Wed, 8th Aug 2012 13:00

Donnington Priory

 
  Lot 16
 

1948 Jaguar MK IV 3.5 Litre Drophead Coupe

Sold for £81,000

(including buyers premium)


Lot details
Registration No: EU-Reg
Chassis No: 637144
Mot Expiry: None

The Second World War changed many things, including the naming of Sir William Lyons' company and motorcars - it was self-evident that using the initials 'SS' in any form would now be unacceptable, and the standalone 'Jaguar' moniker was therefore adopted for both the business and its products.

The company's first post-war offerings were essentially the same models that had been available between 1936 and 1939 - a shapely four-door Saloon with the choice of 1.5, 2.5 or 3.5-litre Standard-derived powerplants, and an even more striking two-door Drophead Coupe powered by the same 2.5 or 3.5-litre units. The visual differences between the post-war Jaguar and the pre-war SS Jaguar models were very minor: the radiator badge now read 'Jaguar' and was accompanied by the engine size; the 'SS' badge that had lived in the centre of the rear bumper was replaced by a simple 'J'; the cars now rode on 18-inch wire wheels as standard but, for those that preferred the disc type, there was the option of Ace covers to fit over the wire centres; the spinners for the wire wheels also featured the new 'Jaguar' logo.

The post-war Jaguar Drophead Coupe was the epitome of a luxury British car in its day, with its bulbous free-standing chromed headlights, matching Lucas Teardrop fog lights, sporty road wheels and intricate three-position hood system. The interior was a sumptuous blend of fine grained wood, quality leather and matching carpets, while the standard equipment included a well-written and smartly-presented owner's manual, not to mention a notably comprehensive tray of well-engineered tools in the boot.

This line-up of cars remained largely unchanged until the 1948 Motor Show which, though forever associated with the launch of the sensational XK120 Sports Car, also saw the unveiling of the MKV range of Saloons and Drophead Coupes. Quite why they were entitled MKVs remains something of a puzzle, as hitherto Jaguar nomenclature had not embraced any Mark / MK differentiators. Only at this stage were the newcomer's immediate predecessors retrospectively christened MKIVs by Jaguar's rapidly growing band of enthusiasts. Of the 11,952 (1.5, 2.5 and 3.5-litre) MKIV cars reputedly made, a mere 376 were intended to be left-hand drive 3.5-litre Drophead Coupes (chassis numbers 637301 - 637376). Though, in practice many of them were converted to right-hand drive and renumbered accordingly before leaving the famous Browns Lane factory.

This gorgeous-looking left-hand drive MKIV 3.5 Litre Drophead Coupe - chassis number 637144 - is equipped with four-speed manual transmission. It sports Black Cherry bodywork teamed with Tan leather upholstery and a Dark Sand mohair-lined hood. The Jaguar was manufactured in April 1948 and delivered to Hoffman, the company's New York outlet. It was apparently treated to a body-off restoration in Arizona between 1986 and 1991, during which some $160,000 is said to have been invested with Terry Larson Workshops and Olde Car Workshops Phoenix. The engine was overhauled by Classic Restorations (Scotland) Ltd in 2007/2008 at a cost of £7,666 and the interior completely refitted in 1991 by a combination of European Auto Interiors and Terry Larson at a total cost of $26,729. The MKIV, which won Jaguar Club concours awards in North America every year from 1991 to 1997, is being sold complete with: two comprehensive albums of the restoration work, plus all invoices; full original tool kit; Jaguar radiator mascot; original, fully-operating valve radio; hood cover; and details of the concours victories. A delightful and rare car that appears ready to continue its winning ways.
 

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