Automotive Gallery


Although press attention was primarily focused on the XK120 Roadster at the 1948 London Motor Show, it was another of the Jaguar stand's debutants which held the key to the marque's immediate future. Drawing on the stylistic heritage of its SS Jaguar predecessors, the imposing MKV was embellished via a bold radiator grille, partially recessed headlamps, curvaceous C-posts, rear-wheel spats and distinctive twin-blade bumpers. Destined to underpin many a 'Big Cat', the newcomer's box-section chassis was equipped with independent torsion-bar front suspension, a leaf-sprung 'live' rear axle and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Unwilling to risk using the unproven XK DOHC engine in such a volume application Jaguar chose to fit the MKV with its tried and tested '2.5 Litre' (2664cc) and '3.5 Litre' (3485cc) straight-six units. Developing some 104bhp and 126bhp respectively, these Harry Weslake tuned OHV powerplants were allied to four-speed manual transmission and gave class-leading performance; the 3.5 Litre variant being capable of over 90mph. Available in either four-door saloon or two-door drophead coupe guises, the luxuriously appointed four-seater accounted for some 10,466 sales between January 1949 and July 1951. Though, a mere 577 of those were left-hand drive 3.5 Litre Drophead Coupes.

Finished in black over cream with brown leather upholstery, this particular left-hand drive example is described by the vendor as being in "very good" condition with regard to its engine, four-speed manual gearbox, electrical equipment, interior trim, bodywork and paintwork. Supplied new to America, the Jaguar is said have remained with its first and second keepers for an impressive ten and forty-seven years respectively before being repatriated to the UK and entering the current (third) ownership during 2007. Reportedly "stored in a climate controlled environment for four decades" whilst Stateside, the MKV is further understood to be "a 'matching numbers' car" that has "only covered 62,000 genuine miles from new". Repainted in 1969 but otherwise felt to be "extremely original", this rare and desirable drophead coupe would grace many a collection.

Image and description kindly supplied by H&H Classic Auctions

Jaguar MkV 3.5 Litre Drophead Coupe 1950

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