Ex-New Zealand and owned by one NZ family for 30 years; large history
file from new; leather interior; power steering; all-synchro gearbox; a lovely
example all round
It doesn’t really do to make generalisations and there are always exceptions, but over the years we have observed a few things about imports - cars from America look good on the surface but don't stand up to close inspection; cars from South Africa are solid but usually battered and badly maintained; cars from Australia are equally solid but the paint and the trim is usually ruined; cars from New Zealand are gorgeous.
This Jaguar MkII 340 fits the stereotype exactly. It spent its first 30 years in New Zealand and goodness doesn’t it look great? The Heritage Certificate shows that it was built in November 1967 finished in Cream with a red Ambla interior and manual overdrive transmission. It left for Archibalds Garage of Christchurch one month later and was to remain in New Zealand until 1998.
The history file is as impressive as the car and includes the original purchase invoice which shows that it was first owned by a Mrs Kathleen Stevens of Christchurch and cost $5,107 including seat belts, although Archibalds Garage allowed her $3,800 against the MkII 3.8 she traded in for her new 340.
Mrs Stevens clearly loved the car because it was to remain in the family for the next 30 years, being regularly serviced by Archibalds Garage throughout this time, as shown by many invoices on file. In January 1998, when it had covered 92,768 miles, it was inspected by an engineer in Christchurch for a potential new owner. His report stated: “This car is a sound and tidy example and in very presentable and well maintained condition”. He went on to assess all aspects of the car, noting that it drove well and the compressions were all even at 170psi, concluding that: “The vehicle is worthy of consideration”.
In May 1998 the car was shipped back to the UK and it has had five owners since, our vendor acquiring it in 2017. It has now covered 107,135 miles and has been just as well-maintained over the last 25 years as it had been for the 30 years it spent in New Zealand. Invoices show regular servicing and many new parts including a new set of Michelin XAS tyres and inner tubes in 2016, since when it has covered c.3,000 miles.
Other recent work of note includes: reconditioned dynamo; reconditioned power steering pump; new electric fuel pump; new water pump; Powerspark electronic ignition kit; new boot lid rubber; waxoil treatment; retro radio/CD player with SD card and Bluetooth. In October 2021 the rear axle was rebuilt by Nicol Transmissions of Kidderminster at a cost of £1,018 and there are plenty of other invoices for regular service items.
At some point the car has also been retrimmed and the seats are now leather, rather than Ambla, and mighty fine they look too. We suspect that the car has also been repainted at some point because the paint is too good to be original. The chromework is also excellent (the spots you might be able to see on the front bumper in the photos are water droplets, not damage).
Although it no longer needs one, it has an MOT until March 2024 with no advisories recorded (it required a small repair to the n/s/f sill to get through which cost £192). Driven some 40 miles to the sale, it has been starting promptly and running beautifully as we have moved it around on site.
Apart from the extensive history file from new, it also comes with an original owner's handbook and factory workshop manual, a Haynes manual and sundry useful spares including the original steering wheel and air filter system which the vendor replaced with period high-flow pancake filters because they make the car more responsive. He also advises that the troublesome automatic choke has been replaced by a manual choke operated via a switch next to the bonnet release knob. The AutoGlym car care kit you see in the boot is not included and is being retained by the vendor.
Often viewed as the poor relation to the original 3.8, the 340 is actually a better car to drive thanks to the all-synchromesh gearbox, power steering and significantly lighter bumpers. It also had a straight-port head so the performance was almost identical: 0-60mph in 8.8 rather than 8.5 seconds; top speed of 124mph rather than 125; 20mpg rather than 17.
Mrs Stevens clearly appreciated all these facts when she chopped her 3.8 in against this 340 all those years ago, and we hope that you will too.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
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