1957 Jaguar Mark I: The Graceful One

1957 Jaguar Mark I: The Graceful One

Engine Inline 6 Horsepower 210 bhp (213 PS/157 kW) @ 5500 rpmTorque 291 N·m (215 lb·ft/29.7 kg m) @ 3000 rpmEngine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 1372 kg | 3025 lbTransmission 4-speed manual

In the mid-50s, Jaguar released a successor to the 1945 Mk IV, the Jaguar Mk I (Mark I). It was a light and compact car, with a brand-new Saloon-type body, made according to the unitary method. 

Source: Barrett-Jackson

In the 50s, many automakers gradually switched to the monocoque body design, abandoning the production of passenger cars on a separate chassis. The Jaguar was no exception. The British brand’s owner William Lyons liked this approach very much, as by abandoning the heavy chassis, new opportunities for making sportier Saloon models could be made. The Mark I was Jaguar’s first car to utilize a monocoque design, which allowed for a lighter and more agile vehicle that appealed to sportier, younger drivers.  Remarkably, the model received the name Mk 1 retroactively, after the release of the more advanced  MKII in 1959. Initially, The 1955 Mark I was called the Jaguar 2.4-Litre (later the 3.4-liter version appeared). The Mk1, with a 2.4-liter engine, was the company’s first small Saloon automobile since 1949, which became an immediate success.

The origins

Source: Honest John Classics

When Jaguar bought Daimler’s Browns Lane plant in 1951, the brand’s management decided to expand its lineup. So in 1955, the Jaguar Mark I appeared, originally bearing the name Jaguar 2.4 Litre. Later, when Mark II appeared in 1959, the 2.4 Litre (1955-1959) and Jaguar 3.4 Litre (1957-1959) models were retroactively renamed Mark I. This model became the company’s first monocoque automobile after it abandoned the production of cars on a separate chassis. The vehicle was with a load-bearing body structure, which included separate axle subframes with a wheelbase of 107.5 “(2730 mm). The rear track was 114 mm narrower than the front, which made it possible to maintain the pontoon shape of the wings. The design of the MK I was similar to the MK VII, but its vertical grille was oval like the sports vehicles of the XK series. The interior was impressive with decent luxury: expensive leather and polished walnut created an aristocratic image. The Jaguar Mark I was equipped with a 2483 cm3 inline 6-cylinder DOHC, a smaller version of the XK engine,  with a capacity of 112 hp. The automobile cost £1532 and consumed an average of 15 liters of gasoline per 100 km. In total, 19,992 2.4 Litre and 17405 3.4 Litre versions were built from 1955 to1959.

The 1957 model year

Source: Flickr

In 1957, the 2.4 Litre version was completed by a 3.4 Litre version with an XK engine of the corresponding size. The 3.4-liter sedan, introduced on February 26, 1957, was specially developed and sold in the American market. Moreover, it was not initially available in the domestic market. Compared to the previous two releases, this automobile immediately became popular, partly due to the very positive reviews by “The Autocar” and “The Motor.” In addition, the automobile had good results on the tracks where it developed 210 hp, providing a maximum speed of 193 km/h. In 1957, the options list for the Jaguar Mark I included spoked wheels (cutouts were made in the rear skirts), and a three-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission (previously installed on exported vehicles). Moreover, in 1957, Borg-Warner automatic transmission became available with any engine in the company’s lineup, and Dunlop four-wheel disc brakes became available as an optional extra on all Jaguar models except the Mark VIII sedan. In 1957 the vehicle’s price was £1864 including taxes.

Did you know?

Source: Classic Driver

Renowned racing driver Mike Hawthorne died in a car accident on the A3 highway in Guildford, Surrey,  driving his Jaguar 3.4 Litre sedan while trying to overtake Rob Walker’s Mercedes-Benz 300SL. Due to strange circumstances, Hawthorn’s maneuver was one of the reasons for the tragic events at 1955 La Man when Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR pilot Pierre Levegh and 83 people died. On the A3 highway in Guildford during a rainy day, a racer drove into the oncoming lane at a speed of 130 km/h, lost control, and crashed.

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1957 Jaguar Mark I: The Graceful One

Engine Inline 6 Horsepower 210 bhp (213 PS/157 kW) @ 5500 rpmTorque 291 N·m (215 lb·ft/29.7 kg m) @ 3000 rpmEngine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 1372 kg | 3025 lbTransmission 4-speed manual

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