar horn
grilles were retained. Power assisted steering was standard, and the car was availabel
with 3 speed Borg Warner automatic transmission, or a 4 speedmanual box.
Inside the MK X was traditional Jaguar luxury with leather seating, and walnut wood.
The dash was the new "corporate" design of the 1960's that had originated with
the MK II in 1959, but with much more extensive use of wood. veneer. split bench front
seats were used, and the rear seats had individual picnic tables that folded down from the
back of the front seats.
The MK X 4.2 was introduced in October 1964 for the 1965 model year, and in general
received the same mechanical updates as the contemporary E Type. The engine was further
enlarged to 4.2 liters, and the transmission was either the new all synchromatic 4 speed,
or a newer design Borg Warner Model 8 automatic. An alternator replaced the generator of
the previous model, and power steering and braking systems were improved. Air conditioning
became available as an option in 1966.
For the 1967 model year the designarion was changed from MK X to 420G. This was
in line with the model policy at the time, when all Jaguars models were being
rationalized. The MK II range became the 240 and the 340, and the new 420 was
introduced as an intermediate model between the MK II and the MK X. The changes to the MK
X were cosmetic only, but quite distinctive. Most noticeable were the radiator grille
which was given a distinctive central vertical bar, side repeater flashers, and a new hub
cap design. In addition the car became available with two tone paint finishes, or, when
painted in a single color, a chrome strip down the waist line was employed, where
the divider line would have been for two colors. Inside the car, crash proofing was
improved by fitting a black padding to the top of the dashboard, and the clock was moved
from its position in the rev-counter, to a separate fitment in the top crashproofing of
the dash. Perforated leather was used for the seats.
The 420G became the last survivor of Jaguars extensive 1960's range of cars, all of
which were killed off after the launch of the XJ6 in 1968. Production of the 420G
actually continued well into 1970.
|Note on BHP figure for 3.8
||Our thanks to Tage Bengtsson of Sweden for
pointing out the discrepancies in quoted BHP for the 3.8 model. Various sources quote
figures of 245/255, and 265 bhp. Indeed two different 1962 brochures quote 255 and 265
figures. It may be that the figure varied somewhat by market, and by the compression ratio
of the engine. The normal figure was 8:1 but 7:1, and 9:1 ratios were available from the
In 1968 with the introduction of the S2 E-Type, the USA version of the same 4.2
engine that was fitted to that car was equipped with two Stromberg carburetors, rather
than three SU units. Its not known if the 1968 and up 420G's destined to the States
suffered a similar modification.