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Jaguar is helping collectors restore its vintage models by resuming production of the 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine block it built between 1958 and 1968. Called XK, the straight-six originally powered half a dozen models (including the famous E-Type), and its modern recreation costs nearly as much as a new compact sedan.
Wearing part number C22250, the cast-iron block is built to the original’s specifications by Jaguar’s Classic division, and it comes with a 12-month warranty. Sourcing a used block would likely be markedly cheaper than ordering a new one from the factory, but enthusiasts who value originality above all will appreciate the fact that it comes certificate of authenticity. Customers who send the company proof of vehicle ownership can even retain the serial number from the engine they’re pulling out, though an asterisk will identify it as a replacement.
Jaguar built the XK engine for several decades, but the 3.8-liter variant only remained in production for 10 years. It powered cars like the surprisingly quick XK 150 roadster, the stately Mark IX and early examples of the E-Type, though its displacement grew to 4.2 liters in 1964. As of this writing, only the 3.8-liter XK is available new.
If the E-Type you’re painstakingly restoring deserves nothing less than the best, or if you think a 3.8-liter block makes an awesome coffee table, you’ll need to send Jaguar a check for £14,340 including taxes, a sum that represents approximately $17,800 at the current conversion rate. Enthusiasts will also need to source pistons, connecting rods, a crankshaft and a complete cylinder head, among many other parts, so the cost of a full rebuild will lie well beyond the $20,000 threshold. For context, Volkswagen charges $18,895 for an entry-level Jetta.