1968 Jaguar 340
The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Lyons formed SS Cars Limited to effectively take over the operation from Walmsley. The SS brand was quite successful, though they had a reputation for having ‘more show than go’. The Jaguar name first appeared as a model name on an SS 2½ Litre Sports Saloon introduced in 1936. For political reasons, Lyons changed the name of his company to Jaguar Cars in 1945.
Whilst the SS100 is indeed a fabulous car, it was the launch of the legendary Jaguar XK120 at the London Motor Show in 1948 that really put Jaguar on the map. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The XK120 morphed into the XK140 and ultimately the XK150 and in total, just over 30,000 cars were built over 15 years of production.
In 1961 at the Geneva Motor Show Jaguar introduced the E-Type, which like the XK120 all those years ago, took the motoring world by storm. The body styling was simply gorgeous and technologically the E-Type was an engineering masterpiece and it set new standards in all areas.
Whilst automotive styling is somewhat subjective the E-Type is often ranked atop lists of ‘the most beautiful cars’ and in fact it has been described by Enzo Ferrari as ‘the most beautiful car ever made’.
Whilst the Jaguar name is synonymous for sporting cars it is also recognised for building some of the world’s best luxury saloons. Jaguar was and still is uniquely positioned in the market in this regard.
Jaguar could build sports cars but they were also very successful at building sports saloons. In 1955 the Jaguar Mk1 was introduced to fill a gap in the model range of a small to medium sized luxury saloon. Initially introduced with a 2.4 litre 6 cylinder engine and later a 3.4 litre 6 cylinder engine this model was very successful with some 38,000 examples sold between 1955 and 1959. In 1959 the Mk2 was introduced and whilst visually similar at first glance the ‘new car’ had many improvements over its predecessor. In addition to the 2.4 litre and 3.4 litre engines, the Mk2 was also offered with a 3.8 litre engine as used in the E-Type. Just over 80,000 Mk2’s were built from 1959 to 1967. The Mk2 was to be replaced by the XJ6, however, delays with this car resulted in Jaguar producing another series of the Mk2 which was designated as the 240 and 340 to fall into line with the nomenclature used with other models on offer at the time, specifically the 420. The 240 and 340 were built from 1967 to 1969 and almost 4,500 and 2,800 respectively of each model were built. Both the 240 and 340 can easily be identified by the slim line bumpers which give the car a more sophisticated look.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a STUNNING 1968 Jaguar 340. This Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example has the desirable manual gearbox with overdrive.
This car has a Jaguar Heritage Certificate on file which confirms it was manufactured on the 16th of February 1968 with a date of despatch of 13th March 1968. The original distributor is noted as Brysons, Australia. The car’s original colour scheme was maroon with a beige amla interior. The car is confirmed as fully ‘matching numbers’ – chassis, engine, gearbox and body. This Jaguar 340 was originally registered in Victoria as JZG340. The original dealer and first owner are not noted.
The car has a full set of books, including the original service book which notes the first owner as Conron Bros Pty Ltd from Clayton in Victoria. It also notes that the car was sold new by Clemens Sporting Cars and in fact the car retains its original Clemens sticker on the rear window. This Jaguar 340 was retained in single ownership through until circa 2010. It was acquired from the estate of the original owner by Collectable Classics from Strathalbyn in South Australia. At that time the car is understood to have travelled 42,000 miles from new. The car had been laid up for many years. It was recommissioned and this incredible original car was sold to its second owner on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
Shortly after being acquired, the car’s new owner decided to have it repainted. He enjoyed the car for some 8 years, enjoying it for the odd Sunday drive and Jaguar Car Club outing before it was sold to its next and third owner, a major Jaguar collector, based in Melbourne in January 2018. The car was advertised in Jaguar magazine back then and the mileage noted as 46,254 miles.
In the last two years the original carpets were replaced (with correct Wilton carpets), the top rail of the dash was refurbished and the carburettors were rebuilt.
This car is an incredible ‘time capsule’. Apart from a repaint and the work noted above this car is totally original. It was justifiably awarded ‘Gold’ at the 2018 Victorian Jaguar Concours.
The overall presentation of this car is simply spectacular. The paintwork remains ‘like new’ and it is complimented by the stunning chrome work and exterior trim. The panel fit is exceptional and all four doors shut perfectly, exactly as they would have back in 1968 on the Clemens showroom floor. A lovely touch are the two original Clemens Sporting Cars stickers that remain on the car.
Inside the cabin this car is just ‘classic Jaguar’. First impressions are that everything has been beautifully restored. It has not . . . it is extensively original. Once you have taken some time to look closely you will see some very minor wear marks or scuff marks here and there. All of the ambla upholstery and the headlining remain in excellent condition. Similarly, the timber, dash, instruments and controls are also excellent. The original His Masters Voice radio, which works, is a real feature.
The presentation of the engine bay and boot is consistent with the rest of the car. It’s exceptional! The engine bay was not repainted. It is original and in excellent condition. The car retains its original Lucas battery box with the ‘Caution Positive Earth’ tag in place and the air filter still retains its original Bryson Industries sticker. It is most likely that the engine has never been out of the car.
So . . . this Jaguar 340 looks magnificent, but what’s it like to drive? Not surprisingly, the car drives every bit as good as it looks. Once you’re comfortable behind the wheel you turn the key and push the starter button. The engine immediately bursts into life and you can hear the automatic choke feeding the carburettors. The engine idles smoothly and the choke cuts out as the car begins to warm up. After 5 minutes on the road you are immediately impressed with the ride. The car is tight on the road, there are no rattles or squeaks and it handles exceptionally well. It also has a terrific exhaust note. Out on the open road, this cat performs as one would expect. The engine is happy at 2,000 rpm with the car cruising leisurely around suburbia, however, you always get the feeling it’s looking for a ‘game of cops and robbers’! So when asked to ‘go’, the car does so willingly and it pulls strongly through the range. The gearbox is smooth up and down the gears and the overdrive functions as it should. Importantly, the brakes pull the car up efficiently and in a straight line.
What’s often forgotten is the engine in a Jaguar 340 is not the same as that in the 3.4 litre Mk2. the 340 engine has an upgraded cylinder head and its performance is almost identical to the 3.8 litre Mk2.
We love the colour scheme of this car and it is a refreshing change from the ubiquitous white and British racing green examples.
Accompanying the car is a book set which includes the original service book, a Jaguar Heritage Certificate, some miscellaneous documentation, a complete and correct tool kit and jack.
Oldtimer Australia has had the privilege to sell a number of amazing cars over the years and this one is perhaps the best car we’ve had that is offered in the sub $100,000 price bracket. It is just a fabulous car – we love it and you can now own it!
Today the odometer reads 47,389 miles which is documented through the service book and most definitely genuine.
- an Australian delivered, factory right-hand drive example.
- one of the most desirable models of this type of Jaguar, being a 340 engine mated to manual gearbox with overdrive.
- fully ‘matching numbers car finished in its original and stunning colour scheme of maroon with a beige interior.
- a spectacular looking car with a real presence on the road that is a delight to drive
- an incredible ‘time capsule’
This 1968 Jaguar 340 Sedan with a manual gearbox and overdrive will be a great addition to a significant Jaguar collection or be that ‘special car’ for an enthusiast who appreciates exactly what it is. Its history, provenance, originality and overall condition make it truly unique. Hard to find better, anywhere!
- Jaguar 340
- 47,385 miles