1967 Jaguar Mk2 Coombs Tribute
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 fifteen years of production.
Jaguar introduced the E-Type at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, 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.
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.
The Jaguar Mk2 was also very successful on the race track winning events all over the world. One of the most successful teams was UK based John Coombs, who also developed a business selling Jaguar Mk2’s upgraded with Coombs modifications.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1967 Jaguar Mk2 Coombs Tribute.
This particular car is a factory right hand drive Jaguar 240 that has been upgraded with a number of Coombs modifications, including a 4.2 litre Jaguar engine.
The early history of this car is not known, however, it is understood to have been a long term Queensland car. The car was registered in Queensland as 398 LHP. It was owned by an ex Leyland/Jaguar mechanic for many years and he passed the car down to his son. It was sold through the Classic Car Garage in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast in April 2011 to its next owner in Gympie who decided to upgrade the car with a number of Coombs modifications, including a Daimler 4.2 litre engine. The car was purchased by Jeremy Best’s Cummins Classic Cars in Sydney who decided to go ‘the full monty’ with the car undertaking further Coombs modifications. The decided to fit a 4.2 litre Jaguar engine that was rebuilt for one of Ian Cummins Jaguar E-Type race cars, but never used.
The modifications and upgrades which make this car a ‘very special’ Jaguar Mk2 include:
- Race prepared 4.2 litre engine
- Rob Beere billet alloy oil pump
- Scorcher/Petronix ignition
- Power-Lite starter motor
- Uprated electric fuel pump and pressure regulator
- 2 x 2 inch HD8 carburettors with alloy air trumpets and alloy air spreader copied from originals and sourced from Coombs engineer Ken Bell
- Alloy radiator and electric cooling fan
- 5 speed Getrag 260 gearbox (from a BMW) with overdrive 5th gear
- Solid front cross member mounts
- Uprated front sway bar
- 30% stiffer front springs
- Super-Pro suspension bushes
- Koni dampers front and rear
- 4 pot brake calipers with ventilated discs
- Alloy cold air ducting for front brakes
- Goodridge steel braided flexible brake lines
- EZ electric power steering
- D type gear knob
- Coombes replica exhaust in stainless steel
- Genuine Minilite knock on mag wheels
- Period correct leather trimmed bucket seats
- Louvred bonnet
- Momo steering wheel
- Various period correct stickers including Coombs dealer rear window sticker
The engine was built up by Graeme Lord Engineering with Argo con rods, special 9.5 to 1 pistons, E-Type inlet manifold, E-Type camshafts, large volume oil pump with special flaps in the sump to help with oil surge, extractor exhaust fitted to a gas flowed big valve cylinder head with 3x 2 inch S.U carburettors giving 325 BHP at 5,800 rpm.
When the engine was installed into this car it was done with a dual carburettor setup, most likely to get it to fit!
Today this car presents pretty well, but it is all about the drive! When you approach the car the louvred bonnet and knock on Minilite wheels are the first giveaway that this is no ordinary Jaguar Mk2! You open the door, slide into bucket seat, get comfortable and then with great anticipation fire up the engine. There’s no doubt it means business! It has an edge for sure, but it is still relatively refined given its specifications. Immediately after getting mobile you appreciate the EZ power steering which make the car incredibly light on the road and easy to drive. The Getrag gearbox is firm and it is well suited to the car. Not surprisingly the engine has loads of power on tap and it is so incredibly responsive. The car handles and stops as you would expect. Make no mistake this car is quick . . . it is one heck of a driver’s car!
From say a meter the car presents well, but it is no ‘trailer queen’ and on closer inspection, there are a number of stone chips and small blemishes in the paint evident. The most noticeable are some scratches on the left rear guard, adjacent to the boot. The panel gaps are pretty good and the car is clean underneath. The boot looks to be very original and whilst it is showing some wear there is no sign of any rust. All of the external trim, chrome, lights/lenses and the glass are in very good condition. The Mk2 enthusiasts will note that the slimline Jaguar 240/340 bumpers have been replaced with the traditional Mk2 bumpers without overriders.
The condition of the interior of the car is comparable to the exterior. It is clean and tidy. The feature of the interior is the steering wheel and bucket seats, which like the bonnet louvres and Minilite wheels reinforce that this is no ordinary Jaguar Mk2! The upholstery is in good condition and there are no rips or tears in the seats. The door cards are clean, though they are starting to sag. The timber is clean with no cracks evident, though the dash is starting to show its age and it would benefit from a refurbish. All of the instruments and controls are also in good condition and everything looks to be in working order.
The car was fitted with new Dunlop CR65 tyres in January 2018.
Accompanying the car is a recent history file, documentation pertaining to the engine build back in 2003, a spare set of wire wheels, a spare wheel in the car, tool kit, hammer and jack.
It’s time for the ultimate game of ‘cops and robbers’!
- Jaguar Mk2 Coombs Tribute
- 29,075 miles