1947 Jaguar Mk IV 2½ Litre Sports Saloon
The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Lyons formed SS Cars Limited to effectively take over the operation from Walmsley. The SS brand was quite successful; though they had a reputation for having ‘more show than go’.
The Jaguar name first appeared as a model name on an SS 2½ Litre Sports Saloon introduced in 1936. For political reasons, Lyons changed the name of his company to Jaguar Cars in 1945.
The fabulous SS100 really put SS Cars on the map and these cars are revered today, however, it was with the launch of the legendary Jaguar XK120 at the London Motor Show in 1948 that Jaguar really arrived. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The XK120 morphed into the XK140 and ultimately the XK150 and in total, just over 30,000 cars were built over fifteen years of production. In 1961 at the Geneva Motor Show Jaguar introduced the E-Type, which like the XK120 all those years ago, took the motoring world by storm. The body styling was simply gorgeous and technologically the E-Type was an engineering masterpiece and it set new standards in all areas. Whilst automotive styling is somewhat subjective the E-Type is often ranked atop lists of ‘the most beautiful cars’ and in fact, it has been described by Enzo Ferrari as the most beautiful car ever made.
So Jaguar could build sports cars, but they were also very successful at building sports saloons. From 1935 through until 1940 SS Cars built four door sports saloons and two door drophead coupes with either a 1½ litre 4 cylinder engine, 2½ litre 6 cylinder engine or a 3½ litre 6 cylinder engine. Post World War II Jaguar commenced production of the 1½ litre, 2½ litre and 3½ litre sports saloons. These cars were essentially a continuation of the SS cars built before the war. These cars were retrospectively known as the Mk IV to separate it from the Mk V introduced in 1948.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1947 Jaguar Mk IV 2½ Litre sports saloon. This car has a Jaguar Heritage Certificate on file which confirms this factory RHD example was manufactured on the 8th September 1947 with a date of despatch of 2nd October 1947. The original distributor is noted as MS Brooking in Perth, Western Australia. The car’s original colour scheme was suede green with a suede green interior. According to the Heritage Certificate the car has had an engine change at some stage in its life, though it is today fitted with a period correct Jaguar Mk IV (1945-1948) 2½ Litre engine with a “P” prefix. Interestingly there are notes in the extensive file that will accompany the car stating that the car does have its original engine block.
The car’s early history is not definitively known; however, there is documentation on file with a fascinating story about a light green Jaguar Mk IV that was sold new into Noggerup in the south west of Western Australia which is most likely this very car.
By the 1970’s this Mk IV had fallen into a state of disrepair, which is not surprising if the car had been living in the south west of Western Australia where the roads were very poor at that time. It is noted that at the time the car was very rusty, there was evidence that at some stage it had been repainted red, though it was still a running and driving car! Its then owner planned to restore the car to its former glory, however, the restoration never eventuated and the car changed hands in 1976 in a disassembled state. Over the next ten years the car was restored and it was finally presented to the licensing centre in the Perth suburb of Subiaco in May 1985 and registered. During the restoration the decision was made to change the colour on the car from ‘serwood green’ to a ‘brooklands green’. There is a dossier on the file put together by this owner of the car which contains an extensive overview of the work he did to it as well as a number of period photos.
The car changed hands in 1989 and its new owner decided to again change the colour. He chose to repaint the bottom half of the car, excluding the guards, silver. Additionally, the chrome was redone, the timber French polished and the seats were re-trimmed in leather. After 12years of ownership the car was sold to a well-known Jaguar enthusiast who was one of the founding members of the Jaguar Car Club in Perth. The change of ownership is documented as the 24th February 2001 and at that time the mileage is noted as 4340 miles.
The current owner acquired this Jaguar Mk IV in July 2018 from respected Perth based Jaguar specialists Roadbend Motors. At that time the odometer was at 9857 miles.
The car moved to south east Queensland where it joined an interesting collection of cars and only a recent change in circumstances has resulted in it being reluctantly offered for sale. In just over six months of ownership the car has travelled a further 284 miles. Since acquiring the Mk IV the current owner has had his mechanic go through the car and completed the following work: replaced the front shock absorber bushes & engine mounts, repaired the radiator, sorted the car electrically which involved an overhaul of the distributor, fitting new points & condenser, fitting new plugs & plug leads, repairing the wiper motor & tail/brake lights and fitting a new battery. The car was also fitted with new tyres. The end result is a well sorted and reliable to drive 1947 Jaguar Mk IV.
Today this Jaguar Mk IV presents well for a car that was restored thirty something years ago. From say a meter the paint work is presentable, however, on closer inspection you will notice a number of stone chips, blemishes and defects consistent with the age of the car. Generally, the condition of the external trim matches the paint work, with the exception of the chrome which is very good. The glass is in good condition as are the wire wheels which present very well.
Inside the cabin this Jaguar maintains the same aura it would have had when it left Holbrook Lane, Coventry in 1947. Granted the interior is not new, in fact most of it is between 20 and 30 years old, but it has aged gracefully with just the right amount of patina . . . it is all class! The leather is in good condition with no rips or tears, the timber likewise is in good condition as are the instruments and controls.
Under the bonnet the engine bay is relatively clean, but well used. Turn the key, prime the carburettors, push the start button and the 2½ litre engine fires. The car is surprisingly easy to drive and it just goes about its business in a very efficient manner. As you would expect from a classic Jaguar the engine purrs, the gear change is smooth up and down the box, the brakes pull what is quite a big car up. This is no E-Type but the car handles quite well and it is firm on the road. This elegant sports saloon is most at home loping along a back country lane or cruising the motorway
We all know these cars have a story to tell and this 1947 Jaguar Mk IV 2½ Litre sports saloon has a good one. The owner of the car from 1976 – 1989 recalls in the dossier mentioned previously that he proudly collected his wife and third daughter in the car shortly after the restoration was completed and it was registered. The story of his family’s reconnection with the car is complicated but the upshot was that in October 2010 the little girl who was collected by her proud parents in this car in May 1985 was driven to her wedding in this very same car just over 25 years later.
Clearly this grand old Jaguar has been cherished by its owners since it was restored all those years ago. It is mechanically sorted and ready for its new owners to enjoy.
The original tool kit (fitted in the boot – it’s fabulous!), jack, an extensive history file will accompany the car.
- Jaguar Mk IV 2½ Litre sports saloon
- 10141 miles