Jaguar Mark IX – 1959 –1961
The Jaguar Mark IX (pronounced mark nine) is a large luxury saloon car produced by Jaguar Cars between 1959 and 1961. It replaced the previous Mark VIII. The early versions were identical in exterior appearance to the Mark VIII except for the addition of a chrome “Mk IX” badge to the boot lid. Later versions had a larger tail-lamp assembly with the addition of an amber section for traffic indication, visually similar to the tail-lights of the smaller Jaguar Mark 2. It was replaced by the lower and more contemporary-styled Mark X in 1961.
The Mark IX was popular as a ceremonial car for state dignitaries. When Charles de Gaulle paid a state visit to Canada in 1960, the official cars for the motorcade were Mark IX Jaguars, rather than Cadillacs or Lincolns. The English Queen Mother had a Jaguar Mark VII which was progressively upgraded to be externally identical to the later Mark IX. The Nigerian government bought forty Mark IXs, painted in the Nigerian state colours of green and white. The large Jaguars of the 1950s were sufficiently popular in western Africa that “Jagwah” survives as a colloquialism for “smart man-about-town”.
In the luxury car market, the Jaguar Mk IX was very competitively priced, selling for ₤1995 with manual gearbox, ₤2063 with overdrive, and ₤2163 with automatic transmission, which was less than half the price of similar competitors.
Standard transmission was a four-speed manual system: options included overdrive, but most cars were built with a Borg Warner three-speed automatic box.
Internally, an enlarged-bore 3.8 L (231 in³), 220 bhp (164.1 kW) DOHC straight-6 replaced the previous 3.4 L (210 in³) 190 bhp (141.7 kW) unit. The B-type head of the Mark VIII was retained, but with a chamfer at the bottom of the combustion chamber to accommodate the enlarged bore. Twin HD6 1.75″ SU carburettors were fitted. A smaller electromagnetically controlled auxiliary carburettor was placed between the main pair of carburettors to act as a choke. It often proved troublesome in operation and many were converted to manual switching . Standard compression ratio was 8:1, but a higher performance 9:1 compression ratio was also available, as was a 7:1 compression ratio for export markets, such as Africa, where quality of petrol was sometimes a problem.
The Mark IX was the first production Jaguar to offer four-wheel servo-assisted Dunlop disc brakes and recirculating ball power steering, which were now standard equipment. The brake system included a vacuum reserve tank to preserve braking in the event that the engine stalled. On models with automatic transmission, the brakes were equipped with an electromagnetic valve that maintained brake pressure at rest when the brake pedal was released to prevent the car from rolling back on an incline, hence its name “Hill Holder”. The Hill Holder was often troublesome (failing to release the brakes when the accelerator was depressed) and was disconnected on most cars without ill effect.
The power steering was driven by a Hobourn-Eaton pump, operating at 600-650 psi. It was attached to the back of the generator and allowed the steering to be geared up to 3.5 turns lock-to-lock as against the 4.5 turns for the Mark VII and VIII models.
Unlike the Mark VII and VIII predecessors, the Borg Warner DG automatic gearbox started in first gear and had a dash-mounted switch to allow second gear to be held indefinitely. Once in third gear, a series of clutches engaged to allow direct drive rather than through the torque converter.
The torsion bar independent front suspension and leaf-sprung rear live axle were retained from the Mk VIII, which, in turn, was first used in the 1949 Mark V.
Final drive was 4.27:1, (4.55:1 when overdrive was fitted).
The sunshine roof became a standard fitting for the UK market. The interior was in the same luxurious mode with extensive use of leather, burled walnut and deep pile carpet. A range of single and duo-tone paint schemes was offered.