Updated Jaguar Mark 2 puts new spin on a classic


August 30, 2014

The updated Jaguar Mark 2 was designed in a collaboration between Jaguar designer Ian Callum and CMC (Photo: CMC/Charlie Magee)

The updated Jaguar Mark 2 was designed in a collaboration between Jaguar designer Ian Callum and CMC (Photo: CMC/Charlie Magee)

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Whether driven by Inspector Morse or the less-than-pristine example in Withnail and I, the Mark 2 is one of the most memorable Jaguars. It may not have the flash and stand-out gorgeous lines of the E-Type, but since it was introduced in 1959, the Mark 2 had a reputation as a fast, capable saloon. Now an 18-month collaboration between Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum and Classic Motor Cars Limited (CMC) has produced an updated riff on the Mark 2 suitable for the 21st century.

The one-off update of the Mark 2 was built for Callum’s personal use and was unveiled by Jaguar test driver Norman Dewis at the official opening of CMC’s new headquarters in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. According to CMC, the Callum Mark 2 is meant to combine the main features of the original car with updated interior features and tweaks to style and performance suitable to everyday driving.

From the outside, Callum’s take on the Mark 2 is pleasingly restrained with only its sitting 20 mm lower, the 17-in split rim spoke wheels, the less prominent bumper flowing into the body, and brake air intakes to show the decades of progress. However, since this is Callum’s personal car, he was free to indulge his personal tastes.

"I have always loved traditional louvers as seen on many older race cars," says Callum. "Four louvers appear on the side of the car to add to that sense of power and 'something different.' Of course they had to work, so they have been designed in a low-pressure area for a better internal airflow from the modified engine."

The updated Mark 2 gets a bit more punch than its 1960s predecessors with a 4.3-liter engine feeding into a five-speed manual gearbox. There’s a new independent rear suspension designed and reengineered by CMC, new outboard front disc brakes, a bespoke power-assisted rack, reengineered coil springs, blade control wishbones, roll bar and wishbone bushes, adjustable dampers, and solid subframe mountings.

The interior is marked by a wood texture dash, red leather trim, a mixture of vintage-style analog gauges and digital displays combined with refreshingly large toggles, and a classic steering wheel. Under the dash is Clarion’s NZ502E single DIN multimedia station for the onboard infotainment controlled by the 6.3-inch touchscreen that makes for a jarring counterpoint as if half a century of design had suddenly short-circuited.

"This is a very personal statement," explains Callum. "A long held notion that, although the Mark 2 has always been a beautiful car, it could be even more exciting in shape and performance. Whilst maintaining the purity of the car’s form, I wanted to add a number of modern twists to the design. Simplification and clarity was my objective."

CMC says that the Callum Jaguar Mark 2 will make its public debut on September 3 to 5 at Syon House, Brentford.

The video below introduces the updated Mark 2.

Source: CMC

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past. All articles by David Szondy


Vladimir Popov

Wow, that is a nice looking car. My wife likes Jags (to my dismay) but even I wouldn't mind driving that baby around. Why not make this a model line? Personally I think they would sell if they had all the modern stuff inside and under the hood.

Rann Xeroxx

A great looking car with just the right enhancements to make it appealing for us older guys.

Not sure where you get "new outboard front disc brakes ' from. Maybe confusing the inboard disc rear end of the XJ6 series, that later went to the more conventional outboard style in the rear........

Martin Hone

I too think that Jaguar could sell an updated Mark II. But I'd like more chrome (i.e. to have the option of a more original appearance).

Nick 1801

I sincerely hope they have really done something about the road holding, I had several, 2.8, 3.4 (crap) and a 3.8 and they were all straight line cars (fantastic unless you wanted to around a corner).............


This is one of my favorite cars bar none. I had three which I used daily in the 70's. I even had a early production 1959 registered one, The last one, a 1966 if my memory serves me right was a dark blue one with grey leather interior and chrome spoke wheels. The were great drivers, the electrically controlled ovedrive was a bit finicky and prone o quit by the slightest bit of dirt in the oil. Also they had lousy climate control, in the summer swealtering hot, in winter almost impossible to heat. It seemed to be the design as all three had it. Butm that six was sooo smooth and wiling. It was so well balanced hat one could let it idle reliably at only 300 rpm ! I also loved the dash with its row of switches, later I had a Maserati Ghibly wth the same dash layout, but there the similarities ended.


Does it really require gray hairs to appreciate this effort?


Island Architect

Very nice... but the fact that there will only be one of them puts a damper on the whole thing.

Put that on a production line and you'd have something to crow about.

HJ Toby

Liked the louvers idea but too long for my taste, should finish some 2/3 inches from the bottom an maybe add 1 each side of the present ones. Always loved this car!


When I think about the MK II and why I loved it so much, the first thing that comes to mind is the beautiful English wood and leather details of the interior. I'm certain that I'm not the only one who remembers those aspects of the car as fondly as I do.

I therefore think the people responsible for this "updated" MK II Jag really went way overboard with their "cosmetic" updating, and have consequently really blown it with this one. The vertical louvers on the sides are also superfluous and take a way from from the sensuous lines of the car.

Had they retained as much as possible of the classical interior and other styling cues, and stuck to the job of making the car more smooth and reliable, with far better performance, handling and safety features than the original, I think they'd have a real winner on their hands here.



Absolutely stunning, I wouldn't have done it any different. Very pure, clean, simple, inside and out.


Yes - By all means lose the louvers ... then plan to produce a few thousand models with left-hand drive, and offering some of the original two-tone color schemes.

Then watch how quickly the U.S. market swings away from Rolls and Bentley, as orders for this saloon dominate three shifts on the factory floor.


Well there ya go. They're going to do a limited production run. Smart.

HJ Toby
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