Sedans & Coupes

Bring a Trailer Bargain of the Week: 1965 Jaguar S-Type 3.8

Based on how many C-Type and E-Type restomods, replicas, and continuations there are, it’s clear that people like classic Jaguars. But inevitably, these vintage models are out of reach for all but the well-heeled. However, some classic Jags don’t cost an arm and a leg. Take, for example, this week’s Bring a Trailer bargain: a 1965 Jaguar S-Type 3.8.

The 1963-1968 S-Type is the forgotten classic Jaguar sports saloon

A dark-green 1968 Jaguar S-Type driving in a German road rally
1968 Jaguar S-Type | Rust/ullstein bild via Getty Images

If you’re more familiar with modern Jaguars, you might be confused by the thought of a ‘60s S-Type. That’s because, in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, the British automaker had a sedan—or to use the British parlance, a ‘saloon’—with that same name. However, that’s not the car we’re talking about.

The original 1963 Jaguar S-Type is kind of a marketing exercise, Hagerty explains. Two years earlier, Jaguar launched the Mk X, its range-topping Rolls-Royce rival with the engine from an E-Type, Road & Track reports. But some customers found the Mk X a bit too big. So, to satisfy them, Jaguar took the smaller Mk II sedan, lengthened it, and gave it a larger trunk. Thus, the 1963 S-Type was born.

However, the Jaguar S-Type is more than just a longer Mk II. For one, it has the same independent suspension as the Mk X and E-Type, rather than the Mk II’s live axle, Top Gear reports. That means it rides and handles better than the Mk II, Honest John reports.

Secondly, it has four-wheel disc brakes, with the rear brakes inboard to reduce unsprung weight. The S-Type is also stiffer than the Mk II, with a better interior and upgraded optional power steering, Auto Classics reports. Plus, more rear legroom, Bonhams reports.

Vintage car collector Horst F. Beilharz examines the inline-six engine of his red Jaguar S-Type in his garage
Vintage car collector Horst F. Beilharz examines the inline-six engine of his red Jaguar S-Type in his garage | Hauke-Christian Dittrich/picture alliance via Getty Images

Jaguar offered the 1963-1968 S-Type with several different inline-six engines, SC Parts and Classic Motoring report. The smallest was a 3.4-liter inline-six while the largest was a 4.2-liter inline-six. However, US-market S-Types only came with the 220-hp 3.8-liter inline-six, the same engine found in the earlier Mk II.

The 1965 Jaguar S-Type 3.8 on Bring a Trailer

A white 1965 Jaguar S-Type 3.8 parked next to a forest
1965 Jaguar S-Type 3.8 | Bring a Trailer

RELATED: Cars and Bids Bargain of the Week: 2008 Jaguar XK

Jaguar offered the S-Type with a three-speed automatic. However, the 1965 S-Type 3.8 currently listed on Bring a Trailer has the four-speed manual, complete with overdrive. And by this time, the manual had synchros on all four gears, Hagerty reports.

Compared to the latest luxury cars, this 1965 Jaguar S-Type isn’t necessarily well-equipped. But it does have red leather upholstery, a wood dashboard, plenty of wood trim, a heater, front and rear armrests, and a map light. It also has a clock, though Bring a Trailer notes it’s not working as of this writing.

The red-leather-upholstered and wood-trimmed interior of a 1965 Jaguar S-Type 3.8
1965 Jaguar S-Type 3.8 front interior | Bring a Trailer

RELATED: Bring a Trailer Bargain of the Week: 2005 Acura RSX Type S

However, apart from that issue, this S-Type appears to be in great shape, possibly because it was in storage for over 40 years. Normally, that would set off alarm bells in terms of maintenance issues. However, Bring a Trailer notes the seller has addressed potential problem areas.

This Jaguar S-Type has new front brake hydraulics, rear shocks, battery, fluids, fuel pumps, hoses, and a stainless-steel exhaust. It also has a rebuilt master cylinder, clutch cylinders, carburetors, and rear brake calipers. The sedan’s fuel tanks have been cleaned, too, and its rear differential resealed.

Compared to the Mk II, it’s a genuine classic luxury sedan bargain

As of this writing, this 1965 Jaguar S-Type 3.8 is listed on Bring a Trailer for $15,000 with three days left in the auction. Considering it originally sold for the modern equivalent of $55.5k, that’s a significant savings.

RELATED: How Much Would You Pay for a Fake Jaguar?

Getting an S-Type is also usually cheaper than trying to get a Mk II. Good-condition Mk IIs usually sell for over $20,000 on Bring a Trailer. So, in short, you’re getting a car with “a far superior ride and greater comfort” for less, Classic & Sports Car reports. One that can still keep up with modern traffic and has a larger trunk, Classics World reports. That sounds like a bargain to me.

Follow more updates from MotorBiscuit on our Facebook page.