Six years after the Mk VII went on sale, Jaguar launched the third version of the model, this time calling it Mk VIII, fitting it with a more powerful 210bhp engine which would soon be shared with the XK150 sports car.

Although the original shape of this massive saloon car remained unchanged from its predecessor, the Mark VII, it now came fitted with a one-piece curved windscreen, a bolder grille treatment and, under the guidelines of a strategically placed chrome strip, the chance to build the car in two-tone paint schemes.

Inside the Mk VIII, the trim level had also been taken up a notch or two, with overstuffed leather upholstery the order of the day. The front bench in the Mark VIIs fitted with automatic transmission was large enough and comfortable enough to do justice to an average UK living room of the Fifties.

Reutter built reclining front seats were optional from mid-1958.

Although there was no power steering at first, this became optional on left-hand drive export-market cars from April 1958.

The 210bhp engine pushed the top speed up towards 110mph, which soon demonstrated that the drum brakes, had truly reached their limits.

To calm the nerves of the engineering team at Jaguar, disc brakes would replace them on the Mark IX.

Although the Mk VIII was a first-class, sometimes exhilarating, large car, it was not as well-rounded as the Mk IX which would follow it, marking the last derivative of a long-running family of large-sized, overly bulky luxury saloons that were typical of the Fifties,

1

2

3.

4

5

7

8