The Project Car Diary, Part 2. I drive a Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag.

What started this whole silliness about an older car with a potential transplant, and modernized suspension and brakes was, the sixties Jaguar MKII. I spent an afternoon watching the coverage of the GoodWood Festival of Speed, and specifically, their historic racing.

When you think of historic racing, you think mostly of people taking their babies out on the track, and moving politely down the straight, moving for faster cars, light, unaggressive lines in the corners? Yeah. Not so much. These guys are full-on, #inittowinit.

In old cars. Fifty, sixty year old cars. With race suspension, tires, brakes, etc. Warmed over, but still… appropriate.

I like that.

So, of course, I started looking. And the shells are not that expensive. You can get a reasonable shape chassis/shell for around six grand. Engine is more difficult, and this was also where I started going silly. See, the kissing cousin to the Jaguar MKII is the Daimler Sedan. Makes sense – Daimler was briefly (1960-66) owned by Jaguar. The most interesting was the Daimler V8-250, which was basically a Jaguar MKII with a 2.5L V8 in it. That 2.5L is, technically, a hemi.

The problem, of course, was that the Jaguar MKII/Daimler sedan was an early unibody. Rust is a terminal condition. Finding one in good enough shape to hold together, and that I can manage can be… difficult. And it’s the “I can manage”. I can learn mechanical while the car is parked and stripped, but body work is well out of my wheelhouse.

Which brings us back to where I get silly.

My thought was, given that this thing had a Daimler (ie. German) -ish heritage, why not put something German in it? Maybe a 2.3 kompressor with a stick, from a C230, circa 2001? Or a BMW inline-6 from a wrecked… well, anything, BMW really, from around 2008?

It would need a lot of fabrication on my part. So, lots of time involved, likely some new tools, and more money. But technically within my skillset, or rather, my learnable skillset. Suddenly, I end up with a 250-300whp, 3000lb sixties sedan. That’s… honestly, pretty fun. It’s 400lbs less than my genesis, with an additional 60% horsepower. that’s notable fun.

Still. It’s also likely more project than I’m capable of, sadly (much like the Corvair with the 1.4T).

Doesn’t hurt to dream, though.

~mark.


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