By Vern Parker
On July 6, 1964, an opalescent dark-green S-Type Jaguar equipped with a 3.8-liter, six-cylinder engine rolled out the factory door. According to Jaguar records, the 1964 S-Type had a suggested price of about $4,200. A month later, the Jag found a home where it eventually passed through five British owners.
In 1994, an American entered the scene when Mark Cronin’s job took him to England for a three-year stay. He and his wife purchased a 1970 Jaguar XJ6 in order to see the sights, but it wasn’t long before Cronin sold the sedan and began shopping around Great Britain for an older model.
He learned of a 1964 Jaguar S-Type for sale in Merseyside, and, after talking with the owner via telephone, they agreed to meet. The car looked pretty good to Cronin, but since he was new to Jaguarland, he asked the owner to have a mechanic go over the car and report the results. The deed was done, and the owner corrected the very few defects that were uncovered. Cronin then agreed to purchase the car.
As the sixth owner of the Jaguar, Cronin fired up the 3.8-liter, six-cylinder engine; from the sound, he could tell the two valves per cylinder were functioning properly. Cronin then drove his five-seat saloon home with 220 horsepower at his command. The odometer had recorded 106,000 miles.
On the drive home, the new owner noticed its 140-mph speedometer. “I suppose the Jag could come close to it,” is all he says. He discovered the car had never been abused and over the years had been maintained rather than restored. It has been repainted twice, both times in the original opalescent green. Likewise, the green suede leather upholstery had been redone shortly before he bought the car. The wood on the dashboard and windowsills is original because the car had been garaged most of its years.
For the next year, the Cronins enjoyed their S-Type Jaguar with a push-button starter, a manual four-speed transmission with an overdrive and — most importantly — right-hand drive. Before the Cronins returned to the United States they took the Jaguar to Bristol for shipping. Five days later, on the other side of the Atlantic, they picked it up in Baltimore.
When the car was new, it was shod with 6.40×15-inch bias-ply tires, but for better roadability, it now rolls along on 185×15 radial tires. Cronin has learned his Jaguar was one of the first 2,000 units of S-Types built. The odometer now has recorded 116,000 miles, and the Jaguar still runs beautifully.
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