History of Smiths Gauges for Jaguar S-Type 1963 to 1968
In 1963, Jaguar Cars launched the Jaguar S-Type. The aim was to produce a luxury Saloon 4-door alternative to the Mark 2 and Mark X, which both continued to be manufactured and sold. The styling and appearance was very much Jaguar and very British.
The 1963 S-Type was one of many Jaguars to feature SMITHS-branded gauges and instruments. The gauges and instrumentation needed to reflect the luxury tag of the S Type and sit perfectly in the Burled Belgian walnut veneer dashboard. Smiths and Jaguar engineers worked together on the designing of the gauges, that were all then manufactured in the UK. Most of that original tooling is still held and used at the Caerbont Automotive Instruments (CAI) manufacturing plant in South Wales.
The Jaguar S-Type was available with a 3.4-litre and 3.8-litre engine, both with twin carburettors. There was a 4-speed manual transmission along with 4-speed manual/overdrive and 3-speed automatic options.
The S-Type had been developed following concerns about the Mark 2 being outdated. However, when released in 1963, sales of the Mark 2 remained very strong. For this reason, Jaguar decided to retain the Mark 2 and sell alongside the new S-Type and high-spec Mark X (renamed 420G in 1966).
Media reviews at the time of the S-Type launch were very positive, commenting that it was ideal as a car for the family, business, sports or even as a grand tourer. The S-Type was widely considered to be a better car than earlier Jaguar cars.
Production and demand for the S-Type peaked in 1965 at 9,741, dropping to 909 in 1968 when it was replaced with the XJ6. For whatever reason, despite the S-Type's excellence, it simply failed to ignite the imagination of the motoring public.
SMITHS Gauges for the S-Type and other classic Jaguars and cars are still manufactured in the UK by CAI.
For more information on gauges for classic Jaguar cars like the S-Type, please contact us on:
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Posted by Paul Fears on
12 December 2016 at 12:00 AM
Automotive History, CAI, Classic Car, Jaguar, Jaguar S Type, S Type, SMITHS,