Can you tell if an engine is appropriate to the car from the engine number?

Hello folks

I’m looking at a 1962 Jaguar MKII that is missing its data plate. The engine number is LB9681-9, which confirms as a 3.8, but I have no idea if the engine is a numbers match to the car. I wondered if there are records (other than a heritage certificate) that might give some clue, i.e. engines after a certain number were in 1963 cars, or car numbers 217436 (from the hood latch area) were all 3.4…something like that?

Car looks to be in good shape, but…a non matching engine…not sure If that changes my decision.



The factory knows, but they only confirm what you tell them for the Heritage Certificates, otherwise they keep it a secret to prevent fakers.
You can check the year and engine size here.

Then try to find engine numbers close to that one here.
It looks like LB9681 is a little high for 217436.

Hello Allan - try the Coventry Foundation site - they were able to help me with the same research on my car - very friendly and informative.

Thanks all - I did some research, here is what I found:

The closest record is of car 217416 (so 20 bodies ahead of the one I am looking at) which had engine number LB-3331-8 - so 6,350 engine numbers of a difference. Built April 12, 1961.

The closest engine numbers I can find are LB-9617-9 and LB-9737-9, so 64 engines ahead, and 56 behind, respectively, but both these cars were built in January of 1962.

One of the last cars built in 1961 was P219897, built December 29th 1961, engine code LB-9509. still 172 engines before the one I am looking at.

SO…it seems highly unlikely that a car built in late April of 1961, would receive an engine that would not be stamped until 9 months later.

I guess the question now is, what sort of impact does that have to value. I don’t buy cars for the purpose of reselling them, but I do buy them with the idea that I may need to, and would like to make sure I’m “investing” the money well, or at least “buying right”.

Jaguar Mk2 books (like example Original Jaguar MkI/MkII by Nigel Thorley) have a list of production changes referring to chassis and engine numbers.
June 1961 has a mention of 217573 and LB1850. LA engines listed though later.
Oct 1961 has LB8359 mentioned.
Are you sure your car is 1962? Maybe it is 1961 which is sold/registered 1962?

My opinion is that only in “trailer queen” show Mk2’s matching numbers would matter, otherwise general condition of the car matters more. Afterall Mk2 is not highly wanted $100k collector car but a $20-30k enthusiast (hobbyist) car.

Not certain of anything, but its pretty clear from the registry that the LB-engines ramped from the low 1000s (so LB-1081-9, fitted to a MKII built Jan 16th 1961) all the way to the 9000s - such as LB-9737-9 (car built Jan 4rth 1962). That means the engine I’m looking at should be very late '61 or early '62, meanwhile the car itself was built late April / early March of '61 - just too wide of a gap I think to consider matching numbers ( there is also no data plate on this car).

In a related way, can the ID plates be remade as per original? Previous owners had repeatedly rubbed the dirt and grime off with fingers or rags so that it is now extremely ugly and near impossible to read. It is a matching numbers car and though I can make the engine bay look good, I can’t do anything for the ID plate.

Thanks in advance for any help.


You can order blank Chassis Identification Plate and stamp whatever you want into it.`plate`&saveBranch=UK

Or create a decal to transfer onto the plate keeping the old plate.

This subject comes up often on the XK and E-Type forums, where they are much more concerned with exact reproductions, especially on high end restorations. The style and format of the ID plates changed many times over the years, so you might want to do some research and get the right one for your year. You could leave the engine number blank in the hope that someday you will learn what the original number was.