As if you needed a clue, that giant wheel should tell you the road-going Mk 2 wasn't meant for haring down country lanes, instead it was born to waft. When underway the Mk 2 is remarkably easy to steer down the country lanes that take GRR to our eventual destination, the Thoroughbred Breakfast Club. While this particular model was also blessed with the addition of later power steering, we've driven other Mk 2s without that mod-con, and the ease at speed still remains. Sure it's big and when near stationary that shows in the steering, but what else do you expect? Even on a slightly rainy day, and decades after it was born, the big Jag feels untroubled by whatever the lanes of Sussex can throw at it.
Perhaps the biggest noticeable difference between a modern saloon is visibility. Despite all that glass, very little attention was paid back in the late 1950s to the idea of rear visibility. So be prepared to spend your time peering hard through the tiny rear view mirror - the wing mirrors (this time actually mounted on the wings) are pretty much pointless. But it's very easy to love the Mk 2, purely because of the majesty of its XK-derived engine. This 3.8-litre model shows how much torque an engine could create back in the mid 20th century. Slow down to a crawl through towns, or when presented to junctions and there's no need to touch the long, wirey gearstick. The low-down torque from that inline-six will draw you away from the apex with ease, and then continue to pull you back to cruising speed again without the need for much attention from the driver.