Category Archives: Jaguar

MK IX mk’d down

This little beauty has got to go!

This little beauty has got to go!

Not too long ago we discovered a rare and stately 1959 Jaguar MK IX (“mark nine” to us commoners) and posted some photos and a commentary about it which you can read here.

With the bearing of a Rolls and the sporting affect of the Jag that it is, it made a big impression on us but we’re not alone.  Our friends at Bring A Trailer spotted this very car for sale on Craigslist for $11,000.

Seems like a bargain insofar you get so much for comparatively little but the truth is this kitty could use some work to bring it up to snuff.  Still, we like to think that even as a quasi-static piece of sculpture, it has real charm.  If you threw another $20K into it you might be able to drive it around and impress the punters.

One more, we present its sumptuous rear seating/dining area for your perusal.

Tray tables set in the downright position

Tray tables set in the downright position

We mentioned that Kim Novak drove one in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and found a still from the film to share. Our assumption is that Kim’s Madeleine character threw herself into the chilly waters beneath the Golden Gate Bridge because she just couldn’t deal with her Jag’s dodgy electrical system.  Jimmy Stewart, who drove a ’56 DeSoto (see below) in the film, fished her out most gallantly.

Kimmy and Jimmy

Jimmy saves Kimmy


Groucho sent him

Groucho sent him


On a Jag jag

English muffin, toasted

English muffin, toasted

Hard to believe that we bumped into an unrestored 1959 Jaguar MK IX being used for — hold breath — transportation!   We met the owner coming out of a drug store and he told us that he’s owned it for the past 30 years, that the car has 70,000 original miles and that its combination of Lucas electrical components and Smiths instruments does pose certain, ahem, challenges from time to time.

Maple drive

Maple, drive

While keeping it going may be problematic after dark, it does seem a nice place to spend time thanks to the sumptuous pleated seats, finished in red Connolly leather, the bird’s eye maple wood dash, interior trim and, of course those rear passenger picnic tables. In short, a comfy spot in which to pass the time while waiting for the Auto Club.

Set 'em up, Jeeves

Set ’em up, Jeeves

Seriously, this is a grand automobile motorcar that has tremendous presence.  The motor is the same twin overhead cam 3.8 liter inline six that powered the XK150 sports car of this era but, of course, was called upon to propel a much weightier car.  Still, even with two tons of stately British steel, glass, leather, wood and rubber, to move around, the MK IX could achieve 115 mph and arrive at 60 mph in a matter of mere seconds, specifically 11,  according to contemporary road tests.


It's pronounced "Mark Nine"

Pronounced “Jag-you-are Mark Nine”

Alfred Hitchcock, being of British birth, cast a Jaguar like this, an earlier MK VIII, as Kim Novak’s ride in Vertigo.  Here’s a clip where she lets co-star Jimmy Stewart do the driving.

Speaking of showbiz, we have it on very good authority that Mel Brooks, whose film High Anxiety was a Hitchcock parody, owned a MK IX in the 1960s and he seems to have been quite savvy about British cars, in general.  In Get Smart, the TV series he created, Don Adam’s character, Maxwell Smart/Agent 86, drove a Sunbeam Tiger and in Silent Movie, Dom DeLuise, Marty Feldman and Brooks all stuffed themselves into a Morgan roadster.

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